Top Things to do around Oshkosh:
One of the best parts about staying at the Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel, in addition to the clean rooms, great amenities and exceptional customer service, is it’s location in downtown Oshkosh. Many of these venues are withing walking distance of the hotel and others are just a short drive.
The EAA Aviation Museum:
The EAA Aviation Museum is a world-class museum featuring one-of-a-kind galleries and displays, and more than 200 historic airplanes. Explore aviation’s past and marvel at its exciting future at this year-round museum. Aviation enthusiasts of all ages can explore exhibits encompassing all eras of flight including a tribute to the Wright Brother, WWII aircraft and artifacts, homebuilt aircraft, innovations and space, antiques and classics, air racing and aerobatics, and numerous other exhibits such as the Borman Collection and Rara WWII Nose Art Exhibit. Kids will love the KidVenture Gallery. This family-friendly area contains 16 interactive exhibits, a half-scale model of an F-22, scenic overlook from the Tower of Flight, and more! From May through October, take a short tram ride to Pioneer Airport and see more than 50 vintage airplanes displayed in hangars from aviation’s golden age. Free Young Eagles airplane rides available, weather permitting, for kids ages 8 to 17. Learn more about the EAA Aviation Museum here.
Menomonee Park Zoo:
Feed the llamas, watch playful otters swim or get up close with bald eagles. The Menominee Park Zoo is located on eight acres of land in the middle of Menominee Park on the shores of Lake Winnebago.
Open seasonally from May through September, the zoo features between 30 to 50 animals. Along with a few permanent exhibits, each season typically brings in a new variety of animals so each time you visit, you’re sure to find a new furry or feather friend.
Admission to the zoo is free all season long. Throughout the year, the zoo hosts numerous family-friendly events such as Egg-Citing Day at the Zoo, Snooze at the Zoo and Zooloween Boo along with several educational programs. Visitors will also find a café at the zoo for snacks and drinks.
Learn more about the Menominee Park Zoo here.
FISHING WISCONSIN’S LARGEST INLAND LAKE:
Lake Winnebago is Wisconsin’s largest inland lake and, arguably, its most important fishery. The walleye fishing on Lake Winnebago is widely thought to be some of the best in the country. Anglers come from miles around to try their hand at Winnebago’s jumbo perch. And, bass anglers from around the Midwest are beginning to take notice of Lake Winnebago’s excellent fishing for both largemouth and smallmouth.
At more than 138,000 acres, Lake Winnebago is big. The lake is part of a system that includes Lake Butte des Morts, Lake Winneconne and Lake Poygan as well as the Wolf and Fox rivers. It’s a nearly endless amount of water.
The structure of Lake Winnebago is unusual. Although it covers 215 square miles, it is quite shallow. The average depth is just 15.5 feet. At its deepest, the lake drops to a mere 21 feet.
Oshkosh is bordered by Wisconsin’s largest inland lake and surrounded by more than 140,000 acres of water between Lake Winnebago, Lake Butte des Morts and the Fox River. Boaters can explore another 18,000 acres of water when including Lake Winneconne and Lake Poygan, both of which are a short boat ride up the Wolf River. Recreational boaters, fishermen and kayakers frequent the expansive waterways of Oshkosh every summer. During the winter, Lake Winnebago is one of the most popular ice fishing lakes in the Midwest.
Museums and History:
Spend an afternoon or a whole weekend exploring one or all of Oshkosh’s unforgettable museums.
Down the road from the EAA Aviation Museum is the Military Veterans Museum and Education Center, which honors our nation’s military history and features more than 20 historic military vehicles such as a Soviet T34/85 tank and Brutus gun truck. Other collections include small arms and artillery, uniforms and accouterments, and a Medal of Honor Wall.
Oshkosh’s Public Museum explores the Lake Winnebago region and features interactive, family-friendly exhibits that bring history to life. The interactive People of the Waters exhibit explores Wisconsin’s prehistoric past and Native American culture. Throughout the year, the museum hosts an incredible rotation of engaging temporary exhibits. Stunning woodwork, artwork, fine glass and ceramics, and rich Tiffany treasures adorn the museum.
Neighboring the Public Museum is the Paine Art Center and Gardens. This historic estate is revered as an “American Castle” and features art galleries and display gardens. The Paine estate has twenty, stunning garden areas, each designed to create outdoor rooms showcasing a wide variety of ever-changing flowers and plants. Throughout the year, the Paine presents changing art exhibitions, from classical to contemporary, as well as seasonal events like Nutcracker in the Castle during the holidays.
See a performance at the historic Grand Opera House. Oshkosh’s Grand Opera House, located just a five-minute walk from the Waterfront Hotel, is a beautiful historic opera house that was built in 1883. Events are held most weekends throughout the year, and you can find a full event schedule by clicking here. The Grand Opera House hosts musicals, plays and concerts ranging across the musical spectrum. If that’s not enough, the Opera House is said by many to be haunted. So if you go, make sure to keep a look out for mysterious spirits!
The Oshkosh Riverwalk and Wiowash Trail:
The Oshkosh River Walk is a scenic walkway in downtown Oshkosh that runs along the historic Fox River. The walkway is paved and easily accessible. Visitors can find good fishing spots as well as numerous stores and restaurants, such as our own Ground Round at River’s Edge. So take a walk and enjoy the scenery, and then stop in for a delicious meal and a cocktail right on the water at Ground Round’s patio. For those interested in a nice run or bicycle ride, the Riverwalk leads you all the way to the popular Wiowash State rail trail. The southern segment of the trail is open for 22 miles from Oshkosh to Hortonville. The southern segment skirts along the edge of Lake Butte des Morts and continues into the countryside through native tall grass prairies, farmlands and wildlife areas. Although more popular in the summer, the River Walk and Wiowash Trail provides breathtaking views of the Fox River and Lake Butte des Morts even in the winter.
Rock out at Waterfest:
Taking place at the outdoor Leach Amphitheater, just a couple minutes walk from our hotel right on the Fox River. Oshkosh’s Waterfest takes place from June to August. Concerts take place Thursday nights and feature a wide range of musical styles. After the show, take a stroll down the river walk and stop in at Ground Round for a drink or a bite to eat. You can view more about the festival by visiting their website, located here.
Oshkosh Farmers Market:
BEST. FARMERS. MARKET. EVER!
Consistently ranked as one of the best farmers markets in the country, the Oshkosh Farmers Market is one of the most popular events in the city.
Explore more than 130 vendors per week at the outdoor, summer market in downtown Oshkosh, and more than 30 vendors per week at the indoor, winter market. Find an assortment of in-season fruits and vegetables, meats and poultry, artisan bread, crafts, and ready-to-eat foods. The family-friendly markets also feature live music and themed events.
Summer Farmers Market
Downtown Oshkosh (400 and 500 blocks of N. Main St. and 100 block of Church Ave.)
June 5 through October 30
Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (rain or shine)