29 Best Things To Do In Manitowoc, Wisconsin

things to do in Manitowoc WI
| 13 min read

On the western shores of the beautiful Lake Michigan lies a city rich in maritime history, museums, recreational sites and stunning natural beauty. Manitowoc is one of the most beautiful lakefront cities in Wisconsin. It’s home to a fascinating Maritime Museum which displays the city’s maritime history and contribution to the Second World War, and other exciting attractions. The city’s downtown region also boasts a variety of places for shopping, dining and all-round fun. Take a tour of the real submarine docked at its port, see the art museum, visit the beautiful parks and go on hiking trips along the city’s scenic trails. You won’t run out of engaging activities to do in this charming city. So, if you are planning to visit, here is a list of top things to do in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

1. Explore the amazing Pinecrest Historical Village

Pinecrest Historical Village is a must-visit destination, especially for history enthusiasts. This 16.2 hectare (40-acre) piece of farmland features original buildings that were taken from their original location and relocated to the village. Built to celebrate the history of the region, you can walk through ancient buildings like the railroad depot, fire station, town hall, blacksmith shop, printing press, churches, schools, cemeteries, etc. Pinecrest Village also displays videos and photographs from the city’s history, holds occasional shows and has places to buy food, beverages, antique items and gift items too. There are golf carts for rent to help you get around more easily.

Pinecrest Historical Village

Address: 924 Pine Crest Ln, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Pinecrest Historical Village

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 4pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 7 - 10 USD

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2. Admire the stunning flowers at West of The Lake Gardens

This site is one of the most beautiful gardens in Manitowoc. West of the Lake Gardens is a peaceful, well-manicured botanical garden in the city with great views of Lake Michigan. Spread majestically on 2.4 hectares (6 acres) of land; the water body features several types of gardens with fantastic flower arrangements. Admire the stunning Pond Garden, the Red & White Garden, the Sunken Garden or smell the gorgeous Granidflora roses at the Rose Garden. A walk through these gardens allows you to enjoy the serene beauty of nature.

West of The Lake Gardens

Address: 915 Memorial Dr, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: West of The Lake Gardens

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

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3. Enjoy a picnic at the beautiful Henry Schuette Park

Located along the beautiful Manitowoc River is an excellent place for outdoor recreational fun. Henry Schuette Park is a massive community park offering a place of pure natural beauty and outdoor activities. The park features facilities like a playground area, places to enjoy a picnic, fabulous fishing spots, walking trails, a fitness course and many more. There is no shortage of things to do at this park. And, especially during the winter months, going on one of the park’s trails is a must-do for ski lovers in the city.

Henry Schuette Park

Address: 3800 Broadway St, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Henry Schuette Park

Opening hours: 6am - 11pm (daily)

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4. See captivating exhibitions at Wisconsin Maritime Museum

Source: Photo by user Royalbroil used under CC BY-SA 2.5

One of the largest maritime museums in the Midwest, Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc is a great place to explore more of the city’s history. The museum is located on the shores of Lake Michigan and it offers over 5574.2 square meters (60,000 square feet) of space to explore. See the interactive exhibits and captivating artefacts that are exclusive to this outstanding museum. This venue also offers you insight into the 28 World War II submarines that were built right in the town. To round up your visit, you can board and tour the USS Cobia; a real U.S Navy submarine berthed next to the museum.

Wisconsin Maritime Museum

Address: 75 Maritime Dr, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Wisconsin Maritime Museum

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

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5. Go ice skating at Manitowoc County Ice Centre

All the lines and logos are frozen in, now we start flooding!

Posted by Manitowoc County Youth Hockey Association on Saturday, 30 September 2017

Manitowoc County Ice Center is an indoor ice skating facility in the city. This centre was initially started in the 80s, but its indoor facility was built in 1995. Home to the Manitowoc County Figure Skating Club, the centre is temperature-controlled and offers several activities to do. Play ice hockey, or figure skating or skate around the rink for fun; it’s the best place for indoor recreation on ice. The Center also offers programs that teach first-timers how to skate, so everyone is welcomed and well catered for at this facility.

Manitowoc County Ice Centre

Address: 4931 Expo Dr, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Manitowoc County Ice Centre

Opening hours: Sat - Sun: 1pm - 3pm (closed on Mon - Fri)

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6. Enjoy some recreational activities at Silver Creek Park

Posted by Silver Creek Park on Sunday, 3 December 2017

Silver Creek Park is one of the most remarkable places for an exciting park experience in the city. Sitting on the shores of Lake Michigan, this park features over 28.7 hectares (71 acres) of beautiful land. The views of the lake from Silver Creek Park are stunning. The Park also offers you several activities to do on its open wooded areas, winter sports arena, green hills, sheltered pavilion and numerous picnic spots. There is also a place where you can ski and somewhere for people who love to fish. You will have an enjoyable outdoor experience at this park.

Silver Creek Park

Address: 3001 S 10th St, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Silver Creek Park

Opening hours: 6am - 11pm (daily)

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7. Visit the animals at Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center

Opened just over a year ago, Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center is an eye-opening place to visit. If you have never seen a calf being born or have no farm experience before, then this place is a must-visit during your stay in the city. Enjoy a day filled with interactive exhibitions on how farm animals are raised and how food crops are produced. Enjoy a tour of the large dairy farm, or catch a live birth at the Land O’ Lakes Birthing Barn. You can cap it all up by savouring delicious meals at the centre’s farm-to-table café.

Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center

Address: 7001 Gass Lake Rd, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 16 USD

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8. Tour the historic Sputnik Crash Site

Of all the historic experiences that the city of Manitowoc offers, a visit to this site is the most unique. Located on 8th street in Manitowoc, it is one of the country’s exciting sights; the exact place where a 20-pound piece of the famous Sputnik Spacecraft landed. Although the original piece – the only surviving model of the spacecraft was returned to Russia, its landing site is marked by a brass ring right in the middle of the street. So if you want an authentic “out of this world” experience, do not miss visiting this crash site.

Sputnik Crash Site

Address: 798 Park St, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Sputnik Crash Site

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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9. Admire beautiful art pieces at Rahr West Art Museum

Rahr-West Art Museum Manitowoc WI 03
Source: Photo by user AltioraPeto used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Initially built in the 18th century, this place is a heritage home. Rahr West Art Museum was restored in 1905 and has since then been a significant attraction in the city. The house is magnificently decorated and has 13 rooms, and still retains its original furnishings and architectural features. Aside from its stunning medieval-style structure, this museum is also home to several sculptures and artworks from all around the world. It features a collection of Chinese ivories, stunning art pieces from famous people, as well as an antique doll collection.

Rahr West Art Museum

Address: 610 N 8th St, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Rahr West Art Museum

Opening hours: Sat - Sun: 11am - 4pm; Tue - Fri: 10am - 4pm (closed on Mon)

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10. Have dinner and drinks at Courthouse Pub

With great meals served in a lovely way by an excellent waiting staff, this pub is a place worth several visits to Manitowoc. Courthouse Pub is located in a restored 18th-century building. One of the most amazing features of the restaurant is its extensive wine list. The wines on offer here are of the highest quality and can be ordered by the glass. You should try the cheese curds; every bite tastes like the first. Courthouse Pub is a perfect deal for a 5-star dining experience in Manitowoc.

Courthouse Pub

Address: 1001 S 8th St, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Courthouse Pub

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 11am - 9pm (closed on Sun)

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11. Exercise at The Young Men’s Christian Association

The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) is a body that started in London and has now spread all around the world. The YMCA in Manitowoc has a centre that aims to encourage the spirit of community through its numerous seniors and youth recreational programs. The centre offers you a place to enjoy a relaxing afternoon and indulge in recreational and fitness activities. With options ranging from water sports to gymnastics, basketball, tennis and even martial arts to choose from, there are more than enough things to do here.

The Young Men’s Christian Association

Address: 205 Maritime Dr, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: The Young Men’s Christian Association

Opening hours: Sun: 9am - 4:30pm; Mon - Sat: 5am - 9pm

Price: 20 - 50 USD/month

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12. Spend time with your family at Washington Park

Posted by A&W MANITOWOC on Thursday, 6 August 2015

Situated right in the heart of downtown Manitowoc is one of the oldest parks in the city - Washington Park. The 1.5-hectare (3.75-acre) park was the site of Manitowoc’s first country fair in 1859. It features a MetroStage where concerts are held, a fitness zone, and a large playground. You can allow the kids to have the time of their lives running around the playground while you relax in one of the many shaded spots in the park. It’s a beautiful place to enjoy a good time in the city.

Washington Park

Address: 1115 Washington St, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Washington Park

Opening hours: 6am - 11pm (daily)

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13. See wild animals at Manitowoc Lincoln Park Zoo

You can’t come to Manitowoc and resist spending some time watching the wild animals at Lincoln Park Zoo. Open all year round, a trip to the zoo is the perfect way to spend a fun time out with the family. See more than your everyday animals in this exceptional venue, boasting animals like bears, snow leopards and many other rare wild animals. The zoo is also home to many exotic species of animals that live on the riverside. All these sights and lots of fun await you at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Manitowoc Lincoln Park Zoo

Address: 1215 N 8th St, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Manitowoc Lincoln Park Zoo

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 5pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm

Price: 1 - 2 USD

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14. Play disc golf at Manitowoc Silver Creek Park

things to do in manitowoc wi | play disc golf at manitowoc silver creek park
Source: instagram

The beautiful Silver Creek Park has one of the top-rated disc golf courses in the entire region. This disc golf course was opened in 2000 and was expanded in 2016. It offers its visitors 36 challenging holes to overcome with concrete tee areas on each hole for different skill levels. The course spreads over lush grasslands, beautiful picnic areas along Silver Creek, the woods, over the hills, straight to the iconic Manitowoc Lighthouse. See if you can land a shot in the signature #22 hole on top of the lighthouse.

Manitowoc Silver Creek Park

Address: 3001 S 10th St, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Manitowoc Silver Creek Park

Opening hours: 6am - 11pm (daily)

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15. Take a relaxing stroll along Manitowoc Marina

Along the shores of Lake Michigan lies Manitowoc Marina. This multi-million dollar site is more than just a marina; it is a unique attraction in the town. It is well kept and boasts several beautiful boats lining it. It also has numerous shopping outlets, restaurants, a park and a lighthouse which you should check out. Take a pleasant stroll along the marina and enjoy amazing views of the coastline and even the submarine. If you are lucky, you’ll get to see the Badger Car ferry arrive or depart the marina.

Manitowoc Marina

Address: 425 Maritime Dr, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Manitowoc Marina

Opening hours: Fri & Sat: 8am - 7pm; Sun - Thu: 8am - 5pm

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16. Find your perfect fishing spot at Silver Lake Park

things to do in manitowoc wi | find your perfect fishing spot at silver lake park
Source: instagram

This place is a hidden gem located in the western part of the city. Sitting in front of Silver Lake, the park is serene and it has a pier for boat launching. The park offers an excellent place to enjoy a barbeque in one of its several grill spots. You are sure of having a quiet time here since vehicles are not allowed. If you want to explore the lake or go fishing, you’ll have to paddle quietly down the river and pick out your spot.

Silver Lake Park

Address: 5904 Calumet Ave, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

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17. Connect with the wild at Manitou Park

Manitou Park is a beautiful little riverside park. The park features a paved sidewalk which leads to a fishing overlook, a picnic area, a sheltered structure for private events and a rugged trail which leads to a cool railroad trestle. The fantastic thing about this park is that from its trestle point, you can watch wildlife and birds interact with each other in their natural habitat. If you are a lover of wildlife, then this park is made just for you.

Manitou Park

Address: 2618 Michigan Ave, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Manitou Park

Opening hours: 6am - 11pm (daily)

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18. Admire views of the mysterious Lake Michigan Triangle

The legend of the sleeping bear dunes says that long ago there was a mother bear that was driven into Lake Michigan...

Posted by Bianca Leonhard on Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Although it appears beautiful and calm, the Lake Michigan Triangle is one of the country’s most mysterious places. Named after the infamous Bermuda Triangle, this area is equally filled with mystery. Spanning from Manitowoc, Wisconsin to Ludington, Michigan and Benton Harbor, this gorgeous area has been at the centre of strange disappearance incidents and even UFO sightings. As a result of all these mysterious happenings, this spooky region is often avoided by boats and airplanes, but it is still worth seeing, albeit from a safe distance.

Lake Michigan Triangle

Address: Manitowoc, Wisconsin

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19. Go biking along the paved Mariners Trail

Cruising along mariners trail

Posted by 'Dan Bielinski on Saturday, 7 September 2013

The Mariners Trail is a beautiful seven-mile cycling and walking trail along the shores of the iconic Lake Michigan. The trail connects the cities of Manitowoc and the nearby Two Rivers Wisconsin. Visitors and locals regularly use this trail for biking, skating, running or walking along its smooth paved surface. It is free and open to all with features like telescopes, picnic areas, gardens, restroom facilities and beautiful sculptures. With free parking and facilities to cater to disabled persons, it is a great place to spend the afternoon or a cool evening.

Mariners Trail

Address: 3310 Memorial Dr, Two Rivers, WI 54241-3231

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20. Swim in the heated pool at Manitowoc Family Aquatic Center

things to do in manitowoc wi | swim in the heated pool at manitowoc family aquatic center
Source: instagram

Manitowoc Aquatic Center offers several features to make your day fun-filled. The centre features a heated pool, mushroom waterfall, several floor fountains, an open waterslide, and an enclosed waterslide diving board for your pleasure. You shouldn’t also forget to try out the drop slide or the lazy river too. If you get tired of the water, the centre also boasts eating areas, sun lounge chairs on a large deck, a playground area and a bathhouse. There are also changing rooms on-site for your convenience.

Manitowoc Family Aquatic Center

Address: 940 N 18th St, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Manitowoc Family Aquatic Center

Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 12pm - 7:30pm; Sun - Thu: 12pm - 6:30pm

Price: 6 USD

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21. Enjoy the stunning views from Manitowoc North Breakwater Lighthouse

Manitowoc's North breakwater lighthouse, opened in 1918, automated in 1971

Posted by Vicki Gust on Friday, 27 July 2018

As with many harbour cities along Lake Michigan, Manitowoc has its stunning lighthouse. This Lighthouse is usually the first thing you see when you enter the town via its harbour. The Manitowoc Breakwater Light is 52 feet (about 15.8 meters) long and was initially built in 1895. Although the Lighthouse is closed, you can take a walk down the path that leads to this venue, hang out by the railings, and watch ships arrive and depart the city’s harbour.

Manitowoc North Breakwater Lighthouse

Address: Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Manitowoc North Breakwater Lighthouse

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22. Take an enlightening tour of the historic USS Cobia

The USS Cobia is a historic World War II submarine perched beside the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. This submarine was launched in 1943 and played an essential role in helping the country defeat the Japanese during the Second World War. However, this fantastic submarine is now part of the Maritime Museum. It has been restored to its original state interiorly, and guided tours are offered to visitors. Walkthrough the vessel and see where the crew lived and survived during the war. USS Cobia is also included on the list of National Historic Landmark.

USS Cobia

Address: Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: USS Cobia

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 8 USD

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23. Indulge in all-round family fun at Citizen Park

Posted by City of Manitowoc on Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Citizen Park is a large recreational park in Manitowoc. This park is one of the best in the city and it has several happy activities to offer, with features like roller skating areas, multiple grill locations, basketball courts, a picnic area, tennis court and many more. The park also boasts lush grasslands and a fantastic water park with slides and refreshing pools. Have a wonderful time swimming in the well-kept pools, engaging in a sports activity or relaxing in the park’s tranquil atmosphere.

Citizen Park

Address: 1840 Rankin St, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Citizen Park

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24. Savor delicious comfort food at Fork & Knife Restaurant

Abundant, affordable and with a friendly ambiance, Fork & Knife restaurant is a classic family eatery in the city. This exquisite dining location is never crowded and serves very well prepared homemade meals to all its guests. The atmosphere around this restaurant is pleasant and relaxing. Fork & Knife restaurant also takes pride in its friendly, helpful and fast service. The Breakfast options are fantastic, and the whipped cream comes free of charge. It is the best place to enjoy some good comfort food in Manitowoc.

Fork & Knife Restaurant

Address: 2209 S 44th St, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Fork & Knife Restaurant

Opening hours: 6am - 9pm (daily)

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25. Shop at Harbor Town Center

Women grocery shopping
Source: Photo by user Bill Branson used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

The number one stop for all your shopping needs in the city is Harbor Town Center. The center features an indoor shopping mall filled with a variety of shops and stores to satisfy all your needs. This mall is home to different types of shops, including men’s, women’s and children’s apparel and shoes. There are also fantastic custom gift shops for unique souvenirs on-site. This buying hub does a lot to cater to your shopping needs; you should endeavour to drop by.

Harbor Town Center

Address: 4140 Harbor Town Ln, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

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26. Taste frozen desserts at Cedar Crest Ice Cream Factory & Parlor

Happy #NationalSpumoniDay Celebrate with a scoop at your local parlor? ?

Posted by Cedar Crest Ice Cream on Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Taste yummy fresh ice cream and delicious frozen desserts at this fantastic place. Cedar Crest Ice Cream Factory is, without a doubt, the best ice cream place in the entire city. It features a giant cow in front, making it easy to locate. Try out some of the delicious flavours from its long list of fantastic ice cream flavours produced within the factory. Savour the delightful taste of sundaes, shakes and malts, and you can even purchase gallons of any product you want.

Cedar Crest Ice Cream Factory & Parlor

Address: 2000 S 10th St, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Cedar Crest Ice Cream Factory & Parlor

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11:30am - 8pm; Fri - Sat: 11:30am - 9pm

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27. Watch your favorite team in action at Tower Tavern

Come watch your favorite sport on our new 82” TV!!!

Posted by Tower Tavern - Manitowoc on Thursday, 21 September 2017

A friendly down-to-earth bar and grill, Tower Tavern is a great place to dine. Other than its excellent food menu and complementing drink options, this tavern also offers features that you don’t get anywhere else; there are large TVs that are centrally placed so that you can enjoy watching your favourite team play as you sip a cold drink or eat some prime rib. The pub-like nature of Tower Tavern makes it a great place to interact easily with the locals.

Tower Tavern

Address: 602 N Water St, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Tower Tavern

Opening hours: Sat: 10am - 2:30am; Sun: 10am - 2am; Mon - Fri: 11am - 2:30am

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28. Have drinks at Time Out Sports Bar & Grill

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Time Out on Friday, February 19, 2021

Looking for where to get the ultimate sports and dining experience in Manitowoc? Time Out Sports & Grill is a spacious sports restaurant that’s just perfect for you. This restaurant offers you an open and relaxed dining space to enjoy great meals or sip refreshing drinks. It also boasts large HDTVs and excellent customer service. The restaurant goes a step further by including a games room where you can shoot darts, play a friendly game of foosball, pool, basketball and more with friends.

Time Out Sports Bar & Grill

Address: 1027 N Rapids Rd, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Time Out Sports Bar & Grill

Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 11am - 10pm; Sun - Tue: 11am - 9pm

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29. Go bowling at Meadow Lanes West LLC

Meadow Lanes West LLC is an exceptional bowling alley. This alley has been in the city for a very long time, offering a unique entertainment location to locals and tourists. The venue is a family-friendly establishment which provides fun for everyone. There is a bar, a pool table and of course, 18 pristine bowling lanes. It’s an excellent place to have fun, especially during the winter months. So if you fancy throwing a ball at tenpins, get yourself down to Meadow Lanes and have a good time.

Meadow Lanes West LLC

Address: 3701 Meadow Ln, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USA

Website: Meadow Lanes West LLC

Opening hours: Sat: 9am - 12am; Sun: 12pm - 12am; Mon: 9am - 12am; Tue: 3pm - 12am; Wed: 9am - 12am; Thu - Fri: 3pm - 12am

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Enjoy an outdoor vacation by the port

Wisconsin’s Maritime Capital, Manitowoc, takes great pride in being home to a variety of exciting activities to do and places to see. From the Wisconsin Maritime Museum to USS Cobia, a submarine docked in the Manitowoc River, Manitowoc Marina, Mariners Trail, the aquatic center and so much more. With all these things to do in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, there is no dull moment in the city.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Colins is a quiet individual who always tries to find the meaning and beauty of things around his environment. This passion has led him to begin his journey in photography and hiking nature...Read more

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