This week we travel to northeastern Wisconsin to stay in a town by Lake Michigan and visit a city by Green Bay. The place we stayed was Kewaunee and the place we visited for one wonderful evening was, wait for it, Green Bay! You see I purchased some Packers tickets at a charity auction that entitled us to attend the Thursday evening preseason game with the Kansas City Chiefs. By the time I got around to make campground reservations, the closest I could find a spot was in Kewaunee, about 30 miles straight east of Green Bay. Lucky us, we found the town and area around Kewaunee to be very scenic and relaxing. Here’s the rest of the story.
We hitched the trailer to the Red Rider and hit the trail for Kewaunee at 9 AM on a Thursday morning. After a brief stop for some lunch on the way, we arrived at the very nice Kewaunee RV and Campground in the early afternoon. After getting situated and dressing up in our Packer gear we headed to Green Bay for some tailgating before the game.
We were early enough to find some parking run by a friendly Scout troop on a side street about a quarter mile from Lambeau Field. As we got closer to the stadium, we started seeing some really decked out fans like these two. That’s some serious Packer fandom!
We didn’t tailgate like some of the groups that bring couches, easy chairs, grills, a big screen tv, a sound system, a generator, lots of brats and a giant cooler of beer! We tailgated by buying food and drink at the stadium but here’s the scene looking toward the Packer’s practice facility.
We entered the stadium and headed over to the 1919 Kitchen and Tap, the wait was long so they directed us to their outdoor grill. We had a filling meal and great conversation with a group of out of town first time visitors to Lambeau Field. They were loving it!
Soon it was time to make our way to our seats, 53 rows up on the 50 yard line. Here was our view as the teams warmed up.
By the start of the game, the stands were full. The guy sitting next to me was a font of knowledge about the players that were trying to make the team so I learned a lot from him. The starters didn’t suit up so we didn’t get to see Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams or some of the other star players in action. But hey, we were at Lambeau Field, named after Curly Lambeau, one of the founders of the Packers in 1919, 100 years ago. It was also where Vince Lombardi served as Packers coach from 1959-1967, winning the first two Super Bowls. I like his quote: “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” So it’s just fun to be in the stadium to relish the history and enjoy the game. Soon it was time for the Packers to run on to the field for their introductions and to sing the national anthem.
The game play wasn’t pretty but the Packers still beat the Chiefs 27-20.
It’s always fun to people watch at the games during half time and the many tv time outs. So if one has a camera, it’s a good time to take photos! Here are a few from the many I took that evening.
My traveling partner and I managed to take a half decent selfie too!
The jumbotron and scoreboard also provided entertainment both during the game and the intermissions.
Even though it was the waning days of August, after the sun went down, we reached for our jackets to keep out the chill in the air. After the game, we made our way back to the Red Rider for the trip back to the campground to spend the next four days exploring the area around Kewaunee.
Located on the shore of Lake Michigan, Kewaunee is a town of about 3000 people. It’s the county seat of Kewaunee County and the Kewaunee River that starts in the northwest part of the county divides the city in two before emptying into Lake Michigan. Sport fishing is a big deal around here with both private and charter boats making their way from the marinas to the Lake. There is also a lot of fishing from shore, this guy was patiently waiting for them to start biting, he said it was starting to pick up.
In addition to county government, Kewaunee is home to a small manufacturing plant making parts for Oshkosh Truck. The area is also home to some large dairy farms that supports several local businesses.
The Agriculture Heritage Center located a few miles south of Kewaunee is a non-profit that strives to promote and educate the public about the role that agriculture played in the development of the area. We stopped at the farm a couple of times during our travels but they were closed, maybe next time.
The real draw to Kewaunee, at least to us, is the lakefront with the Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse. The current light was built in 1931 and contains a Fresnel lens, only one of 70 remaining in use. It replaced a light that was constructed in 1891on the same pier.
There are excellent story boards along the shoreline that explain many of the important historical facts related to shipping, ship wrecks, fishing and logging.
From the Pierhead, visitors can see the intersection where Highways 29 and 42 meet. Many of the homes (43) built in the central part of town are in the Marquette Historical District and on the National Register of Historic Places. Some of these homes are quite stunning and worth spending some time driving this area.
The Tud Ludington was built in 1943 and participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy towing ammunition barges across the English Channel. After the war, it became the property of the US Army Corps of Engineers, renamed the Tug Ludington and used for maintenance on the Great Lakes. In the early 2000’s, it was given to the city of Kewaunee and is now operated as a tourist attraction.
Also along the shoreline on the north side of the Kewaunee River is the Father Marquette Memorial Park where the French priest offered mass in 1647. We had a pleasant walk to view the river, the harbor and the light.
Near the harbor is a trailhead to the Ahnapee State Trail that is also part of the Ice Age Trail that winds it’s way through the entire state of Wisconsin. We noticed there was a detour on part of the trail due to high water.
Close by is the said to be the World’s Largest Grandfather Clock. Built in 1976 for the Bicentennial, the clock stands nearly 36 feet tall. I imagine it would be hard to fit it in someone’s living room!
Other attractions close by are the Kewaunee Fire Museum that opened in 2018 to honor current and former members of the Kewaunee Fire Department; the former railroad depot now a private home; and the Life-saving Station once operated by the Coast Guard until it closed in 1947.
One evening we took in the free Music in the Park event that is sponsored by the Area Chamber of Commerce. The Bobby Evans Band entertained the crowd with modern and classical rock and roll and country songs.
I’ll end with one final photo of the Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse on a windy, stormy day.
Stay tuned next week for some more adventures in northeast Wisconsin, you’ll be surprised!
Until then, happy travels.