Ozaukee County Attractions
From the shores of Lake Michigan, where North America’s first man-made harbor was dug at “Wisconsin City,” now Port Washington, to the pristine pre-historic Cedarburg Bog on the west, travelers will find great attractions and adventures in Ozaukee County. From the Grasslyn Nature Preserve in the south to the village of Belgium and the Luxemburg Heritage Museum in the north, visitors to Ozaukee County will find living remnants of a bog where dinosaurs once stopped to graze, artifacts of pre-Columbian native American cultures, 300 year-old European exploration sites, towns and villages founded in the early and mid-19th century by European immigrants. In the countryside there are picturesque and prosperous farms carved out of the big woods and hand-cleared by pioneering German and Belgian farm families 150 years ago, log-constructed workshops, 19th century mills, factories, hotels, and commercial buildings, a romantic covered bridge, a spectacular light house, and the Stony Hill School, birthplace of the Nation’s flag day celebration.
Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts enjoy a wide range of recreational activities in Ozaukee County. There’s boating, sailing and sport-fishing the waters of Lake Michigan, canoeing and kayaking or dropping a line in the great Milwaukee River, and paddling through lushly wooded Cedar Creek. For land lovers, there’s hiking or bicycling along the converted inter-urban trolley line that runs the north to south along the entire eastern length of the county, exploring the natural wonders of ancient woods and wetlands, discovering and rediscovering the plants, birds and animals living in the county’s many nature preserves. The whole family can also enjoy swimming in the area’s lakes, picnicking on the rivers’ banks, lounging in a wooded glen or playing one of the area’s top-flight, scenic golf courses.
Ozaukee County’s parks offer summer and winter recreational opportunities for the entire family. Park nature trails provide cross-country skiing in winter and hiking paths that wind through a variety of spectacular ecosystems in summer. Ice skating and sledding are cold weather park favorites, while boating and fishing provide summertime fun for all.
Treasure and bargain hunters enjoy shopping Ozaukee County’s factory outlets, antique, collectible, art, craft and specialty gift outlets. Here, shoppers may browse through a winery and more than 30 shops, studios, galleries and restaurants located in a circa 1864 woolen mill or meander through collections of unique antique and contemporary gifts, artwork, jewelry, music boxes, and home furnishings housed in an 1839 landmark building. Shop for Christmas in July or find a great spring shoe bargain at one of the nation’s premier shoe manufacturer’s factory outlet in November. Ozaukee County retailers offer extraordinarily fine products and big city selection in relaxed settings with friendly, small town service.
Ozaukee County has an abundance of some of the finest – and most popular – dining establishments in all of Wisconsin. A wide variety of locally owned and operated restaurants, cafes, indoor and outdoor beer gardens, sports bars, delicatessens, and a world renowned seafood emporium offer menus to suit every diner’s taste and budget. From fish fresh from the waters of Lake Michigan, and dairy products, fruits and vegetables fresh from the farm to award-winning pizza and delicious vegetarian entrees, the choices are nearly endless. Whether your favorite is Italian, Chinese, or a down-home pub burger and fries, you are sure to enjoy the best of its kind in Ozaukee County.
At day’s end, visitors will find superb lodging facilities located throughout the county, including historic, luxurious bed and breakfast inns, full-service hotels offering housekeeping suites, concierge services and more, and top-rated budget-friendly motels.
Located just minutes north of Milwaukee, less than 2 hours from Chicago, on the way north to Green Bay and Door County along U.S. Interstate 43, Ozaukee County is easy to find and hard to leave.
Museums and Historical Sites
Cedarburg General Store Museum
This newly restored building, originally constructed in the 1860s, houses a collection of antique advertising art and packaging displayed to recreate a typical general store.
Cedarburg Cultural Center
W62 N546 Washington, Cedarburg
This center features permanent and seasonal exhibitions exploring the community’s history, heritage, and contemporary culture. An historic walking tour is also available through the center.
Cedar Creek Settlement
N70 W6340 Bridge St., Cedarburg
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this former woolen mill built in 1864 now houses dozens of specialty shops, galleries, restaurants and a winery.
Eghart Victorian House
224 W. Pierron St., Port Washington
Located in downtown Port Washington, this delightful Victorian cottage has been lovingly restored and furnished to its original condition.
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church-Freistadt
10729 W. Freistadt Rd., Mequon
Built in 1840s by Pomeranian (German) immigrants in the small community of Freistadt, Trinity Evangelical is the oldest Lutheran church in Wisconsin.
Green Bay Ethnic Trail
The Milwaukee-Green Bay segment of the Wisconsin Ethnic Settlement Trail served as the principal transportation route between the earliest settlements in Eastern Wisconsin. In Ozaukee County, travelers along this historic route are rewarded with views of the past; historic inns, stagecoach stops, bridges, fences, windrows and farmsteads still standing where they were constructed 100-150 years ago.
Constructed in 1907 for the electric inter-urban train line between Milwaukee and Sheboygan, the bridge spanning Cedar Creek in downtown Cedarburg now carries only pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Hamilton Rd. Cedarburg
Located on Hamilton Rd. along the banks of Cedar Creek, the reconstructed and restored homes and buildings of this 1840s settlement have secured Hamilton’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Constructed in 1849, the restored Kuhefuss House is one the oldest homes in historic Cedarburg.
St. Mary’s Hill, Port Washington
The Lighthouse Museum built atop St. Mary’s Hill in Port Washington, is an historic coast guard station lighthouse that now houses the local historical society collection.
Luxemburg Heritage Museum
Cty. Rd. K, Dacada
Located in the St. Nicholas School building in the town of Dacada, just a few miles north of the Village of Belgium, the Luxemburg Heritage Museum tells the story of immigrant pioneers from the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, ceded in the 19th century to become part of Belgium.
1-43, Cty. Hwy. D, Ozaukee County
The Town and Village of Belgium are graced by dozens of historic buildings constructed in the mid-19th century, including two dozen carefully preserved, occupied and charming stone homes built between 1850 and 1880, St. Mary’s and Lake Church built by the Luxemburgers in 1846, and nearby Luxemburg parishes at Holy Cross and Dacada built in 1845 and 1846 respectively.
National Flag Day Americanism Center and Stoney Hill School
Cty. Rd. I and Fredonia-Kohler Dr., Waubeka
The Americanism Center Museum in Waubeka displays artifacts that tell the stories of Robert Cooley, Balthaser Meyer and the Cigrand family and their achievements. On the Museum’s Avenue of Flags, visitors can walk through history, past each of the Nation’s flags from the first 13 star banner to the present day 50 star flag. On Cty. Rd. 1, just north of Waubeka is Stoney Hill School, where in 1885 a 19 year-old teacher, Bernard J. Cigrand, began his 31year campaign for a national holiday to honor “Old Glory.” The school where it began has been restored to serve as a living tribute to the man, his mission and the ensign of the land.
Ozaukee County Pioneer Village
4880 Cty. Hwy. 1, Saukville
In this Village, visitors don’t read history or watch it unfold on a screen. Here, history wraps itself around everyone who passes through. Located in Hawthorne Hills County Park on a hill overlooking the Milwaukee River, the Village is a collection of twenty log, stone and frame buildings that represent construction methods used in the mid to late nineteenth century. The buildings are furnished with every day items typical of the period. Rope beds, spinning wheels, candle molds, wood stoves, china, crockery, trunks, tools and implements used by area pioneers. A tour of the Village is mostly self-guided with special interpretive guides and tradespeople working in several of the buildings to further explain and answer questions. The area’s heritage also comes alive in Village reenactments of the Revolutionary and Civil- Wars, the Wild West reenactment, pioneer handicraft demonstrations and an Old Time Fiddlers Contest.
Built in 1848, the year Wisconsin was admitted to statehood, this stone house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This historic building also houses the Port Washington Visitors Center.
Parks & Nature Centers
Hwy. 33, Saukville
Located west of Saukville, the Cedarburg Bog is a 2,000-acre wetland that contains the southern-most string bog in the state.
Riveredge Nature Center
4458 W. Hawthorne Dr., Newburg
Take a hike, take a class or take a moment to discover Riveredge Nature Center, a beautiful natural wildlife sanctuary and preserve for discovering and learning about the area’s native wonders.
Covered Bridge County Park
Covered Bridge Rd., Cedarburg
The last remaining covered bridge in Wisconsin is the centerpiece of this park bordered by Cedar Creek. Picnic facilities, rest rooms and great fishing make this a favorite destination for history buffs, romantics and anglers, too.
Harrington Beach State Park
Located along the shore of Lake Michigan, just east of Belgium, this 637 acre State Park offers spectacular scenery, picnicking, volleyball, biking, nature study, fishing, a sandy beach, an inland quarry lake, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
Lime Kiln Park
S. Green Bay Rd., Grafton
Located along the Green Bay Ethnic Trail, this beautiful park features restored lime kiln chimneys and a picturesque dam.
Ozaukee County Parks
Ozaukee County Parks offer year-round recreation for the entire family. Activities and amenities include boat access, concessions, camping, fishing, golfing (complete with pro shops), picnic sites with grills, ice skating with rentals and lessons, locker rooms, nature trails and areas, rest rooms, restaurants, a shelter, a sledding hill, tennis courts and cross-country ski trails. For information about the activities and amenities available in each, call 262-377-1650. For park reservations, call the offices listed below:
Virmond Park, Mequon 262-241-5868
Mee-Kwon Park, Mequon 262-242-1310
Ozaukee Ice/Carlton, Mequon 262-375-6851
Hawthorne Hills, Fredonia 262-692-2151
Waubedonia, Fredonia 262-692-2825
Cedar Creek Canoe Trail
Paddle 5.5 miles of historic Cedar Creek from Covered Bridge County Park to Boy Scout Park in downtown Cedarburg.
Interurban Bicycle Trail
Ride the converted turn-of-the-century interurban (Milwaukee-Sheboygan) electric railroad line from border-to-border through scenic coastal Ozaukee County.
Special Things To Do
June-October – Thiensville (Tuesdays) 262-512-9358
July-October – Grafton (Thursdays) 262-377-1650
July-October – Port Washington (Saturdays) 262-305-4220
414-273-FEST or 1-800-273-FEST
Enjoy farm fresh produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, jams, jellies, preserves, syrups, and more. In season, gardeners will find a variety of bedding plants, annuals and perennials. Non-gardeners will find fresh cut flowers and vegetables. Amidst the food, fun and flowers market-goers may also find unusual art and craft items, music and entertaining street performers.
In the 1890′s, as Wisconsin’s farm economy shifted from wheat growing to dairy production, German immigrant farmers constructed sturdy, new state-of-the-art octagonal barns throughout Ozaukee County. Many are still standing and continue to serve as reminders of their builders’ contribution to the development of what remains the state’s number one agricultural enterprise.
Ozaukee County’s great inland seaport, Port Washington, is a favorite destination for beginners and veteran deep lake sport fishing enthusiasts. The port’s charter fleet provides everything needed for a thrilling day on the waves of Lake Michigan where bait-hungry salmon, lake trout and more are waiting to test your line.