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With its own kind of a small city feel, Sheboygan is one of the special treasures of Wisconsin. Located on the Lake Michigan shore, about midway between Green Bay and Milwaukee, this city of about 50,000 people is set in the farming heartland along the shore, with opportunities for boating, hiking, and birding, as well as more cosmopolitan pursuits like art galleries, boutiques, cocktail bars, and (this being Wisconsin) breweries, alike.

If you enjoy festivals, street fairs, and parks, Sheboygan has plenty on tap throughout the year. Hardly a weekend goes by in the summer without a special festival or music venue: from the famous Bratwurst Days and street art fairs, to the farmers’ market and the concerts offered at City Green, there’s plenty to keep you occupied.

On the more natural side of things, the Ellwood H. May Environmental Park, which encompasses 135 acres, includes stretches of the Pigeon River, ponds, forestland and park areas. A butterfly and hummingbird garden is a popular part of the park, as is the new Ecology Center. For campers, the 30-acre Broughton Marsh Park includes 64 campsites, but the park is surrounded by thousands of acres of natural woodland for day hikes. Or, if you’re looking for a bit less wild of an outdoor experience, take the kiddos to the Bookworm Gardens, a botanical garden with a motif theme of children's books.

The Sheboygan Railway Museum is certainly a must-see for anyone interested in the history of railroads. Kids will also love the Above & Beyond Children's Museum, where they (and parents, too) can explore and discover natural history and science. If you enjoy hands-on arts and crafts, be sure to stop by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, were you can not only attend a lecture program or also take classes, but you can also stroll through some pretty spectacular works of art you may not have expected in the heart of America’s Dairyland.

With a wide variety of restaurants—from fine dining to down-home Midwestern American, as well as a range of international choices—there is no lack of places to grab a bite in Sheboygan. Be sure to grab a brat (dietary restrictions permitting, of course)—and if you can, make it a double! Sheboygan is the “Brat Capital of the World,” so you’ll do well to take a bite of local flavor.

Whether you’re looking to ride the waves (the surfing is stellar!), play a round of golf or two, grab a couple of local brews, or stroll around the charming downtown area, Sheboygan is its own special slice of Americana. It’s a great place for families, cheese lovers, and history buffs alike, and represents a facet of the Midwest that you can’t really find anywhere else.

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Amanda Salazar

Executive Director of Sheboygan Squared, Founder of Sheboygan SOUP • Local Culture

Amanda Salazar is the Executive Director of Sheboygan Squared, the entity that oversees the development and promotion of Sheboygan’s Downtown, Riverfront, Lakefront and South Pier districts. When she isn’t busy marketing the area, she’s taking every opportunity to experience it. From live music to sailing lessons to walks along the lake with her family and dog Benson, Amanda has to try it all. Amanda is the founder of Sheboygan SOUP, a community crowdfunding dinner; she has seats on local nonprofit boards; she is active with her son’s elementary school; she is very close to her family members, many residing in Sheboygan; and she can’t pass up a good band. Amanda believes a sense of community is most important where she lives, works and plays, and for her, that place is Sheboygan.

Kate Krause

Owner of Paradigm Coffee & Music • Community Building

Kate Krause is the owner of Paradigm Coffee & Music, a music venue that serves cafe fare and hosts a variety of civic engagement events as well as music from far and wide. Kate believes in using her resources to incubate projects that align with her values. Paradigm is also the home of ReBike, a bicycle recycling program, and Chicory Root Tattoo Studio. Kate is also a co-founder of Goodside Grocery Co-op of Sheboygan and holds the Vice President position on the board. Kate is actively involved in the LGBTQ community and started Queer Potluck, a community-building effort hosted at Paradigm quarterly. You’ll often find Kate walking her dog, Rupert.