Things to Do in Wausau Wi

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Are you seeking the perfect getaway destination that offers a blend of outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and vibrant events? Look no further than Wausau, Wisconsin. Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of central Wisconsin, Wausau is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, and food connoisseurs alike.

From exploring hiking and biking trails to indulging in the local arts and entertainment scene, Wausau has something for everyone. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the best times to visit, an array of outdoor and indoor activities, notable events and festivals, accommodation options, and transportation tips, ensuring you have all the information you need to plan your ideal Wausau getaway. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey as we uncover the hidden gems and must-see attractions in Wausau.

Key Takeaways:

  • Experience the best of Wausau by visiting during the summer months when you can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and water sports.
  • Take advantage of the city’s beautiful natural surroundings by exploring the numerous hiking and biking trails, or cool off with some water activities in the nearby lakes and rivers.
  • Even in the colder months, Wausau offers plenty of fun with winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, making it the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts all year round.
  • What is the Best Time to Visit Wausau?

    Wausau, Wisconsin, is a charming destination that offers something for every season, making it an ideal year-round getaway for families, nature enthusiasts, and adventure seekers alike. Whether you plan to attend the hot air balloon festival, explore the annual events, or simply enjoy the local time, Wausau promises a memorable experience.

    In the warm months, visitors flock to the Wausau area for the mesmerizing spectacle of the hot air balloon festival. The skies are adorned with multicolored balloons, creating a breathtaking sight against the backdrop of the picturesque landscape. Families can engage in a host of family-friendly activities such as picnics in the parks, hiking through the lush trails, or enjoying the calming waters of Lake Wausau.

    Wausau’s significance extends to the wintertime, where the glistening snow creates a wonderland for winter sports enthusiasts. From skiing at Granite Peak, one of the Midwest’s premier ski areas, to exploring the seasonal markets and festivities, there’s always something seasonal to savor in Wausau.

    Outdoor Activities in Wausau

    Wausau, Wisconsin, is renowned for its abundant outdoor activities, offering visitors a Midwest experience like no other. From the breathtaking landscapes of Rib Mountain State Park to the exhilarating slopes of Granite Peak, there’s an array of options for leisurely days outdoors.

    The art park and scenic tower provide unique perspectives, while the hot air balloon festival adds an extra layer of excitement to the outdoor experience in Wausau.

    The picturesque Rib Mountain State Park offers an extensive network of trails, allowing hikers and nature enthusiasts to explore its serene woodlands, picturesque meadows, and stunning panoramic views. Meanwhile, Granite Peak boasts top-notch skiing and snowboarding facilities, attracting winter sports enthusiasts from across the region.

    The captivating tower at Rib Mountain State Park rewards climbers with panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscapes, while the art park showcases an eclectic mix of sculptures and artwork amidst the natural beauty.

    Hiking and Biking Trails

    Exploring the hiking and biking trails in Wausau offers an invigorating way to experience the natural beauty of Marathon County. The trails provide opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the picturesque landscapes and enjoy the scenic views that define the region’s allure.

    Whether you are an avid hiker or a cycling enthusiast, Wausau and Marathon County have a trail for every skill level. From the breathtaking Rib Mountain State Park to the tranquil banks of the Wisconsin River, there’s a trail to suit every preference.

    The Mountain-Bay State Trail beckons with its expansive vistas and peaceful surroundings, offering a serene escape amidst lush greenery.

    For those seeking a more challenging trek, the Ice Age Trail presents an array of terrain, from rolling hills to dense woodlands, promising a rewarding adventure for intrepid explorers.

    The Hatley-Hamburg Trail captivates with its meandering pathways, weaving through quaint countryside and unveiling idyllic pastoral scenes that showcase the region’s natural splendor.

    Water Activities

    Wausau’s water activities cater to families and individuals seeking refreshing experiences amidst stunning landscapes. Whether it’s a visit to the Wausau Water Family Entertainment Center or simply enjoying the scenic views along the waterways, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

    Visitors at the Wausau Water Family Entertainment Center can revel in a range of attractions, from exhilarating water slides to relaxing lazy rivers. The center also offers a kid-friendly splash pad, ideal for younger guests to get their feet wet in safe, shallow pools.

    The nearby waterways boast tranquil surroundings, perfect for leisurely kayak rides or peaceful walks along the waterfront. The picturesque scenery creates an inviting backdrop for picnics, birdwatching, and connecting with nature.

    Winter Sports

    Wausau’s winter sports scene offers a plethora of activities suitable for all ages, from exhilarating cross-country skiing and snowboarding adventures to the excitement of the winter fest, ensuring a family-friendly experience for all visitors during the colder months.

    Wausau’s picturesque landscape transforms into a winter wonderland, attracting enthusiasts who seek the thrill of gliding through snow-covered trails. The cross-country skiing options cater to beginners and experts alike, with well-maintained tracks and breathtaking views. For those inclined towards snowboarding, Wausau’s slopes offer a mix of challenges and scenic beauty, creating an unforgettable experience for enthusiasts.

    The winter fest in Wausau embraces a lively atmosphere, with diverse entertainment, delicious treats, and engaging activities, making it an ideal destination for families to create cherished winter memories.

    Indoor Activities in Wausau

    Indoor Activities in Wausau - Things to Do in Wausau Wi

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    Along with its outdoor allure, Wausau boasts a vibrant array of indoor activities, from the captivating art museum and interactive gallery programs to the enticing shopping and entertainment options that extend into the night, ensuring a well-rounded experience for visitors of all inclinations.

    Wausau’s art museum is a hidden gem, showcasing a rich collection of both traditional and contemporary artworks that never fails to impress visitors. The interactive gallery programs cater to all ages, offering hands-on experiences and educational insights into diverse art forms.

    For those inclined towards retail therapy, Wausau presents an array of unique shopping opportunities, from charming boutiques to modern malls, allowing visitors to indulge in local finds and international brands alike.

    As evening descends, the entertainment and nightlife scene in Wausau comes alive, offering an eclectic mix of live music, theaters, and bustling bars and cafes, providing a perfect way to unwind after a day of exploration.

    Museums and Historical Sites

    Wausau’s museums and historical sites, including the iconic Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, offer immersive experiences through engaging art programs and captivating attraction photos that showcase the region’s rich cultural heritage and artistic expressions.

    The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau holds a special place in the hearts of art enthusiasts, boasting a diverse collection ranging from contemporary masterpieces to traditional works. The museum’s art programs are designed to engage visitors of all ages, nurturing creativity and sparking a deeper appreciation for art.

    The visual appeal of the attraction photos provides a mesmerizing glimpse into the rich artistic history that defines the region, drawing visitors into a world of captivating artistic expressions.

    Shopping and Dining

    Wausau’s shopping and dining scene is infused with charm and variety, offering unique gifts, opportunities to savor craft beer, and relish delicious cuisine at kid-friendly eateries, ensuring a delightful experience for families and individuals seeking culinary and retail adventures.

    Whether you’re strolling through the quaint downtown area or exploring the bustling mall, you’ll discover an array of boutiques and specialty shops showcasing locally made crafts, artisanal goods, and one-of-a-kind treasures perfect for gifting.

    For beer enthusiasts, the brewpubs and taprooms in Wausau are a haven, offering an impressive selection of handcrafted brews, providing a vibrant and social atmosphere for enjoying a cold pint.

    Wausau’s diverse dining options cater to every palate, from casual cafes serving home-style comfort food to upscale restaurants featuring farm-to-table dishes prepared with the finest local ingredients.

    In terms of family-friendly eateries, you’ll find a welcoming atmosphere and an extensive kids’ menu, ensuring an enjoyable dining experience for both children and parents.

    Entertainment and Nightlife

    The entertainment and nightlife options in Wausau cater to a dynamic range of preferences, from the captivating performances at the Broadway Grand Theater to the family entertainment center and exhilarating axe throwing opportunities, ensuring an engaging and diverse experience for visitors during their evenings in the city.

    At the Broadway Grand Theater, patrons can immerse themselves in world-class productions, ranging from plays and musicals to comedy shows and concerts, all showcased in a stunning and historic venue.

    The family entertainment center in Wausau offers a wealth of activities for all ages, including arcade games, laser tag, mini-golf, and bowling, providing endless opportunities for wholesome fun and bonding experiences for families and groups of friends.

    For those seeking unique thrills, the city’s axe throwing scene has gained immense popularity, offering an unconventional yet thrilling evening activity. With expert instructors and a lively atmosphere, it’s an experience that promises an adrenaline rush like no other.

    Events and Festivals in Wausau

    Events and Festivals in Wausau - Things to Do in Wausau Wi

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    Wausau’s events and festivals weave together a tapestry of vibrant experiences, ranging from the excitement of annual events to the artistry of sled dog demonstrations, the creativity of ice sculpting, and the soul-stirring expressions at the poetry collaborative, ensuring a diverse and enriching calendar of activities for visitors throughout the year.

    Each year, Wausau hosts an array of signature annual events that draw locals and tourists alike, including the renowned WinterFest, a multi-day celebration featuring dazzling ice sculptures, live music, and delectable food offerings. The city’s Winter Festival captures the essence of the season, showcasing the mastery of ice sculpting and providing a platform for artists to display their extraordinary talent.

    Beyond the icy splendor, Wausau’s calendar brims with exhilarating sled dog demonstrations, where the athleticism and grace of these remarkable creatures are on full display. Visitors can witness the incredible bond between musher and dogsled team, marveling at the synchronization of movement and the sheer determination of the animals.

    The poetry collaborative, Words on Water, unites literary enthusiasts for an immersive celebration of prose and verse, fostering an environment where creativity flourishes. Poets, storytellers, and musicians converge to share their heartfelt compositions, creating a captivating ambiance that resonates with the profound emotions encapsulated in their works.

    Wausau Events

    The array of Wausau events offers something for every season, from the excitement of annual events to the winter fest, and the family-friendly experiences at the public garden, ensuring a well-rounded calendar of engaging activities for visitors throughout the year.

    During the summer months, Wausau’s calendar is filled with lively annual events, including the renowned Big Bull Falls Blues Fest and the vibrant Chalkfest. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture and enjoy live music, delicious food, and interactive art displays.

    In the heart of winter, the city transforms into a winter wonderland with the Winter Fest, featuring activities like ice sculpting, snowshoe hikes, and s’mores around the bonfire.

    The public garden provides a delightful escape for families, with its tranquil walking paths, colorful floral displays, and engaging educational programs. Whether strolling through the lush greenery or participating in interactive workshops, the garden offers a serene oasis within the bustling city.

    Festivals and Fairs

    Wausau’s festivals and fairs celebrate the spirit of the region with highlights such as the hot air balloon festival, the winter fest, and captivating interactive gallery programs, offering an immersive and festive experience for visitors looking to engage with the local culture and creativity.

    During the hot air balloon festival, the skies above Wausau become a breathtaking showcase of colorful balloons, creating a mesmerizing sight for both locals and tourists alike. The winter fest transforms the city into a winter wonderland, complete with ice sculptures, sleigh rides, and lively entertainment, embodying the festive spirit of the season.

    In addition, the immersive interactive gallery programs provide a platform for artists to showcase their talents and allow visitors to engage with the rich artistic heritage of the region, creating a vibrant and dynamic cultural experience.

    Where to Stay in Wausau?

    Wausau offers a diverse array of accommodation options, ranging from luxurious hotels and resorts to cozy vacation rentals, campgrounds, and RV parks, ensuring that visitors have a range of choices to suit their preferences and travel styles.

    Whether you seek luxurious comfort with top-notch amenities or a peaceful retreat in the heart of nature, Wausau has it all. The city boasts an impressive selection of internationally recognized hotel chains, each offering impeccable service and modern conveniences.

    On the other hand, if you desire a more intimate and homey atmosphere, the charming vacation rentals in the area provide a perfect haven for relaxation and creating cherished memories with loved ones.

    For those with a love for the outdoors, Wausau’s campgrounds and RV parks present an inviting option. Nestled amidst stunning landscapes, these accommodations allow you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the region while enjoying the simple joys of camping life.

    Hotels and Resorts

    The hotels and resorts in Wausau provide a comfortable and inviting retreat for families and individuals seeking a memorable stay during their visit to the city, ensuring that every moment of their family vacation is enriched with relaxation and convenience.

    Wausau’s accommodations offer a range of family-friendly amenities, including spacious rooms, outdoor recreational activities, and delicious dining options that cater to diverse palates. Many establishments boast indoor water parks and pools, ensuring endless entertainment for the little ones. Along with this, several hotels and resorts organize family-centric activities and events, forging unforgettable memories for the young and the young at heart alike.

    Vacation Rentals

    Vacation rentals in Wausau offer the perfect setting for visitors to cherish a leisurely day outdoors and immerse themselves in the scenic views that define the city’s allure, providing an idyllic retreat for relaxation and exploration.

    With a myriad of options ranging from cozy cabins nestled in the woods to spacious lakefront properties, Wausau’s vacation rentals cater to diverse preferences, making every stay an adventure. The unspoiled natural beauty surrounding these rentals ensures an enchanting experience, allowing guests to indulge in activities such as hiking, fishing, and wildlife spotting.

    Campgrounds and RV Parks

    The campgrounds and RV parks in Wausau offer affordable and family-friendly options for visitors to set up base and immerse themselves in the natural beauty and charm of the region, ensuring a delightful and budget-friendly experience for all.

    Located amidst the serene landscapes and tranquil surroundings, these campgrounds and RV parks provide a perfect opportunity for families, couples, and solo travelers to reconnect with nature without breaking the bank. With a range of amenities such as picnic areas, hiking trails, and recreational facilities, visitors can make the most of their outdoor adventure while staying within their budget.

    The family-friendly environment makes these accommodations an ideal choice for those seeking a wholesome and immersive experience. From organized activities for children to communal firepits for cozy gatherings, there is something for everyone to enjoy, fostering a sense of togetherness and camaraderie.

    Transportation in Wausau

    Transportation in Wausau - Things to Do in Wausau Wi

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    Navigating transportation in Wausau is a seamless and convenient experience, with options for getting to the city and moving around within it ensuring that visitors can explore and enjoy the region with ease and flexibility.

    Wausau offers a well-connected network of transportation options, including bus services and reliable taxi companies, facilitating smooth access to the city. Visitors can easily rely on ride-sharing services for convenient travel within Wausau. The city’s well-maintained roadways and ample parking options also make it hassle-free to navigate by car. For those who prefer eco-friendly transportation, Wausau provides bike-share programs and pedestrian-friendly pathways, integrating sustainability with convenience for a well-rounded travel experience.

    Getting to Wausau

    Getting to Wausau is the gateway to a myriad of visitor attractions, and with resources such as Tripadvisor reviews guiding the way, visitors can look forward to a seamless and fulfilling journey to this captivating destination.

    En route to Wausau, travelers will find themselves immersed in the natural beauty of Wisconsin, passing through picturesque landscapes and charming towns. From the renowned Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum showcasing exceptional avian-themed art to the stunning Granite Peak Ski Area offering exhilarating winter activities, Wausau has something for every visitor.

    • Delve into the enthralling history of the region at the Marathon County Historical Museum,
    • Experience the enchanting tranquility of the Monk Botanical Gardens,
    • Or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the scenic River Edge Walkway.

    What makes the journey even more enriching is the wealth of Tripadvisor reviews that provide invaluable insights into the best dining spots, accommodations, and points of interest, ensuring that every traveler’s experience is nothing short of exceptional.

    Getting Around Wausau

    Moving around Wausau allows visitors to explore the treasures of the city, including the public garden, interactive gallery programs, and savoring the essence of local time, ensuring a fulfilling and immersive experience within the heart of the region.

    Wausau boasts a well-integrated transportation system, making it easy for visitors to navigate the city. The public garden, a serene oasis of natural beauty, offers a peaceful retreat from the urban hustle. The interactive gallery programs provide an engaging and educational experience, allowing visitors to delve into the city’s vibrant art scene.

    Immersing oneself in local time adds a unique dimension to the visit, providing an authentic insight into the rhythm and pace of daily life in Wausau. This truly enhances the overall experience, allowing visitors to connect with the heartbeat of the region.