Incorporated in 1853, the community of Oshkosh Wisconsin is located in the
heart of the Fox River Valley on the western shores of Lake Winnebago, the largest
of the lakes within the state. The Fox River flows north and empties into Green
Bay about fifty miles away. Because this area was once the site of many
sawmills and paper mills, the river's water quality suffered. However, strides
have been made in cleaning it up, and hiking
and biking trails along the
upper and lower course of the river still provide great Oshkosh vacation recreation.
Lake Winnebago is part of what is called the "Winnebago Pool System," a name for the group of four interconnected lakes in this region. Lake Winnebago is one of the main Oshkosh attractions and the most important fishing lake in the state, with sturgeon and walleye being the main sport fish. Fishing occurs year round, and thousands of people (cars and all) can be found out on the winter ice. One of the great events in Oshkosh is the annual ice fishing tournament held in February.
The region around these lakes also provide opportunities for camping and hunting. Around the large lake are other important vacation communities and resorts, including Fond Du Lac and Appleton. Your Oshkosh vacation can also include golfing, as there are several courses and clubs around town.
Another of the popular events in Oshkosh is the annual EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association Airventure Show held in July and August and drawing nearly a million vistors. This is the largest air show in the world, so large that locals move out of their homes in order to rent them to attendees, and college dormitories open 3,000 rooms for the event. If you plan to visit at this time or attend the show, check out availability at Oshkosh hotels well in advance. Associated with the airshow is the Airventure Museum with more than 250 historic planes, some of which are available for flights. This is a world class museum that has put Oshkosh Wisconsin on the international map, and is one of the Oshkosh attractions that you should not miss.
One of the other important events in Oshkosh is Waterfest, a series of outdoor summer concerts held in Riverside Park. Musical headliners range from reggae and country to rock.
There are other Oshkosh attractions that will appeal to visitors. The unassuming Bergstrom-Mahler Museum in the nearby village of Neenah contains a collection of almost 3,000 pieces of antique glass and paperweights collected by Evangeline Bergstrom and the Mahler family. Housed in a lovely old converted farmhouse, a visit here (free admission!) will prove a fascinating stop on an Oshkosh vacation for the entire family. Another farm that is fun for the entire family is Glen Valley, a working horse farm nearly 200 years old. On the other hand, if you like biking, Menominee Park has a trail that takes in the scenic lakeshore.
History comes alive at the Morgan House, a beautiful Queen Anne mansion built by a lumber baron in 1884 and located right in town. Another lumber baron's mansion (built in 1895) is today the Oshkosh Public Museum and boasts spectacular stained glass windows and interiors by Tiffany Studios. And yet another lumber baron mansion (1927) in town is the Paine Art Center and Gardens. In fact, Oshkosh Wisconsin is full of charming historic houses, and one of the things to do in town is stroll around to discover these hidden gems.