9 Most Popular Things To Do In Eau Claire in Wisconsin (2023)
Eau Claire is an interesting, small town located in the west-central part of Wisconsin. For well-knowns, it is the Indie Capital of the Midwest. This quaint town is known for its universities, sawmills, the lumber industry, and tourism opportunities. It might not be a popular tourism town as other American cities on social and digital media, but do not let that fool you. Eau Claire for tourism is a totally unexceptional and wonderful place. There are attractions and activities for travelers of all age groups and interests, from kids to adults and senior adults.
Eau Claire is a historic Wisconsin town settled in the 17th century by European travelers. Even when it didn’t get its name, long before that, this region was home to several local Native American tribes. That is why, in some of the other forms, you can observe a glimpse of distinctive living here. There are museums, public parks, historic homes, river trails, a bustling downtown, and so much more to explore.
9 Most Popular Things To Do In Eau Claire in Wisconsin
Here are a few of the best places to visit and things to do when in Eau Claire. Have a look:
1. Learn the History of Eau Claire at the Chippewa Valley Museum
There isn’t a better place to visit in Eau Claire than the Chippewa Valley Museum, especially for a history buff. The Museum covers a fascinating history from the 1650s when Europeans arrived and settled here. Exhibitions and storytelling here range from still objects to typical live programs. Guests can walk back into typical 17th-century farm life, folk music, and other features. Moving forward, there’s also a 1950s ice-cream parlor, a must-visit in the Museum. There operates historic Anderson Log Home on the same ground during the summer season. The Museum also offers rotating programs throughout the year, thus ensuring something new for every next visit. Before going back, do explore and indulge in other features in Carson Park around.
2. Spend Some Time At The Carson Park
One of the most popular things to do in Eau Claire is visiting Carson Park. It is the center of Eau Claire, and for over 77 years now, it has been known as the home of Eau Claire Baseball. The Carson Park is located on an island created on Half Moon Lake, Oxbow Lake and some regions of the Chippewa River. Inside the park lies Baseball and Football stadiums, Softball venues, two popular Eau Claire museums, and a few natural walking trails. For activities, guests can choose from trying snacks at Butterfinger Dilly Bar, fishing at Braun’s Bay, resting at the beautiful green spaces or photographing at different landmarks. Carson Park is also known for mesmerizing sunset views. Some of the additional activities here include hiking, mountain biking, horseshoeing and water-skiing.
3. Take Your Kids To The Children’s Museum of Eau Claire
Located right in the middle of downtown, the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire is a must-visit place for kids. The interactive environment here at the Museum inspires imagination, creativity, and discovery amongst young minds. The entire Museum is a spread of three floors, all of which features interactive and colorful displays and activities. The Museum offers unique programs every day of its operation, including art and craft classes, face paintings, science workshops, planetarium shows, and more. Along with that, the permanent exhibitions here include the Wonderful world of water in WaterWorks, Bitty City, Kidstruction, a huge Digestive system, Show Business and several other additions. When in Eau Claire with kids of 10 or below, do make sure to pay a visit here. The Museum operates Thursday through Sunday and is also available for private rental parties.
4. Visit the Ager House
Ager house is a beautiful museum celebrating the life of Waldemar Ager, a Norwegian-American author and writer. It was built during the late 19th century, and the writer’s family owned it till 1962. Thereafter it went for under possession of a hospital and then finally became a museum and a historical attraction of Eau Claire. Today while visiting here, guests can go through all those rooms where Ager used to sit and write his novels. The first floor of the buildings looks exactly like how it used to be back in the original times. Further on the second floor, there’s a resource library. A section is also dedicated to memorabilia of Ager’s life and his popular career. Guests here can either navigate on their own or opt for informative guided tours. Or visit the Ager house for town activities, including Norwegian classes (in January) and The Pie and Ice Cream Social (in August). The house operates every second and fourth Saturday of the month from 10 am to 2 pm, and visiting here is absolutely free.
5. On A Sunny Afternoon, Explore The Paul Bunyan Logging Camp
The Paul Bunyan Logging Camp is a living museum celebrating Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe. It is a 19th-century world on its own, and being here feels like walking back into the time. Guests visiting here can see logs older than the Declaration of Independence. Some of the highlights of the Museum include a blacksmith’s shop, a cook’s cabin, heavy equipment shed and a bunkhouse. Every structure is full of original objects and artifacts belonging to the 1800s. Even though each structure is a recreation, it feels like no less than the original. Despite being here for a long-long time, it still counts as a popular place to visit in Eau Claire. The lodging camp operates from June to September, through Thursday to Sunday, 12 pm to 4 pm.
6. Walkthrough The Pathways Of Chippewa River Trail
Chippewa River Trail is a 26-mile trail passing through the town of Eau Claire. The trail follows the pathways of the Chippewa River and is known for its surrounding rural areas. It starts from Phoenix Park in downtown Eau Claire running through the town of Durand, finally connecting with the Red Cedar State Trail. Both locals and travelers choose this trail for walking, running, and cycling during summers. Its beautiful grasslands, marsh area, snowmobiling, and sandstone bluffs also make it ideal for natural sightseeing. For winters, there are activities including snowmobiling, in-line ice skating and cross-country skiing. On a Saturday morning every week, visitors here can also visit the famous farmers’ market in Phoenix Park. Accessing the Chippewa River Trail further requires passes, which are $4 for a day and $15 for a year.
7. Shop at the Downtown Farmer’s Market
The Eau Claire’s popular downtown Farmer’s market operates at the Phoenix Park at the intersection of Riverfront Terrace and Wisconsin Street. The market operates from May through October (Saturdays during May and Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday for the rest month). From November through April, there operates a Winter market 8:30 am to 12:30 pm, every second Saturday of the month. The market brings vibrant local colors to life, showcasing locally grown from the entire Chippewa Valley. From fruits to vegetables, fresh meat, freshly baked goods, candy, flowers and almost every necessity is available here. Even if you are a tourist in Eau Claire, you can still visit the market to buy incredibly packed goods for very low prices.
8. Hike All The Way Towards the Mt. Simon Park
If you want to grab the top views of Eau Claire, there isn’t a better place than Mt. Simon Park. The fun here actually comes to life during summers. Here one can plan a picnic, play volleyball, football and golf, hike on the trails, and land their own boat on the Dells Pond. If you are a hiking enthusiast and do not mind burning some calories, do climb up till the summit of Mt. Simon. Mark the words; it is where you can grab the most impressive overlooking views of Eau Claire, Dells Pond, and some parts of the Chippewa River. However, for views, consider choosing a clear and sunny day as visibility then will appear at its best.
9. If You Are 21+, Add River Bend Vineyard & Winery And Infinity Beverages Winery & Distillery Into Your Itinerary
Eau Claire, though, isn’t a hub for wines, but if you are looking for some great options, there are definitely a few. For example, the Infinity beverages winery & distillery is the only of its kind within the boundaries of Eau Claire. Upon visiting here, one can try or shop for a range of grape and fruit wines, port wines, vodka, whiskey, etc. There’s a tasting lounge where guests can first try the samples and, upon liking, can buy the bottles. They even deal in experimental drinks and custom-labeled wines and operate for private events and tailormade group tours.
Or you can also visit the River Bend Vineyard & Winery, 10 minutes from Eau Claire in Chippewa falls. They specialize in craft cocktails made from small-batch spirits and red wines. While wine tasting here is free, guests can enjoy the same by sitting on the patio and observing the views. For some quick bites, they even sell crackers, cheese and sausage. The Caribbean food here is a must-try.