Green Bay has a rich history that fills locals with pride and gives the city its undeniable charm. In this post, we’re sharing twelve places we think you should visit if you want to travel back to simpler times and get a sense of what makes Green Bay so special.



Museums are the best place to go if you want to re-live history. There are several incredible museums in the Green Bay area, but we recommend starting with these:


Hazelwood Historic House Museum - Located in the Astor Historic District, Hazelwood is a ten-room Greek Revival home full of furnishings, photographs, and artifacts from the Victorian period. Built in 1837, the home originally belonged to the Morgan and Elizabeth Martin family who were a political and cultural force in the area for almost one hundred years.

Neville Public Museum - The Neville is a fantastic place to visit if you’re into history. They have new exhibits all the time, but their permanent “Generations Gallery” is where you can find relics and stories from Green Bay’s past. For over a century, they have collected and preserved history; from fossils to footballs and everything in between. It’s definitely worth checking out!

Generations Gallery at the Neville Public Museum

Oneida Nation Museum - You can’t talk about the history of the area without talking about Oneida and Iroquois culture, history, and nationhood. At the Oneida Nation Museum, you can see exhibits about the Oneida Creation Story, Oneida Lace Makers from the early 1900s, and the Oneida Code Talkers who used their language to protect troops in WWII.



Historic Venues

Want to check out some of the oldest buildings in Green Bay? We think these three historic venues are the perfect ones to start with:


Bay Beach Amusement Park - Bay Beach is a popular place to meet up with friends and go on rides in the summer, but it’s also a major historic landmark. The land that Bay Beach sits on was purchased in the 1890s and the first rollercoaster opened in 1901. Fun fact: President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke behind the Pavilion in 1934 for the tercentennial celebration of Jean Nicolet’s landing in Green Bay!

Original Bay Beach

Riverside Ballroom - The Riverside Ballroom has been an entertainment fixture on the east side of Green Bay since 1935. Over the years, they’ve hosted many popular acts like Lawrence Welk, Jimmy Dorsey, and Glenn Miller. Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper played there on Feb. 1, 1959, just two days before dying in a tragic plane crash. You can see a memorial monument featuring the three entertainers on the property.

The Tarlton Theatre - This historic performing arts venue is a staple of the downtown district. Originally built as an automobile dealership in 1925, it was converted into the West Theater in 1941. In 2018, it was lovingly restored and reopened as The Tarlton Theatre, an Art Deco cinema and performing arts venue. Today, it’s home to the Green Bay Film Festival, as well as regular live performances, movie showings, drag shows, and so much more!



Museums and venues aren’t the only places to get a history lesson – there are some great outdoor destinations we recommend checking out while you’re here, too!


Voyageur Park - Voyageur Park is where early explorers, missionaries, and traders would cross the Fox River. There are a few historical markers on site that will tell you more about the historic significance of the area. During your visit, be sure to check out the Polo-Resto Service Station! This building is part of a service station and sandwich shop that was built in 1925.

Wequiock Falls - This small but impressive waterfall is located just north of Green Bay on Highway 57. Here, you can get an up close and personal view of the Niagara Escarpment, an ancient geological formation that stretches over 1,000 miles from Wisconsin, up into Ontario, and back down into New York. The escarpment is over 400 million years old, which easily makes it the oldest #TBT entry on our list!

Heritage Hill State Park - Heritage Hill is a living history museum located on 54 acres of Wisconsin DNR land. The park features 26 original and reconstructed buildings dating back to the 1600s. The buildings represent significant historical and cultural developments relevant to Northeastern Wisconsin, giving visitors a unique window into the past. 

Heritage Hill Ariel


Food & Drink

If you need to refuel during your #ThrowbackThursday city tour, we encourage you to try one of these historic establishments. There’s a reason they have stood the test of time!


Union Hotel & Restaurant - The Union Hotel in De Pere got its start in the 1860s when it was a small inn known as the Union House. So many stories can be told about the past 160+ years, including the one about the extremely potent “home brew” the owners’ Great Aunt Ceil distilled in the closet during prohibition. Stop in for a meal and an Old Fashioned and admire the many relics of history still on display in this historic hotel and restaurant.

Union hotel with current owner

Al’s Hamburgers - Although it doesn’t date quite as far back as The Union Hotel, Al’s Hamburgers is still considered one of Green Bay’s most iconic eateries. Originally opened in 1934, Al's has been *the* classic burger and milkshake stop for the past 90 years. Today, the diner serves up an eclectic mix of classic and creative burgers, fries, chili, and cheese curds.

Suster’s Arcade - 20 miles southeast of Green Bay in the town of Denmark, you will find a tavern called Suster’s Arcade. Despite the name, this is not a place to play pinball – it’s a place to enjoy the best broasted chicken in Wisconsin! So why the name? During prohibition, poker and pool tables were added so it could stay open as an arcade. The rest, as they say, is history!

We hope you enjoy your historic tour of Green Bay! If you don’t have the most recent copy of our Destination Guide, you can request one or view a digital version here.