Things to Do in Wausau, WI
Like any community, there are plenty of great things to do in Wausau, WI. Sometimes these events, attractions and restaurants are well known, while other times it takes a well-trained eye or local guide to introduce you to them. If you are looking for more variety, the more populous cities in Wisconsin are certain to accommodate your desires of activities.
When the sun goes down in the Wausau region, the nightlife is just heating up. This city can satisfy an appetite for a night on the town, whether you enjoy dining at a trendy restaurant, sipping martinis or downing a pint at a local pub, or tapping your feet to live music at a nightclub. Located in the heart of downtown Wausau, City Grill is an ideal place to start off the evening, and it doesn’t matter if you’re going for a fun or formal night out. The three-year-old restaurant and bar defines itself as an American bistro offering a casual, contemporary dining atmosphere.
On any given summer evening in 2008, you might well have found the stands at Athletic Park jammed with baseball fans of all ages. After all, it’s not every year that the city’s much-loved team makes the playoffs. The Wisconsin Woodchucks, a fixture in the community since 1994, has a proud history when it comes to producing winning seasons – and winning players who go on to great things in the major leagues. The playoffs, which the team narrowly lost after several team members sustained injuries, were the icing on the cake.
As Marty Hannemann bikes remote highways around Wausau on a brisk autumn afternoon, he tries hard to keep his eyes on the road and off the colorful fall foliage. “Fall is a wonderful time to be outdoors here, as is every other part of the year,” says Hannemann, a part-time parks department employee who also enjoys speed skating and downhill skiing during the winter months. For outdoor enthusiasts like Hannemann, the Wausau region’s four distinct seasons provide year-round entertainment and adventure.
When Patricia Kay walked into 901 N. Sixth Street, she knew she’d found the right place for her restaurant, but it wasn’t until later she realized she’d literally found The Wright Place. “I always wanted to have a fine dining restaurant in a home, and I searched for about a year in the Wausau area until I found it,” she says. “I walked in – and this is the truth – I just said, ‘This is it. This is the right place to be.’”
Several homes in Wausau can be found on national historic lists, and two homes were even designed by the renowned Frank Lloyd Wright. The Charles and Dorothy Manson House on Highland Park Boulevard was designed by the famed architect in 1938 and features strong horizontal lines and three descending levels.
With a name like Café le Grand, you’d better have some, well, pretty special offerings. Luckily, the name’s a perfect fit for this “gourmet coffee shop, eatery and wine boutique.” After purchasing the business in November 2003, owner Loreen Glaman set out to make a successful coffee shop even better, and that meant broadening its horizons. “We have grown drastically,” Glaman says. “The former owner had about eight wines, and now we have between 425 and 450. We have a patio now, and we’ve expanded our hours and our menu.”
Former NASCAR driver Dave Marcis has parked his car and opened a bar. Camp 28 Bunkhouse, Cook Shanty and Saloon is a year-round resort in the Rib Lake area that is owned by Marcis and his wife, Helen. The roomy camp, restaurant and bar welcomes a large number of snowmobilers, bikers, hunters, fishermen and hikers, and there is also a banquet facility that can host up to 200 people.
Mullins Cheese in Knowlton‚ WI, 20 miles south of Wausau‚ produces nearly a dozen varieties of cheese at two facilities covering 60 acres. Wisconsin is the nation's second largest producer of dairy products - second only to California - and owners Bill Mullins and his brother, Don, have expanded the family business to become the largest family-owned operations of its kind in the state. Their father founded the company in 1970.
It’s name says it all – Grand Theater. The Grand began theatrical performances in 1927 and today is a prominent part of Wausau’s downtown ARTSblock. The building is known for its architectural grandeur, including massive arches and fluted columns accented with gold.
From Big Bird to the ugly duckling, from the mythical phoenix to Coleridge’s albatross, birds have captured the imagination since time immemorial. Every year, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau looks skyward and invites masters of the pen, the brush, the chisel and other media to unleash their avian creativity for Birds in Art. The exhibit, which is in its 33rd year, showcases birds in all media for crowds sometimes upwards of 15,000 people.