DAY ONE

Travel the countryside in search of “Barn Quilts” throughout the counties of Calumet, Winnebago and Fond du Lac.  The rural roads beckon you in search of these winsome paintings of quilt squares on the side of barns.  See how many you can “collect” along the way.

Your first stop on your cultural exploration of the region surrounding Lake Winnebago is The Plaid Squirrel Gallery and Gifts in Brothertown.  Reclaimed, recovered, recycled pieces by local artisans are waiting for you to discover.  If you happen to be traveling by motorcycle this stop is a must for shopping for bike inspired folk art!  Then it’s on to New Holstein – a rural prairie community founded around the railroad freight and passenger stations.  Visit The Timm House built in 1873, one of the Midwest’s finest remaining “stick-style” Victorian homes (May – October).  Then on to the Ariens Company Museum located in the company’s original manufacturing plant in downtown Brillion.  This museum features the best of the Midwestern manufacturing culture with a full-scale replica of Henry Ariens’ garage – the building where the first Arien tiller took shape.

End your day back on Lake Winnebago at High Cliff State Park to breathe in the culture of doing nothing except enjoying the view!

DAY TWO

Rise and shine to venture on to two lighthouses. Bray’s Point (Rockwell) Lighthouse is where the Fox River enters Lake Winnebago.  Built by former Wisconsin Senator William Bray in 1909 to mark the shallow dangerous reefs just off-shore, he assumed the role of keeper lighting the lamp each night.  This lighthouse sits on private land so just do a drive by!  Located in Asylum Point Park (named for its neighboring mental institution) Asylum Point Lighthouse is on the western shore of Lake Winnebago just north of Oshkosh.  Then travel on to the Paine Art Center & Garden.  Revered as an “American Castle,” this 1920’s mansion is home to historic interiors, an exceptional art collection and flourishing gardens.  Spend the afternoon at the Oshkosh Public Museum to connect with the region’s heritage and the natural history of the Winnebago waterway.  Permanent and changing exhibits offer you a unique glimpse into to the past.

DAY THREE

Recognized as one of Wisconsin’s Historic Main Street Communities, Ripon boasts a casual, edgy and artsy mix of Italianate historic store fronts in a downtown Watson Street Historic District.  Explore this college town a little more and you’ll find Victorian “painted ladies” in the residential area south of downtown.

Travel south to Waupun and the Horicon Marsh, a Wetland of International Importance and the Marsh Haven Nature Center.  Stop for a stroll on the floating boardwalk for bird watching and nature gazing.  Or see the collection of statues in this “City of Sculpture”.

Then wander back north as no road trip to the area would be complete without a stop at Kelley Country Creamery in Eden.  The shop overlooks the family homestead and the cows who give the milk to make these delicious ice cream confections.  The family was honored to have Kelley’s named the Best Ice Cream Parlor in America by Good Morning America.

DAY FOUR

After a cozy night’s sleep in one of Fond du Lac’s many lodging establishments its up and out for a photo op at Lakeside Park’s Lighthouse.  Climb the observation tower for an impressive view of Lake Winnebago.  Stop in at Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts for their permanent and changing exhibits.  Before leaving the area don’t’ miss the Kristmas Kringle Shoppe to stroll through two floors of decorated trees, unique Christmas ornaments and wreaths and everything holiday.  You can take home a lighthouse or a barn ornament to hang on your tree and remind you of the trip!

The Plaid Squirrel Gallery & Gifts

Location: N1866 Hwy 151, Chilton, WI
County: Calumet County
You can spend an hour in the store and discover something unique, beautiful, hand-made, one of a kind gifts, including home decor, outside garden art, with many pieces influenced by…
Phone: 920-627-3010
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Timm House

Location: 1600 Wisconsin Ave, New Holstein, WI
County: Calumet County
This Greek Revival style home from 1873 was restored to its Victorian elegance in 2007. It is one of the best examples of Stick Style design remaining in the Midwest.…
Phone: 920-898-5900
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Ariens Museum

Location: 202 Calumet St., Brillion, WI
County: Calumet County
The museum is housed at the Ariens original manufacturing facility in Brillion. It features eight decades of power equipment including two-wheel tractors, snow blowers, lawnmowers, riding lawnmowers, tractors, and commercial…
Phone: 920-756-2141
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High Cliff State Park

Location: N7630 State Park Rd, Sherwwod, WI
County: Calumet County
High Cliff State Park is the only state-owned recreational area on Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin's largest inland lake. The park gets its name from the limestone cliff of the Niagara Escarpment,…
Phone: 920-989-1106
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Bray’s Point (Rockwell) Lighthouse

Location: Bay Shore Dr. & Lake St. Oshkosh, WI 54902,
County: Winnebago County
Historic lighthouse built in 1910 on the shores of Lake Winnebago.
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Asylum Point County Landing

Location: 3400 Sherman Road, Oshkosh, WI
County: Winnebago County
2 paved lanes. Launch depth 3 feet. Boarding dock. 30 trailer stalls. Lighthouse on Asylum Point Island.
Phone: 920-232-1960
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Paine Art Center and Gardens

Location: 1410 Algoma Blvd, Oshkosh, WI
County: Winnebago County
The Paine Art Center/Gardens is a 3 acre historic estate with a mansion and gardens. The museum presents changing art exhibitions, from classical to contemporary, and seasonal events like Nutcracker…
Phone: 920-235-6903
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Oshkosh Public Museum

Location: 1331 Algoma Blvd, Oshkosh, WI
County: Winnebago County
The Oshkosh Public Museum features more than 10,000 square feet of exhibits. Experience life on the frontier, the hardships of a Civil War soldier, and travel back to the logging…
Phone: 920-236-5799
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Horicon National Wildlife Refuge

Location: N5445 Highway 49, Waupun, WI
County: Fond du Lac County
Phone: 920-921-2281
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Marsh Haven Nature Center

Location: W10145 State Highway 49, Waupun, WI
County: Fond du Lac County
Our all-volunteer, community supported center features displays and exhibits that help depict the history and wildlife of Horicon Marsh. In addition, we also have an Art Gallery where a diverse…
Phone: 920-318-9518
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Kelley Country Creamery

Location: W5215 County Road B, Fond du Lac, WI
County: Fond du Lac County
We love Ice Cream! Kelley Country Creamery's old-fashioned premium ice cream is crafted in our Creamery on our dairy farmstead. The Kelley family has been churning homemade ice cream as…
Phone: 920-923-1715
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Lakeside Park

Location: 555 N. Park Avenue, Fond du Lac, WI
County: Fond du Lac County
With over 400 acres of open recreational space on the south end of Lake Winnebago, Lakeside Park is a great place to visit. Summertime brings impressive flower displays, boating of…
Phone: 920-322-3460
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Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts

Location: 51 Sheboygan Street, Fond du Lac, WI
County: Fond du Lac County
Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts (THELMA) is a premier venue offering unparalleled access to music, film, classes and art exhibits with a stunning backdrop for corporate meetings, weddings and…
Phone: 920-921-5410
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Kristmas Kringle Shoppe

Location: 1330 S. Main Street, Fond du Lac, WI
County: Fond du Lac County
This Midwest favorite has long been a destination for shoppers of all ages. We are an enchanting two-story Bavarian style shop with an interior resemblance to quaint European shops. We…
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