Green Bay's McAuliffe Park
neighborhood lies southeast of downtown
and the bay of Green Bay. Just off I-43, residents have quick access to Lambeau Field, downtown nightlife and the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. Even though the bright lights of the city shine just 10 minutes to the west, however, this neck of the woods has a leafy, wild personality with the large lots and quiet roads of a third-ring suburb. The rural countryside begins to unfold just south of the neighborhood.
McAuliffe Park is named for Christa McAuliffe, the astronaut and elementary school teacher who died in the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster. A park and school in the neighborhood honor the nation's first teacher astronaut, but McAuliffe had no special connection with Green Bay. The name does pin the neighborhood to a time in history, however, and the architecture of the school and homes
in the area showcase late 1980s and early 1990s suburban design.
Restaurants & Nightlife
The boundaries of McAuliffe Park encircle a strictly residential community, but commerce lies on the perimeter, especially along East Mason Street, which forms the southern edge of the neighborhood. Here, a number of local eateries showcase Green Bay nightlife (also known as backing the Pack) and regional delicacies (also known as just about anything featuring savory Wisconsin cheese).
Mackinaws Grille & Spirits expands on these local themes to celebrate the northern outdoors ethos that makes life in Green Bay rugged and exciting. Log and stone decor gives this restaurant the feel of a cabin in the woods. In fact, an entire free-standing log cabin inside the restaurant's walls serves as a separate bar with a stage for live music and karaoke. Skis, snowshoes, and wall mounts of regional wildlife make this a distinctively local place, and the menu features specialties, including elk stroganoff, Great Lakes perch served with plank fries and rye bread, pan-fried walleye, and Wisconsin cheese curds.
The Woods golf course, on McAuliffe Park's eastern edge, offers a country club landscape and nine- and 18-hole golf experiences. Here, the Blitz Sports Club keeps regional microbrews on tap and serves chili, burgers, sandwiches or steaks. It's a popular spot for business lunches, but regulars love the Friday night fish fries, when the kitchen takes this local tradition to the next level with gourmet beer-battered perch, haddock or shrimp served with rye bread, onions and potatoes.
Highland Howie's does Friday fish fries too, although this more casual little place on the northeast corner of the neighborhood serves its perch dinners on Wednesdays and Thursdays too. Howie's is best known for its award-winning roasted chicken, which you can take home or eat there. The bar features drink specials during Packers games, including a free shot for every touchdown the team scores, highlighting the active nightlife and sports enthusiasm of the area.
If you are looking for a few good drinks to go with some relaxed casual dining, check out Pearly Gates Bar & Grill on Finger Road. This neighborhood watering hole has been a staple in the community for over 100 years, serving up high-quality pub food and a varied selection of brews, cocktails, and liquor. The locals rave about the chicken wings and never miss a chance to capitalize on the frequently offered special wing nights.
History & Culture
Green Bay's history dates back to the 1600s and includes a rich cast of characters drawn to the waters of the bay, including trappers, traders, numerous Native tribes, loggers and early industrialists. The Oneida Nation Museum chronicles this tribe's experiences in the Green Bay area with exhibits on arts, culture and Native American history.
In 1919, the Green Bay Packers football team formed, and the impact the beloved Packers have had on their city's culture and identity cannot be underestimated. The team colors, green and gold, can be seen nearly everywhere in town, and thousands of visitors come to the city to visit the Packers Hall of Fame Museum and Lambeau Field.
McAuliffe Park, on the outskirts of the city, developed in the 1980s and 90s and takes a quieter approach to life. The neighborhood's annual garage
sale and National Night Out festivities are a big part of this family community.
McAuliffe Park belongs to cars, as this suburban neighborhood lacks both sidewalks and walkable amenities. Green Bay Metro offers bus service to the neighborhood, but most residents drive, and it takes just 10 minutes to get downtown with quick access to major roadways and the Interstate. Taxis and Uber can be called in for rides; the airport is about 15 minutes west of the area.
Green Bay doesn't have a well-developed bike trail system or bike lanes but its possible to bike on most roads on the area. Designated trails along area riverways offer scenic pleasure riding routes. There are no meters in the neighborhood, and public parking is allowed along some roadways without fee.
McAuliffe Park's larger, newer construction and spacious green lots make housing and the cost of living in this area more expensive than in most of Green Bay. The average one-bedroom
apartment rents for $657 a month. A single-family house rents for about $1,200 a month. The local dining options tend to be nicer than average and prices follow suit. A beer runs about $4 to $6 a pint, depending on the brew. Gas prices run about five percent less than the national average.
Five minutes east of McAuliffe Park on Finger Road, residents can reach a wide variety of retail amenities, including big-box stores and small local businesses. Copp's Supermarket provides a full range of groceries, including Wisconsin meat and cheeses, and several Asian and Hispanic markets deliver speciality products for ethnic cooking.
Patti's Yarn Shop sells needlework supplies and patterns, and serves as a social hub for area knitters. Ralph's Antiques and Phonographs is an old-fashioned antiques store, a digger's delight crammed to the rafters with the goods of yesteryear. Gnome Games sells card and board games and hosts popular game nights and competitions.
In downtown Green Bay, numerous unique retailers populate the city's historic district. Antiques shops, gifts shops and cozy pubs make this a fun day out. Beernsten's Candies opened in 1925, and generations of Green Bay children have grown up dreaming about these hand-dipped hometown treats. DIY Studio And Gifts stocks arts and crafts supplies, displays local art and offers a custom blending bar for those who enjoy making bath and beauty products from scratch.
When in Green Bay, it's important to dress the part, and the Packers Pro Store and the Jersey Store stock a full line of Packers-themed clothing, from foam cheesehead hats to nostalgic Brett Farve jerseys (#4). It stocks Badger gear, too.
The nearest farmers market is the Downtown Green Bay Saturday Farmers Market, which plays host to local produce and meats from throughout the surrounding region.
Christa McAuliffe Park stands as a cornerstone of the community. It provides children's activities throughout the year as well as free recreational access for birdwatching, nature hikes and biking or snowboarding and sledding.
Just east of McAuliffe Park, the Triangle Sports Area offers four-season outdoor recreation close to home. A rugged disc golf range makes hiking these hills a satisfying challenge in warm months. In the winter, snowboarding, inner-tubing and cross-country and downhill skiing keep the cold at bay for fun-seekers of all ages looking for adventure. A tow rope gets you up the hill.
Five minutes north of the neighborhood, the Baird Creek
Greenway gently winds through a variety of natural habitats, including native woods, wetlands and prairies. This area is critical wildlife habitat and offers contemplative nature experiences to residents, including birdwatcing and hiking. The annual Run for the Hill of It 5K race traverses this challenging but beautiful terrain.
The Brown County Pet Exercise
Area, 10 minutes west of the McAuliffe Park neighborhood, gives dogs the chance to run free in a safe, fenced area with a small creek and trails. Many of the parks in the area offer free recreational access with few fees for additional services.