Life's So Good
by ANN Correspondent John Dorcey
Maybe the only reason you have never attended AirVenture is the
family's demand for vacation time. You have the same problem every
year-too many things to do and too little vacation. How about a
compromise, the family gets their vacation and you get to attend
Let's assume that you're a family of four -- Dad, Mom, a 13-year
old daughter, and a 10-year old son. Your spouse likes outdoor
adventures as do the kids and fun is a must. Educational stuff is
OK, but again, it must be fun. Our last detail is that you have
nine days, two weekends, and five workdays, within which to create
the year's great adventure.
If water figures in your vacation dreams, consider canoeing,
tubing, kayaking, or whitewater rafting. You can do all of those
things with a little more than an hour's drive from Oshkosh.
Speaking of water, don't forget the Wisconsin Dells. Located less
than 100 miles southwest of Oshkosh, the "Dells" has more water
parks than anywhere in the country. Scenic boat rides up and down
the Wisconsin River still attract visitors after more than 100
years. Don't forget the roller coasters, go-karts, zoo, museums,
and you must ride the famous World War II 'Ducks' while you are
Another way to enjoy
the water is by ferry. The state operates a ferry across the
Wisconsin River as part of the highway system. The Merrimac ferry
is located on Highway 113, between Merrimac and Lodi, just south of
Wisconsin Dells. Other ferries cross the Mississippi River at
Cassville, the strait at Washington Island, and Lake Superior to
Madeline Island. There are two car ferries that cross Lake
Michigan, one departs from Manitowoc and the other from Milwaukee.
The ride lasts between 3 and 4 hours depending on the ship.
If trains interest someone in the family, you must visit the
National Railroad Museum in Green Bay. Vintage trains operate in
several other locations across the state. While in Green Bay, you
can easily spend a few hours in the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame.
You don't have to be a 'Packer Backer' to enjoy the memorabilia and
Biking and hiking trails are abundant across the state. Bike
rentals are available at most trailheads. You can watch cheese
making, beer brewing and car assembly. You can fish, ski, and visit
botanical gardens. You can look for antiques and visit old time
settlements. The list is endless.
Before you sit the family down for your proposal, visit the
Wisconsin Department of Tourism's web site. The ideas there are
almost endless. You know what your family likes and you will find
something there for everyone. Last minute planning is easy right
from the AirVenture grounds. The state's tourism folks have a
booth, #1127, located Exhibit Building A. In addition, the Oshkosh
Convention and Visitors Bureau is located south of the FAA Control
With planning this may be the adventure of a lifetime. There are
two ways for this to work; you go to AirVenture and the family does
their thing or everyone goes to AirVenture for a few days and
everyone enjoys other great stuff. However you do your vacation,
everyone will enjoy their vacation in Wisconsin.