The be-all and end-all of Oshkosh, besides being the home of Oshkosh B'Gosh denim overalls, is the annual Airshow put on by the Experimental Aircraft Association, headquartered here. Known worldwide for this week long event the last week of July, this year 540,000 people attended, and over 10,000 airplanes. One pilot flew his homebuilt small aircraft all the way from his small village of Kadima, Israel to Oshkosh more than 5,000 miles solo, taking nine flying days in the 47 hour flight. There were media interviews at every stop. He flew across the Atlantic Ocean from Scotland to Iceland to Greenland to Goose Bay, Labrador. I flew in a Beech Bonanza here in a day and a half from California.
But the airshow is not just about experimental homebuilt airplanes. This year our military showcased the latest aircraft, a dazzling vectored thrust flight demonstration of the F-22 Raptor and the US Marines's V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft was open for tours. Major aircraft manufacturers take the opportunity to introduce new aircraft at Oshkosh: Cirrus Design flew their new VISION SJ50 six-seven place jet aircraft here. It's successful maiden flight was just on 3 July of this year. Open from 6:30 am to 10 pm every day, there is so much going on simultaneously you cannot see it all, Every afternoon there is a dazzling airshow from 3:30 to near 6 pm. A photographer's event, for memories I took 2,000 photos.
The superb EAA Aviation Museum houses an amazing collection of over 250 restored aircraft and many interpretive displays. Some of the large, historic warbird aircraft are displayed outdoors. There is a library for scholarly study and a theater for film showings. A museum store is filled with clothing, aviation books, aviation toys for children and Museum guides. Docents are available giving guided tours. Many historical and one of a kind aircraft or replica aircraft are on display. A large aircraft historic engine collection is also not to be missed. During the annual EAA AirVenture Airshow, the Museum is open to all attendees without further cost, and you are bussed to and from the museum near the airport with continuous shuttles during EAA AirVenture. The collection is so vast you can spend the better part of a day or more taking it all in. And, PHOTOGRAPHY IS PERMITTED!
The Museum is otherwise open year around-more information is on their website. Many educational school child tours are given each year when school is in session. Other groups can arrange for guided tours. The Museum is multi-level with a large hangar attached. Across the grass field behind the Museum is the EAA's Pioneer Airport, with seven different style historic hangars replicating a typical 1920's airfield.
Museum warbirds on display include a North American B-25H Mitchell Bomber, a Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX, a Lockheed P-38 Lightning, a Chance Vought F4U Corsair, a North American F-51D Mustang, XP-51 Mustang, F-86H Sabre, T-6G Texan and F86 Mk. V/VI. A replica Wright 1903 Flyer and a replica Ryan NYP Spirit of St. Louis aircraft, a Ford Tri-motor and SpaceShipOne are just a smattering of treats awaiting the visitor. British and Canadian aircraft are also well represented, including an all-wood DeHavilland DH 98 Mosquito bomber from WWII, and more modern MIG jets from the Cold war era.
The World's smallest flyable aircraft-the Stits DS-1 Baby Bird will captivate children as well as adults. Do not miss this incredible Museum-it is a World draw.
Oaks Candies is a local favorite that has been here for generations. I've been here many times since the 1960s, and it hasn't changed much. Great chocolate and an old time atmosphere. Try the oysters, which are chocolates rolled in crushed nuts.
The Paine is a historic mansion with beautiful gardens, located near downtown Oshkosh. The building houses a museum with art works displayed in wood paneled rooms. The gardens have varied designs and thousands of different types of plants and flowers.
The Family Discovery Gallery has “hands on” activities about architecture, art, and gardens for children and other curious types.
One of my favorite things to do in Oshkosh is drive out to Menominee Park, park near the playground and go for a nice walk in the park. Not many cities the size of Oshkosh have parks as large as Menominee with so much lake/inlet front paths. We like to start out near the beach area and walk along the lake towards the kiddie train path, then turn right after we cross the bridge and get to the gazeebo. From there we walk past the baseball diamonds and along the water again for a while until we decide to turn around. All told, we probably walk at least 3 miles round trip and are out for about an hour. I love to watch the geese and ducks in the water and also it is relaxing to sit on one of the benches and take in the scenery of Lake Winnebago and the little protected inlet around the park. It has been a while, but the zoo in the park is also worth checking out.