Sheboygan County Attractions
Savor the past and celebrate the present in Sheboygan County. Located along the coast of Lake Michigan, Sheboygan County and its communities blend rich architecture, cultural heritage, and recreational bliss, all with an abundance of contemporary amenities.
Enjoy the renowned restaurants, shopping, museums, galleries and natural wonders that make this part of Wisconsin so wonderful. Many of the small communities throughout Sheboygan County are proud to show off their painstakingly restored historical districts, like the Cole District of Sheboygan Falls or Historic Plymouth, both of which are on the National Register of Historic Places and have become the site of many home grown businesses. If you are an art lover, the City of Sheboygan offers to you the John Michael Kohler Art Center, an astounding 100,000 square feet of fine arts, performing arts, and outdoor gardens. A great haven for sports and nature enthusiasts, Sheboygan County also features the Northern Unit of Kettle Moraine State Park, the Sheboygan River, and many other natural and recreational attractions.
With all Sheboygan County has to offer for people of all ages, including a variety of special events and festivals throughout the year, it is no wonder that Sheboygan County was voted #1 by Readers Digest as the best American city to raise a family!
Museums & Historical Sites
John Michael Kohler Art Center
608 New York Avenue, Sheboygan
A favorite attraction for Wisconsin’s art lovers, the John Michael Kohler Art Center is home to more than eight specialty galleries including the learning gallery for children, the arts/industry gallery, the community gallery and others. The JMKAC is also proud to feature a variety of performing arts in their very own Playhouse and Performing Arts Studio. The exterior grounds feature the Café Terrace, Festival Green, and the Sculpture Garden. The diversity of the JMKAC creates a new home for education and beauty full of creative energies for both visual and performing arts. Hours 10am to 8pm Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; 10am – 8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10am – 4pm Saturdays and 12 noon – 4pm on Sundays. Hours are subject to change; please call in advance to confirm. Free Admission.
Sheboygan County Historical Museum
3110 Erie Avenue, Sheboygan
Originally the home to Judge Taylor and built in 1850′s the Sheboygan County Historical Museum features separate themes in each of its rooms. Also on the grounds is the Weinhold Family homestead, built in 1864. Furnished with original pioneer items, it is one of the few remaining log cabins in the county. New in 1999 is an additional 20,000 square feet to be used for permanent and changing exhibits, season displays and the museum store. Exhibits include medical, maritime, and circus histories, local baseball, early agriculture and related trades, and artifacts and the history of local Native Americans. Open April through October. Hours 10am – 5pm Tuesday through Saturday; 1pm – 5pm on Sunday; closed Monday. Also open Thanksgiving Day through the second weekend after Thanksgiving. Admission.
Above and Beyond Children’s Museum
902 N. 8th Street, Sheboygan
Featuring many ‘hands on’ interactive exhibits for your kids and the ‘kid’ in you, the children’s museum is designed to intrigue, stimulate and satisfy the mind, all while having fun. Special programs and events are also featured through out the year. Hours 9am – 5pm; Tuesday to Saturday, Sunday from 12 noon – 5pm. Closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission.
Henschel’s Museum of Indian History
Holstein Road, Elkhart Lake
The museum, housed in a newly constructed building and built on the archeological site features a fascinating collection of Native American history and artifacts including weaponry, pottery, bones, antler artifacts and copper pieces dating back to 8000 BC. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day, Tuesday through Saturday, 1pm – 5pm, and for special events. Admission.
Wade House and Wesley Jung Carriage House
W7747 Plank Road, Greenbush
Built by pioneers in the 1850′s and filled with original early American furnishings, the historic Wade House was once a stagecoach inn. Now the home to a variety of activities for the whole family, you’ll be swept to another era as you enjoy Family Pioneer Days, Yankee Harvest Dinners, Civil War Reenactments, arts and craft fairs, a draft horse exposition, and an historic trades school. Also on the property is the Robinson House, home to the fascinating and colorful Jung Carriage Museum featuring a collection of more than 100 vintage vehicles. Open May to October, 9am – 5pm. Admission.
Parks & Nature Centers
Indian Mound Park
5000 S. 9th Street, Sheboygan
The burial grounds of Indian Mound Park are located in the Black River area of Sheboygan County, and were built by nomadic Indians between 500 to 1000AD. Indian Mound Park is fortunate to have 18 mounds in animal and geometric forms. The Open Mound Exhibit contains replica skeletal material and Native American artifacts. For the convenience of visitors, a walking path provides easy viewing. The park also features a boardwalk nature trail through wetlands featuring northern hardwoods and foliage, and rare plant species indigenous to Wisconsin.
Elwood H. May Environmental Park
3615 Mueller Road, Maywood
Miles of hiking, skiing, walking, and birdwatching trails perfect for all nature lovers cover the park’s 120 acres, including some trails that are handicap accessible. The Ecology Center, Prairie Overlook and Environmental Lab provide educational programs and tours through the park, exploring the ecological diversity of the forests, wetlands, prairies, river, and an abundance of wildlife.
Kettle Moraine State Forest
Northern Unit, Western Sheboygan County
Sheboygan County’s portion of Kettle Moraine State Forest includes 14,865 acres across the western edge of the County. This area of the park, with miles of impressive terrain carved out by the glaciers, is a dream for the nature adventurer who will love 71 miles of hiking trails, 58 miles of snowmobile trails, 39 miles of bridle trails, 15 miles of cross country skiing, as well as many other trails and facilities for other outdoor activities.
Flowing from the Sheboygan Broughton Marsh to Lake Michigan, the navigable waters begin at the marsh and flow over 25 miles. It is necessary to portage several dams and falls. The Pigeon, Mullet and Onion Rivers (all tributaries) can be paddled at highwaters.
Lakefront and Water Activities
The Riverfront Boardwalk
Beginning with the Rotary Riverview Park Harbor Overlook to the new Eighth Street Bridge, visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Riverfront Boardwalk. As you walk along, you get a chance to see how fisherman of yester-year lived in their little lakefront shanties. Although most of the shanties have been transformed into restaurants, art galleries, and retail shops, some of the shanties are still being used local fisherman.
Make any evening enjoyable and memorable strolling down Lake Michigan’s waterfront along the Lakefront Promenade. Feel the cool lake breezes, watch the water break at the harbor, and admire the craftsmanship and vivid colors of the sailboats and powerboats that all dock at Harbor Centre Marina.
Harbor Centre Marina
821 Broughton Drive, Sheboygan
The best marina on this side of Lake Michigan, the Harbor Centre Marina is more than a place to dock your boat. Boaters are pampered by the Marina clubhouse featuring a lounge, store, laundry, shower and restroom facilities, plus the outside social area that includes a pool and whirlpool all with a panoramic views of the lakefront.
Special Things To Do
Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra
Kohler Memorial Theater, 230 School Street, Kohler
Enjoy musical culture with Sheboygan’s own world class orchestra featuring classical performances, guest performers, family concerts, and even open rehearsals. The orchestra’s season runs October 2, 1999 through May 20, 2000. Call for season information and tickets.
Old Plank Road Trail
Sheboygan’s Lakefront to Greenbush, Adjacent to Hwy. 23
The Old Plank Road Trail is a 17 mile multi-purpose trail that connects the Lake Michigan Lakefront of Sheboygan to historic Greenbush and the Ice Age National Trail. This award-winning trail accommodates all nature and sports enthusiasts, with room for walkers, runners, bicyclists, rollerbladers, even horseback riding and snowmobiling. Also, for your comfort the trail is equipped with rest benches, shelters, toilets, water and emergency telephones. The trail is set up with interconnecting trails that lead you to many of the area’s popular attractions like the Kohler Village and American Club Resort Hotel, Sheboygan Falls and its historic Main Street, and historic Plymouth.
Historic Plymouth Walking Tours
Go at your own pace on this self guided tour featuring more than 50 historically significant homes, businesses, and municipal buildings. Three of these buildings are even listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and 27 are Sheboygan County Landmarks. The tours, one for 2-1/2 hours and a shorter tour of one hour, depict the history of the Yankee settlers and the buildings that date back to 1845.
Sheboygan Falls Walking Tour
This 1-1/2 hour self guided tour through Sheboygan Falls walks you past more than 30 historical homes, churches and building. Also along the tour you pass through the Cole District renowned for its Greek Revival architecture and for the Downtown Historic District both of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Points of Interest
The Wreck of the Lottie Cooper
Broughton Drive, Sheboygan
Discovered at the bottom of the Sheboygan harbor, the sunken ruins of the Lottie Cooper, built in 1876 and lost in gale force winds on Lake Michigan in 1894, are now on display in Deland Park, part of the Harbor Centre Marina. Self-tours and guided tours are available of this once great three masted schooner that has been recovered and re-assembled; it is today only a reminder of the 700 vessels lost in Lake Michigan.
Kohler Design Center and Kohler Company Factory Tour
Highland Drive, Kohler
Take a peak at gracious living at the premier showroom for the nation’s foremost plumbing product manufacturer, the Kohler Company. Find design inspiration with more than two dozen bath vignettes, along with displays by Baker and McGuire furniture and Ann Sacks Tile and Stone. Open Monday through Friday, 9am – 5pm, weekends and holidays, 10am – 4pm. Also get a chance to see where Kohler creates its state of the art plumbing fixtures. Factory tours are available to those 14 years and older, Monday through Friday (except holidays) at 8:30am. Comfortable shoes are recommended for the 2-1/2 hour tour. Reservations are required and should be made 24 hours in advance.