Wausau is just about smack-dab in the center of the state, making it an easy stop from almost anywhere in Wisconsin. With the perfect combination of big city fun and Northwoods beauty, Wausau has plenty to offer visitors from near and far in the coming months. Read on for a few of Wausau’s can’t-miss attractions this summer and fall.
Whether you’re seeking out a high-energy trip or a relaxing getaway, you’ll find what you need in Wausau. For an adrenaline-filled day, try your hand at some whitewater kayaking at Whitewater Park, where you’ll find paddlers of all ages. Those looking to take in nature in other ways will enjoy Mountain-Bay State Trail, one of the longest rail-trails in Wisconsin, Nine Mile Forest (all 5,000 acres of it) and Monk Botanical Gardens.
Spend a summer day at the ballpark taking in a Wisconsin Woodchucks game, or out by the lake watching a Central Wisconsin Water Walkers ski show. (They’re seriously impressive!) Take a step back in time at The Grand Theater, which originated in 1899 as an opera house and now hosts everything from musical talents to magicians. If the racetrack is more up your alley, State Park Speedway is home to races May through October.
For those toasty summer days and chillier fall days, there is no better tourist attraction than a museum. Wausau’s wide variety of museums are big-city quality, right here in central Wisconsin. Stroll through the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, where both historic and contemporary paintings and sculptures can be found, and then make your way to Marathon County Historical Museums, like the Woodson History Center and the Yawkey House Museum.
Food & Drink
When the weather is as beautiful as Wisconsin's summer and fall, there’s nothing better than a little outdoor dining. Wausau On Water is a riverfront restaurant, bar and arcade, chock-full of gorgeous views, tasty food and no shortage of entertainment. The craft beer and artisan food at Red Eye Brewing Company make this another local favorite, and Hiawatha Restaurant & Lounge offers the tastes and vibes of an old-school supper club, and is known as Wausau’s “Best-Kept Secret”.
The Wausau area is home to many summer and fall events worth checking out. Grab your calendar and pencil these in:
• Wisconsin Valley Fair
Wausau hosts the second largest county fair in the state, where visitors will enjoy grandstand entertainment, carnival rides, animals, and more.
• Sunset Rides
Hop on a six-seat chairlift in Rib Mountain State Park and take in the gorgeous summer sunsets.
• Fall Colors Sky Ride
As summer transitions to fall, the Rib Mountain State Park Sunset Rides turn into Fall Colors Sky Rides.
• International Wisconsin Ginseng Festival
Marathon County exports 95% of the nation’s ginseng, and there’s a Wausau-based festival celebrating just that.
• Artrageous Weekend
Enjoy a weekend of fantastic, free art at four locations around Wausau, each featuring their own unique exhibits, music, activities and more.