FDL Guide 2020

THE MALL DISTRICT Fond du Lac is rich with one-of-a-kinds and more familiar options for diners and shoppers alike; if you’re in the mood for an “only in Fond du Lac” excursion or you simply need to get your Target and Starbucks fix, this is your District. GENERAL LOCATION: Entering our community from the major north, south, and western arteries, stretching east to the massive white bridge that spans the Fond du Lac River. WHAT YOU’LL FIND: Schreiner’s Restaurant, Bakery & Bernie’s Pub (THE quintessential Wisconsin restaurant); stop into Fanna’s Market & Eatery for unique and exclusive handmade creations and their signature dish Dutch Poffertjes; your favorite dining and shopping chains; Open Road Harley-Davidson; authentic ethnic eateries; and Odyssey Fond du Lac 8 Movie Theatre. WHAT YOU CAN DO: Take the entire soccer team out for a great, fun, inexpensive meal. Sip on a hand-muddled Old Fashioned. Purchase a whole new wardrobe. Climb onto a hog and take it for a test ride.


The “Foot of the Lake” is an expansive area at the southernmost point of one of the largest inland lakes in the U.S., the mighty Lake Winnebago. GENERAL LOCATION: Lakeside Park West across the Fond du Lac River, through Lakeside Park, heading east over to Roosevelt Park, and continuing north along Lake Winnebago’s east coast to Columbia Park. WHAT YOU’LL FIND: The Children’s Museum; acres of beautiful parks; “Pete’s Beach,” the local’s favorite swimming spot and a place to drop anchor and float in the sun; the Marina; the Lakeside Park canals; the lighthouse; restaurants and taverns; Jim & Linda’s Lakeview Supper Club; Wind Power Surf Shop. WHAT YOU CAN DO: Ride a historic merry-go-round. Launch your boat. Windsurf and ice kite. Take in a national softball tournament. See the joy on your children’s faces as they experience the region’s awesome Children’s Museum. Conclude a day of ice kiting or SUPing on Lake Winnebago with a tasty Bloody Mary at Sunset on the Water Grill & Bar. Stroll Art on the Island.

Photo courtesy of John Sibilski.



A resurging region within the community where historic meets contemporary and green space sidles up to urban hip in a vibrant mashup of fun. GENERAL LOCATION: Main Street through the heart and soul of the community. WHAT YOU’LL FIND: The Roaring Twenties-era Hotel Retlaw, meticulously and elegantly restored to its original splendor; the stunning Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts, or THELMA as the locals call it; boutiques; jewelers; taverns and eateries; Hamilton Park; and the Lake Winnebago Region Visitor Center. WHAT YOU CAN DO: Stroll the many art galleries. Check out Wisconsin’s State Snow Sculpting Championship, curling, live concerts, and pub specials during February’s Sturgeon Spectacular Winter Festival. Take in a live act by a nationally touring group or stunning visual art at THELMA. Find all of your Christmas gifts. Fine dine at Theo’s 24. Take in a romantic weekend of affordably elegant pampering, including a day in the spa at Hotel Retlaw. Drop by one of the locals’ favorite pizza joints—Joe’s Fox Hut—and enjoy a draught Schlitz Beer while you shoot a round of pool.

A youthful and active vibe emanates from the three institutions of higher education and their nearly contiguous campuses. GENERAL LOCATION: Entering from the rolling interior of eastern Wisconsin through the Niagara Escarpment, heading west towards the exciting Downtown District. WHAT YOU’LL FIND: University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Fond du Lac Campus; Moraine Park Technical College; Marian University; the public and private high schools; popular restaurants, including local favorite BackYard Grill & Bar; two state-of-the-art theaters, the Prairie Theater and the Performing Arts Center; one of Wisconsin’s most respected soccer complexes; Ledgeview Lanes Bowling Center; and the recently upgraded Herr-Baker baseball stadium, home field of the Northwood’s League 2018 championship team—The Dock Spiders. WHAT YOU CAN DO: Compete against 88 other soccer teams in one weekend. Donate blood on the rugby pitch. Stroll through the Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum. Knock down a 7-10 split. Learn. Attend a Dock Spiders baseball game.

Marian University.

THE FAIRGROUNDS DISTRICT America’s heartland is defined by the County Fair, and few places in the U.S. rival the authentic charm and fun of the Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds. GENERAL LOCATION: Sprawling out over dozens of acres of the southeast quadrant of our town. WHAT YOU’LL FIND: Blue Line Family Ice Center, featuring three sheets of ice under one roof; 32,000 square feet of modern Expo Center convention space; Fairgrounds Aquatic Center/ Waterpark; and the County Fairgrounds. WHAT YOU CAN DO: Attend an exciting Bears Hockey game. Let the kids entertain themselves in the waterpark. Be amazed at the skill and precision of the Foot of the Lake Synchronized Skating competition. Roller skate at the Spectrum Roller Rink. Attend the best County Fair this side of the Mississippi, featuring a one-of-a-kind livestock birthing center, rodeo, and awesome live music.

Galloway House & Village. Photo courtesy of John Nienhuis.

THE HISTORIC VILLAGE DISTRICT This one-of-a-kind historic village is comprised of relocated turn-of-the-century buildings encircling the stately Galloway Mansion, each structure an artifact and a museum in and of itself. GENERAL LOCATION: At the southeast curve of Pioneer Road, moments away from the sprawling and bucolic Buttermilk Creek Park. WHAT YOU’LL FIND: A family farmhouse that evolved into the Galloway Mansion, tools and treasures from Native American civilizations through the World War II era, nearly 30 historic buildings showcasing the trades of yesteryear, Buttermilk Creek Park and Amphitheater, and the Greenway Arboretum. WHAT YOU CAN DO: Enjoy Wisconsin’s favorite Ice Cream Social. Walk through the village and hear its stories. Take selfies or touch the past at special spots on a trip back in time. Get married in a historical church and ring the bells. Step aboard a rare caboose or early Studebaker. Learn about the CCC. Take in a concert under the stars in Buttermilk Creek Park. Hike on a trail abutting the Fond du Lac River.

Fond du Lac County Fair.

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