Manitowoc – Wisconsin Harbor Town

Welcome sign in Manitowoc


17 Years of Visits

Manitowoc is a city of 33,736 located on the shores of Lake Michigan, 7 miles south of Two Rivers.  It is also the county seat of Manitowoc County. My husband Al grew up near here in the suburb of Branch and I have grown to love this city by the lake.  A great resource to learn about this city and county is the Wisconsin Historical Society. Here you can find historical markers and museums in this county and all the others in the state. Be sure to stop at the Visitor’s Center to pick up all the info you need about the area, and much more!.

Manitowoc Visitor Center

Manitowoc is the gateway to fun on Lake Michigan and beyond!  This sign is located near the S.S. Badger Car Ferry, taking passengers to Ludington, Michigan and back. We have not yet had the chance to take the 4-hour voyage across the lake, but you can come watch the ship arrive. Here it comes, going past the lighthouse!  Read more about our visit here.

Badger Car ferry arrival in Manitowoc


Manitowoc County Airport for those wanting to fly-in on their  private plane.

Manitowoc County Airport

Once you get here, the fun continues! Enjoy the historic downtown and view the many landmarks there. This one is a favorite!

Budweiser Large Beer Cans and Bottle in Manitowoc

The Courthouse across the street. You can eat at the Courthouse Pub.

Manitowoc Courthouse

Courthouse Pub in Manitowoc

 The Manitowoc Savings Bank building with its beautiful clock on the corner.

Manitowoc National Bank

Manitowoc Bank Clock


The Capitol Civic Center downtown.

Capitol Civic Center in Manitowoc



We even saw a one-room schoolhouse building. School District 4, 1891.

Historic one-room schoolhouse in Manitowoc

If you are here on a Saturday from May-Oct., stop by the Farmers Market.

Manitowoc Farmers market


This restaurant no longer exists, this picture is from 2010. It was demolished 11-19-12. The Penguin was a place my husband went to with friends when he was a teen. Too bad it couldn’t be saved.

Penguin Restaurant 2010 in Manitowoc


We discovered more buildings on the chopping block when we came back 8-7-14.  It was the Alf Muchin Furniture House in 1930. Alf Munchin and Son Furniture Store 1930 Manitowoc

Alf Muchin and Sons building plaque in Manitowoc


Also the former Mirro cookware company factory is coming down. They moved overseas, many jobs lost.

Former Mirro Plant in Manitowoc


 Now back to the history that has been preserved. There are many museums in Manitowoc. The one we have been to most is the Maritime Museum. This museum is a fun place to visit, and you learn about Manitowoc’s rich heritage on the lake, and in WW II.  Permanently docked is the Cobia sub,  whose crew defended our country in the war.  You can take a tour of the sub too with one of the museum guides!

Museum and Cobia in Manitowoc


Uss Cobia outside and plaque


Cobias tour in Manitowoc

Another place is the Rahr-West Art Museum near downtown.

Rahr-West Art Museum in Manitowoc


We had a great time at the Pinecrest Historical Village, a lot of great history here. There also is a historic marker for a bridge there.  And a train too! We had fun posing next to it.

Pinecrest Historical Village Welcome Center in Manitowoc

Collins Road Bridge Span in Manitowoc

Greetins from Pinecrest Village

For a great walk or bike ride, the Mariners Trail is worth the time. It is 7 miles long and goes between Manitowoc and Two Rivers.

Al and Laurie on Mariners Trail in Manitowoc

Mariners Trail in Manitowoc

 All that exploring can sure work up an appetite!  We have eaten at Four Season’s Family Restaurant a few times, good food there.

Four Seasons Restaurant in Manitowoc


Friar Tuck’s is also a great place to eat.

Friar Tucks in Manitowoc


Late’s is also a very popular place in Manitowoc.

Lates in Manitowoc

 To get away from the hubbub of the city, Silver Creek Park offers a quiet retreat. You can get some food at Late’s which is nearby and enjoy it there.

Silver Creek Park sign in Manitowoc

Silver Creek in Manitowoc


We also paid a visit to West of the Lake Gardens, also accessible on the Mariners Trail.  Peaceful views of Lake Michigan in many spots.

West of the Lake Garden in Manitowoc


Flowers at West of lake garden in Manitowoc

We have enjoyed all our visits here together and discover something new each time we come.

Badger ferry and Lighthouse in Manitowoc

Monticello Museum – A Tribute to the Past


The Monticello Historical Society was founded in 1995 by Mrs. Marlene Schmalbeck. She saw Monticello’s history being sold at garage sales and felt something had to be done.  Mrs. Ruth Knight Sybers in 2001 purchased the former Woelffer Drug Store and donated it to the society to use as a museum for Monticello history.

Woefller Monticello Museum


After undergoing restoration, it opened on May 12, 2007. A special commemorative postmark was created for that day and extras are for sale at the museum.


Monticello Museum postmark


We went in the museum, the docents greeted us and thanked us for coming.  From the Historical Society website.

Hours of Operation

Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. or by appointment. Closed for the season November thru April.
For special group or individual tours call the museum at (608) 938-4216 or send your request to

We were there on a Saturday, many people came to visit that day. There are many artifacts donated by residents.  On the right is a soda fountain re-creation, perhaps like one the drug store used to have. Some of the displays are rotated out every two years,  they will be changed out for 2015.

Monticello Museum inside

Soda Fountain in Montello Museum

Monticello once had a Woolen Mill, dating back to 1866. It had burned down in 1950 and was not rebuilt since the demand was no longer there. Some items produced at the mill were on display.

Woolen Mill display at Monticello Museum


Sewing display

Sewing Display at Monticello Museum

School Display, with pictures of former one-room schools in the area.

School display at Monticello Museum

A tribute to the women who worked just as hard on the family farm as the men, very nice!

Farm display at Monticello Museum

 A laundry exhibit. It sure has become easier to do since then!

Laundry display at Monticello Museum

 Church Basement Ladies serving up a feast. And the kitchen display this picture is a part of.

Church Basement Ladies picture Monticello Museum


Kitchen display Monticello Museum

This concludes our visit at the Monticello Museum. We really learned a lot about this friendly community here and the docents there welcome you!

Allen Centennial Gardens in Madison


Allen Centennial Gardens Collage


Allen Centennial Gardens entry sign



Allen Centennial Gardens is another public garden in Madison that we don’t get to often enough. It is a “classroom” on the UW Campus for students and volunteers.  Al went there in the spring during the UW Family Gardening Day this year. In mid-summer, I finally got here! All the flowers were in full bloom and very beautiful. The Victorian house was built around 1890. They change their “theme” in the garden each year. In 2014 the theme was “25th Anniversary Celebration” and dancers decorated the garden.

Dancer art at Allen Centennial Gardens


2014 Garden Theme


The first garden near the house, Sally’s Garden, named after generous benefactor Sally Bilder.

Sally's GardenBehind the house is the Ornamental Shade Garden and the Wisconsin Woodland Garden. There is a commemorative plaque on a rock in that garden.

Woodland Garden plaque Allen Gardens

Wisconsin Woodland Garden Allen Gardens

 Views out in the main part of the gardens.

Paths at Allen Gardens

 The gazebo and red bridge as seen from the round Lawn garden.

Gazebo and bridge at Allen Gardens

A closer view.

Gazebo and pond Allen Gardens

Even a sundial, it was actually noon at the time but it would be correct in Standard time, not Daylight Savings time.

Sundial at Allen Gardens

Birds find plenty of places to take a bath here.

Birds bathing at Allen Gardens

Czech Crevice Garden

Czech Crevice Garden

The French Garden

Fren Garden at Allen Gardens

Some shade for a hot summer day.

Arbor Terrace at Allen Gardens

English Garden

English Garden at Allen Gardens


I had a great visit here and plan on coming back more often.  It is open year-round to visitors.