Oshkosh, on the shore of Lake Winnebago in the east-central part of Wisconsin, is a shopper's dream, with more than 50 factory-outlet stores, including the factory store where Oshkosh B'Gosh clothing is sold. When you're done shopping, visit the Paine Art Center, an English neo-Tudor manor with botanical gardens and an arboretum, and the Grand Opera House, a restored structure that was once the center of social and cultural life in Oshkosh. In late July, thousands of aircraft converge on Oshkosh for the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Fly-In and Convention, one of the biggest and best airshows in the country. If you can't make it to the July confab, you can still visit the EAA Air Adventure Museum, which is open daily year-round.
If you follow the shore of Lake Winnebago north from Oshkosh, you'll end up in Appleton, home of the Harry Houdini Historical Center, which covers the life and exploits of the famed escape artist, an Appleton native. Outdoor attractions include the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve (a huge expanse—780 acres/315 hectares—of cedar swamp); the Memorial Park Arboretum and Gardens; and the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers baseball team (a Class A farm team for the Seattle Mariners). Oshkosh is 80 mi/130 km northwest of Milwaukee.
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