Skip to Content

YouTuber Nick Johnson spent 3 days in Green Bay, discovered a ‘uniquely American’ city, super nice people, lots cheese

Green Bay, this is your life.

Or at least a 47-minute snapshot of it as seen through the eyes of , who travels the country writing about what life is like in a certain city or state for his “Unboxing America” video series. As part of his Great Lakes Road Trip, he spent two weeks in Wisconsin and three days in Green Bay this winter to see what the city U.S. News & World Report ranked No. 1 on its list of is all about.

Spoiler alert: He likes us. He really likes us.

“In case you haven’t heard, we’re an unhappy country now. However, I traveled to a small city and discovered a place that still IS happy. It’s Green Bay, Wisconsin!” he writes as the description for the video.

Go ahead, smile.

The video was posted Wednesday to Johnson’s YouTube channel, where he has more than 951,000 subscribers. It has already been viewed more than 48,000 times. Warning: The video contains derogatory language and profanity.

At first, it seems like it takes Johnson a while to warm up to the city and its pace — even during a visit that fell during unseasonably warm 50-degree winter days — or maybe it just takes us a while to warm up to the tone of his narration, which is sometimes hard to decipher as snarky or sincere. But by the time he’s been to , the Green Bay Curling Club, Titletown District, Broadway District, Blue Collar Bar & Grill, and Lambeau Field, he has a pretty good grasp.

A handful of fresh curds and his first Spotted Cow probably didn’t hurt.

“Green Bay, Wisconsin, one of the most uniquely American cities, and I didn’t even come in the summertime or in the fall for football season. I’m sure it’s a real scene in the fall,” he says near the end.

“It’s really safe and affordable, and everyone is super nice. It’s clean, and there’s a lot of pride here. It has all the things people want in life — a sense of community, no bulls—, culture, a decent number of jobs, and it’s getting better here. It ain’t fancy. It’s old-fashioned. Simple. A little rough around the edges. I think they like it that way. Is this the best place in the country? I think the folks here think it is, and who am I to argue?”

Johnson, who stayed at a “very inviting” St. Brendan’s Inn, made his way around the city and surrounding area, from the dive bars of South Broadway to a paid Lambeau Field tour, where he apparently managed to swipe a blade of turf from the field.

He seemed surprised to find “more cheese than you ever knew there ever was” at Woodman’s, not to mention a liquor store inside the grocery store that is “as big as a regular supermarket.”

He was in awe of the size of an “Look at those things. My God. I was like, ‘Can I just buy a little piece. I don’t have a whole classroom to feed,’” he said, asking the staff if they did quarters or eighths of the award-winning pastry. (There is audible laughter from the other side of the counter, because who ever comes in wanting less kringle?)

He acknowledges Green Bay is seeing “good change,” including cultural centers, 5-star hotels and old downtown buildings being turned into new ones.

He offers snippets of local history, including the importance of paper mills to the city, but also did some of his homework by talking to locals. How else would he know to describe De Pere like this: “It’s sorta part of Green Bay. It sorta isn’t.” Or that he’s heard Green Bay can be “small-town clique-y.” Or about that FIBs nickname for people from Illinois.

By his second night in town, he said he learned the west side of the Fox River is more interesting than the east side. You can practically hear the collective gasp from the east side vs. west side crowd, can’t you?

Not everything exactly wowed Johnson. He found downtown Green Bay to be nice and clean but also not very lively — at least not at 9 a.m. on a Wednesday in winter.

“Nothing’s going on at all. I’ve traveled a lot, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a decent-sized city’s downtown so dead on a weekday. It’s very interesting. Not what I expected,” he said.

The local love for the supper club experience of dining at the in De Pere also seemed lost on him. Perhaps he missed the relish tray.

Johnson covered a lot of ground, and not just physically or with loads of drone footage. Homelessness, crime and binge drinking come up, too.

But there was no missing how much the Green Bay Packers permeate the community.

“Then of course you have the damn Packers. Now the Packers haven’t really won anything in 15 years but they have more Super Bowls than anyone. They love the Packers more than you love anything else. They don’t even care if they’re good or bad,” he said.

“… Boy, do they love their Packers. Can’t emphasize that enough.”

Only a couple of local residents are interviewed in the video, but Nick Meisner with , who is a lifelong resident of the city, offers extended commentary at the end about what makes Green Bay special to both the people who live here and visitors.

“You feel like you’re in a place that is welcoming and wants you to have fun and wants you to enjoy our culture and our community, and I think people fall in love with that,” Meisner said. “And I think they fall in love with the sense of home that you get here.”

Kendra Meinert is an entertainment and feature writer at the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Contact her at 920-431-8347 or. Follow her on X