Although they never got the chance to actually live in it, Nathan and Jessie Paine left a great legacy to Oshkosh by way of the estate they started building in the 1920s. The house is a sprawling limestone stunner, serving as both an architectural showcase and an art museum (many holdings are from the Paines' collection). The main gallery hosts temporary exhibitions. Outside, themed gardens spread across the grounds, adorned with thousands of plants and trees including 10,000 tulips and 500 evergreens.
Lumber baron Nathan Paine's reverence for wood craftsmanship is evident throughout the oak-and-walnut-filled manor; gorgeous carvings resembling shimmering waves of fabric flow across the entryway to the Great Hall. Visitors can wander at their own pace through sitting rooms, dressing rooms, bedrooms, reception rooms, dining and breakfast rooms, and the library. On the basement level, a small Family Discovery Gallery teaches kids about architecture, art and gardening through interactive exhibits.
Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for youth 5 to 7. Tours are self-guided, but guests can make arrangements ahead of time for a docent-led visit. The museum is closed on Mondays.