Here's your itinerary for a weekend in Green Bay — that doesn't include a Packers game.
The Frozen Tundra is warming up to a new kind of visitor. Across the street from Lambeau Field, escape the roar of the stadium crowd with the soothing sounds of flute music and chirping birds emanating from the Lodge Kohler spa. The spa is just one addition to the new Titletown District, which opened last fall. Coupled with a new restaurant inside Lambeau Field, new headquarters for Hinterland Brewery (plus an on-trend restaurant and taproom) and a revived downtown, all of the amenities for a fun weekend away are here. The best part is that a trek here during the off-season and not on game day means lower hotel rates, thinner crowds, and more (non-freezing) outdoor activities to pursue.
Check into the 144-room Lodge Kohler and kick back with a drink in the fifth-floor Taverne in the Sky rooftop bar, boasting walls of windows (plus an outdoor terrace with sofas and fire pits) overlooking Lambeau Field. If you’ve had a rough week or simply want to wind down, book a treatment at Kohler Waters Spa. While smaller than its spa sibling in the company town of Kohler, it’s just as posh. After a few hours in the hotel you’ll slowly start to notice the deep-green and bright-yellow hues carefully woven into the hotel’s décor. Then you might take note of the blown-up, black-and-white photos of Packers plays (eye candy for any Packers fan). Milwaukee’s own Scathain was tasked with some of the interior design.
Hinterland Brewery — open in Green Bay since 1995, formerly in an old cheese factory — relocated next door as part of the new Titletown District. The brewery’s space includes a taproom (beers on tap include Door County Cherry Wheat and Packerland Pilsner) and restaurant. On warm days, retractable overhead garage doors open out to a patio. The waitstaff claim Mason Crosby is often found at the bar, and Jordy Nelson, when he played for the Packers, regularly came in with his family. Thanks to two wood-burning fireplaces, the menu features bites like four signature wood-fired pizzas, several shareable small plates (from Korean BBQ Quail to fried cheese curds), and a mix of surf and turf entrees.
Check the schedule of events for Titletown District. Depending on the day and season, activities range from outdoor yoga classes to ice skating on the rink, as well as a farmers market. There’s always a regulation-size football field to snap selfies, plus a Foosball table (with green-and-gold-clad players, of course). Another adventure-themed amenity is the huge sledding hill.
A trip to Green Bay is not complete without a stadium tour of Lambeau Field, and the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, where historic items from former team players are on display, as well as kid-friendly interactive exhibits such as a typical week in the life of a Packers player (including what they eat). Fuel your day with lunch at 1919 Kitchen & Tap, named for the year of the Packers debut, organized by Earl “Curly” Lambeau. Waitstaff don blue-and-white gingham shirts, and the menu features gastropub fare. Many items fold in cheese, like the beer-cheese bisque topped with crème fraiche, and the entrees include elk stroganoff and buttermilk-braised chicken.
Head into downtown Green Bay to check out the neighborhood renaissance. This includes the Life of the River Sculpture Walk, a collection of 11 sculptures along the Fox River. Founded by a group of local artists and tucked into the Cannery on Olde Main (a former vegetable cannery in the Broadway District dating back to 1917, with Cream City brick walls still intact), the ART Garage hosts live music nights as well as rotating art exhibits. Also downtown is the Cannery Public Market, with a market, deli and restaurant serving farm-to-fork lunch and dinner. It opened in 2015.
You’re on vacation, so make sure to enjoy a leisurely start to the day. A great breakfast spot is right inside Lodge Kohler. At the ground-floor Leaps and Bounds Cafe, delicacies include nitro coffee and sugar-dusted beignets. Designed to emulate a British storefront, the café also displays Packers memorabilia, like the late Reggie White’s shoes, in glass cases.