Exploring the sights in Green Bay-letting loose

People come in all shapes and sizes, and varying tastes and expectations.   I have to keep that in mind.  I blog with the intent, if I enjoy an attraction, to draw someone to that place.  If the reader has heard about the location before, possibly they gain insight about the Park, Museum or quaint little town I write about.  That being stated, it seems I have found a rut and, maybe, just maybe, my blog doesn’t include everyone’s tastes.

You might say, I can’t please everyone.  Yet, I don’t have to pin myself in a corner either.   Small tourist towns and Parks are pleasant, sometimes breathtaking.  Museums and historical sights are informative and interesting.  Sometimes, however, you have to let loose and have a night, or afternoon, in a great downtown setting.

My intentions, for the day, were different than the end result.  I’m pretty happy with my choices however, as you will find, we had an incredible afternoon that started with a rather lack luster start.

My companion startles me at 10:15, as she enters my room and breaks up my slumber by asking,  “Are you ready?”  She notices my disoriented and confused face, apologizing for waking me up.

She really doesn’t have to apologize.  I told her it was quite alright if she came right in, while discussing our plans last night.  I quickly get ready and we’re headed for some place in South Central Wisconsin.  Well, we start out that way.  That is to say, I take Highway 172 towards the other side of town to catch I-41.  As I do, I feel my heart sink.

I had just finished a six day stretch last night and am still rather spent from the rigorous day six.  I just don’t feel like a long drive today.  So I turn to Heidi, rather sheepishly, and voice my feelings.  She shrugs and asks, “What do you want to do?”

“I’m not sure, something closer to home. I know there is some house around here.”  I mutter as I exit off the highway and park in a local business parking lot.  I pull out my cell phone, with its trusty list of places.  I discover the spot I just alluded to, a place called the Hazelwood Historical House- right here in Green Bay.  Heidi shrugs  “Sounds cool.”

We  find  a house that was built in 1837, accompanied by a knowledgeable tour guide.  We learn interesting facts about the house, as it is decorated and furnished to represent a latter existence of the structure- during the Victorian era.  My favorite fact, aside from the inhabitants history, was that the front door originally faced the river, because  boats were the mode of transportation in its early years.

As interesting as the history is, I am really not feeling the place.  Much of the furniture is not original to the house, there are additions from the renovation and there is uncertainty as to what some rooms were used for.  Don’t get me wrong, its a nice place with many Victorian age pieces to give the house an authentic appeal.   I just feel, as the time has passed, much of the real character of the home has been lost.

Still, for five bucks, its worth the admission.  Like I said, the Victorian feel is definitely there.

It’s still early and I’m craving more.  So, after a stop at a Mexican restaurant in Green Bay’s downtown, we head to a place that should have always been on my list, a very popular destination.

Green Bay’s Botanical Gardens are seemingly something out of a storybook.  With its well groomed shrubbery arrangements, winding trails, countless species of plants and other features, I feel enchanted sauntering through the growth around me.  The feature attraction, during our visit, are Lego sculptures which are adorning the gardens, in fitting locations.

There is plenty of festivities and fun in the Botanical Gardens.  It is the scene of free concerts on Wednesdays, there is an operatic performance taking place this day, it plays host to weddings and there are other great events in this beautiful venue.

We’re finished at the gardens and its only 3:30.

We now head back downtown, and that’s where I discover the appeal of Green Bay’s City Deck.  We pull into a lot on Washington street, enjoying the free weekend parking downtown.   Almost immediately, as I climb from the car, I can tell the rest of the afternoon, and early evening, will be fun.  Riding on the slight winds, I hear the distinctive sounds of live music.  We follow the enticing sounds and find a small band entertaining patrons on the patio of Hagemeister Park.

Hagemeister Park is not a park.  It’s a Restaurant and bar overlooking the Fox River, trendy and cool.  The name is one that recalls Green Bay’s unique football history. The original Hagemeister Park was the first home of the Green Bay Packers starting in 1919, a fitting name for a venue in a city thick with football history.

We listen to the entertaining music of the three member band before us, drinking some refreshments and enjoying the overcast but comfortable day.  After the band is done, we stroll the scenic path, enjoying the sights and sounds of a late Sunday afternoon.  Kids are frolicking in the fountains, lovers are sitting close to each other on park benches and many people are just like us, taking in the sights.

We discover another Bar and Restaurant known as Fox Harbor, as a band is finishing up their final sound checks.  So, again, we check out the band. This patio is smaller and gated, and manned by a young guy with his head in a book. The place is packed with a fun loving crowd, all around my age or a little older.  We enjoy more refreshments and then head home.  Its already eight when we make it through the doors of my house.

The downtown was really the highlight, although, the Green Bay Botanical Gardens is a close second.  Heck, even the Hazelwood House was cool.  It was a great day.  If you get to Green Bay, I urge you to try some of these great locations.

3 responses to “Exploring the sights in Green Bay-letting loose”

  1. Hey Chris– I think the Hazelwood house looks intriguing–even if it’s not all original. I just love beautiful homes. And the gardens are so pretty– we love coming in Wisconsin in the summer– it’s all so green! We’re coming in July to see our kids near Madison. Great post Chris!


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