48 Hours in Wisconsin's Northwoods: Eagle River and Minocqua

By Daniel Rose
Special to TravelWisconsin.com

Northern Wisconsin is the perfect place to connect with nature, unplug and explore. This 48-hour itinerary will guide you to weekend full of wonder and excitement in Eagle River and Minocqua.

Day One

2 p.m.  Begin your adventure in Minocqua with a stop at the Wildwood Wildlife Park. This zoo offers numerous opportunities to interact with the animals, like feeding the giraffes and petting the goats!

5 p.m.  After visiting with the wildlife, stop by Minocqua Pizza Company for some delicious italian fare. Their pizza is absolutely phenomenal thanks to a combination of local ingredient and their signature homemade crust.

7 p.m.  At the end of your first day rest up in one of the many lodgings that Minocqua has to offer. The Waters of Minocqua is a Northwoods themed resort hotel with a water park! If you are looking for something a little more low-key there are a variety of other hotels offering Northwoods hospitality, including a Best Western and an AmericInn.

Day Two

8 a.m.  Wake up early and start your day off right with breakfast in Minocqua at Lake Placid Inn. Visitors consistently rate it one of the best breakfast spots in the Northwoods!

9 a.m.  Drive just over a half-hour to Eagle River, going east on Highway 70. Your scenic drive will take you through the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, so be sure to stop and enjoy the scenery if you have time.

9:30 a.m.  Make an appointment with Scenic Air Tours of Eagle River. This company provides a professionally narrated aerial tour of the area with experienced pilots. They do tours from sunrise to sunset, but an early morning tour will set the mood for your day of adventure!

11 a.m.  Fuel up at Eagle River Roasters Coffee House with coffee that is brewed with artisanal beans that are roasted on-site. This local favorite offers delicious food and one-of-a-kind drinks.

Noon  Next up, some aquatic fun! Wildwood Outdoor Adventures offers six different guided tours that will get you out onto the water. Popular choices include the Wisconsin River adventure to Secret Lake and the wildlife viewing paddleboat experience. 

3 p.m.  Check in to your lodging and either take a break or explore the area. The Wild Eagle Lodge offers lakeside lodges with one to three bedrooms. Take a walk near the lake or use a complimentary pontoon boat before you head to dinner.

5 p.m.  Enjoy dinner at the Friendship House Family Restaurant. They serve old-fashioned home-cooked meals. They’re known for great service and large portions that are sure to satisfy your appetite after a day enjoying the northwoods.

7:30 p.m.  Delve into the past with an Eagle River Twisted History Tour. These walking tours show a different side of Eagle River with Native American legends, Chicago gangster lore and stories about early settlers. You’ll learn about murders, mysteries and more in the area from a resident expert and guide.

Day Three

9 a.m.  Yesterday was pretty packed, so enjoy an extra hour of sleep and get ready to explore some more. Check out Leif’s Café for breakfast. Their blueberry pancakes are adored by both locals and tourists.

11 a.m.  Unwind and relax at Pirates Hideaway before you return home. This unique attraction features a fully functioning pirate ship, so take a ride with the crew to explore the scenic Eagle River Chain of lakes. If you don’t have your sea legs, they also have an ice cream shop and tiki bar. 

Looking for more to do in the area? Check out these scenic attractions in Vilas and Oneida counties, and subscribe for the inside scoop on lodging and dining in Wisconsin! 

This entry was posted in Tours