Things to Do in Wausau, WI: Discover Fun, Adventure, and Culture

  1. Home
  2. »
  3. North America
  4. »
  5. America
  6. »
  7. Things to Do in Wausau, WI: Discover Fun, Adventure, and Culture

Nestled in the heart of Wisconsin, Wausau is a vibrant destination offering more than you’d expect from a small city. With a surprising mix of outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and family-friendly things to do in Wausau, this city surrounded by natural beauty has something for every type of visitor. Whether you’re an art lover, an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or a family seeking fun activities, Wausau, Wisconsin, won’t disappoint.

Explore Wausau’s Art Scene: Museums, Galleries, & More

Wausau boasts a thriving arts community, making it a great destination for art lovers of all kinds. From world-class art museums to live performances, here are some of the best places to experience art and culture in Wausau:

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum

  • Activity Type: Art Appreciation
  • Location: 700 N 12th St, Wausau, WI 54403
  • What to Bring: Your love for the arts
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Nestled amidst gardens and the Prairie River in the historic Andrew Warren district, this museum is renowned for its annual ‘Birds in Art’ exhibition, which features contemporary artistic representations of birds.
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round, with special emphasis during the ‘Birds in Art’ exhibition season in the fall.

The Grand Theater

  • Activity Type: Performing Arts
  • Location: 401 N 4th St, Wausau, WI 54403
  • What to Bring: Your sense of drama and spectacle
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: With a calendar packed with live performances ranging from Broadway shows to local theater, the acoustically-perfected halls of The Grand Theater guarantee a memorable night out.
  • Best Time to Visit: Check for performances during your stay.

Center for the Visual Arts

  • Activity Type: Community Art Center
  • Location: 427 N 4th St, Wausau, WI 54403
  • What to Bring: Your flair for the creative, maybe take a sketchpad
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: A local gem, this art center showcases contemporary art from regional and national artists, and offers a space for the community to engage in the arts through classes and workshops.
  • Best Time to Visit: During art receptions and events to connect with artists.

Outdoor Adventures in Wausau: Hiking, Skiing, & More

If you crave outdoor adventures, Wausau is the perfect place to get your adrenaline pumping. From scenic hikes to thrilling winter sports, the city and its beautiful surroundings offer something for every outdoor enthusiast. Here’s a look at some of the best ways to enjoy Wausau’s natural wonders:

Granite Peak

  • Activity Type: Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
  • Location: 3605 N Mountain Rd, Wausau, WI 54401
  • What to Bring: Warm clothes, equipment or you can rent onsite
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Boasting the tallest and steepest ski area in the state, Granite Peak transforms Wausau into a skier’s paradise come wintertime.
  • Best Time to Visit: December through February for the best snow conditions.

Willow Spring Garden

  • Activity Type: Peaceful Garden Stroll
  • Location: 1800 S 1st Ave, Wausau, WI 54401
  • What to Bring: A picnic, camera, and perhaps a book
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: This lesser-known, beautifully landscaped garden along the Wisconsin River is perfect for a tranquil escape and offers stunning river views.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring and summer months when the garden is in full bloom.

Rib Mountain State Park

  • Activity Type: Hiking and Scenic Overlook
  • Location: 4200 Park Rd, Wausau, WI 54401
  • What to Bring: Sturdy boots, water, camera
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Offering some of the state’s most panoramic views, Rib Mountain State Park is a haven for hikers, nature lovers, and photographers.
  • Best Time to Visit: Fall for the awe-inspiring foliage.

Wisconsin River Cruises

  • Activity Type: Scenic River Tour
  • Location: Along the Wisconsin river
  • What to Bring: Sunscreen, hat, camera for capturing river views
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Experience Wausau and the surrounding area from a unique perspective on the Wisconsin River. Relax and enjoy the scenery with a variety of cruises offered.
  • Best Time to Visit: Typically offered in warmer months, check for seasonal schedules.

Isle of Ferns Park

  • Activity Type: Nature Trail Walk
  • Location: 1800 S 3rd Ave, Wausau, WI 54401
  • What to Bring: Comfortable walking shoes, a camera
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Tucked away within the city limits, this hidden gem is a series of trails that lead through lush forestry and beside babbling brooks.
  • Best Time to Visit: All year round, but the changing seasons bring their own magic.

Family-Friendly Things to Do in Wausau

Wausau is a fantastic destination for families, offering a fantastic mix of activities that will entertain both kids and adults alike. Here are a few favorite spots to have some family fun in Wausau:

Monk Botanical Gardens

  • Activity Type: Family Nature Walk
  • Location: 1800 N 1st Ave, Wausau, WI 54401
  • What to Bring: Binoculars for bird-watching, a picnic
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: A serene escape with paths through woodlands, gardens, and wetlands, where families can connect with nature and each other.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring, summer, and early fall; check for seasonal events and workshops.

Sylvan Tubing Hill

  • Activity Type: Winter Adventure
  • Location: 1329 Sylvan St, Wausau, WI 54403
  • What to Bring: Warm clothing, a sense of adventure
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: When snow blankets the hill, it’s the perfect spot for thrilling tubing rides that will leave the family with unforgettable winter memories.
  • Best Time to Visit: Snow season, typically December through March.

Wausau Children’s Museum

  • Activity Type: Interactive Learning and Play
  • Location: 1204 N 3rd St Suite 20, Wausau, WI 54403
  • What to Bring: Enthusiasm and curiosity!
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Spark imaginations and foster a love of learning through hands-on exhibits and activities designed for younger visitors.
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round fun, especially on days with less-than-ideal weather.

Discover Wausau’s History: Explore the Woodson History Center

Delving into Wausau’s history adds another layer of appreciation for this dynamic city. If you want to learn about the region’s past, here’s the best place to start:

Woodson History Center

  • Activity Type: Historical Immersion
  • Location: 410 McIndoe St, Wausau, WI 54403
  • What to Bring: Curiosity, a love of history
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: The Woodson History Center houses a vast collection of materials and artifacts that tell the story of Wausau’s past, connecting visitors to the region’s rich history.
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime – the center always has something new to discover.

Where to Eat in Wausau: Top Restaurants for All Cravings

Wausau’s dining scene is as diverse as its attractions. Whether you’re looking for an upscale dining experience, classic comfort food, or family-friendly fare, here are some of the best restaurants in Wausau:

2510 Restaurant

  • Cuisine: American
  • Location: 2510 Stewart Ave, Wausau, WI 54401
  • What to Expect: A cozy, upscale dining experience featuring seasonal American cuisine with an innovative twist.

The Mint Cafe

  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Location: 422 3rd St, Wausau, WI 54403
  • What to Expect: Homey Italian dishes served in a charming, traditional trattoria setting.

The Red Apple Family Restaurant

  • Cuisine: American, Family-Friendly
  • Location: 2101 Grand Ave, Wausau, WI 54403
  • What to Expect: A local institution serving classic American fare in a laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere.

Places to Stay in Wausau: Historic Inns to Modern Hotels

Wausau offers accommodations to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. Whether you’re dreaming of a charming B&B, a modern hotel experience, or something in between, here are some of the best places to stay during your Wausau visit:

The Stewart Inn

  • Type: Historic Bed & Breakfast
  • Features: Luxurious rooms, beautiful gardens, and impeccable service
  • Location: 115 N 6th St, Wausau, WI 54403

Jefferson Street Inn

  • Type: Downtown Boutique Hotel
  • Features: Stylish rooms, a full-service spa, and easy access to downtown attractions
  • Location: 201 Jefferson St, Wausau, WI 54403

Hilton Garden Inn Wausau

  • Type: Mid-Range Hotel
  • Features: Comfortable accommodations, modern amenities, and a central location
  • Location: 2101 N Mountain Rd, Wausau, WI 54401

Plan Your Wausau Trip: Create the Perfect Itinerary

Your Wausau adventure awaits! With this guide in hand, you’re ready to build a unique itinerary that matches your interests. From hiking Rib Mountain to discovering the city’s art scene and history, the possibilities are endless.

In Conclusion

Whether you crave outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, family-friendly activities, or simply a taste of Wisconsin charm, there are endless things to do in Wausau. This dynamic destination offers something for everyone, promising an unforgettable Wisconsin experience. Now’s the time to start planning your trip – let the wonders of Wausau amaze you!