The world was recently introduced to the beauty of Sheboygan County during the 2021 Ryder Cup held at Whistling Straits Golf Course. From the breathtaking views of Lake Michigan, world-class golf and hospitality, to the culture and warmth of its residents, Sheboygan County is truly a champion for Wisconsin.
We are exploring what makes Sheboygan County such a magical place, not only to visit but to live. You can find charm in your own way through many different things to do while enjoying Sheboygan County, so let’s dive into what makes it so unique.
Sheboygan, proudly known as the ‘Malibu of the Midwest,’ is right along the shores of Lake Michigan. This city is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise with upscale freshwater surfing, beautiful beaches, and some of the best fishing across the state. While you may already know that Sheboygan is a hot spot for surfing, did you know that its top months for waves actually fall between the winter months when cooler air helps create the larger waves?
Another major part of Sheboygan’s culture is the art and museums throughout the city. A few hot-spot art and culture stops to check out are Sheboygan County Historical Museum, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Wade House, and the Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin. Find more Sheboygan art and culture locations here.
And did we mention the food? Restaurants are the fabric of every community, and Sheboygan is no exception. Sheboygan offers world-class dining at restaurants like Trattoria Stefano and Lino’s, unique stops such as Paradigm or Bo Mallie's, and long-time favorites like Ella's Delicatessen, Schultz's, and Majerle's Black River Grill. There is a taste for everyone in Sheboygan. So take a trip down 8th Street in Sheboygan, and you’ll be able to explore the many options for your taste buds!
If you’re keen on getting immersed in the history of a community, Sheboygan Falls is the small-town visit you need to make! The downtown district has a solid historic area with over 40 buildings restored to their original 1800 magnificence. You can explore this district by heading downtown and shopping local at the one-of-a-kind variety store, Evan's, or pick up a tasty snack at Broadway Popcorn. Sheboygan Falls is also home to unique, one-of-a-kind dining stops like Bread & Bean, Legend Larry’s, and Firehouse Pizza.
If you’re a fan of vintage and classic cars, you won’t want to miss the Ducktona 500 Family Festival right at the River Park in Sheboygan Falls each year. Don’t forget to purchase your ‘duck’ to join the fun for the annual duck race down the Sheboygan River!
Located in the heart of the county along the beautiful rolling hills of the Kettle Moraine, Plymouth is a picturesque city with a small-town charm and vibrant energy.
Have you ever wondered where the Cheese Capital of the World is? If you guessed Plymouth, then you guessed correctly! The second-largest community in Sheboygan County and home to the County Fair in Plymouth. They estimate to have processed and sold 10-15% of the nation's cheese from locally based facilities, like Sargento and Sartori.
Although Plymouth has a strong tie to cheese, it is also home to a historic downtown filled with 25 murals that help tell the history of Plymouth’s small-town charm. You can take a tour for yourself and experience it with the help of the chamber’s Mural Tour Map! Downtown Plymouth is also home to the Mill Street Festival, a family-friendly event that takes over the entire downtown area each year on the second Saturday in July. Finally, if you cross the Mullet River from downtown, you can eat at PJ Campbells at the Depot at one of Plymouth’s favorite restaurants.
Plymouth is also the county’s gateway for trail systems like the Old Plank Road Trailhead and motorsports. Plymouth Dirt Track is alive on Saturday evenings throughout the summer, while an experience of a lifetime awaits as you make your way towards Road America near Elkhart Lake!
Right between Plymouth and Elkhart Lake is Road America: the 2021 Best NASCAR Track in America voted on by USA Today readers. Road America attracts over 800,000 visitors each year from all over the world to Sheboygan County to not only see these races but to experience the beautiful scenery, eclectic dining, and top-tier recreation!
Elkhart Lake is exactly as it sounds…right along the shores of the crystal clear Elkhart Lake making for picture-perfect views and summer fun along the shores. So whether you want to get out and explore the waters with a fishing guide or rent a pontoon to spend your day at bay…you can do it all in Elkhart Lake. Not to mention, they have quality farm-to-table dining experiences making this truly a home away from home to everyone who visits.
Elkhart Lake is a gem nestled away in the Northwest corner of Sheboygan County. This community, which is a short 25-minute drive from Sheboygan, makes you feel as if you drove all the way to the Northwoods of Wisconsin. From lake adventures to shopping and restaurants, this community is a treasure.
Kohler, a small village in Sheboygan County, is home to one of the nation’s most well-known companies, the Kohler Company! But that isn’t all that Kohler has to offer to the diversity of Sheboygan County. There are two world-class golf courses, Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run, along with a AAA Five Diamond recipient hotel and a Forbe's five-star spa.
The American Club, which is listed on the National Register of Historical places, was home to immigrant workers of the Kohler Co. before being transformed into the resort it is today. Kohler also boasts the Midwest's only 5-star spa, Kohler Waters Spa.
Kohler is also known for its wide array of fine dining with culinary experiences of a lifetime! Some local hot spots for a delicious bite to eat are The Immigrant Restaurant, River Wildlife, Taverne on Woodlake, and The Horse and Plow.
The ability to travel only minutes throughout the county and enjoy five-star cuisine and hospitality is a luxury that many communities cannot experience. The Village of Kohler is the definition of a quaint gem.
Random Lake, the gateway to Sheboygan County, is on part of the south-central portion of the county and is just 45 minutes north of Milwaukee. Tucked in the center of the small village is a 209 acre lake, the 2nd largest lake in Sheboygan County.
In the summer season, Random Lake is buzzing with all of the boating, fishing, and summer fun enthusiasts. Whether you want to hit the lake to get out on the boat and relax in the sun or you’re on the search for a trophy-sized musky, Random Lake is the place to be! No boat? No worries! You can enjoy the summer season lakeside at Random Lake Beach.
Random Lake is also home to some delicious small-town foodie spots. Five Pillars Supper Club is definitely a spot that you’ll want to check out while you’re in town to get a true Wisconsin supper club experience. Other foodie spots to check out are: Diego’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, Random Lake Pizzeria and Eagles Nest Pub & Grill.
In Random Lake, there are a large amount of local businesses but did you know that Wisconsin’s own Jolly Good Soda is from the small village of Random Lake? Random Lake is a wonderful place to visit and live.
Named after a town in the Netherlands, Oostburg is another quaint town inside Sheboygan County. Only miles from Kohler-Andrae State Park, Oostburg is a great place to head outdoors all year long. If you’re wanting to hit the trails by bike, a great trail that has a trailhead in Oostburg is the Interurban Trail, a 40-mile paved path that connects Milwaukee to Sheboygan.
A must-try restaurant is Judi’s Place, the hub of Oostburg! If you’re a fan of all-day breakfast, this is the place. Judi’s Place also serves up a delicious fish fry, lunch dishes, and even features special curated pancake of the month specials! Another staple to the Oostburg community is the Oostburg Bakery which has been family-owned and operated since 1929. And if you’re in the mood for some tasty ice cream or coffee, you’ll have to swing by Kups Coffee and Ice Cream!
One event you’ll definitely want to check out in the odd-numbered years is AugustFest. This free family-friendly event has top-notch live music, delicious food and drink trucks, and a children’s area for the kiddos! It won’t be in town this year but keep your eyes peeled for the fun event in 2023!
Sheboygan County is truly home to some of the most picturesque views, finest entertainment experiences, tastiest one-of-a-kind restaurants, and so much more! When you enjoy Sheboygan County, you can find almost anything and everything to do. So, what are you most looking forward to doing while in Sheboygan County? Let us know in the comments below!
And join us throughout the year as we introduce topics on what makes Sheboygan County one of Wisconsin’s and the Midwest’s best counties to visit and call home!
Kortnee Hass: Social Media Coordinator for Discover Mediaworks. A Wisconsin ‘now & forever’ transplant with a soft spot for squeaky cheese curds, craft breweries, and all things Wisconsin tourism.
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