Getting To Know Green Bay
Published: Friday, March 1, 2019
Green Bay is Wisconsin’s oldest settlement. The very first visitors to Greater Green Bay were successful entrepreneurs. From beaver pelts for European hat makers in the 1600s to the invention of the world’s first splinter-free toilet paper in the early 1900s, our ancestors used the area’s waterways to grow the community’s prosperity. Blessed with an abundance of natural resources, Green Bay was, and continues to be, a major shipping center. The city’s largest employers remain the paper and shipping industries. With continuous development in Green Bay and its surrounding communities, the area boasts a progressive atmosphere from industrial parks to shopping districts.
In addition to being known around the world for contributions to industry and agriculture, Green Bay is the smallest city to have a National Football League team. Founded in 1919, the 13-time National Champion Green Bay Packers are the only NFL team to be owned by its fans. Visitors often comment to the locals about the area’s contagious spirit and personality. Influenced by the team? Could be, but residents are fiercely proud of their community and all that it offers.
See the City by Water
If you’re arriving by boat, your first stop should be South Bay Marina. This full-service marina is marked by two buoys and is located on the eastern side of the Fox River on the Bay of Green Bay. It can accommodate vessels with a draft of six feet, even when water levels are low. Courteous dock hands and staff are readily available to assist with your every need; seven days a week, from mid-May through the end of September.
As you head south on the Fox River, tie up at CityDeck (for free) and grab some delicious Wisconsin cheese curds at Hagemeister Park, a local riverfront hangout. Head a little further south and stop at Jimmy Seas for the crab cake fritters. All boaters are welcome at their dock.
Have you ever “locked through” on a river system? Well the Fox River Navigational System offers that chance in De Pere. The lock tender will throw you a line and you’ll be on your way to the lower Fox. Stretches of the river are used for waterskiing and tubing, and other parts just tranquil sightseeing and fishing spots.
Summer is a Great Time to Visit
In Green Bay, summer offers outdoor activities like Wednesday and Saturday farmers markets, live entertainment Fridays at CityDeck, the butterfly house at Green Bay Botanical Garden, fireworks on Independence Day, and festivals like ArtStreet and ig-Night Market. Visit in July for the area’s annual Green Bay Restaurant Week and taste your way through the community at discounted prices.
In August, Packers Training Camp brings visitors from all over the world to get up close to the professional football players that are back on the practice field for the month leading up to September’s kick-off. Watch as the players ride bikes provided by kids to the practice field. Get autographs and see the squad practice as you sit on the field bleachers.
So Many Attractions!
The largest and most popular attraction is historic Lambeau Field. Sports fans know this iconic stadium for being home to the Green Bay Packers. Visitors can tour the stadium and explore the Packer Hall of Fame to see the championship trophy room and one of the best sports museums you’ll ever visit.
You can fill days by visiting the National Railroad Museum, touring the city by Segway, taking selfies with the animals at the NEW Zoo or strolling along the paths of the 47-acre Green Bay Botanical Garden. History lovers won’t want to miss Heritage Hill State Park or the Neville Public Museum. Bay Beach Amusement Park will satisfy kids and adults, with the most expensive ride at just $1.
Take in an original comedy musical at the Meyer Theatre by local troupe, Let Me Be Frank Productions, or a national touring show at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. Too fancy? Well, you can always find live bands at The Lyric Room on Broadway Street.
Finally, natural attractions like the De Pere Riverwalk and Wildlife Viewing Pier, Fonferek Glen County Park (for the waterfall), and the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary are all great choices to see the local landscape.
South Bay Marina 44°32’15.2”N 87°59’54.8”W
CityDeck 44° 31’00.8”N 88°00’55.9”W
Jimmy Seas 44°29’45.3”N 88°01’19.1”W
De Pere Locks 44°27'01.3"N 88°03'49.6"W
Calendar of Events
June 28-30: Oneida Nation Pow-wow
July 2-7: Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic
July 4: Downtown Green Bay Fireworks
July 11-18: Green Bay Restaurant Week
July 26-28: Tall Ships® Festival
August 14-18: Brown County Fair
August 23-25: Artstreet Festival
Ready to Visit?
This article first appeared in the Spring Issue (Mar/Apr) 2019 of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt magazine.