Wisconsin Getaway: 48 Hours to Explore Eau Claire

Experience a one-of-a-kind adventure with friends and family in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where your visit promises to be unlike any other. Situated just 90 miles east of Minneapolis, this vibrant city offers all kinds of activities for outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, music lovers, art enthusiasts and foodies alike. Read on for an inspirational itinerary to make the most of your visit to Eau Claire. 

Day One

3 p.m. Jumpstart the fun with a round of disc golf at the scenic Tower Ridge County Park. You and your crew will have a blast on the two 18-hole courses perfect for spending an afternoon together. On the original course, Hole 7 uses one of the major ski slopes as a starting point and you shoot down through a tunnel of trees, while Hole 17 has the best tee pad and is considered the most scenic.

5 p.m. Stay the night in style at The Lismore Hotel downtown, where you and your crew can lounge at the rooftop bar and enjoy the nearby farmers’ market in the morning.

Music lovers may choose to opt for The Oxbow Hotel. Also centrally located and with record players in every room, The Oxbow offers rentals of bikes, kayaks and canoes to take advantage of nearby bike trails and the refreshing confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers. 

For those who want to both play and stay, the Metropolis Resort and Conference Center has an indoor water park and outdoor mini golf that families will love. 

7 p.m. For dinner, enjoy a classic Wisconsin fish fry at a local favorites such as The Livery or Court’n House Bar & Grill

Or, opt for pizza and try the wood-fired pies at Foster's Fireside, just a short drive from the city center in Osseo. Pick up some artisan cheddar cheese to stock the cooler while you’re there and check the live music schedule for an entertaining night out. Music is also on the menu at The Plus, an artisan pizza restaurant that doubles as a club with open mic, live band karaoke, jams and comedy. 

Day Two

9 a.m. A good cup o’ joe will be the first order of business to jumpstart your second day of adventures. Stop in at Eau Claire Downtown Coffee (or ECDC) for everything from a pour over to espresso to nitro cold brew. Fill up on tasty breakfast entrées at The Nucleus that in addition to coffee has a full breakfast and lunch menu that includes crepes and popular lemon and ricotta hotcakes. 

10 a.m. Experience the picturesque scenery of the Eau Claire area by bike! Your group can easily rent electric bikes at The Local Store that also offers a huge range of locally made and Wisconsin-centric products. From the store, it’s only a few blocks to the Chippewa River State Trail that follows the breathtaking Chippewa River for 30 miles through prairies, across bridges and around sandstone bluffs. Ride for as little or as long as you like and enjoy the fresh air with your favorite people.

Noon After returning from your memorable adventure, refuel at C&T’s Soul Food with a catfish po-boy or delicious chicken wings.

1 p.m. Take an art break and stroll to see sculptures sprinkled throughout the city’s downtown area. Each May, a new set of sculptures from local and national artists arrives in Eau Claire for display. Vote for your favorite – ballot boxes hang on light poles and the “People’s Choice” winner is donated to the city for permanent display.

Find some art to take home at Tangled Up in Hue, an art collective especially known for handcrafted jewelry.

What goes well with art? Music, of course. Visit Revival Records to explore a one-of-a-kind shop for vinyl spanning all genres.

5 p.m. – How does a craft beer sound right about now? Good, right? At Lazy Monk Brewing, a micro-brewery specializing in traditional Czech and German lagers, you can take a seat in the German bier hall or outside if you like. Brewing Projekt, a more intimate brew venue, has developed a fast following for its terrific variety, including IPAs, stouts and lagers.

Infinity Beverages is another great option for sampling one-of-a-kind wines and distilled spirits with friends.

7 p.m. Take the chance to dress up for a date night or dinner with friends and enjoy sophisticated farm-to-table cuisine at The Informalist. And be sure to check out their selection of tasty house-made gelato for dessert.

Day Three

9 a.m.  Start your last morning with a coffee or tea from Shift Cyclery and Coffee Bar, where if the weather is nice the large open-air windows make for a peaceful start to your day.

10 a.m. Keep the fun going by kayaking the Eau Claire River or pulling on your hiking boots and heading to Lowes Creek County Park for a scenic jaunt together. 

Finally, get the best view in Eau Claire by making the short hike up to the Top of the World at Mount Simon. For another photo-op,  pose with the Hank Aaron Statue outside Carson Park Stadium, where the home-run-hitting legend started his career with the Eau Claire Bears. 

For even more lively fun with friends, plan your trip around the Blue Ox Music Festival or Country Jam USA that both take place in this one-of-a-kind city. 

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