Western Wisconsin, like the rest of the state, showcases an evocative blend of natural beauty and cultural variety. From its pastoral countryside to its vibrant main streets, and from its brushy riverways to its rolling ridgetops, this slice of the Midwest has much to occupy the open-minded visitor. This is a diverse landscapes of cliff-edged bluffs topped with hardwood forest, big rivers like the Mississippi, Wisconsin and Kickapoo, swamps and wetlands, remnant prairies and part of the great conifer and deciduous northwoods. Scattered throughout are farms, small towns and cities like River Falls, New Richmond, Hudson, and Eau Claire. Western Wisconsin is a great place to call home!
Popular Things to do in Western Wisconsin
Click for more information
Willow River State Park – Hudson, WI: This popular park in northwest Wisconsin features spectacular views of Willow Falls and the Willow River Gorge. Prairie remnants, miles of scenic hiking trails, family and group campgrounds, lakeside picnic areas and a nature center are all found within 2,800 acres of rolling countryside. Visitors will also enjoy paddling, fishing and swimming opportunities on Little Falls Lake. Click here to visit their website!
Interstate State Park – St. Croix Falls, WI and Taylor’s Falls, MN: This unique park is located in both Minnesota and Wisconsin and offers camping, hiking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing and rock climbing. Interstate is Wisconsin’s oldest state park, established in 1900. Located along the picturesque St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, the park provides scenic views of the river and the steep-sided gorge known as the Dalles of the St. Croix. The Ice Age Interpretive Center features a film, photographs, murals and information about Wisconsin’s glacial history. Click here to visit their Wisconsin website.
Kinnickinnic State Park – River Falls, WI: Located where the St. Croix and Kinnickinnic rivers meet, Kinnickinnic State Park offers experiences in two types of worlds. Enjoy the quiet and solitude of the Kinnickinnic River Valley and the many popular water-based recreational pursuits on the St. Croix River. A large sandy delta is found at the junction of the rivers. Visitors can also explore 10 miles of hiking trails.
Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area – Menomonie, WI: Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area offers 700 acres of preserved and restored wooded hills, wetlands and prairie traversed with hiking and cross-country ski trails. A 60-foot-high observation tower crowns one of the highest points in Dunn County, offering spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, especially in autumn. Click here for more info.
Some of Wisconsin’s most spectacular scenery lies along its western boundary with Minnesota along the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers. Part of that junction is traveled by the 250-mile Great River Road — State Highway 35 — a dramatic byway exploring the forested bluffs, floodplain sloughs and small towns dotting the Mississippi’s eastern shore in Wisconsin between Prescott and Keiler.
For three decades, The Phipps Center for the Arts been a place for Wisconsinites to explore, host and celebrate the arts. We are a destination for visual art, theater, song, and dance in the St. Croix Valley of eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Click here to learn more about The Phipps Center for the Arts!
The St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour extends itself into both Minnesota and Western Wisconsin! Learn more about the upcoming tour here.
Eau Claire, WI is home to a huge art scene! You may notice as you walk the streets that you are surrounded by many sculptures, this is because they are flown in from the around world each year and are apart of the Scultpure Tour – Eau Claire. Learn more about it here!
River Falls, is home to the top-rated Kilkarney Hills Golf Club.
Other Top Golf Destinations include;
University Ridge in Verona, WI
Wild Ridge in Eau Claire, WI
Big Fish Golf Club in Hayward, WI
Badland’s Snow Park is an outdoor recreational park that was originally opened in Hudson, WI in 1970 by the Kinney family as a means for area families to enjoy affordable winter fun activities such as snow tubing. The park has become the region’s top-rated snow tubing destination, set amidst the landscape of the Hudson Prairie near the regional area known as “The Badlands.
Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreation Area is located in Dresser, WI. Troll features over 25 runs, 4 terrain parks, 3 chair lifts, and the sweetest rope tows in the Midwest. Offering skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing all Winter long, plus zip lines and an aerial adventure course in the summer!
Here are some TOP-RATED favorites!
The Nucleus – Eau Claire, WI – This local breakfast mecca attracts long lines and even Eau Claire’s famous native, Justin Vernon from Bon Iver. Foodies will appreciate the list of homemade crepes on the menu, though the lemon ricotta hotcakes and the El Presidente hashbrown scrambler draw the biggest fanfare.
The Post – American Eatery – Hudson, WI – The Postmark is a family-operated restaurant located within Hudson’s restored historic post office. Delicious Italian-American fare is served up throughout the day on the restaurant’s extensive menus, which highlight everything from pizzas and pastas to casual sandwich and wrap options.
Chef Shack, Bay City, WI – Many Twin Citians spend their summer free time at their lake cabins in rural Minnesota and Wisconsin. But Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer of Chef Shack Bay City, WI hear a slightly different drummer in their heads. The two chefs devote their weekends to cooking at their captivating restaurant in Bay City, Wis., which focuses solely on Friday and Saturday dinner and Sunday brunch, and their efforts are magical.
Louie’s Finer Meats – Cumberland, WI – The BEST Homemade Jerky in all of the MidWest you’ll ever find. This market store has all you need, while you make your way up north to the cabin!
Brick House Cafe – Cable, WI – The Brick House Café & Catering in Cable, Wisconsin offers family-friendly dining in a historic downtown Cable, WI restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner! Have we mentioned Guy Fieri and the show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives has stopped in for a bite to eat here for the show!
Wisconsin is known to be home to some of the best brews like Leinenkugel’s and New Glarus. Here are some local spots that are even better!
Hop and Barrel – Hudson, WI: Just a few blocks away from the pier of the gorgeous river town of Hudson is Hop and Barrel Brewing, a craft beer brewing company known for their delicious variety of craft beers. From invigorating IPAs to mouthwatering stouts, there are a lot of tried and tested beers to sip on in their 16-tap taproom.
Oliphant Brewing Company – Somerset, WI: Oliphant is brewer-owned and brewer-operated for the weirdos like you in the world. Their mission is to brew craft beer companions for your everyday drinking.
45th Parallel Spirits – New Richmond, WI – A local favorite, 45th Parallel crafts wonderful cocktails from their owned distilled liquors. Using farm fresh local ingredients, this distillery has made a name for themselves with their Quality Drinks.
Lazy Monk Brewing – Eau Claire, WI – Lazy Monks is a european craft style brewery that focuses on traditional Bohemian and German lagers, while creating their own rock-star IPAs, Stouts, and Ales.