Oshkosh is known as Wisconsin's Event City, as it's home to more than 1,000 events annually. The city is also home to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and the oldest operating theater building in Wisconsin (The Grand Opera House, 1883). Thanks to all the activity these institutions generate, Oshkosh event venues are very busy — but will always welcome new business.
Oshkosh's Wittman Regional Airport accepts only private planes, so the city's main gateway is Outagamie County Regional Airport, located about 20 miles away in Appleton, WI. That airport is served by Delta to Atlanta, Detroit, and Minneapolis; Allegiant to Las Vegas, Orlando, and Phoenix-Mesa; and United to Chicago O'Hare.
Oshkosh sits at the mouth of the Fox River as it enters Lake Winnebago from the west; to the east of the city is Lake Butte des Morts. Waterfront meeting venues in Oshkosh include the Oshkosh Convention Center and the 176-room Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel, which are located in downtown overlooking the Fox River and Lake Winnebago. Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel, which is connected to the Oshkosh Convention Center by indoor walkway, is recently renovated and offers six meeting rooms (two of them divisible) totaling almost 6,000 square feet. The convention center offers 18,500 square feet of function space, including a room that can seat 1,900 for a general session or handle 100 8x10 exhibit booths, several break-out rooms, and a patio that can host a reception for 520. The Best Western's meeting space includes a ballroom that can accommodate a meeting for up to 390 people, five break-out rooms, and two board rooms.
Along with the Best Western Premier Waterfront, the two hotels in Oshkosh that do the most meeting business are the 126-room Hilton Garden Inn, which can handle up to 400 for a meeting, and the 77-room Hawthorne Suites by Wyndham, located adjacent to LaSure's Banquet Hall, which can host a meeting or banquet for up to 300 people.
Additional meeting venues in Oshkosh include the EAA Aviation Center and AirVenture Museum, which has 250,000 square feet of function space; Sunnyview Exposition Center, which offers 150,000 square feet of space; and Gruenhagen Conference Center on the UW campus, which can accommodate up to 400 people in 17 conference rooms.
There are a number of different options for special events in Oshkosh, including some faithfully restored historic venues. The Grand Opera House seats 660 people and has a second-story lounge that can host a reception for up to 200; the Algoma Club, built in 1884, can host 240 for a reception and 150 for a banquet in its main hall; and The Waters, a Georgian Revival structure built on Lake Winnebago in 1903 for the Oshkosh Yacht Club, has a second-story ballroom with a balcony that can host a banquet for about 170.
When it is time for dinner, Oshkosh has a number of possibilities in a broad price range. A local favorite, Ardy and Ed's, is an authentic 1950s drive-in, complete with roller-skating carhops. For fine dining, there are The Roxy Supper Club and The Vintage, which has won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for seven straight years. Three popular eateries on the water are Becket's, with contemporary dining in a casual setting: Fratellos Waterfront Restaurant & Brewery, known for its handcrafted beers and live music; and Wendt's on the Lake, famous for its Friday fish fry featuring local Lake Perch.