Fox Cities Getaway

Mid-August brought a pleasant two-day excursion with a friend to picturesque destinations in northeast Wisconsin and the Fox Cities. The Fox cities include several towns on the west side of the Fox River, which flows from Lake Winnebago to where it enters Lake Michigan in Green Bay. This area has historically been the heart of the papermaking region in Wisconsin.


This trip was originally structured around an appointment in Green Bay on the first morning. However, the appointment was cancelled earlier that day, which caused us to completely modify our itinerary. We headed north and our first stop became the Walmart store on the north side of Sheboygan. The next stop was the Visitor Center in Manitowoc, where we picked up various tourist magazines for use in planning future Wisconsin getaways. While in Manitowoc, we stopped in at the quaint Beerntsen’s Confectionary and bought some chocolate. Following that was a stop to look at the USS Cobia, a World War II submarine permanently moored next to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.

As our trip progressed, we left Manitowoc and headed north along the Lake Michigan lakeshore, ending up in Two Rivers, where we stopped at the Suzie Q Fish Market to pick up some smoked salmon to add to our repast. Just down the street from Suzie Q, we stopped to take a look at the relocated Two Rivers Lighthouse, which is adjacent to the Rogers Street Fishing Village.

Two Rivers Lighthouse

Leaving Two Rivers. we traveled up County Highway O (Rustic Road R-16), into Point Beach State Forest. There we visited one of the tallest and most majestic lighthouses in Wisconsin, the 1894 Rawley’s Point Lighthouse. Still an active light, the former keeper’s residence now provides vacation accommodations for disabled U.S. military veterans.

Rawley’s Point Lighthouse

Originally intending to continue up Wisconsin Route 42 to Kewaunee and Algoma, we were stopped by a road closure on Route 42 which necessitated a long detour through farm country. With the help of GPS, Google Maps and the DeLorme Wisconsin atlas, we made our way to Green Bay, where we stopped for lunch at the Allouez Cafe.

After lunch, our next stop was the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay. Arriving here got us back on our original itinerary. Here we toured the Nature Center and walked out to one of the ponds to view the hundreds of ever-present geese and ducks.

Since we were near the south shore of Green Bay, we went hunting for a pair of small lighthouses at the mouth of the Fox River. Located near a boat launching facility, we visited and photographed the relocated Grassy Island Range Lights.

Grassy Island Range Lights


The first day of our excursion ended in Appleton, one of the Fox Cities. We overnighted there, and after coffee the next morning at Brewed Awakenings, we explored the city. Seeing the turbulent waters flowing downstream from a dam was a quite a sight!


On the road again after Appleton, our next destination was Oshkosh, another of the Fox Cities. Here our objective was to tour the spectacular Paine Art Center and Gardens, which was once the estate of lumber baron Nathan Paine and his wife Jessie Kimberly Paine. During our visit we toured both the mansion and the gardens.

The Paine Art Center and Gardens

The Paine Mansion

The Paine Gardens


Touring The Paine Art Center and Gardens was the highlight of our trip, but there we still had one more destination to go. As our trip wound down, we visited the Fond du Lac Lighthouse. This small lighthouse is one of five on Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin’s largest inland lake.

Thus ended my most recent adventure getaway. We were blessed with great late summer weather and many exciting photo opportunities. We bounced back from an unexpected itinerary change and highway detour, but made more cherished memories as another Wisconsin getaway excursion came to a close.


1 Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.