For legions of Packer fans, Green Bay, Wisconsin, stands as a pilgrimage destination. Lambeau Field is their temple, and the Packers’ owned-by-the-fans identity feeds their faith. Even opposing fans find themselves awed on stadium tours. But an off-season visit reveals a different side of this working-class city of 101,000: fantastic restaurants, appealing trails and top-notch attractions for all ages. Whether your blood runs green, gold or just plain red, you’ll come away rooting for Titletown.
Packer fan or not, check out Lambeau Field. On first-come, first-serve tours of the stadium, guides spin stories while guests sit in the bleachers and walk through the tunnel where the team bursts onto the field.
Right across the way, diner Kroll’s West serves old-fashioned broasted chicken.
Trainiacs love the National Railroad Museum, and the NEW Zoo’s wooded setting is a welcome break from more urban zoos.
National Railroad Museum.
For all-in-one dining and lodging, try St. Brendan’s Inn, an Irish-theme boutique hotel with posh rooms and a cozy restaurant that starts meals with warm brown Irish bread.
Or opt for modern decor and huge windows that make guest rooms feel like an urban loft at Aloft Hotel.
Start with a hot skillet breakfast at longtime favorite Julie’s Cafe. Morning is a great time to visit the free Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, a wooded 700 acres filled with wildlife and interpretive displays. Across the street, the charmingly retro Bay Beach Amusement Park offers classic rides for just 25 or 50 cents.
Bay Beach Amusement Park.
For lunch, Cheese Cake Heaven promises hearty sandwiches that are as good as the 100-plus varieties of cheesecake.
Other can’t-miss attractions include the 47-acre Green Bay Botanical Garden and Heritage Hill State Historical Park, where 25 restored buildings and costumed interpreters share state history. For an afternoon pick-me-up, try the hand-crafted chocolates at local favorite Beerntsen's Candies.
Green Bay Botanical Gardens.
For more information: Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau (888) 867-3342; greenbay.com
Prices, dates and other details are subject to change; please check specifics before making travel plans.