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From ship to shore: 10 things to do in Manitowoc and Two Rivers
Just seven miles apart from one another on the Lake Michigan coast, Manitowoc and Two Rivers offer visitors a fantastic blend of history, beauty and adventure. From the wonders that lie at the bottom of Lake Michigan, to the farm fields and pristine beaches on the land, there is so much to learn about and explore. Here are just a few of our favorite ways to enjoy the area:
1. Wisconsin Maritime Museum
This is a great place to start when visiting the Manitowoc and Two Rivers Area. It’s full of maritime history and interactive exhibits, including the chance to tour a WWII submarine.
2. Paddling on the Rivers
Both the Manitowoc River, and the East and West Twin Rivers are great for paddling, and offer beautiful, ever-changing scenery at every turn. You’ll find a great starting point on the Manitowoc River in lower Henry Schuette Park, which features a handicap accessible canoe and kayak launch.
3. Pine River Dairy
This family-run butter manufacturer is a must-stop on your trip through the area. Not only can you stock up on fresh local butter, cheese and meat, but you can also get a behind-the-scenes look at butter being made. And don’t leave without a 25-cent ice cream cone!
4. Shipwreck Adventures
The best way to explore the shipwrecks in the area up close is to scuba dive. And whether you’re an experienced technical diver or looking to learn, Shipwreck Adventures in Two Rivers is the place to go. In addition to charter dives and training, they also offer canoe and kayak rentals.
5. Woodland Dunes Nature Center and Preserve
This beautiful, intricate system of wetlands and uplands is home to an abundant variety of wildlife. Take a stroll on the wooden boardwalks and take in the sounds of nature and beautiful scenery nestled between two cities.
6. Manitowoc Marina
The Manitowoc Marina offers a number of different rental opportunities, including bikes and Hobie kayaks and stand up paddleboards. It’s a fantastic place to get out on the water and see the city from a whole new perspective.
7. Historic Washington House / Ed Berner’s Ice Cream Parlor
The Historic Washington House is a museum full of Two Rivers’ history, including a replica of Ed Berners’ Ice Cream Parlor, where the ice cream sundae was invented. Explore rooms that show what the building looked like in 1853, and of course, take a break for some ice cream.
8. Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center
New to Manitowoc in 2018, the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center is a hands-on, interactive education center that focuses on agriculture in our state. Visitors can learn about everything from dairy, to ginseng, to cranberries and experience exciting exhibits like the birthing barn, where a calf will be born every day.
9. West of the Lake Gardens
Just off of the Mariners’ Trail between Manitowoc and Two Rivers, West of the Lake Gardens is a picturesque oasis set on the shores of Lake Michigan. Originally the home of John and Ruth West, the grounds here are designed to emulate the 1950s-era formal garden that they once were. It’s the perfect place to press pause, and take in the beauty that surrounds you.
10. Kites Over Lake Michigan
Every Labor Day weekend the sky over Neshotah Beach in Two Rivers is filled with pops of color in all shapes and sizes. It’s the annual Kites Over Lake Michigan festival, and it draws thousands of people from all over the country. You’ll find giant show kites, precision stunt team flying, or “kite ballet,” and tons of activities and games for kids.
What are your favorite things about Manitowoc and Two Rivers? Share with us on social media!
Jessica Murphy is a producer for Discover Wisconsin. Stream Discover Wisconsin online at discoverwisconsin.com or tune in every Saturday morning at 10 on Fox Sports Wisconsin.