11 Best Things to do in Wabasha, Minnesota

Aerial view of Wabasha Minnesota

Despite the city’s small size, there are numerous exciting things to do in Wabasha. Enjoy the rich history, festivals, winter games, and fishing tournaments.

Located in the heart of Wabasha County, Minnesota, Wabasha is a city that has plenty to offer both for local and international tourists. With a small population of slightly above 2,500, the city lies in a perfect spot near the Chippewa and the Mississippi rivers’ confluence.

There are numerous things to do in Wabasha, Minnesota, that will capture your eyes, heart, and mind. Although not as popular as the big cities around the country, Wabasha is a unique tourist destination that stealthily finds a spot among well-known tourist destinations.

This article intends to explore all the Wabasha attractions and give you an accurate picture of the fun you can have while in this city. Whether you long to go kayaking or watch the incredible eagles fishing, the 90 minutes’ drive from the Twin Cities is worth it.

Things to do in Wabasha, Minnesota

  1. Wabasha Walking Tour

Things to do in Wabasha, Minnesota

With the city’s history dating back to the early 19th, Wabasha is undoubtedly the oldest city along the upper Mississippi River.

Its incredibly rich history can be seen at every turn you make, with the streets lined up with homes and buildings from the 19th-century era.

In fact, over 50 historic buildings in Wabasha are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. If you want to learn and experience the city’s history firsthand, a tour of the city, either self-guided or tour-guided, can be a great idea.

You can get an online self-guided tour brochure from The Wabasha-Kellogg Chamber. Besides history, a city tour allows you to see and explore local restaurants, cafes, and other businesses.

For instance, you can grab a cappuccino at the Eagle’s Nest Coffee House or a dessert at the famous Chocolate Escape. Also, if you are there on a Wednesday or Saturday, a visit to Wabasha Farmers Market would crown your tour. The market is open on those two days, from May to October.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Brainerd, Minnesota

  1. Enjoy a Cold Beer at Hoppy Girl Brewing

Turning Waters Brewing Company

Address: 136 Bridge Ave, Wabasha, MN 55981, United States

A visit to the Hoppy Girl Brewing Co. is an excellent chance to sample locally brewed beer for beer lovers. As they say here, “good beer can be found anywhere, but great beer doesn’t come by easy.”

If you want to relax as you sip some of the best hand-crafted local beers with family or friends, this is the place to be. What you get here is not the typical beer available in any joint.

The brewer’s passion and dedication can be felt with each sip of their smooth flavors, and it’s certainly a place you want to visit. There is no better way to spend your evening than enjoy it with friends and your favorite craft beer flavor from Hoppy Girl Brewing Co.

If you are in the cities, check out our other guides on breweries:

See Related: Best Things to Do in Red Wing, Minnesota

  1. Visit the National Eagle Center

National Eagles Center
Source: nationaleaglescenter.org

Address: 50 Pembroke Ave, Wabasha, MN 55981, United States

This is a first-class interpretive eagle’s center established in 1989 as EagleWatch, Inc. Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, the center is one of the most frequented places in Wabasha, Minnesota.

The center’s main goals include:

  • Educating people about the biology, ecology, as well as natural history of the incredible birds (eagles).
  • Encourage people to embrace environmental sustainability and conservation.
  • Help people relate with and learn the importance of eagles in American history.

The place is home to two major eagle species (bald and golden eagles), which you can view and enjoy an up-close experience with during your visit.

In the upper River Valley, hundreds of bald eagles build their nests on the tall trees, creating an incredible sighting. Even more bald eagles can be seen here in winter, as the river runs all year round.

If you are an eagle lover, this place offers more than enough to make your day exciting. Both the tamed and wild eagles make this place a must-visit while on a Wabasha city visit. So, when planning things to do or where to go in Wabasha, the National Eagle Center should always be on the list.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Fergus Falls, Minnesota

  1. Go Skiing

Coffee Mill skiing

Skiing is undoubtedly one of the most fun things to do in Wabasha, especially during winter. If you want to have that adrenaline rush, Coffee Mill offers just the perfect spot.

The place, which gets its name from a historic navigational point on the Mississippi River, is the best place to enjoy coulee skiing. The extensive slopes plus the high-capacity chairs give a skiing experience you’ll find nowhere else.

The slopes extend from the mild slopes of Chippewa to the extreme pitch of O’Chute, making each run an experience of a lifetime. The different runs are separated by a dense growth of oaks and pine trees, and the continuous modern snowmaking process keeps the place full of snow throughout the year.

Whether you are visiting the town alone or as a family, skiing at Coffee Mill has opportunities for everyone. You can have your best day here for just $30 for kids and $37 for adults. And, if you have that seasonal pass, it guarantees infinite skiing and snowboarding for the entire season.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Minneapolis

  1. Go Fishing

Fishing in the Mississippi

Wabasha enjoys first-class fishing spots that visitors can’t ignore. In Wabasha, any time of the year is prime fishing time. If fishing is your thing, Wabasha offers more than you can imagine.

With the city lying along one major river and near the convergence of two, Wabasha is the perfect destination for your next fishing getaway. The high number of bass, perch, panfish, and walleyes will make your fishing expedition even more exciting. During winter, the Mississippi River becomes icy, with some ice fishing spots.

This is a unique activity that you can enjoy, especially if you are visiting the city as a family or as a group of friends. Obviously, you’re in Minnesota so there won’t be any shortage of nearby lakes to get your fish on.

Fish in any of these ice fishing spots, while watching your fish bite attract the prey beneath the clear ice. As a popular place for fishing, the city is also known to hold several summer and winter fishing tournaments that can be incredibly fun to participate in. You can visit the Wabasha-Kellogg website to check out the available tournaments.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Mankato, Minnesota

  1. Visit the Anderson Gardens

Anderson gardens

Address: 64784 141st Ave, Wabasha, MN, United States, Minnesota

If you are looking for cheap things to do in Wabasha, a day at the Anderson Gardens might serve you well. Located at 64784 141st Avenue, Wabasha, Minnesota 55981, this is the best place to relax as you enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the flowers in these gardens.

Anderson Gardens are open for tours, clubs, church visits, senior groups, and more. All you need to do is call in advance if you are going on a bus or with a larger group.

See Related: Things to do in Two Harbors, Minnesota

  1. Interact with Nature

Mississippi river

The great Mississippi River offers more splendor and attraction than any other feature in this city. From how it flows, the aquatic life it supports, and the rich natural world surrounding it, the river presents endless opportunities to engage with nature. Just the sight of this mighty river is spectacular.

The Mississippi’s backwaters around the city provide excellent fishing grounds, rich with panfish, walleye, and several other fish species.

Lake Pepin, found along the upper section of the river, also offers rich fishing grounds all year round. Here there is an abundance of catfish, northern pike, walleye, smallmouth and largemouth bass, and panfish species.

The backwaters and the wetlands around the city are also excellent spots for bald eagle viewing. And you can enjoy seeing them catch their prey on these waters. If you are lucky to be in Wabasha in March, you will love watching the spectacular annual eagle migration.

See Related: Top-Rated Restaurants in Duluth, Minnesota

  1. Events and Festivals

Wabasha festivals
source: wabasha.org

Wabasha is never a dull city. It enjoys plenty of events and festivals that are pretty exciting to participate in. Riverboat Days is among the city’s events that can’t go unnoticed. For over 4 decades, this annual event has been among the most anticipated events each year, and it dominates the entire city for a weekend with fun activities.

Held in late July every year, the Riverboat Days event is packed with activities such as:

  • Fishing contests
  • A parade
  • Beauty pageant
  • 1K, 5K, and 10K runs
  • Volleyball tournament
  • Car show
  • Craft fair etc.

Food and drinks are also abundant during these festivals, and you’ll enjoy the local delicacies and beer if you are around.

The arrival of fall is another reason for celebration in Wabasha. This is marked by the SepOberfest, a period that involves a lot of events lasting for over a month between September and October.

There are plenty of fun things to do in Wabasha during this time that will make you want to revisit the city the next season.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Hudson, Wisconsin

  1. Kayak and Sup Tours

Wabasha River Bluff

While in Wabasha, kayaking is almost non-negotiable. With multiple unique kayaking spots, you cannot visit the city and not want to experience this fun – unless you are not a fan altogether.

Broken Paddle Guiding Company ensures that you’ve had the best experience, as you enjoy the wild waters, beauty, and serene environment offered by the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

You get to paddle with an experienced kayak guide via the dense forest and learn more about the mighty Mississippi River’s ecosystem. The company offers daily kayak lessons and guided tours, and you don’t need any experience for this.

The guides will make sure you are safe and that you have maximum fun.

This is one of the cool things you can do in Wabasha during the weekends, especially while traveling as a group. This can be a great family vacation to get away and explore some of the great outdoors.

See Related: Best Midwest Roadtrips

  1. Visit the Castlerock Museum

Castlerock museum
Source: wabasha.org

Address: 402 S Second St, Alma, WI 54610, United States

This is one of the few places in the world to have direct contact with the early life of the Romans, Grecians, and Vikings. In this museum, you will see art, arms, and body armor worn by the brave soldiers of those early days. If you’ve ever heard of the “Knights of the Shining Armor,” this is where to find part of that history.

The museum opens between 1 pm and 4 pm on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the year. Also, from June through August, they open on Sundays simultaneously. If you are unsure what to see in Wabasha, the museum is one of the places you can’t miss.

In fact, Castlerock Museum is among the famous Wabasha attractions that will cost you just a few bucks to visit. For only $6 for adults and $4 for students, you can have a moment with various items used by some of the greatest warriors in the history of humankind. Small kids are allowed for free, but with supervision from an adult. This is a great indoor activity in Minnesota for snowy or rainy days.

See related: Places to Take Pictures in Minneapolis

  1. Widespot Performing Arts Theater

Moonshine showcase

Address: 611 Broadway Ave, Wabasha, MN 55981, United States

Being in Wabasha at night is as exciting as during the day, or even more. Besides relaxing and having a quiet beer at Hoppy Girl Brewing, the nightlife here is lively.

If you want to enjoy some unique original music, Widespot Performing Arts Theater concerts will give you just that. The place has a cool venue and great performers, and the customer service is certainly top-notch. You get to listen to original performances up close, something you won’t find in most big-city joints.

Places to Stay in Wabasha

1. Historic Wabasha Home with Patio in Downtown! Top Recommendation

This historic house in Wabasha is a unique and charming place to stay. It features a patio area, so that you can enjoy your own private area outdoors. This spacious house has two bedrooms and two bathrooms for all your needs. There's also an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher. The living room comes complete with a TV, cable channels and a DVD player.

2. Pet-Friendly Retreat with Deck Steps to Marina!

Pet-Friendly Retreat with Deck Steps to Marina! is situated in Wabasha. The accommodation will provide you with a TV and air conditioning. There is a full kitchen with a dishwasher and an oven. Featuring a shower, private bathrooms also come with a hairdryer and free toiletries. You can enjoy garden view from the room.

3. Pet-Friendly Wabasha Studio Boat, Ski and Explore!

Pet-Friendly Wabasha Studio Boat, Ski and Explore! offers accommodation with free WiFi, less than 1 km from Wabasha, 2.2 km from Drury Island and 2.8 km from Hershey Island. The property is 9.1 km from Midland Junction and 11 km from Trevino. Providing access to a patio, the air-conditioned apartment consists of a fully equipped kitchen and a flat-screen TV. Towels and bed linen are offered in the apartment.

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Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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