Are you visiting Dodgeville for the first time and have no clue about what to expect? For those unaware, Dodgeville is a small county seat and a city in Iowa, Wisconsin. Moreover, this place has a sister city; Oakham, Rutland in the United Kingdom.
What’s more, Dodgeville is a charming place and a lovely destination between rugged bluffs and farmlands.
Contrary to common belief, this city has exotic and fascinating parks, family-friendly attractions, and many places to enjoy great shopping. Although it might be a small place with very few residents, Dodgeville makes a great destination for a weekend getaway.
Do you want to explore nature and landscape while visiting the Governor Dodge state park? Or entertain the history buff in you by paying a visit to the Iowa County Historical Society and Museum?
There is so much to do, so it is better to make a plan before you book your stay in this little town with many offerings.
Read this guide to know about the 22 best things to do in Dodgeville WI, and enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Table of Contents
- List of the Best Things to Do in Dodgeville WI
- 1. Governor Dodge State Park
- 2. Harris Park
- 3. Centennial Park
- 4. The Courthouse Pocket Park
- 5. Wilson Park
- 6. Iowa County Historical Society and Museum
- 7. Dodge Mining Camp Cabin
- 8. Dodgeville Slag Furnace
- 9. Old Rock School
- 10. Museum of Minerals and Crystals
- 11. Folklore Village
- 12. Time and Again Vintage Store
- 13. Bob’s Bitchin’ BBQ
- 14. Duke’s Brew Pub and Ale House
- 15. Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship
- 16. Quality Bakery
- 17. Schurman’s Wisconsin Cheese
- 18. CobbleStone Coffee Shop
- 19. Bloomfield Prairie
- 20. Rocking Highlands Farm
- 21. Dodge Theatre
- 22. Dobby Stables Inc
List of the Best Things to Do in Dodgeville WI
Lucky for you, holidaying in this city is fun in every season of the year. Dodgeville has grasslands, hills, and many other attractions that will help you create great memories.
The city welcomes you with open arms and makes sure you plan a visit again.
With a vivid past, Dodgeville has many indoor and outdoor attractions within a radius of 60 miles. It means you have many things to do in Dodgeville WI, which is also a day-tripper’s heaven.
Let’s explore our 22 must-visit places and experience Dodgeville WI things to do.
1. Governor Dodge State Park
If you are a nature-lover, the picturesque views of this park will leave you spellbound for many days.
The Governor Dodge State Park is your cup of tea if you fancy spending some time surrounded by waterfalls, lakes, and forests.
If you are visiting this park in the summer months, you can enjoy fishing or swimming and boat on the lakes located within this park. One of these lakes is the Twin Valley Lake and it is beautiful beyond words.
The other is the Cox Hollow Lake which is again pretty breathtaking.
Besides, if you plan a visit in winter, you can participate in Dodgeville WI activities such as cross country skiing and snowmobiling.
You can also go on a hike or a cycling adventure, thanks to the many trails found in this exotic park.
Are you a fan of horse riding? Think no more as this park has trails specially designed for such adventures.
Interestingly, this park also has an on-site concession stand for buying clothing, food, gifts, and even gear on rent.
The Governor Dodge State Park has fixed opening and closing timings, so make sure you follow that. In addition, there is an entry fee for this location.
If you plan to camp in Dodgeville WI, you can rent a spot in the park’s campground and stay for a night or two.
However, if you don’t like the idea, there are many hotels in the city that will make your stay comfortable.
For instance, the AmericInn by Wyndham Dodgeville is a spacious property with well-equipped rooms. It also has a wonderful location to access many attractions in the city easily.
2. Harris Park
If you like parks, there are many you will find in Dodgeville. Among them, Harris Park is more of a community area with many different attractions.
For instance, it comes with a picnic area with tables to eat your food. In addition, there is play equipment available for both kids and adults.
What’s more, sheltered pavilions offer a great place to stay in the park for some time and enjoy its scenic beauty.
If you are visiting this place in the hot months, you can experience sports such as volleyball and baseball.
In addition, the paved path in the park welcomes you to have a run or a walk with your family and friends to boost your fitness levels during your vacations.
Unlike most other parks, this place has a huge building solely designed to hold many interesting community events. If you are lucky, you can participate in fun food competitions, market stalls, and even hockey games.
It is safe to say that Harris Park represents the life of locals in the best possible ways.
You can join musical performances and local sports events. In addition, you also get the chance to interact with the locals and learn more about Dodgeville.
If these fun things to do in Dodgeville WI excite you, you can book a vehicle from Kayak from your hotel and reach the family-friendly park with ease.
Moreover, you can also take this car to explore the towns nearby. Sounds like a great road trip, right?
3. Centennial Park
You should add another park to your things to do in Dodgeville WI itinerary. This place is a family-friendly spot that will help create a fun day with your loved ones.
The Centennial Park is located on the S Dacotah Street in Dodgeville and has many picnic spots, pavilions, and even private corners to cook your food on grills.
In addition, there are horseshoe pits, tennis courts, and baseball courts for healthy competitions among members of your family. The playground is filled with many swings, slides, and merry-go-rounds that your small kids will have a blast while partying in this park.
What’s more, this place also has the Comer Swimming Pool Complex. Now that is quite a rare thing that you can find in a community park, but that’s what makes this place so special.
If you want to experience this park more than once, you will have to stay in a hotel in Dodgeville.
Luckily, the Don Q Inn is an exotic 2-star hotel with basic facilities such as a fitness center and an indoor pool.
In addition, each room in this hotel is quite spacious, so you will have plenty of space to rest after spending a day in Centennial Park.
4. The Courthouse Pocket Park
As a part of the Dodgeville area chamber, the Courthouse Pocket Park is quite close to Wells Fargo and is located near the County Courthouse. Like many other parks in this area, this one also has benches and picnic tables for people to have a great time.
In addition, there is playground equipment for kids so they can burn their energies, while you and your partner can relax and soak under the sun.
If you are staying near the courthouse, you should include a visit to this park on your things to do Dodgeville WI list.
5. Wilson Park
Undoubtedly, Dodgeville is a city of parks, and if you love them, you shouldn’t miss Wilson Park. It is an 8-acre neighborhood park located in the west part of the city.
Like any other park on this list, the area is green with lush grass and can also be a perfect spot for picnic plans. But what makes Wilson Park different from other parks is its usability in summer.
The Dodgeville Recreation Department utilizes this space in the warm months and arranges various summer programs for locals and outsiders.
There is a softball, baseball, and t-ball league. In addition, the team of Softball High School Girls in Dodgeville also consumes the space for their activities.
Although much smaller than most parks in this town, Wilson Park is the most utilized space for many sports events and activities.
6. Iowa County Historical Society and Museum
Do you have a craze for history and wondering what to do in Dodgeville WI? If yes, we have a great place for you.
The Iowa County Historical Society and Museum were founded in 1976, and since then, this place has preserved the history of the locals living in Iowa.
This place also houses many artifacts that represent the lives of people in Iowa and their contributions to art and culture.
Interestingly, while in the museum, you will also come across many information and facts on major landmarks in this city. For instance, the museum contains pictures of the Dodge Mining Camp Cabin and Dodgeville Slag Furnace that represent this mining city to the fullest.
If you love reading, the museum has a good collection of some history books for sale. You can explore the bookstore and take a piece of Iowa with you to your home.
While visiting the museum, don’t forget to visit the recreations of a mining camp and old school built within this small place.
This attraction is open for visits from Wednesday to Friday. However, there are fixed timings, so make sure you plan your day accordingly.
7. Dodge Mining Camp Cabin
Do you want to explore the main landmarks of this town and find a little more about what makes Dodgeville so special?
Then, in your plan for the best things to do in Dodgeville WI, don’t forget to visit the Dodge Mining Camp cabin located on Fountain Street.
Constructed by a man named Henry Dodge, this landmark is like a small house that now serves as a museum. Henry was an officer in the military who, a few years after, became the Wisconsin Territory’s governor.
This cabin is part of the National Register of Historic Places and the State.
8. Dodgeville Slag Furnace
Another unique landmark, the Dodgeville Slag Furnace, was built in 1876. Constructed by Samuel Cornelius and Thomas Carkeek, it is a true representation of this mining town.
This is the only furnace you will find in the city today. But it stands tall as a beautiful monument that tells a lot about what the town was all about.
Take some time out and visit this place with other things to do in Dodgeville WI today.
9. Old Rock School
After visiting the museum, you can also try your luck and see the Old Rock School, found in the same street. This place gives a beautiful image of Dodgeville’s history.
Constructed in 1853, the Old Rock School is a two-story building built using limestone rubble. It also has its name registered among the National Register of Historic Places.
Many people may not know that this property served as a school for almost 50 years. However, authorities transformed it into a private residence later.
You might not be allowed to enter the building. But you can always catch a glimpse of the property and take a photo to share with your friends and family.
10. Museum of Minerals and Crystals
Unfortunately, this place has an unassuming exterior, but it is a fantastic mineral point inside.
Located on the State Road in Dodgeville, the Museum of Minerals and Crystals is home to global and local minerals and crystals.
In addition, there is a huge variety of rocks and gems that will leave you amazed.
Sadly the museum is underrated, and many people won’t recommend this place. However, trust me, you will love touring this attraction with your family.
The owner of this museum is super friendly and will guide you throughout. First, he will share some history of the place, and after that, you can explore the artifacts on your own.
What’s more, this museum has a whole room dedicated to fluorescing rocks. In addition, you will also come across massive geodes and fluorite specimens.
The place also has fossilized unique lightning strikes. If you don’t mind a ride, you can also get hold of a horse from the stable and visit the whole place in one go.
This museum has a ticket, and it is around $7. However, this is a very small price that you are asked to pay to enjoy a new and different experience.
You can end your tour by spending some money in the gift shop. For the fossil nerds in your family, the small items will make a great Christmas present.
See related: Best Museums in Minnesota
11. Folklore Village
This nationally recognized arts center is the heart and soul of Dodgeville. For almost 50 years, this place has made immense efforts to preserve this small town’s art and cultural traditions.
Folklore Village is a beautiful establishment that holds various community events and brings locals and outsiders together under one roof. When in Folklore Village, you can dance, sing or just talk with strangers that have the same love for arts and culture as you.
What’s more, you can do many Dodgeville WI activities on this property. For instance, you can try and make fancy baskets or plant some flowers with some new-found friends.
In addition, you can sing your heart out with a choir or become a part of a jam session.
If you are not into any of these activities, you can simply enjoy the nationally recognized folk arts and pieces exhibited in different parts of the property.
You can check Folklore Village’s website for all the updates. In addition, there are many weekend events conducted to bring family and friends together.
If you love the efforts this organization is making towards preserving the local culture, you can donate and play a role in helping this place make a difference.
12. Time and Again Vintage Store
Located on Iowa St, this little store is a small paradise for collectors of antique pieces.
So if you are one and looking for things to do in Dodgeville WI this weekend, the Time and Again Vintage store is a great place to spend your day here.
What makes this space so special?
For starters, it is home to beautiful antiques that you will not find anywhere in Dodgeville. The carries products from 35 different vendors who have unique items available for sale under one roof.
Interestingly, the store is full of many artifacts. So, even if you are looking for home decoration pieces or seasonal items, the place will welcome you with open arms.
These days this store has a lot of different Christmas gifts for sale. From ceramic trees to candles and candies, the place is booming with a festive vibe and goodies.
The store is open every day except Monday till the 23rd of December. So if you are in the city today, you can benefit from slashed prices at this store and enjoy a great shopping experience.
If you plan to visit the store, make sure to explore the Facebook page first for any updates you might require for a smooth experience.
13. Bob’s Bitchin’ BBQ
Traveling can make you hungry, and we can’t blame you. However, you can’t just eat from any place and then cry over your bad food experience.
During your stay in Dodgeville, you need to try good food chains so you can come back for more again. In that case, you should add Bob’s Bitchin’ BBQ among the activities in Dodgeville WI.
Why do we recommend this eatery? If you are a meat lover, you will love the mouthwatering dishes and sauces this place has to offer you.
The restaurant’s logo reads, “So Good You’ll Lick Your Napkin,” and that is absolutely true! Every meat dish in this restaurant is made from scratch and is slow-smoked.
This means that every time you order, you get a tender and juicy meat dish that leave your taste buds dancing with joy.
What’s more, this family-owned business produces amazing sauces. You can enjoy eight flavors of sauces available in different retail stores.
From beef brisket to pork shoulder, the menu at this eatery is perfect for all BBQ lovers like you. You can order either wet or dry meat and enjoy a few appetizers and drinks that this restaurant proudly prepares with love.
This eatery has fixed opening and closing timings. Moreover, if you are visiting Dodgeville during the holiday season, make sure to check the official website of this place before you plan your day.
Talking about food, if you want to stay in a hotel that offers a delicious continental breakfast, the Super 8 by Wyndham Dodgeville is a great option.
Located in Dodgeville, WI 53533, this hotel is a great place for couples and has many spacious family rooms.
See Related: Best Lake Minnetonka Restaurants
14. Duke’s Brew Pub and Ale House
If this guide is making you hungry, you need to be patient for a little longer. Because in our list of Dodgeville WI things to do today, we have another interesting place with tasty drinks and food worthy of your visit.
Located on Chapel St, the Duke’s Brew Pub and Ale House offers a huge variety of beers and many interesting food options. The place is quite casual; however, the vibe of this pub is unmatchable and fun.
From well-cooked hot dogs to chicken wings, the food at this pub will keep you full and happy for hours. In addition, the mixed drinks will make your trip to Dodgeville worth every penny.
What’s more, if you want to experience the local taste at this pub, try the Wisconsin micro-brews with some live music and leave all your worries behind.
This pub is open throughout the week except for Sundays. Moreover, the timings are also different for each day, so make sure to check the Facebook page for any latest updates.
15. Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship
Thinking of things to do in Dodgeville WI? If you plan to visit the city in April, join an amazing event held in Harris Park every year.
What is so special about the Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship? Well, if you are a cheese lover, you will love the food and vibe at this unique event.
The championship welcomes chefs from around the world in one place to compete with each other through cheese-based dishes. It is a family-friendly treat that is quite fun for both spectators and participants.
So, if such events excite you, you need to plan for a trip in April beforehand. In that case, I can recommend you a hotel, Best Western Dodgeville Inn & Suites, in Dodgeville.
This property has an outdoor pool and many spacious room options. Besides, it is quite close to the Boscobel Airport, so that’s a plus for many of you.
You can also benefit from the Booking.com Loyalty Program and benefit from discounts on your room reservations.
If you want to book a vehicle to travel from the hotel to any destination in the city, choose Kayak for their car rental services. In that case, you don’t have to worry about any parking issues.
16. Quality Bakery
Located on Iowa Street Dodgeville, is a small paradise for people with a sweet tooth. This bakery started in 1982, and since then, it has successfully served thousands of local and foreign people.
So, what can you find in this eatery? From fun buns and cakes to cookies and pies, the bakery offers an assortment of baked items that you may find nowhere else.
In addition, the bakery’s most-famous chocolate Bismarcks with hot coffee is worthy of your attention.
One of the best things about this bakery is that all items sold are affordable. Moreover, the food is always fresh and can also be customized according to your likings.
17. Schurman’s Wisconsin Cheese
Do you want to take some Wisconsin delights with you back home? In that case, save some money for Schurman’s Wisconsin Cheese shop.
This is a small shop in Dodgeville that stores many local products.
From jam, meat, cheese to jellies, you will love the options available to try. Everything in this shop is fresh, so that’s a plus.
In addition, according to locals, the store sells one of the best ice creams in the world.
If you visit the town in the summer months, a short stop at this store will prove quite beneficial.
But even in winter, you will come across many delights and helpful staff for a good experience.
18. CobbleStone Coffee Shop
Since we are talking about food and drinks right now, there is another casual restaurant that you might want to enjoy in downtown Dodgeville.
This place is a small cozy coffee shop that offers the best coffee in town. Whether you are with your family or friends, the place welcomes you with great warmth and a comfortable vibe.
If you want to enjoy some drinks or breakfast here, the staff is more than ready to guide you about the best items on the menu.
The location of the CobbleStone coffee shop is simply ideal and close to most top attractions in town.
So after spending some time in a park or a history center, you can take a break and chill at this place. This place is also full of locals, so talk to a few people and learn more about the town.
See Related: Best Travel French Presses for Coffee Lovers
19. Bloomfield Prairie
Dodgeville is a modern city with lots of outdoor spaces to enjoy nature. While planning for the things to do in Dodgeville WI, you can also schedule a day to visit Bloomfield Prairie.
This place is home to wild animals and flowers and is a great destination to enjoy some peace and quiet for some time.
Interestingly, Bloomfield Prairie is located on a 432-acre land once used for agriculture. However, with time, the authorities converted this area into a bird habitat containing wildflowers, birds, and air that you might have never experienced before.
This place is managed by many authorities, including the Driftless Area Land Conservancy and Iowa County Prairie Recreation.
If you love this attraction on your visit, you can volunteer to maintain the project and play a role in preserving this beautiful piece of land.
20. Rocking Highlands Farm
Located in southwest Wisconsin, the Rocking Highlands Farm is home to a cattle breed from Scotland. This place is a treat for sore eyes with many animals and grassland.
However, when in town, do try the products from this farm. Rocking Highlands Farm sells top-quality meat that is hard to find anywhere else.
All the animals are grass-fed, and the beef is free from any injected antibiotics and hormones.
You can get these products online or choose the pick-up option to experience farm life. If you have kids with you, visiting the farm will make them busy for some time.
21. Dodge Theatre
Do you want to experience a good movie in a local theatre in Dodgeville WI? The casual Dodge theatre can be a source of entertainment for you if you do so.
Although small, the theater is cozy and has a unique small-town charm. Moreover, it screens all the latest Hollywood movies you might want to watch.
According to visitors, this theatre has a very friendly staff which makes sure that the place is squeaky clean every time.
You can visit the theatre’s official website for any holiday discounts being offered right now. In addition, on normal days, the theatre gives discounts on the tickets of elderly visitors and children under the age of 11.
22. Dobby Stables Inc
If you are in Dodgeville right now, here is one of the things to do in Dodgeville WI this weekend. Doby Stables Inc offers horse rides with experienced guides.
This service helps you explore the different trails in Dodgeville while riding on a horse. You can either enjoy this experience alone or join a group with adventurers like you.
In addition, the company serves people of all age levels. So, if you have a kid with you, they can experience a 45-minute trail that is both scenic and tranquil.
Moreover, for you, the 65-minute ride in a nearby park is worth all the time and effort. The ride prices and timing vary for every customer.
Please note that this service doesn’t provide helmets, so make sure to bring one from home.
Dobby Stables require you to book in advance to avail of this fun service. So, make sure you make a plan now and reserve your spot before the weekend arrives.
Also, the company is closed for a few seasons. Therefore, it is better to visit the website before making a plan.
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