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The little town with the big teamThe little town with the big team

Green Bay, WisconsinGreen Bay, Wisconsin

The Dallas Cowboys are often referred to as “America’s Team,” but America’s winningest professional football team is the Green Bay Packers, with 13 league championships (the most in NFL history), nine pre-Super Bowl NFL titles, and four Super Bowl victories, earning the city of Green Bay the nickname “Titletown.” You’ve probably seen the “Cheeseheads” in the stands, as fans fill the seats of Lambeau Field for every game, no matter how cold or windy the weather. You’ll soon realize the Packers are part of Green Bay’s DNA. Nevertheless, the city offers more to the traveler than just football. You can play golf, try your luck at the casino, visit the museums, or take a river cruise. Just point your airplane to Austin Straubel International Airport to start your Titletown adventure.

  • A pair of bulldogs in full “Cheesehead” costume join their owner outside Lambeau Field. The Green Bay Packers are the only community-owned franchise in American professional sports. The team’s non-profit structure and broad-based community support have allowed the Packers to remain in Green Bay since the team’s founding in 1919, even though Green Bay is the smallest market in all North American professional sports. Photo by Phil Roeder via Flickr.
  • Lambeau Field from the air. Although the legendary stadium’s seating capacity has more than doubled since it first opened, demand for tickets remains high. The Packers have sold out every home game since 1960, which has had the effect of ensuring that all Packers home games are televised in Green Bay and Milwaukee. Photo by MGoBlog via Flickr.
  • Unlike most other NFL and MLB stadiums, which have sold “naming rights” to corporations, Lambeau Field is still named after Earl “Curly” Lambeau, the meat-packing worker who asked his boss for money to start a football team, back in 1919. Photo by Ken Lund.
  • Jordy Nelson just caught a pass from Aaron Rogers and isn’t about to let it go! Photo by Elvis Kennedy via Flickr.
  • The five-story, 376,000-square-foot Lambeau Field Atrium sits on the east side of the stadium. Inside you’ll find the two-story, 15,000-square-foot Packers Hall of Fame, Packers Pro Shop, 1919 Kitchen & Tap restaurant and bar, and free Wi-Fi throughout the building. You can also take a stadium tour. Photo by Larry Darling.
  • Thornberry Creek is the official golf course of the Green Bay Packers, as the markings on this green attest. Photo courtesy Thornberry Creek Country Club.
  • Thornberry Creek offers 27 holes of championship golf on two courses, the challenging Legends Championship Course with 18 holes and the Original Iroquois 9-Hole Course. Leinie's Lodge on the Legends Course offers grilled brats and burgers. Photo courtesy Thornberry Creek Country Club.
  • The “Big Boy” locomotives (25 in all) were built around the time of World War II. They were specially designed to power trains up the steep grade heading east from Ogden through the Wasatch Mountains. Each locomotive could carry 28 short tons of coal and reach a maximum speed of 80 mph. The last one ran in 1959; 17 were scrapped, 7 are on display including this one, and another is undergoing restoration in Wyoming. Photo by Hans Wobbe.
  • The River Tyme cruises on the Fox River, just south of Green Bay. Photo courtesy Fox River Tours.
  • Mike Josephson, Lead Interpreter at Heritage Hill State Historical Park, shows C-SPAN videographer Adrienne Hoar a beaver pelt. The pelt would have been significant during Green Bay's fur trading past. Photo courtesy C-SPAN.
  • Beef Bourguignon at Café Chanson, inside the Chateau De Pere. Photo courtesy Chateau De Pere.
  • One of the best-looking burgers we’ve seen, the Royale with Cheese, from Café Chanson. Photo courtesy Chateau De Pere.
  • Exterior of the Northwoods-styled Tundra Lodge & Waterpark, courtesy Tundra Lodge & Waterpark.
  • At the Tundra Lodge Waterpark, you can climb three stories to the top of Moosejaw Mountain, rocket down the Alaskan Pipeline, swoosh along 500 feet of swirling rapids on the Polar Plunge water slides, or chill out on the Elk Island lazy river. Photo courtesy Tundra Lodge & Waterpark.
  • If you need a break from the waterpark, slide over to the Gold Rush Arcade, where you’ll find more than 70 arcade games. Photo courtesy Tundra Lodge & Waterpark.

The Packers were formed after Earl “Curly” Lambeau solicited funds from his employer, Frank Peck, who owned the Indian Packing Co. Peck gave Lambeau $500 for uniforms and equipment, on the condition that the team be named after the company. The Packers are the only community-owned franchise in American professional sports, held by several hundred thousand stockholders. The Packers play at Lambeau Field, named for the team’s founder, not a corporate sponsor, and have some of the most loyal fans in all professional sports. The NFL’s top prize is the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named for the former Packers coach who guided the team to its first two Super Bowl victories. Green Bay Packers tickets, game schedule, packages, and more are available through EventUSA

Year-round, the Lambeau Field Atrium is a magnet for Packers fans. Take a stadium tour, visit the Packers Pro Shop, Hall of Fame, or enjoy a good meal along with a choice of 40 beers on tap at 1919 Kitchen and Tap. In the summer you can attend many of the team’s practice sessions for free.

Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre throws a shovel pass to tight end Donald Lee for an 11-yard gain in the second quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC divisional playoff game on January 12, 2008, at Lambeau Field. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

Within walking distance of the airport you’ll find the Oneida Casino, owned and operated by the Oneida Tribe of Indians. Craps, roulette, poker, blackjack, off-track betting, and slot and video games are all offered. Check out the memorabilia at Vince Lombardi’s Legendary Sports Bar and Grill, or dine at any of the other nine venues at the casino. For a different kind of game, the Thornberry Creek Country Club offers some of the area’s best golf, with a 27-hole layout that challenges golfers of all handicaps.

Founded in 1956, the National Railroad Museum boasts an exceptional collection that includes many historic locomotives, including Union Pacific Big Boy No. 4017, the world's largest steam locomotive, which weighs 1.1 million pounds and measures almost half a football field in length. A museum building houses a wide variety of railroad artifacts. From May through October you can take a 25-minute narrated train ride around the perimeter of the grounds. Special events include a Festival of Trees, Great Pumpkin Train, Holidays on the Rails, Polar Express, Rails and Ales Brewfest, Great Bunny Train, and more.

A master king suite at Chateau De Pere. King suites feature a single whirlpool bath with shower. All guests enjoy a complimentary breakfast. Photo courtesy Chateau de Pere.

From April through October, hop a cruise on River Tyme, docked on the Fox River in beautiful De Pere, just south of Green Bay. Public cruises last 90 minutes. Theme cruises include Margarita Mondays, Families on the Fox, Lock and Industry cruises, and more. Open Memorial Day through Dec. 31, weather permitting, the Heritage Hill State Historical Park is a 54-acre living history park with "24 historical and reproduction buildings representing the early history of Northeastern Wisconsin from 1672 to 1940."

Just five miles from the airport, the Chateau De Pere en-suite hotel is constructed on the foundation of a 19th-century mill; its Café Chanson provides excellent dining. Kids love the Tundra Lodge Resort Waterpark and Conference Center, a 30,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor aquatic playground and arcade, along with a Northwoods-styled hotel and four dining options, all just four blocks from Lambeau field.

Enjoy thick steaks at the Brett Favre Hall of Fame Chophouse, where Favre and other players often dine after home games. You’ll find the railroad-themed Titletown Brewing Co., appropriately housed in the historic 1898 Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Depot. This is the place for the best cheese curds and beer around, classic Sno Cap root beer, and elk or bison burgers. The staff toots the train whistle when a train goes by, which just adds to the fun atmosphere. So, don’t hesitate—visit Green Bay soon; just be sure to leave your Chicago Bears cap at home!

Founded in 1956, the National Railroad Museum boasts an exceptional collection that includes many historic locomotives. Shown here are Union Pacific Big Boy No. 4017 (the “Big Boys” are the world’s largest steam locomotives), PRR/Amtrak 4890, and U.S. Army 2-8-0 No. 101, used in Korea. The PRR's GG1 class of electric locomotive is one of the most iconic (steam, diesel, or electric) of all time. Sporting a beautiful streamlined design, the GG1s reached speeds of over 100 mph and ran for nearly 50 years after they first entered service during the mid-1930s. Photo courtesy National Railroad Museum.

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Crista Worthy

Crista Videriksen Worthy

Crista Videriksen Worthy has been flying around the United States with her pilot-husband Fred and their children since 1995, and writing about fun places to fly since 2006. She has single-engine land and sea ratings. Her favorite places to explore are the backcountry strips of Idaho and Utah's red rock country. She currently lives in Idaho and serves as editor of The Flyline, the monthly publication of the Idaho Aviation Association. To suggest future destination articles, send an email to [email protected]
Topics: US Travel

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