One of the best parts about staying at the Best Western PREMIER Waterfront Hotel, in addition to the clean rooms, great amenities and exceptional customer service, is it’s location in downtown Oshkosh. Within walking distance, or a short cab ride, guests can find tons of fun things to do. Therefore, we’ve gone ahead and made this list of ten of the best things to do in downtown Oshkosh.
1. Get some chocolates from the famous Oak’s Candy Store
Oak’s Candy Store has been a part of Oshkosh since the late 1800s, and is a necessary stop while you’re visiting downtown Oshkosh. Just a five minute walk from the hotel; this is one of the closest places on our list. Specializing in delicious chocolates, many visitors decide to try one of Oak’s build your own boxes, where you can select from their wide range of gourmet chocolates to try. If you have a love of sweets and chocolate, this is one thing you do not want to miss!
2. See a performance at the historic Grand Opera House
Oshkosh’s Grand Opera House, located just a five-minute walk from the Waterfront Hotel, is a beautiful historic opera house that was built in 1883. Events are held most weekends throughout the year, and you can find a full event schedule by clicking here. The Grand Opera House hosts musicals, plays and concerts ranging across the musical spectrum. If that’s not enough, the opera house is said by many to be haunted. So if you go, make sure to keep a look out for mysterious spirits!
3. Hang out at Opera House Square
This gathering place in the heart of downtown Oshkosh is where you can participate in a number of different fun, family events throughout the year. From the square fare where you can browse through 50 different vendor booths as well as the chalk walk where everyone is invited to make art and chalk up the sidewalks in the square.
4. Get your laugh on at the Backlot Comedy House
The Backlot Comedy House is an intimate comedy club featuring standup comedy shows as well as improv shows. It’s located right on Main Street, just a quarter mile from the hotel. Guests can check out the Backlot Comedy House Improv Comedy Troupe every Friday and Saturday at 9pm. To check out some local stand up talent, check out their Comedy Open Mic, which occurs every Friday at 10:30pm.
5. Take a walk down main street and check out artwork by local artists
This is one for all of the art lovers out there, and something you do not want to miss. The Oshkosh Gallery Walk occurs on the first Saturday of every month from 6pm-9pm. Downtown Oshkosh businesses and galleries open up their doors and feature artwork of all styles from local artists. Simply walk out of the hotel and head north down Main Street. Participating galleries and businesses will typically have signs out and doors will be wide open in the warmer months. For more info and to see what locations will be participating, check out the Oshkosh Gallery Walk website here.
6. Explore America’s oldest full-line independent record store, the Exclusive Company
If you live in Wisconsin, chances are you’ve heard the radio commercials for this Oshkosh institution. Opening their first store way back in 1956, the Exclusive Company is one of the few independent record stores still around. Here you can find anything from new or used CDs, to the latest blu-rays, video games and pop culture accessories. The Oshkosh store is located just five minutes north of the hotel on Main Street.
7. Take a stroll down the Oshkosh River Walk
The Oshkosh River Walk is a scenic walkway in downtown Oshkosh that runs along the historic Fox River. The walkway is paved and easily accessible. Visitors can find good fishing spots as well as numerous stores and restaurants, such as our own Ground Round at River’s Edge. So take a walk and enjoy the scenery, and then stop in for a delicious meal and a cocktail right on the water at Ground Round’s patio. For those interested in a nice run or bicycle ride, the Riverwalk leads you all the way to the popular Wiowash State rail trail. The southern segment of the trail is open for 22 miles from Oshkosh to Hortonville. The southern segment skirts along the edge of Lake Butte des Morts and continues into the countryside through native tall grass prairies, farmlands and wildlife areas. Although more popular in the summer, the River Walk and Wiowash Trail provides breathtaking views of the Fox River and Lake Butte des Morts even in the winter.
8. Rock out at Waterfest
Taking place at the outdoor Leach Amphitheater, just a couple minutes walk from our hotel right on the Fox River. Oshkosh’s Waterfest takes place from June to August. Concerts take place primarily Thursday nights and feature a wide range of musical styles. After the show, take a stroll down the river walk and stop in at Ground Round for a drink or a bite to eat. You can view more about the festival by visiting their website, located here.
9. Go antiquing at Folklore
Folklore is a hidden gem on Oshkosh’s Main Street. This antique and collectibles shop spans multiple floors and buildings, and has enough stuff to keep you browsing for hours. Visitors can find items ranging from beautiful to bizarre and everything in between. Plus, it’s a collaborative store, meaning various artists throughout the Fox Valley area can display and sell their own items. This is a unique stop for anyone looking for something a little different in downtown Oshkosh.
10. Find homemade goodies at Caramel Crisp Cafe
Caramel Crisp Cafe has been proving delicious goodies to downtown Oshkosh since 1933. If you have a sweet tooth, you want to check out this place located in the City Center. From cheesecake, pies, and cookies, to ice cream, popcorn and even a gift shop! There is something for everyone at Caramel Crisp Cafe!
There you have it, 10 excellent places to check out in downtown Oshkosh. What is your favorite thing to do in downtown?