Wausau, a Wisconsin Hidden Gem

Located in north central Wisconsin, the historic town of Wausau makes for the perfect winter getaway. Once a booming lumbering town, Wausau is now filled with fun and variety. Surrounded by woods, lakes and hills, outside is your winter playground. Art galleries, spas and indoor-waterparks provide loads of indoor fun. Wausau offers the perfect mix of big city amenities with a small town feel. So what are you waiting for?

For starters, see one of the oldest geographical formations on Earth in Wausau, billion-year-old Rib Mountain. Climb the 60-foot observation tower for a spectacular view. Rib Mountain State Park also includes miles of trails for snowmobiling and snowshoeing, and is home to the state’s largest ski resort, 700-foot-tall Granite Peak. Don’t know how to ski? No problem! The staff at Granite Peak offer top-notch ski and snowboard instructors to help you learn a new winter sport. Nine-mile County Forest Recreation Area is also a destination for winter sports. Known for its cross-country skiing facilities, skiers have more than 30 km of one-way trails over a variety of terrain.

You can also enjoy the area in a different way, by inflatable snow tube. The largest snow tube hill, Sylvan, is located right in Wausau. The west part of the hill has a vertical drop of 133-feet and the east hill 120-feet. The best part – once you reach the bottom, all it takes is a ride on the towrope to get back up.

After all that outside fun, you’ll need some time to warm up indoors. Couples looking for a romantic retreat will want to visit the Jefferson Street Inn, located downtown near the historic Washington Square shopping center. After dinner, spend some time quality time ice skating right downtown. Picture a smooth ice rink, right in the middle of downtown, all light up and playing music - perfect for a romantic nighttime activity. After a great night’s rest, continue with a relaxing couples massage at the Dayspring Health Spa. For dinner, opt for a Wisconsin tradition: the supper club. The Pinewood Supper Club in nearby Mosinee is perfect, featuring an outstanding offering of seafood.

If you decide to bring the kids along, check out the waterpark at the Grand Lodge. It’s got massive tube slides, snaking water slides that take you both inside and outside the waterpark (don’t worry – they’re covered) and for the parents – an adults-only whirlpool.

Wausau is known as “Arts Town, USA” – it ranks No. 1 in the nation for per-capita support of the arts with a population under 125,000 – so take advantage of this with a family outing to catch a show at the historic Grand Theater, located right downtown. The Woodson Art Museum features an excellent interactive children’s area as well as exceptional artwork. Don’t forget to ride the hippopotamus out front – perfect for a photo op! The Center for the Visual Arts offers outstanding productions and don’t miss the opportunity to view the architecture throughout the Andrew Warren Historic District.

With so much to do and see, more travelers agree that Wausau makes for a fantastic winter getaway. Come see for yourself!