Tag Archive | Manitowoc

Manitowoc Lincoln Park Zoo



We were in Manitowoc for the day for Al’s class reunion. It wasn’t until evening so we went to Lincoln Park Zoo for a few hours.


Admission is free but donations are gratefully accepted here.

Donation box at Lincoln Park Zoo in Manitowoc

The walk through the zoo was fun, and the animals looked well cared for, many were taking a nap when we were there ¬†ūüôā

Cougar at Lincoln Park Zoo

Asiatic Bear at Lincoln Park Zoo

Scattered throughout the grounds are footprints of many animals on concrete squares. Great idea!


The zoo also has a fish hatchery dedicated to Dean H. Heili, a man dedicated to preserving Great Lakes sport fishing.  He also invented the diving plane for lures.

Fish Hatchery at Lincoln Park Zoo

In the structure is a monitor  linked to an underwater camera so you can see the fish.  It also gives water temp. Sorry, it is difficult to photograph.


Fish Pond sign at Lincoln Park Zoo


A beautiful gazebo too.


There also is a platform overlooking a wetland, you might be lucky enough to see a crane or heron here!

Viewing Platform at Lincoln Park Zoo

Platform view at Lincoln Park Zoo

A look at some of the other animals here.


We went into the Education and Animal Care building last.  In here are reptile exhibits and an aviary.

Animal Care building Lincoln Park Zoo



Also a honeybee home. The Queen is painted white, I tried to find her but couldn’t.

Honeybees at Lincoln park Zoo

There is also an inner room for classes, etc. Also an exhibit of fish in Lake Michigan.

Fish display at Lincoln Park Zoo

We enjoyed our visit here, what took us so long? Enjoy the park too.

Cabbage White butterfly at Lincoln Park Zoo

Big Ship, More Fun! Sail Across Lake Michigan on the S.S. Badger Carferry!


Badger Car ferry arrival in Manitowoc

The time has arrived for our Michigan vacation to begin!  We decided to take the S.S. Badger Carferry from Manitowoc to Ludington since we never had before and it looked like fun!  Since we were only sailing one-way, it cost us $201, including our two bikes.  There is a two-sided historical marker here, as the Badger is a national historic landmark too.

S.S. Badger Historic markerManitowoc and the Car Ferries Marker

We arrived early to see the ferry’s arrival from Ludington and put our vehicle in the loading zone. There was an air of excitement among the passengers while we waited to board, as many of us were sailing for the first time.

Badger Carferry docking in Manitowoc

Upon boarding, we got our picture taken by a ship wheel as a memento of our experience.

Badger Selfie 1 IMG_9266

After leaving  port, we set about exploring the passenger areas of the ship. See map and amenities here.  Our view from the port, or left side of the ship.  You can see the Wisconsin Maritime Museum and the Cobia sub from here. We even saw a tour going on there, like we did a few years ago.

View of Wisconsin Maritime Museum from Manitowoc

 Also, enjoy the video of our 4-hour journey across the lake. There is something for everyone here.

Lets explore the ship, there are many areas to see on board.  Upon boarding lunch was being served at the Upper Deck Café, lots of dining space just beyond the stairway in the Cabana Room. If you want to eat, be sure to get your food before 4 PM Michigan time as they have to get things put away before reaching port.

Upper Deck Cafe on Badger

Badger Upper Deck Cafe Menu

Cabana Room on Badger

Adjacent to a TV lounge is a rack of Michigan and Wisconsin publications to help you plan activities on the other side. Also the latest issue of Crossings, the official annual magazine of the S.S. Badger.

Publication Rack and ship amenity sign on Badger

¬†Just up ahead is the main lounge where a rousing game of Badger Bingo was taking place. ¬†It’s free to participate and there are prizes. ¬† ¬†We opted out to explore the ship instead. ¬†We also met Issac, an expert juggler who also assisted with the bingo game. Great job Issac!

Issac the juggler on Badger

In the lounge the man is looking at a screen showing  where the Badger is located on Lake Michigan.  Other ship locations are visible too. Remember to change your watch after crossing the state line.

Badger Bingo


Ship locations on Lake Michigan

Here you can also get some food a la carte at the Badger Galley.

Badger Galley

The ship also has two bars where you can get a drink, this is the Port Side Bar in the galley dining room.

Port Side Bar on Badger

Topside near the bow (front) of the ship is a large sun deck plus plenty of room to sit on either side of the ship if you want to be outside. You can see the bridge (Pilot House) right above you here.


Bridge on Badger closeup

Inside the ship there is much more to see and do.

A video arcade for the game players.

Badger arcade

A movie theater, it was playing a kid’s movie at the time.

Badger movie theater

You can get a souvenir at the Badger Boatique, from apparel to knick knacks and toys. ¬†You can order some items online too if you don’t get anything during the trip.

Badger Boatique apparrel

Explore the ship museum/quiet room to learn about the ferry and other great lakes history.

Badger Museum

After exploring the ship we went back out to the upper deck.  At 5:20 Ludington was becoming visible!  You can see sand dunes and a distant light station.  We could see another light house from here distantly, another passenger informed us it was the Big Sable Point Light in Ludington.  It is 8 miles from downtown.

520 PM Ludington

Big Sable Light Station in Ludington

At 6:17 PM we went by¬†Ludington’s North Breakwater Light at Stearns Park. Plenty of people waved at us as went by.

North Breakwater LighthousePlenty of people at the opposite light station too warmly greeting the ship’s arrival.

Ludington Light station

People even waved from the yards of their homes, sitting in lawn chairs.

Ship Watchers in Ludington

The ship turned as it prepared to dock.  Most people were in the aft of the ship watching the process, it was fascinating!  We docked by 6:30.

Badger Docked in Ludington

The big trucks came out first, we saw one full of red apples! Another truck had green apples.

Apple Truck

Green apples in truck on Badger

At the same time, the Badger food supplies were being re-stocked by a truck from below, very creative!

ILoading supplies on Badger at Ludington

Badger Food supplies

We saw a two-sided historical marker at the ticket office.

Markers at Luding Port

It was time to go to Manistee where we were spending the night. We recommend this ride for anyone wishing to cross Lake Michigan. ¬†It’s true, “Big Ship, More Fun!”‚ĄĘ ¬†Welcome to Michigan!

Thanks for sailing on the S.S.Badger

Welcome to Michigan sign

West of the Lake Gardens in Manitowoc


West of the Lake Collage in Manitowoc

West of the Lake Gardens is a jewel in Manitowoc, accessible from the Mariner’s Trail also. ¬†A beautiful garden for all to enjoy, many volunteers keep it looking that way. ¬†The have many kinds of flowers, artfully arranged.

The Formal Garden

Succulents at West of the Lake Garden

Formal Garden at West of the Lake in Manitowoc

Mae West Garden with Proud Bird Sculpture

Mae West Garden at West of the Lake Gardens in Manitowoc

The Red and White Garden

Red and White Garden at West of the Lake Gardens in Manitowoc

The Rose Garden

The Rose Garden at West of the Lake Garden in Manitowoc

The Sunken Garden

The Sunken Garden at West of the Lake Garden in Manitowoc

Trellis at West of the Lake Garden in Manitowoc

We are done with our tour, a great place to visit in the heart of the city.


Pinecrest Village Historical Museum of Manitowoc


Pinecrest Welcome Center in Manitowoc


Pinecrest hours Manitowoc

Welcome to Pinecrest Historical Village! ¬†This delightful museum has pulled together many historical buildings from Manitowoc County’s past into one place, arranged like a small village. They take it one step further by having made audio recording matched up with each building in the village. They lend to you a digital recorder with the sound files pre-loaded.

Be sure to see the Collins Bridge Span and historical marker.

Collins Road Bridge Span in Manitowoc

We began our tour at the McAllister House, then went outside to see the other buildings. Outside we find a plaque, commemorating the Vetting Family, who donated this land to the Historical Society in 1970.

Vetting Family plaque at Pinecrest in Manitowoc

Let’s visit the Cheese Factory, a major industry throughout Wisconsin.

Shadyside School

Shadyside School at Pinecrest in Manitowoc


We continue on the path. Many of the buildings are next to each other.

Pinecrest Village buildings in Manitowoc

Rockwood Fire House plaque  at Pinecrest in Manitowoc

Rockwood Fire House at Pinecrest in Manitowoc

Our favorite had to be Collin’s Depot and steam locomotive at the end of the tour. We enjoyed a great picture by the engine.


Greetings from Pinecrest Village.jpg

We only touched on a few of the many buildings on site.  Allow yourself at least three hours to thoroughly explore the museum and see the artifacts inside the buildings. There is even a playground for the kids.  We had a great time here.

Pinecrest Museum Park in Manitowoc


Manitowoc – Wisconsin Harbor Town

Welcome sign in Manitowoc


1997 to Present

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 finally took the voyage to Ludington on June 20, 2016. Read more about our visit here.  Take the trip with us here.

Badger Car ferry arrival in Manitowoc

When we were visiting on 8-19-16 we saw a lot of activity in the port.  It was being dredged with the job expected to be completed in September before conditions get more challenging.  We were also lucky enough to see the S.S. Badger depart!

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

Stop by the Lincoln Park Zoo too.


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. ¬†In 2016 it’s still not completely demolished.

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

On 8-19-16 we were back for a final visit for the year and were able to view the annual Balloon Glow festival across from the Maritime Museum. We were attending an event on the rooftop and we had a great view!

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

Dive into History at the Manitowoc Maritime Museum

Cocia at Manitowoc Museum

Manitowoc ¬†is one Wisconsin’s largest Harbor Towns with rich maritime history. ¬†Located on¬†75 Maritime Drive, its hard to miss! ¬†Here is the museum from across the water, the sub USS Cobia docked alongside. It is nearly as long as the museum! ¬†With your admission you also get a tour inside the Cobia! First some history on a couple of markers outside.

Manitowoc Maritime Heritage sign

Manitowoc Submarines sign

Cobia Riverfront Improvement  Project in Manitowoc


There are a great many exhibits inside, showing the rich maritime history of the Manitowoc-Two Rivers area. Even what it may have looked like as a small fishing village long ago.

Fishing village in Museum in Manitowoc


Ship Chandlery display at Manitowoc Museum


After walking through the museum on our own, it was time for our guided tour of the submarine USS Cobia docked outside.

Uss Cobia outside and plaque in Manitowoc


We had our picture taken in front of the bell before descending.

Selfie on Cobias in Manitowoc


Inside Cobias in Manitowoc


Cobias tour in Manitowoc


We had a great time here. There is a lot to see so give yourself plenty of time.  We have visited several times already and due for another visit, our last one was in 2010.

Related Sites and Articles

*  Wisconsin Maritime Museum

* Shipbuilding in Manitowoc

* Nav Source Online – USS Cobia

* Manitowoc-Two Rivers travel info

* MyTripJournal.com




Lake Michigan Shortcut- The Manitowoc Carferry

Welcome sign in Manitowoc

S.S. Badger Historic marker in ManitowocManitowoc and the Car Ferries Marker

From our location in Wisconsin, ¬†it’s a long car ride to our neighboring state of Michigan. ¬† We do have a shortcut, taking the Manitowoc ¬†Carferry out of Manitowoc. ¬†It’s port-of-call in Michigan is the city of Ludington, and the trip is only 4 hours. The ferry is only operational in the summer months, when Lake Michigan is calmest. We have not yet had the chance to take the journey ourselves yet, but we have had fun just watching the ship come into port from Ludington. ¬†

The ship starts out as a black speck on the horizon, slowly growing larger. Before you know it, it’s coming in! ¬†You can see the lighthouse and people on it watching the ferry, a favorite past time of the locals here.

Badger Carferry arrival in Manitowoc

Badger docking in ManitowocBadger Carferry docking in Manitowoc

It is quite the show watching the ship ease its way into the dock. It has to turn around and back in.  A very skilled Quartermaster indeed!  After the ship docked, the largest cargo was unloaded first.  I believe these were parts of wind turbines.

Wind Turbine tower segment


I heard some clapping near the ticket building and a celebration was going on.

2.5 Millionth customer on Ferry in Manitowoc


Badger was celebrating their 2.5 millionth customer. How nice of them to throw a party for them.

Passengers waiting to disembark..

S.S. Badger passengers in Manitowoc


We had a great time watching this great ship come in.  Someday, we will take a voyage on the S.S. Badger!

We hope you enjoyed your stay in Manitowoc