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This mule is just one animal you'll find at the free zoo at Menomonie Park in Oshkosh, Wis.
This mule is just one animal you'll find at the free zoo at Menomonie Park in Oshkosh, Wis.

Oshkosh, Wis. — Big city, funny name

Being semi-retired and a writer, I am always looking for a story, Norm and I have decided to visit every county in Wisconsin as a way to explore what our home state has to offer. Of course there is more to the story! I want to taste, and evaluate a Bloody Mary in every county.

To decide where to have this drink, we decided to visit the county seat of every county, take a photo of the courthouse, and explore the town before deciding on the establishment in which to partake of a Bloody Mary.

If you are like my daughter, this may sound confusing, but it truly makes sense. If you are familiar with Wisconsin, then you know there is a bar on every street corner and bars in the middle of no-where. So, I needed to narrow my search for the perfect Bloody Mary.

For example, Oshkosh, Wis., is the county seat of Winnebago County, so even though there are many options for a Bloody Mary in Winnebago County, it needed to be made in an Oshkosh bar.

Of course, there are so many other opportunities to explore if you find yourself in Oshkosh. Here is a list of my favorite five, including where you can find the perfect Bloody Mary.

  1. EAA Airventure Museum — The museum is conveniently located off U.S. 41 at 3000 Poberezny Road in Oshkosh and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The world famous EAA show will occur July 25 to 31. I know it’s world famous because I was in Australia during the summer of 1979 and saw news coverage of the show while there.
  2. Menominee Park Zoo — Located on the corners of Hazel St. and Merritt Ave, the zoo is open to the public until Sept. 25. This free zoo leases many of the animals they exhibit in order to offer something new each year. After walking through the zoo, plan on cooling off at the beach of Lake Winnebago.
  3. Oshkosh Public Museum — Located at 1331 Algoma Blvd., the museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoons between 1 and 4:30 p.m. Entrance fee for adults is $7 and children between 6 and 17 are $3.50. A definite must-see is the Apostles Clock as it strikes the hour.
  4. Paine Art Center — Located across the street from the museum, the art center address is 1410 Algoma Boulevard. Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for youth ages 5 to 17, and children ages 4 and under are free. The art center also has rotating exhibits.
  5. Roy’s Bar — 3229 Jackson Street. We happened to visit the bar on a Sunday, the day they make the most impressive Bloody Mary. The owner reassured us that customers would not be dissatisfied with their Bloody Mary served mid-week, but Sunday’s are just “dressed” to impress.

All five on the list are family-friendly things to do in Oshkosh, including Roy’s Bar. Wisconsin bars are welcoming of children, just sit at a table rather than the bar.

Be aware that if you are driving a big rig, parking at the museum and art center are limited because they are in a residential area. The good news is that Oshkosh has a great public transportation system. The owner at Roy’s Bar proudly reassured us that a big rig would fit in his lot because semi-trucks pull in for deliveries without issue.

If you find yourself in Oshkosh be sure to check out my favorite five and see if there are other activities you would add. Happy exploring!

About Cathy Duesterhoeft

Cathy and her husband, Norm, travel throughout the United States in their Brave Winnebago working for Mainly Marathons. When home in Westfield, Wis., their RV is parked on a gravel pad while they finish construction on their new home. Cathy documents their many adventures on her website at www.positiveinfluences.net.

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