If you’re looking for a hidden gem in Wisconsin, look no further than Green Bay! Now you might automatically think of the typical Wisconsin things when you think of Green Bay, especially that well-known football field and team that live there, but on our recent trip to Green Bay, I was blown away by all the things Green Bay has to offer! Whether it’s downtown, the Broadway district or even getting in the car to explore the neighboring communities like Suamico and De Pere, we loved our visit and found so many amazing gems to explore! We had the opportunity to visit in Mid May so they weather was beautiful and the city was buzzing getting ready for summertime. While my trip was in partnership with Discover Green Bay, these statements and opinions are all my own!
Clocking in around 4 and a half hours from the Twin Cities metro, Green Bay, Wisconsin, is a great option to add to your list for a fun weekend trip! If you happen to be traveling through Wisconsin and know you’ll be passing through Green Bay too – consider stopping to stretch your legs and visit some of the places we visited below! You won’t be disappointed I promise! And bonus, there are things for everyone to do. There are several ways to get outside, be along the water, eat amazing food, shop locally, and don’t forget about my favorite too – coffee stops and a brewery! Read on below to see what we got up to for our weekend in Green Bay!
Things to Do
When you think Wisconsin you might not think of botanical gardens, but wow the Green Bay Botanical Gardens is a must not miss! We visited during their spring floral show and were greeted with numerous tulips and a sea of colorful blooms through our journey around the 47 acres! You can find over 85,000 different plants here originating from Wisconsin to Worldwide. They also just recently opened a Children’s garden with a splash pad included so this really is a family friendly idea!
Shop the Broadway District & Downtown
I always carve out a little time to scope out the local scene and shops and I was thoroughly impressed with the array of shops Green Bay had as well. My pro tip is to start in the Broadway District – so many stores are lined up and easy to pop in and out and keep on your merry way. Plus you’ll be able to scope out some fun murals along your way too! Once down, cross the river to Downtown and find a few more stores there as well that are worth popping into. Read on below for my top picks!
I always have an appreciation for vintage and Cockloft Vintage brought back all the nostalgia from growing up in the midwest on a farm. I was lucky enough to meet the owner and she was so sweet as we talked about life and travels. She carefully curates her pieces to create a one-of-a-kind shop and shopping experience, all while sourcing sustainably.
Zulou is your go-to for unique styles and the most recent trends! I loved how they had an array of apparel and accessories for all ages with some fun gems along the way that I hadn’t seen before. It even had some fun home goods in there too.
If you’re looking for a unique experience, pop into Aurora’s Apothecary! It’s an herb shop & metaphysical store that has teas, jewelry, clothing, crystals, and books! They also offer classes to learn more about herbs, crystals, readings, and more. You will truly be impressed and I bet you will learn something new just by popping in!
Whether you’re a Wisco native or just have a lot of Wisconsin pride, Loco Wisco is a must-stop for you! It has the best curation from local artists, makers, and producers who create all Wisconsin-inspired things. If you’re looking for Wisconsin-made – this place is it and they have quite a fun selection too!
Lions Mouth Bookstore
Indie bookstores always have a soft spot in my heart so I always love popping into ones when we travel. Of course I had to go into Lion’s Mouth Bookstore but one thing was for sure I was blown away by the selection. They have an amazing curated selection of fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, and more but also they had great local sections and feature local authors too which I loved. I was impressed, to say the least!
While we had a blast discovering Green Bay we also loved exploring the neighboring towns and villages nearby! One place in particular that stole my hear was Suamico! This quaint little town along the river is so picturesque and perfect for an afternoon or morning visit. I was able to visit a few spots below, but there’s so much more to offer there too and it’s just a quick 10 min drive from Green Bay!
If you’re looking for fresh, cheesy, just all-around great pizza – you have to try Rustique Pizzeria in Suamico. The ingredients were just so fresh and for how cheesy it was it still didn’t feel like it was weighing me down! They have a great little patio out front that’s perfect to hang out, have a Spotted Cow, and try their pizza! I also will say – definitely try their fries as a starter- they are so unique but you will be blown away but the flavor (parmesan and balsamic, what?!)
The New Zoo in Green Bay is actually located right outside the town of Suamico so add this to your list too! While I thoroughly enjoyed walking the grounds of the zoo, I had the most fun on the new Canopy Tour as a part of the adventure park! This treetop walk takes you over animal exhibits (I won’t give it all away, but you can definitely catch the penguins for their morning or afternoon swim!) and provides a whole new view. It truly was SO cool to see the zoo this way. I also took part in their VIP feeding offers, something you can take part of too. I was able to feed Zuri the giraffe, the penguins, and even the tortoises! You can check their website for more information on pricing and availability but I highly suggest this option for a cool new way to experience the zoo with your friends or family.
Before or after the zoo, make it a point to come back to Downtown Suamico and try Spork Cafe for brunch. They use locally sourced ingredients for some of the freshest food I’ve had. I opted for their specials to try and it was a smoked pulled pork cornbread cast iron concoction (I truly don’t remember the name but I remember how amazing it tasted!) and a pineapple unsidedown pancake. The service and staff were impeccable and I truly enjoyed this dining experience from start to finish.
After dining at Spork, walk across the street and you’ll find this Hallmark-inspired little village called Vickery Village. It actually is an event venue, however, there are business and fun buildings to explore and walk around in! For summer try the Suamico Creamery and check out the gardens of Vickery Village too.
Explore De Pere
Another great town along the water is De Pere! Definitely a bit bigger than Suamico – give yourself a solid day or afternoon to explore! I wish we had more time here as there were so many fun restaurants and shops to explore!
De Pere Riverwalk
One fun thing to do in De Pere is head over to the park for the Riverwalk – It’s lined with many trails along the water and you can walk over the bridge, see the locks adorned along the one side (maybe even sign your own and lock it) and you’ll catch the Wildlife Viewing Pier too. You’ll see many different birds and waterfowl! It’s perfect for a spring or summery day.
Bona Fide Juicery
To kick us off on our last morning we popped into Bona Fide Juicery. They actually have several locations around Green Bay and I highly recommend them. We opted for the one in De Pere since we were so close anyway. They offer an amazing selection of fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, acai bowls, and more! We each got juices to go, an acai bowl to share and they have healthy bites in their cooler to take too! We tried their PB protein balls and their vegan cinnamon roll bites – so tasty!
Of course, I needed an extra pick-me-up for the day so I stopped in Tazza Coffee – they have fun seasonal drinks and also offer flights! Perfect for the coffee or noncoffee lover in your life because while they offer coffee flights they also do lemonade flights as well! I opted for a seasonal beverage with a flavored cold foam – I was impressed with how tasteful it was! Definitely worth a visit if you’re exploring downtown De Pere.
Eat & Drink
Copper State Brewing
I always enjoy a good Brewery visit while exploring and while Green Bay has several to choose from, I’m just going to share my personal favorite – Copper State Brewing! We’ve actually been fans of their beer for years and I love hanging out on the outside patio during the warmer months! They have a GREAT food menu too if you are hungry and their beer list is always changing. I tried a great summer sipper that had rhubarb in it and it was just absolutely perfect for the warm day we had! The staff is super nice too 🙂
Studio 1212 Cafe and Wine Bar
If you’re looking for water-view dining with a cozy and laid-back atmosphere – I can’t recommend Studio 1212 Cafe enough! We sat on the outside patio (the inside is just as lovely) and had views of the river, while we listened to yacht rock float out of the speakers and felt the nice breeze off the water. While they have a great wine list – their mules were a standout fo me! We sipped mules and cocktails and had lots of small plates. Everything was so fresh and delicious with each bite. I truly was amazed at this place and consider it a hidden gem of Green Bay.
Always ask the locals their favorite coffeeshop, then make sure you squeeze in a visit 😉 That’s the case here for Kavarna! A local favorite (and I see why!) this friendly and welcoming atmosphere will have you coming back again and again! I tried their seasonal latte that had orange and vanilla in it and it hit the spot – sweet but not overly sweet. They offer a breakfast menu that’s mostly vegan too and pastries with an extensive coffee menu as well. You can tell the locals love it – I’ve never not seen a line when we’ve visited! (don’t worry, the staff is super quick and helpful so you won’t wait long for your coffee and it’s worth it!)
Another favorite in the Broadway District is Voyageurs Bakehouse – Known for their breads and baked goods, they also offer amazing sandwiches for breakfast and lunch, pastries, coffee, and more! Get here early as they do sell out quickly! The space is inviting you will be blown away by the creative pastries they make daily. This is one of my “always must stops” when passing through or visiting Green Bay!
Where to Stay
Radisson Green Bay
During our stay in Green Bay, we were hosted at the Radisson. It was right next to the airport, which is super convenient if you are flying into GB! It also is connected to the Oneida Casino, which Eric absolutely loved! I will say, the hotel lobby, rooms, and restaurants were pleasantly spacious, modern, and updated and honestly, you wouldn’t even know it was connected to a casino! We dined at their restaurant, Cedar and Sage, and were blown away by the offerings and flavor of every single dish we had. Even if you aren’t staying at the hotel, I would recommend trying that place for dinner! Our room was so comfortable and spacious and parking was a breeze. I highly recommend this place!
And that’s it! Thanks for making it all the way down here 🙂 Now, did I hit up your favorites? Anything I missed? I am always open to suggestions and recommendations to keep sharing the gems of the Midwest! You can always drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Instagram at @lizannelately. See you next time!