Best Day Trips from Green Bay

Green Bay, Wisconsin, is not only a vibrant city with plenty to offer but also a perfect hub for exploring the picturesque surroundings of Northeastern Wisconsin. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature, dive into local history, or simply escape to a charming small town, there are plenty of exciting day trips to embark on from Green Bay. Here’s a guide to some of the best day trips from Green Bay.

1. Door County

Distance from Green Bay: Approximately 1 hour

Door County, often referred to as the “Cape Cod of the Midwest,” is a perfect destination for a day trip. Known for its charming small towns, scenic beauty, and numerous outdoor activities, Door County offers something for everyone.

Highlights:

  • Visit Sturgeon Bay: Explore the maritime history at the Door County Maritime Museum and stroll through the charming downtown area filled with shops and cafes.
  • Peninsula State Park: Enjoy hiking, biking, or picnicking in one of Wisconsin’s most popular state parks. Don’t miss the stunning views from Eagle Bluff Lighthouse.
  • Fish Boil Dinner: Experience a traditional Door County fish boil at one of the local restaurants for a unique and tasty meal.

2. Appleton

Distance from Green Bay: Approximately 40 minutes

Appleton, located along the Fox River, offers a mix of cultural attractions, shopping, and natural beauty. It’s a great spot for a relaxing day out.

Highlights:

  • Hearthstone Historic House Museum: Tour the first house in the world lit by hydroelectric power, showcasing beautiful Victorian architecture and period furnishings.
  • The Building for Kids Children’s Museum: Perfect for families, this museum offers interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for children of all ages.
  • Fox River Mall: Spend some time shopping at one of Wisconsin’s largest malls, featuring a wide variety of stores and dining options.

3. Shawano Lake

Distance from Green Bay: Approximately 1 hour

Shawano Lake is an ideal destination for water enthusiasts and those seeking a relaxing day in nature. The lake offers plenty of recreational opportunities.

Highlights:

  • Boating and Fishing: Rent a boat or bring your own to enjoy a day on the water. Shawano Lake is known for its excellent fishing, including walleye, bass, and panfish.
  • Shawano Lake County Park: Spend some time on the sandy beach, have a picnic, or hike the scenic trails in this lovely park.
  • Canoeing/Kayaking: Explore the lake and its peaceful surroundings by canoe or kayak.

4. Wisconsin Dells

Distance from Green Bay: Approximately 2.5 hours

Known as the “Waterpark Capital of the World,” Wisconsin Dells is a bit further but well worth the drive for a fun-filled day of adventure.

Highlights:

  • Waterparks: Spend the day at one of the many indoor and outdoor waterparks, such as Noah’s Ark or Kalahari Resort, offering endless fun for families.
  • Boat Tours: Take a scenic boat tour of the Wisconsin River to see the stunning rock formations and cliffs that the Dells are famous for.
  • Downtown Wisconsin Dells: Explore the charming downtown area with its unique shops, restaurants, and attractions.

5. Manitowoc

Distance from Green Bay: Approximately 45 minutes

Manitowoc, located on the shores of Lake Michigan, offers a mix of maritime history and natural beauty, making it a great day trip destination.

Highlights:

  • Wisconsin Maritime Museum: Discover the rich maritime history of the Great Lakes and tour the USS Cobia, a World War II submarine.
  • Lincoln Park Zoo: Enjoy a leisurely stroll through this free zoo, home to a variety of animals and beautiful gardens.
  • Mariners Trail: Walk or bike along this scenic trail that hugs the Lake Michigan shoreline, offering stunning views and access to parks and beaches.

6. Oshkosh

Distance from Green Bay: Approximately 1 hour

Oshkosh, known for its aviation history and cultural attractions, provides a diverse range of activities for a fulfilling day trip.

Highlights:

  • EAA Aviation Museum: Explore one of the world’s best aviation museums, featuring a large collection of aircraft and aviation artifacts. Don’t miss the KidVenture Gallery for interactive exhibits.
  • Menominee Park and Zoo: Spend some time outdoors at this beautiful park on Lake Winnebago, which includes a small zoo, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
  • Downtown Oshkosh: Wander through the vibrant downtown area, home to unique shops, restaurants, and historic buildings.

7. Kettle Moraine State Forest

Distance from Green Bay: Approximately 1.5 hours

Kettle Moraine State Forest offers a spectacular landscape shaped by glaciers, with plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy.

Highlights:

  • Hiking and Biking: Explore miles of scenic trails, including the popular Ice Age National Scenic Trail, which offers stunning views of the glacial terrain.
  • Camping and Picnicking: Spend the day hiking or biking, then relax with a picnic at one of the many scenic spots within the forest.
  • Swimming and Fishing: Enjoy the crystal-clear waters of Mauthe Lake or Long Lake, perfect for swimming, fishing, and boating.

Green Bay’s central location makes it an excellent base for exploring the diverse attractions of Northeastern Wisconsin. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the great outdoors, cultural experiences, or a relaxing escape, these day trips offer a variety of options to enhance your visit to Green Bay. Pack your bags, plan your itinerary, and get ready to discover the best day trips from Green Bay!

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