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20 Best Things to do in Minocqua, Wisconsin

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Minocqua is a small, but beautiful city surrounded by glass-surfaced lakes and serene forests. That is until the small population explodes in the summer months when Minocqua hums with the sounds of laughter and boat engines on the 2,000+ bodies of water in the region!

While summer brings in the most tourism, there are plenty of Minocqua things to do and popular attractions during the fall, winter, and spring. 

Where is Minocqua? Near the Michigan border, Minocqua is in Northern Wisconsin near Lake Superior in Oneida County – a corner of the world rich with natural beauty. Read on for my favorite things to see and do in Minocqua, and head there for your next great outdoor getaway!

Things to Do in Minocqua, Wisconsin

1. Explore the Wildwood Wildlife Park Zoo & Nature Center 

Wildwood Wildlife Park Zoo & Nature Center 
Image from Wildwood Wildlife Park & Safari Facebook Page

Address: 10094 WI-70, Minocqua, WI 54548, United States

During the summer season, the Wildwood Wildlife Park Zoo and Nature Center is one of the most interesting things to do with kids in Minocqua, Wisconsin. This kid-friendly 168-acre zoo and safari park houses over a thousand animals representing over 200 species. 

Wildwood is the second-largest zoo in Wisconsin and is conveniently located in Oneida County. One of my favorite things about Wildwood is the tram ride through the safari section of the park. You get up close and personal with ostriches, zebras, and other safari animals. 

The knowledgeable staff’s guided tours and the gift shop are also excellent. Kids especially love feeding parakeets and giraffes. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, from 10 a.m. onwards, enjoy hand-feeding some incredible wild animals that call Wildwood home. 

Some of the other animals here include monkeys, white-tailed deer, hyenas, zebras, leopards, and more,

See Related: Places to Visit in Wisconsin

2. Watch the Sunset on a Pontoon Cruise 

A Minocqua pontoon cruise is an unforgettable way to experience Minocqua’s beautiful lakes and forests. Pontoons are flat-bottomed boats that give you a unique view of the idyllic landscapes around the Minocqua area. 

The pontoon cruises last between one and three hours, depending on your time slot. Minocqua Pontoon Cruises is open from early May to late October, but slots in July and August fill up fast since this is the busiest time of the year. 

The best part? You can choose which time slot works best for your family or rent a private pontoon for you and the gang.

Morning boat rides include loon and eagle spotting, while sunset tours are the prime time for photography. Other options include noon, afternoon, and flexible one-hour rides. 

See Related: Things to Do in Tomah

3. Enjoy a Meal at the Thirsty Whale 

Address: 453 Park Ave, Minocqua, WI 54548, United States

The Thirsty Whale is a pub-style restaurant located right on the shores of Minocqua Lake, close to the Minocqua Chamber. The food is great pub fare, and the views make this place one of my favorite restaurants in town.

Visitors look forward to enjoying a plate of nachos or the Minocqua Philly on the patio while overlooking the nearby lake and trees. Enjoy a lively night out at the bar. The Thirsty Whale sells cocktails, wines, house beers, and rotating craft beers. 

See Related: Things to Do in Madison

4. Visit Snowmy Kromer

Address: Along Highway 51 near the Let’s Minocqua Visitors Center

Snowmy Kromer is a must-see for Minocqua winter activities and one of the town’s top attractions. Snowmy Kromer is a giant snowman created in the 1960s by locals. Snowmy Kromer towers 30 feet high while his base is 24 feet wide. 

The giant snowman makes fun photos to mark your wintertime getaway to the Northwoods. Snowy Kromer wears one of only two sizes 96 Kromer hats in the world. Wintertime is not truly in full swing until you spot this towering mascot of Minocqua.

He’s also a great giant partner to the World’s Largest Penny in nearby Woodruff, Wisconsin!

See Related: Best Girl Trip Destinations Around the World

5. Spot a Ghost at the Norwood Pines Supper Club 

Address: 10171 WI-70, Minocqua, WI 54548, United States

The Norwood Pines Supper Club is one of Northern Wisconsin’s oldest supper clubs. Hidden amongst the trees in a secluded lakeside setting, the Norwood Pines Supper Club has a notorious history. Once a bordello frequented by gangsters, the grounds today are rumored to be frequented by the spirit of Edgar, who died in the club. 

This notorious past is hard to spot since the supper club serves luxurious meals in a fine dining atmosphere. Enjoy all-you-can-eat fish fries on Friday nights with a side of the classic Norwood Pines’ original corn fritters. Friday fish options available include: 

  • Deep-fried cod 
  • Broiled cod 
  • Cajun baked cod 
  • Deep-fried lake perch 

Menu items like barbecue ribs and seared Ahi tuna are favorites of mine, as well as those of locals and tourists visiting. This historic home has rustic wooden beams on the ceilings and wood panels lining the walls.

If weather permits, request to sit on the newly renovated porch for impressive views of the estate, where you might spot a white-tailed deer. 

See Related: Things to Do in Wisconsin Dells

6. Go Ziplining Through the Trees with Northwoods Zipline

Address: 7849 US-51, Minocqua, WI 54548, United States

Northwoods Zipline is Wisconsin’s largest zipline canopy and is one of Minocqua’s best activities. Over two and a half hours, you’ll feel the rush of adrenaline over 9 ziplines and 5 adventure bridges above the tree canopy. 

My favorite part? The 1,000-foot zipline over one of the gorgeous Minocqua lakes. This is a year-round activity, but nothing beats the views of soaring overtop the colorful leaves in the fall. 

Northwoods Zipline offers ziplines for kids of all ages. Children aged three and over can enjoy this wilderness adventure activity. There is also a tree-top obstacle course with ziplines and fun bridges, swings, and climbs. 

See Related: Things to Do in Hayward

7. Take ATV Tours 

UTV Rentals At A&M UTV Rentals LLC
Image from A&M utvrentals, LLC Facebook Page

Address: 1457 Little Muskie Cir, Arbor Vitae, WI

Explore Minocqua and other Northwood areas on an ATV tour with A&M UTV Rentals, LLC. Choose a 2021 Kawasaki Teryx 4LE or a 2021 Yamaha Wolverine X4 850 and ride through over 200 miles of trails. 

Let the scenic landscapes surround you as you zoom through the natural wonderland around northern Wisconsin’s lakes and forests. Rentals are for a maximum of eight hours per day. You must be over 25 and have a valid driver’s license to rent one of the UTVs. 

See Related: Things to Do in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

8. Taste Local Brews at the Minocqua Brewing Company 

Woman Posing In Front Of Minocqua Brewing Company
Image from Minocqua Brewing Company Facebook Page

Address: 329 Front St, Minocqua, WI 54548, United States

Housed in a historical 1929 Free Masons building, the Minocqua Brewing Company is a craft brewery with a powerful message and history. They started as a brewing company in the early 2000s but, like many other local businesses, faced challenges throughout the pandemic due to legislature around restaurant capacity. 

All their house beers have a political message and are labeled #progressivebeer. Try a Biden Beer, Bernie Brew, or the Vice Presidential Stout for those who lean blue. Enjoy Sunday brunch or live music on the patio. I recommend trying their burrito. 

See Related: Top Things to See and Do in Milwaukee

9. Dress Like a Cow at Beef-A-Rama 

Women Dressed Like A Cow
Image from Beef-A-Rama Facebook Page

For over 50 years, Minocqua has hosted the annual Beef-A-Rama on the last week of September. Tourists flock to this small lakeside town to participate in one of the best Minocqua Wisconsin events by dressing in cow attire.

Wander through more than 70 stalls selling artisan goods as live music and the delectable smells of beef drift through the air. An annual roasting competition, 10K and 5K Rump Roast Run and Walk, and a beef-eating contest!

See Related: Best Small Towns in Wisconsin to Visit

10. Bike along Bearskin State Trail 

Trailhead for Wisconsin's Bearskin Trail

The Bearskin State Trail is hands down one of the top things to do in Minocqua for anyone searching for peaceful wildlife areas. It is 18.4 miles of scenic landscapes along a former railway that transported logs in the 1800s. The trail is mostly flat, which makes it suitable for families of all ages. 

This is an easy trail to bike, walk, or run on that passes by lakes, creeks, and forests brimming with spruce, oak, birch, maple, elm, and pine trees.

You are likely to see some wildlife on your ride. I often spot birds and white-tailed deer amidst the trees.  The trail stops at several landmarks where you can learn about the history of the former railroad corridor. 

See Related: Best Travel Trailers for Couples

11. Go Camping in the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest 

Bikers At Northern Highland American Legion State Forest
Image from TripAdvisor

Address: 4125 County Highway M, Boulder Junction, WI 54512, United States

The Northern Highland American Legion State Forest is 236,000 acres, spreading throughout three of Wisconsin’s northern counties. Composed of over 900 lakes in Woodruff, Minocqua, and Boulder Junction, this sprawling forested wonderland is perfect for a natural getaway. 

Remote campsites are available for friends and families to spend time in nature. Choose between modern, rustic, primitive, and group campsites. Some campsites have shower facilities and electricity, while others do not. 

Lounge on beaches at the edge of the still waters or take a self-guided hike on the extensive trail systems. The state forest has picnic areas and a nature center with educational exhibits and displays. 

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12. Go Bowling at Island City Lanes and Lounge 

Go bowling at Island City Lanes
Image from Island City Lanes Facebook Page

Address: 8085 US-51, Minocqua, WI 54548, United States

The Island City Lanes and Lounge are jam-packed with fun-filled activities, including a 12-lane bowling alley. Dance to music on the jukebox hit the bullseye on the dartboard, and wipe your fingers of wing sauce before hitting a strike. 

Island City Lanes boasts one of the biggest bars in town, making it ideal for adults. However, it also has a game room that keeps kids entertained too.  If bad weather ruins your plans, I highly recommend Island City Lanes and Lounge as a welcomed backup. 

13. Watch a Waterski Show 

Waterski Show At Min-Aqua Bats Water Ski Club
Image from Min-Aqua Bats Waterski Shows Facebook Page

Address: 422 W Park Ave, Minocqua, WI 54548, United States

Enjoy water sports? Then you’ll wanna check out the Min-Aqua Bats! The Min-Aqua Bats put on free water ski shows throughout the summer season. Donations are collected during intermission to fund their team.

These Minocqua local teens perform tricks and delightful moves on Lake Minocqua’s water. Watch the water ski club juggle as they ride, splash into the water as they wipe out, and ride wicked waves.  Hungry? Head to the Thirsty Whale and grab a meal while you watch the show. 

14. Lounge at the Perfect Property 

One of my favorite things to do in Minocqua, Wisconsin, is to take in the beauty of nature and hit the reset button. Get some much-needed rest at some of the best Minocqua hotels.  

Best Western Plus Concord Inn 

Hotel Room with Two Large Beds
Photo by

Address: 320 Front St, Minocqua, WI 54548, United States

Within walking distance of downtown Minocqua, the Best Western Plus Concord Inn is a 3-star hotel perfect for families and couples. The comfortable Northwood-style rooms feature spacious rooms with free WiFi and complimentary breakfast. 

The Best Western Plus Concord Inn has an indoor pool ideal for relaxing after winter activities or summertime fun. 

The Waters of Minocqua

Hotel Lobby
Photo by

Address: South 8116, 8116 US-51, Minocqua, WI 54548, United States

The Waters of Minocqua is a place to stay and a fun activity for the whole family. This 3-star resort features a 10,000-square-foot water park and arcade. Indoor and outdoor swimming pools allow you to play no matter the weather. 

The hotel is decorated with Northwood, including hanging antler chandeliers and brick fireplaces. The rooms are spacious and have private balconies. 


Spacious Rental Room
Photo by

Address: Minocqua, 54548, United States of America

Loonsight is a private house ideal for families or groups of friends looking for a secluded getaway in Minocqua. Loonsight has four bedrooms and three bathrooms for a maximum of eight guests. The property is dog-friendly, so bring your furry best friend along. 

I love Loonsight because it has a fully-equipped kitchen and boathouse. Sip a coffee on the patio overlooking Lake Tomahawk Lake, then head to the boathouse for a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. Spend evenings cozying up by the fire or sitting by the water looking at the stars. 

15. Go Snowmobiling Through Serene Landscapes 

Man in Suit Snowmobiling

Minocqua tourism explodes during the summer, but there is plenty of fun during winter. Snowmobiling is a popular winter attraction, and many of the hotels in the area have direct access to the trail systems from their properties. 

Adventure Snowmobile Tours offers guided morning, afternoon, or full-day snowmobile tours. You can also take private or tailored tours for beginner or advanced riders. 

Once you have got the hang of it, rent a snowmobile for a couple of days and explore the well-maintained snowmobile trails throughout the Minocqua and Northwoods. 

16. Go Fishing

Holding a Fishing Bait

With more than 2,000 lakes in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, it is no wonder that fishing is one of the best activities in Minocqua. There are ample opportunities for fishing walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, muskie, and more.

Some lakes are catch-and-release, while others let you take home and cook your catch. Visitors can fish from the shore or fishing boats in the summer. Visit Minocqua in the winter and try ice fishing!

17. Golf at the Minocqua Country Club 

Minocqua Country Club Overlook
Image from Minocqua Country Club Facebook Page

Address: 9299 Country Club Rd, Minocqua, WI 54548, USA

Wondering what to do in Minocqua with those golf clubs in the trunk? Golfweek Magazine rated The Minocqua Country Club the fourth-best private golf course in Wisconsin. It is a members-only golf club; however, memberships range from family to social memberships, with golf rounds included. 

Six tee choices are available across the 18 holes, surrounded by trees and spectacular views. The club has a private dock on Lake Minocqua that allows members to access the club by boat rather than drive. 

Regardless of how you get there, investing in a good travel bag for golf clubs will make that one less thing to worry about.

You can also enjoy other outdoor sports, with two tennis courts and bocci ball games. The Minocqua Country Club hosts Bridge and Mahjong games. My favorite feature is the restaurant, which offers options ranging from casual finger foods to elegant gourmet meals. 

See Related: Golf Bachelor Party Destinations Ideas

18. Check Out a Lumberjack Show 

Performers At A Lumberjack Show
Image from TripAdvisor

Have you ever wondered what forest Olympics are? You will find out about it at the Fred Scheers Lumberjack Shows. Sit at the edge of your seat as you watch lumberjacks run across logs on the water.

Ax throwing and sawing competitions keep you routing for your favorite lumberjacks, while comedy routines will have you laughing. Families with kids should opt for the matinee showing since the little ones are called onto the stage and allowed to try out their lumberjack skills. 

Shows are performed in a private arena in Woodruff five times weekly from June to late September, rain or shine. Children under the age of three are free. 

19. Ski at the Minocqua Winter Park & Nordic Center

Skiing At The Minocqua Winter Park & Nordic Center
Image from Minocqua Winter Park Ski Shop Facebook Page

Address: 7588 Squirrel Hill Rd, Minocqua, WI 54548, USA

The Minocqua Winter Park is a not-for-profit town park with over 6,000 acres of land. This park is one of the best places in Minocqua to ski in winter. Ski lessons and a nearby pro shop to rent equipment are right at hand.

This winter wonderland has over 54 miles of groomed trails for fat-tire biking. Take your dog with you and try Skijoring, a type of skiing where your dog pulls you. 

Other winter sports enjoyed here include: 

  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Ice skating
  • Snow tubing

Check out the Minocqua Winter Park events schedule for races and special events. Once you have fun, warm up in the chalet near the fire pit or have tea at the Tea House.  

20. Try Hunting

Teaching How to Use an Arrow

With so much federal and state land, Minocqua is an ideal place for hunting—practice archery, trapping, and shooting wild game. Escape into the forests and try your hand at different hunting techniques. 

Some animals hunted and trapped here include hare, grouse, wild turkeys, and white-tailed deer. The white-tailed deer is the most popular animal to hunt between September and December.

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