If you’ve seen pictures of this lake town, you know there are numerous exciting things to do in Manitowoc.
Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, is home to several historical museums, charming pubs, inns, recreational sites, and stunning natural beauty with views that are year-round attractions.
This city is a special place to visit, with plenty of activities for families, art lovers, and outdoor enthusiasts.
Manitowoc is located on the western bank of Lake Michigan, a city bursting with maritime history, museums, attractions, and breathtaking natural beauty.
Manitowoc is one of the most beautiful lake towns in Wisconsin. It is home to a fascinating maritime museum that displays the city’s maritime history and contribution to World War II, among other exciting attractions.
The downtown area also boasts a variety of shopping, dining, and all-around entertainment.
During your vacation in Manitowoc, please tour a real submarine docked in its harbor, explore an art museum, visit beautiful parks, and take walking tours of the city’s scenic trails.
You will always have engaging activities in this charming city. So if you’re planning a visit, here are some splendiferous things to do in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
Fun Things to Do in Manitowoc
1. Explore the wonderful historic village of Pinecrest.
Pinecrest Historical Village is an exquisite destination, especially for history buffs. The 16.2-hectare (40-acre) site contains original buildings that were removed from their original location and relocated to the village.
Built to celebrate the region’s history, you can walk through ancient buildings such as the railroad depot, fire station, city hall, blacksmith shop, printing house, churches, schools, cemeteries, etc.
Pinecrest Village also displays videos and photos of the town’s history, hosts occasional performances, and has venues to buy food, drinks, antiques, and gifts.
Golf carts are available for rent to help you get around more easily.
2. Admire the Beautiful flowers the West of The Lake Gardens.
A tranquil, well-kept botanical park with stunning views of Lake Michigan is located in the city and is called West of the Lake Gardens.
This location stands out as one of the most beautiful gardens in Manitowoc. It is majestically spread over 2.4 hectares (6 acres) of land; the water body offers several types of gardens with fantastic flower arrangements.
Admire the stunning Pond Garden, Red & White Garden, and Sunken Garden, or smell the beautiful Granidflora roses in the Rose Garden.
A walk through these gardens will allow you to enjoy the peaceful beauty of nature.
3. Enjoy a picnic in the beautiful Henry Schuette Park.
It is located along the beautiful Manitowoc River and is excellent for outdoor recreational fun.
Huge Henry Schuette Park is a neighborhood park that provides a setting for outdoor activities and unadulterated natural beauty.
The park offers a playground, picnic areas, fabulous fishing spots, hiking trails, a fitness class, and much more.
There are many activities in this park. And especially in the winter, skiing lovers in the city are obliged to go on one of the park’s trails.
Things to Do in Manitowoc at Night
1. See the Breathtaking Exhibits at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.
The Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc, one of the biggest maritime museums in the Midwest, is an excellent site to learn more about the area’s history.
The museum offers more than 5,574.2 square meters (60,000 sq ft) of space to explore. See interactive exhibits and breathtaking artifacts that are exclusive to this exceptional museum.
Additionally, 28 World War II submarines produced in the city are visible inside this location.
To top off your visit, you can board and tour the USS Cobia, a real US Navy submarine that was docked next to the museum.
2. Go ice Skating at the Manitowoc County Ice Center.
The Manitowoc County Ice Center is an indoor ice skating facility in the city.
This center was originally started in the 1980s, but its indoor facility was constructed in 1995. The center is home to the Manitowoc County Figure Skating Club, is temperature controlled, and offers several activities.
Play ice hockey, figure skating, or ice skating for fun; it is the best place for indoor ice recreation.
The center also offers programs that teach beginners how to skate, so everyone is welcome, and well looked after at this facility.
This should be top on your list of things to do in Manitowoc/
3. Get Lost in Recreational Activities at Silver Creek Park.
This park is a notable place for an exciting park experience in the city, among the best things to do in Manitowoc.
Located around Lake Michigan, this park offers over 28.7 hectares (71 acres) of beautiful land. The view of the lake from Silver Creek Park is stunning.
The park also offers you several activities in open wooded areas, a winter sports arena, green hills, a sheltered pavilion, and numerous picnic areas.
Additionally, there are areas for those who enjoy fishing and skiing. You will have a pleasant outdoor experience in this park.
Things to Do in Manitowoc For Couples
1. Have dinner and Drinks at the Courthouse Pub.
With great food served in a great way by an excellent wait staff, this pub is worth several visits in Manitowoc.
The Courthouse Pub is housed in a restored 18th-century building. An amazing feature of the restaurant is its extensive wine list.
The wines offered here are of high quality and can be ordered by glass. It would be best if you tried curd cheeses; every bite tastes like the first.
Courthouse Pub is the perfect solution for a 5-star dining experience in Manitowoc.
2. Exercise in The Young Men’s Christian Association
The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) is an organization that originated in London and has now spread throughout the world.
The Manitowoc YMCA has a center that aims to encourage community spirit through numerous recreational programs for seniors and youth.
You can unwind for the afternoon and engage in leisure and fitness pursuits at the center.
More than enough activities are available, from aquatic sports to gymnastics, basketball, tennis, and even martial arts.
3. Spend Time With Your Family in Washington Park.
Within the heart of downtown Manitowoc sits one of the city’s oldest parks – Washington Park.
The 1.5-hectare (3.75-acre) park hosted Manitowoc’s first country fair in 1859. It includes the MetroStage, where concerts are held, a fitness zone, and a large playground.
As you unwind in one of the numerous shady areas of the park, the kids can have the time of their lives racing around the playground.
It is a beautiful place to have a good time in the city. Ensure to include a visit here to your list of things to do in Manitowoc.
Things to Do in Manitowoc For Kids
1. Visit the Animals at the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center.
Another interesting thing to do in Manitowoc, the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center, which opened just over a year ago, is a charming place to visit.
If you have never seen an infant’s calf or have no farm experience, this place is a must-visit during your stay in the city.
Enjoy a day full of interactive exhibits about how farm animals are reared and how food crops are grown.
Enjoy a dairy farm tour or live births at the Land O’ Lakes Birthing Barn.
You can top it all off by enjoying delicious food at the central farm-to-table cafe.
2. Take a Tour of the Historic Sputnik Crash Site
Of all the historical experiences that Manitowoc offers, a visit to this location is the most unique.
It is one of the most intriguing sites in the nation and is situated on 8th Street in Manitowoc. It represents the precise location where the 20-kilogram fragment of the well-known Sputnik spacecraft landed.
Even though the original model of the spacecraft—the only one still in existence—was returned to Russia, the site of its landing is remembered by a brass ring in the middle of the road.
So don’t miss out on seeing this crash site if you want an actual “out of this world” experience.
3. See Wild Animals at the Manitowoc Lincoln Park Zoo.
You can only come to Manitowoc and spend some time observing the wild animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
A trip to the zoo is open all year round and is the perfect way to spend some fun time with the family.
Boasting animals such as bears, snow leopards, and much other rare wildlife, you will see more than just your everyday animals at this extraordinary place.
The zoo houses various exotic species of animals that live on the banks of the river. All these and lots of fun await you at Lincoln Park Zoo.
4. Admire the Beautiful Works of Art at the Rahr West Art Museum.
This place was originally built in the 18th century and is a heritage site. The Rahr West Art Museum was restored in 1905 and has been a major attraction in the city.
The house is beautifully decorated, has 13 rooms, and still has its original furnishings and architectural features.
In addition to the stunning medieval-style structure, this museum houses several sculptures and works of art from around the world.
It contains a collection of Chinese ivories, stunning works of art from famous people, and antique dolls.
Indoor Activities to Do in Manitowoc
1. Take a Dip in the Heated Pool at the Manitowoc Family Aquatic Center
The Manitowoc Aquatic Center, as one of the things to do in Manitowoc, offers several features to make your day full of fun.
The center features a heated pool, mushroom waterfall, several floor fountains, an open water slide, and an enclosed water slide diving board for your enjoyment.
You should also remember to try the slide or the lazy river.
If you no longer want the water, the center also boasts dining areas, sun loungers on the large terrace, a children’s playground, and a spa house. There are also changing rooms on-site for your convenience.
2. Enjoy a Stunning View From the Manitowoc North Breakwater Lighthouse
Manitowoc has this breathtaking lighthouse, like many port towns along Lake Michigan.
This lighthouse will be the first thing you see when you enter the city through its harbor.
The Manitowoc Light is 52 feet (about 15.8 meters) long and was originally built in 1895. Although the lighthouse is closed, you can walk the path to the site, hang on the railing, watch the boats come by, and leave the city port.
3. Take an Educational Tour of the Historic Ship USS Cobia
The USS Cobia is a historic war submarine docked next to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.
Launched in 1943, this submarine was an important part of helping the country defeat the Japanese during World War II.
Today, this fantastic submarine is now part of the Maritime Museum. The interior has been restored to its original state, and visitors are offered guided tours.
Tour the vessel and see where the crew lived and survived during the war. The USS Cobia is also listed as a National Historic Landmark.
Romantic Things to Do in Manitowoc
1. Indulge in all-around Family Fun at Citizen Park
Citizen Park is one of the big recreational parks in Manitowoc. This park ranks among the best in the city. It offers several fun activities such as roller skating areas, several barbecue areas, basketball courts, picnic areas, tennis courts, and many more.
The park also boasts lush pastures and an interesting water park with slides and refreshing pools.
Enjoy a wonderful time swimming in the well-maintained pools, doing sports activities, or relaxing in the peaceful atmosphere of the park.
Nothing beats a time out with your partner, so ensure you include it as one of the top things to do in Manitowoc while you are here.
2. Get on a Disc Golf at Manitowoc Silver Creek Park
Qualified to be called one of the best disc golf courses in the area, this golf course is located in the lovely Silver Creek Park.
In 2016, this disc golf course’s original 2000 opening saw an expansion.
It offers its guests 36 difficult holes to complete, each with concrete tees for players of varying skill levels.
The course stretches across lush pastures, beautiful picnic spots along Silver Creek, forests, and over hills, right to the iconic Manitowoc Lighthouse.
See if you can hit hole #22 on top of the lighthouse.
3. Take a Relaxing Walk Along Manitowoc Harbor.
Along the shores of Lake Michigan lies the Manitowoc Marina.
This expensive site is more than just a port; it is a unique attraction in the city. It is well maintained and boasts some beautiful boats lining it.
It also has many shops, restaurants, a park and a lighthouse that you should visit. Take a pleasant walk along the harbor and enjoy amazing coast views and even a submarine.
You’ll see the Badger Car ferry arriving or departing from the port if you’re lucky.
Cheap Things to Do in Manitowoc
1. Find the Perfect Fishing Spot at Silver Lake Park.
This place is a hidden treasure located in the western part of the city. The park is peaceful and has a boat launch pier in front of Silver Lake.
The park offers a great place to have a barbecue at one of the several barbecue areas.
You will surely enjoy peace of mind here as there are no vehicular movements within the perimeter.
You must discreetly paddle down the river and choose a location to explore the lake or go fishing.
2. Connect with the wild at Manitou Park.
Manitou Park is a beautiful little park on the banks of the river.
The park features a paved walkway that leads to a fishing lookout, a picnic area, a protected structure for private events, and a rugged trail that leads to a cool railroad path.
A fantastic thing about this park is that from its peacefulness, you can watch the wildlife and birds relate to each other in their natural habitat.
This park is perfect for you if you are a wildlife lover.
3. Catch Whole Glimpses of the Mysterious Lake Michigan Triangle.
Although it looks beautiful and peaceful, the Michigan Triangle is a very mysterious place, one of the most mystical in the country.
Named after the most talked about Bermuda Triangle, this area is just as full of mystery.
This beautiful area, from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, to Ludington, Michigan, and Benton Harbor, has been the center of strange disappearances and even UFO sightings.
Due to these strange occurrences, ships and planes often avoid this haunted area, but it is still worth seeing, even from a safe distance.
Free Things to Do in Manitowoc
1. Bike the paved Mariners Trail.
The Mariners Trail is a beautiful seven-mile biking and walking trail along the shores of iconic Lake Michigan.
Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and adjacent Two Rivers, Wisconsin, are connected by the route.
Tourists and locals commonly use this trail’s spotless paved surface for cycling, skating, running, and walking.
It is open to all, with features such as telescopes, picnic areas, gardens, restrooms, and beautiful sculptures.
With free parking and disabled facilities, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon or a cool evening.
2. Enjoy Delicious Comfort Food at Fork & Knife Restaurant
Food ain’t free here, but you can enjoy comfort as you savor the tasty meals here, for free.
Rich, affordable, and friendly, Fork & Knife is a classic family restaurant in town.
This excellent restaurant is never crowded and offers guests very well-prepared home-cooked meals.
This restaurant’s neighborhood has a beautiful, tranquil vibe.
The restaurant Fork & Knife takes pride in its helpful, cordial, and speedy service.
The amazing breakfast choices include free whipped cream. It is the best place to enjoy fine dining in Manitowoc.
3. Store in Downtown Harbor
This should be your number one stop if you have a shopping need. The center has an indoor mall full of various shops and stores to satisfy all your needs.
This mall is home to various stores, including men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing and footwear.
There are also fantastic on-site gift shops for unique souvenirs.
This mall caters to your shopping needs; you should try to surprise.
Cool Places to Visit in Manitowoc
1. Try frozen Desserts at Cedar Crest Ice Cream Factory & Parlor
Taste delicious fresh ice cream and delicious frozen desserts at this fantastic place.
Cedar Crest Ice Cream Factory, is hands down the best ice cream shop in town. There’s a giant cow in the front, so it’s easy to find.
Try some delicious flavors from the long list of fantastic ice cream flavors produced in the factory.
Enjoy the delicious taste of cups, shakes, and malts, and you can buy gallons of any product you want.
3. Watch Your Favorite Team in Action at the Tower Tavern
Tower Tavern, a low-key, friendly bar and grill, is great for dinner.
In addition to an excellent menu and complementary beverage options, this tavern also offers features you won’t find anywhere else; there are large TVs in the middle, so you can enjoy watching your favorite team play while you sip a cold drink or eat prime rib.
The pub feel of the Tower Tavern makes it a great place to easily interact with the locals.
4. Grab a Drink at Time Out Sports Bar & Grill
Looking for a place to get the ultimate sports and dining experience in Manitowoc? Time Out Sports & Grill is a spacious sports restaurant perfect for you.
This restaurant offers an open and relaxed dining area to enjoy great food or sip refreshing drinks.
It also boasts large HDTVs and excellent customer service.
The restaurant goes one step further and includes a game room where you can shoot darts, play a friendly game of foosball, pool, basketball, and more with friends.
5. Go Bowling at Meadow Lanes West LLC
Meadow Lanes West LLC is an exceptional bowling alley. This alley has been in the city for a long time and offers locals and tourists a unique place for entertainment.
This is a family business that provides entertainment for everyone. There is a bar, pool table, and 18 new bowling lanes.
It’s a great place to entertain, especially in the winter months. So if you’re feeling like hitting some 10-ball, get down to Meadow Lanes and have a good time.
6. Enjoy an Outdoor Vacation by the Harbor
The seaside capital of Wisconsin, Manitowoc takes great pride in being home to various exciting activities and places to see.
From the Wisconsin Maritime Museum to the USS Cobia, a submarine docked in the Manitowoc River, the Manitowoc Harbor, the Mariners Trail, the Aquatic Center, and much more.
With all of these things to do in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, there’s never a dull moment in town.
If you have exhausted our list, then Kudos, you are ready for all the fun Manitowoc offers.
While you are in Manitooc, remember to take selfies of yourself and yours, enjoying all the fun and best things to do in Manitowoc.
Mail these pictures to your friends, colleagues, and extended circle. You’ll be surprised at how much love you get to spread.