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Road Trippin' - Sheboygan


We start our Travel Wisconsin series, Road Trippin' with the city of Sheboygan.  We set-out to find locations you might not know well and ones that won't cost you a ton of travel money.

Sheboygan is about 110 miles northeast of Madison.  It took us about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get there.  We highlighted three sites to give you a little sample of what this city known for brats is all about.

The scenic view of waves crashing near the marina doesn't necessarily bring to mind images of The Brat Capital of the World, but for Sheboyganites, both go together just fine.

"Where do you have access to a beach like this, that's not on the coast and it's all public," Tom Atkins with Sail Sheboygan said.

Sheboygan sits along Lake Michigan in eastern Wisconsin and people here take their waterfront fun seriously.  Sheboygan's tie to its port is long-lived. First settled in the mid-1840s, the waterfront played a large role in developing the city.   Today, world-renowned sailing brings in visitors for yearly festivals and races.

"Sheboygan, being right on Lake Michigan and the Lake Michigan winds being so steady, compared to a smaller, inland lake, it's just a beautiful place to sail, said Atkins.

The Sail Sheboygan Sailing Center, ranked nationally, is providing the boats for this year's Womens U.S. Olympic Match Racing Team.

Our tour takes us from the beaches of the Blue Harbor Resort, past the shops along the Harbor Centre Entertainment District, and just a few blocks away to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

"It really is a special place and you can see the building that we're standing in now has been here for about 10 years, said Shirah Apple, J.M. Kohler Arts Center. It's light-filled and it's a very pleasant place to be."

The Arts Center opened 45 years ago on the grounds of a Kohler family home.  Now, with an ultra-modern gallery, the center is a focal point of Sheboygan. It is also filled with hands-on projects for kids      and community art projects that give locals a stage for creative expression. Exhibits from accomplished artists are always on display.

 "Many times artists come to work here, they bring pieces of what they've been working on in their studio and they do the final assemblage here," Apple said.

Just outside is the sculpture garden with the facade of an old Carnegie-funded library, known as the former Mead Library. Best yet, it's free.

Another free, special family event is a very unique garden, Bookworm Gardens. It's near the UW-Sheboygan campus and encompasses nearly 3 acres of hands-on fun for kids.

"We keep all our books in the gateways so that when families come, they take the book out, they go into the garden, said Sandy Livermore, Bookworm Gardens. They interact with the child in the gateway, read the book and the idea is when they're done with the book they come back, put it back in the gateway and move on to the next area of the garden."

The gardens wind you through a letter garden with herbs, Winnie the Pooh's house, an interactive barn and even a prairie homestead.   

"We are not only trying to get families to delight in the literature, but in each other, Livermore said. So, this is a place for toddlers and parents and grandparents and great-grandparents to come and enjoy not only the gardens, but each other and that's really what makes our hearts go pitter-patter."

For more on Sheboygan go to: http://www.visitsheboygan.com/play/parks-beaches

Road Trippin' - Sheboygan

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