From the breweries of Milwaukee to the cultural traditions of the Oneida Nation, the Eastern Shores region has group-friendly opportunities for every interest. Here you can learn about Wisconsin’s rich agricultural and maritime history, admire beautiful works of art and discover the state’s football legacy.
Let your time in Wisconsin begin with a visit to a brewery for a tour and lunch. Lakefront Brewery boasts one of the best brewery tours in the country and an excellent fish fry and fried cheese curds! After a delightful lunch, head to the Milwaukee School of Engineering and the Grohmann Museum, the largest collection of industrial art in the world. The collection of paintings and sculptures at the Grohmann offers an opportunity to look at “art” museums in a new way, with many exhibits about mankind’s achievements such as medical/dental, bridge-building, fishing, farming, glass blowing, accounting and so much more.
The Grohmann also boasts over 20 works by painter Carl Spitzweg. The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (which offers generous group pricing) hosts Broadway shows, the Milwaukee Ballet Company and the Florentine Opera Company. Be sure to catch a performance while you’re in town. You can also learn about the city’s culinary history with Milwaukee Food & City Tours. These progressive tours, which combine local history with delicious culinary creations, are perfect for groups and include programs such as “Churches &Chocolates,” “Progressive Ethnic Lunch” and the Christmas Bakery Bus.
In the quaint town of Cedarburg, explore the downtown area for some wonderful shopping, wine tasting and some delicious caramel apples! The Museum of Quilt & Fiber Arts curates the artistic, cultural, historic and social importance of quilt and fiber art by representing artists from around the world. The museum also offers a variety of hands-on experiences for your group. Tonight, enjoy dinner on the shores of Lake Michigan and one of the many restaurants found in the historic town of Port Washington in Ozaukee County.
Wisconsin in fondly referred to as the Dairy State, and we do have a lot of happy cows. The Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center explores the importance of the dairy industry and agriculture to our state and the nation. Your group may also have the opportunity to view a live birth of a calf while visiting. Stop at Henning’s Wisconsin Cheese for more dairy goodness. This fourth-generation factory, store and museum offers tempting cheese curds and specialty cheddar to tempt your taste buds.
The shipping industry is a vital component of the Great Lakes and the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Explore the early growth, tragedies and the future of the industry. Stories of the many shipwrecks throughout the Great Lakes are featured, including the story of the Christmas Tree Ship. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the WWII submarine USS Cobia.
Sheboygan is home to two of the most unique art museums that you will experience. The John Michael Kohler Art Center and the new Art Preserve house a world-class collection of artist-built environments and works by contemporary and vernacular artists from around the world. The Art Preserve’s main level will feature a facsimile of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein’s pastel-colored frame home in Milwaukee, where he created and stored thousands of photographs, paintings, sculptures and other works of art. Be sure to also check out the beautiful bathrooms when visiting—you won’t be disappointed. Offering participatory tour experiences, hands-on workshops and engaging curriculum, the Kohler Art Center can customize your group’s experience and offers changing exhibits.
Green Bay, Door County
As you head into Green Bay, the iconic symbol of the Green Bay Packers can be seen: Lambeau Field. A visit includes a stadium tour, the awesome gift shop and the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. Whether you are a football fan or not, this experience takes you to the early days of football through the Lombardi years to the resurgence of the team with Brett Favre to the current Super Bowl-winning team with Aaron Rogers at the helm.
Human ingenuity and love of the railroad is explored at the National Railroad Museum. Permanent exhibits such as “Pullman Porters: From Service to Civil Rights,” “The Dwight D. Eisenhower Locomotive & Command Cars from
WWII” and one of only eight “Big Boy” locomotives will engage your group.
Enjoy a guided tour of the Oneida Nation, one of many tribal communities in the state. The Oneidas share their story with several packages for groups to choose from that embraces the culture, history, industry and lifestyle of the Oneidas. You can view the tribe’s buffalo herd from an observation deck, see the Long House Village and shop for beadwork, corn husk dolls and other crafts at Oneida Nation Museum. Homeopathic and herbal remedies are a
specialty at Oneida Market. Vendors sell sweet grass, maple syrup, up to 35 kinds of apples and much more at the weekly outdoor Oneida Farmers Market.
Head north to Door County with a stop for wine tasting at the Door Peninsula Winery as you make your way to Rowley’s Bay for a tradition Fish Boil experience. Afterwards, take in a delightful performance at the Peninsula
Players Theater or Northern Sky Theater. Both offer enjoyable performances in beautiful settings.
On your final day in Wisconsin, visit one of its most recognized brands: the Harley-Davidson Museum. Here you learn about the early history of this iconic company that began in Milwaukee in 1904, the evolution of the motorcycle, racing history, pop culture and more. Plenty of photo opportunities await as you have the chance to hop on a Harley. Interactive, eye-catching exhibits present an unparalleled collection of legendary stories of our nation.
Stop for lunch today with a beautiful view of Lake Michigan in the city of Racine, which offers plentiful cultural attractions. Afterwards, explore the Racine Art Museum, which boasts the largest contemporary craft collection in the United States. Docents will welcome you and guide you through the museum that features over 5,000 pieces of ceramic, fiber, glass, metal and more. Every spring, RAM is home to the International PEEPS Art Exhibition, which showcases works of art crafted from the beloved Easter marshmallow candy. History comes alive at the Civil War Museum in Kenosha, which is the second largest Civil War museum in the country.
The museum explores the impact the conflict had on the Midwestern states and Wisconsin’s impact on the war. Tonight, enjoy a scrumptious homemade meal at Apple Holler, and be sure to have a piece of pie. Learn to bake bread, make jam or simply play a few rounds of bingo and visit farmyard animals. Hayrides, campfires, meals served family-style and shopping for butters and syrups are other options.