Manitowoc Wisconsin is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. Its location on this great inland lake means that it has a long maritime history and that many things to do in Manitowoc have to do with lake activities as well as the river sports available on the Manitowoc River, which flows right through the center of the city and into the lake. All of the Great Lakes have a rich maritime history stretching back more than 150 years, and the city's tradition began when the first lake schooner was built here initiating its shipbuilding and fishing industries.
One of the most fascinating Manitowoc attractions is the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Affiliated with the Smithsonian, it is one of the largest nautical museums in the country. Here you can tour a World War II combat submarine and step back in time to discover the region's maritime history. Beginning your Manitowoc vacations with a visit to this facility will give you a better understanding of how the lakes play a part in the region's culture. Manitowoc Wisconsin is also one of the stops for the car ferry that connects the city to other points on the lake, including Milwaukee and the state of Michigan.
The itineraries of many Manitowoc vacations include time spent in the city's 26 parks, which offer boat launches, sports fields, and eleven beaches. There are even golfing venues along the shore. It's possible to charter fishing boats in town, primarily for salmon and trout. Another of the Manitowoc attractions associated with Lake Michigan is the seven-mile Mariners Trail that hugs the shoreline beetween the city and nearby town of Two Rivers. The paved trail is very scenic and excellent for biking.
Along the way, you can stroll through the beautiful Lake Gardens, with a stunning rose garden, Japanese garden, sunken garden, and European-style formal garden. Visit a historic nineteenth-century lighthouse, stop for restaurant dining, and visit the living history museum of the Rogers Street Fishing Village. Also along this route is the Woodland Dunes Nature Center, with more than 1,200 acres of protected marshlands, swamps, and meadows with more than seven miles of hiking trails. These are some of the most rewarding things to do in Manitowoc and will fill you with admiration for the region's natural beauty.
Don't rule out winter when you're deciding on when to go. In this northern state, people celebrate this season, and Manitowoc Wisconsin is no exception. There are more than 200 miles of state-funded snowmobile trails. There is also plenty of cross-country skiing and there is a downhill ski resort a bit north of the city. And, the city has an excellent ice skating arena. Ice fishing tournaments and winter festivals make Manitowac vacations at this time of year very exciting. As an added bonus, rates at Manitowc hotels and tourist sites are generally less expensive at this time of year.
Other things to do in Manitowoc include visiting the Pinecrest Historical Village, an open air museum illustrating village life from 1850 to 1900. You'll see a pioneer log cabin, blacksmith shop, cheese factory, and 25 buildings full of history. The city is one of the smallest in the country with a full symphony orchestra, and you can attend concerts throughout the year. Or, travel a little outside of town to one of the llama and alpaca farms to view these unique animals and learn how their silky coats are spun into fiber.
Some of the best Manitowoc attractions are the historical buildings in town. The Rahr West Art Museum is in a nineteenth-century mansion, and some Manitowoc hotels and bed and breakfast inns are in beautiful old buildings. You can stay in one of these or simply spend time strolling through the old neighborhoods.
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