June 17, 2024


Travel ideas

15 Unique Things to do in Minocqua, WI


Guide to the best activities, attractions, and things to do in Minocqua, Wisconsin

Love the great outdoors but can’t decide where to take that long-overdue vacation? Then look no further than Minocqua, Wisconsin!

There are so many amazing things to do in Minocqua that you’ll be simply spoilt for choice.

Minocqua attractions for active types include hiking, mountain biking, zip-lining, and snowmobiling.

For when that energy runs low, there are great restaurants, spa resorts, and a host of other Minocqua activities.

Unique Things to do in Minocqua Wisconsin, Star trails over Minocqua forest at night
Star trails over Minocqua, WI

The surrounding area provides access to some of the very best things to do in Northern Wisconsin.

Within easy reach of the best waterfalls in Northern Wisconsin, a whole plethora of lakes, and stunning natural areas, you’ll never be short of things to do in Minocqua.

To help you get the most out of your stay, I’ve compiled a list of the most fun things to do in Minocqua.

I’ve provided a variety of activities, attractions, and events to suit all tastes, so keep reading and you’ll be sure to find something that appeals directly to you.

There are just so many things to do in Minocqua that you could stay here a whole year and still not even scratch the surface!

Now let’s take a look at some of these wonderful Minocqua activities and attractions.

Thanks to affiliate links, I pay my bills. If you make a purchase through them, I may receive a small commission (for which I’m deeply grateful) at no cost to you. All opinions are always mine. Merci!

Useful Travel Information for Wisconsin

Plan the ultimate Wisconsin road trip (no backtracking!) with the Perfect Wisconsin Road Trip itinerary – Get it here

✈ Book cheap flights to Wisconsin with Skyscanner

✔ Book tours in Wisconsin with Viator

➳ Book holiday and vacation rentals in Wisconsin with VRBO

Rent a car at the best rates with DiscoverCars

☘ Get the best discounted outdoor gear (outlet) at REI.com

$ Get Wisconsin hiking guides and maps at REI.com

✎ Never leave without travel insurance. I get mine at SafetyWing. It is easy to set up, cheap, and reliable.

Where to Stay in Minocqua, WI

The Waters of Minocqua **** – Luxury
Rustic Manor – Mid-Range
– Budget

You can also check out my full guide on hotels in Minocqua.

1. Go zip-lining

Fun things to do in Minocqua,  Women riding on a zip line
Zip-lining in Minocqua

If you want to learn how to zip line, Minocqua is the place to do it!

Northwoods Zip Line offers one of the best things to do in Minocqua for thrill-seekers.

Set on a 900-acre private trophy buck farm featuring over 200 magnificent whitetail bucks, the experienced and expertly trained guides will ensure you have an unforgettable zip-line experience.

The brave souls among you will be able to fly 1000 feet above the ground (!!!) and even glide over a lake.

They have 13 zip lines suspended among the beautiful Northwoods pine trees that populate the region.

Northwoods Zip Line in Minocqua also offers a host of other activities for those seeking eco-adventure tourism.

Activities include aerial trekking, where you can climb, zip, swing, and rappel through the pine trees, overcoming 14 aerial trekking obstacles and 5 adventure bridges.

They also offer Argo ATV, paddleboarding, and kayak tours along the stunning Tomahawk River. You can find out more by clicking .

2. Hike Bearskin State Trail

Minocqua activities, Rustic wooden trestle across the Bearskin State Trail in Minocqua Wisconsin.
Rustic wooden trestle across the Bearskin State Trail in Minocqua Wisconsin.

For those who want to go hiking in Minocqua, WI, the famed Bearskin State Trail is a must.

This hiking trail starts in the town of Minocqua and extends southwards along Bearskin Creek for 26 miles to Heafford Junction.

Then at Heafford Junction, you can join the Hiawatha Trail if you still have any energy left!

If you love hiking, this is a must-do as it is simply one of the best hiking trails in Wisconsin.

And if you’re looking for things to do in Wisconsin in October, this is an optimum time to visit as you’ll be able to see the sensational fall colors in Wisconsin at their finest

For less strenuous hiking near Minocqua, WI, the Hiawatha Trail picks up where the Bearskin State Trail ends.

This trail extends a further 6 miles southwards from Heafford Junction to Tomahawk. 

As both trails follow the route of the historic (and obviously now disused!) Milwaukee Road railway, the going is relatively flat.

3. Enjoy a romantic getaway

Romantic things to do in Minocqua, table with wine in an ice bucket, chocolates and two wine glasses with a bed in the background
Romantic getaway

Sometimes you just want to get away from it all with your loved one.

Well, Northwoods Tranquility provides one of the best romantic getaways in Wisconsin. – Check prices here

Located outside of Harshaw and roughly 15 miles south of Minocqua, Northwoods Tranquility is set deep within the woods.

If this cabin is booked, you’ll find some of the other most romantic cabins in Wisconsin nearby.

Accessible via a dead-end dirt road, this is an exceptional year-round destination for those seeking the sweet tranquility of isolation.

This is also a perfect place for animal lovers as there is a multitude of species that proliferate in the area.

Creatures spotted from the cabin include whitetail deer, black bear (yikes!), black and gray squirrels, bobcats, eagles, chipmunks, raccoons, foxes, and coyotes, among many others.

If you prefer a hotel, you’ll find some of the most romantic hotels in Wisconsin nearby.

Book here the best cabin rental in Minocqua

4. Relax at a spa resort

Relaxing Minocqua things to do, three rolled red towels with flowers

If you’re looking to relax while taking a break from all the exciting things to do in Minocqua, the Pointe Hotel & Suites is for you.

With rooms overlooking the splendid Lake Minocqua, you can while away the days while unwinding in the exemplary recreation center.

The spacious recreation center features a swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna, and fitness center, making this one of the best spa resorts in Wisconsin.

The resort has 800-foot of frontage onto Lake Minocqua, where boats are available for rental.

You can also hire a bicycle to explore the numerous surrounding trails, making this one of the best Wisconsin fall getaways.

5. Visit Wildwood Wildlife Park Zoo & Safari

Top Minocqua attractions, Giraffe at Wildwood zZo in Minocqua
Hello from the wildwood Zoo, Minocqua

If you have children and are wondering what to do in Minocqua, Wildwood Wildlife Park Zoo & Safari makes for a great day out.

There are over 1,700 animals and 229 species at Wildwood Zoo. Keep the kids entertained by asking them to count how many they see.

There are also a host of great activities for kids including:

  • Feeding the giraffes (and other animals)
  • Having a close-up experience with budgies and parakeets
  • Feeding the Koi Carp (you can buy food pellets from the handily placed dispensers)
  • Visiting the education center.

You can hire out pedal boats and take to the water, and there are great rides for the kids, including the Kiddie Train and Safari Tram Ride.

This is definitely one of the best things to do in Minocqua for families or anyone who loves animals.

The park opens from April until October. Check the Wildwood Wildlife website for full details.

6. Go mountain biking

outdoor activities in Minocqua Wisconsin, Mountain biker riding on bike on forest dirt trail
Exploring Minocqua’s trails

Want active things to do in Minocqua? Then try the Raven Trail!

With trails to suit all ability levels, this is one of the best mountain bike trails in Wisconsin.

There are 3 main loops, ranging from 1.5 to 5 miles, and the views of the spectacular Clear Lake and Inkpot Lake ensure the routes are not only exciting but picturesque too.

Try visiting later in the year when the surrounding countryside is at its most colorful, making this one of the best fall activities in Wisconsin.

7. Go snowmobiling

best things to do in Minocqua in winter, group of snowmobilers
Winter sports in Minocqua

The Bearskin State Trail has some of the best snowmobile trails in Wisconsin.

So if you’re looking for fun and excitement, then this is one of the best winter getaways in Wisconsin.

The two-way trail itself runs for 18 miles and takes you through some of the most beautiful forests in the whole of Oneida County.

It is used for hiking and cycling most of the year-round but when that snow falls, out come the snowmobiles!

The wider area has over 1,600 miles of snowmobiling trails, and Minocqua has some of the best winter resorts in Wisconsin to base yourself.

8. Explore the lakes

Best Resorts in Minocqua, build resting on stilts above lake with deck over lake
The Beacons of Minocqua

Set on a small island and surrounded by magnificent lakes, Minocqua is one of the best lake resorts in Wisconsin.

With the splendid Lake Minocqua to the east and Kawaguesaga Lake to the west, the setting is perfect for those wishing to take to the water.

You will find a variety of boats available to rent by the day, or longer if you wish.

Minocqua is a great place from which to launch a voyage into the Lake Minocqua Chain, which features some of the best lakes in Wisconsin, including the awesome Tomahawk Lake to the South.

Book here a boat rental in Minocqua, Wisconsin

9. Visit a waterpark

Minocqua outdoor activities for the family, Kid tubing down a waterslide at waterpark

If you’ve got children (or are just a big kid yourself!), then check out The Waters of Minocqua.

Here you will find one of the finest indoor water parks in Minocqua, WI.

The water park is the biggest in the whole of the Northwoods, so there’s plenty to keep the kids entertained.

The resort has over 100 rooms and also has an amusement arcade for the kids, while there is a fitness center, coffee shop, and bar/restaurant for the grown-ups.

It’s located just off the Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway south of Clawson Lake, within easy reach of central Minocqua.

10. Tour a distillery

what to do in Minocqua, glass with whiskey and ice on table
Northern Waters Distillery

If you need a day off from all that outdoor adventure, then one of the best things to do in Minocqua, WI is to visit the Northern Waters Distillery.

Here, you can take a tour of the distillery, learning all about the whole distilling process. Tours take 45 minutes and you even get a free cocktail at the end!

For those who want to learn more about this fascinating process, one of the great Minocqua activities is to spend a day here.

You’ll discover all about mashing and fermenting and even get to take away ‘a special memory from the day’ (which I suspect may be booze!). Lunch is also provided.

11. Watch a water ski show

Fun events in Minocqua, WI, woman water skiing
Water skiing

Min-Aqua Bats Water Ski Shows are a Minocqua institution, with their incredibly skilled water skiers having won prizes at the national level.

If you’re looking for events in Minocqua, WI, then look no further as each show is an event!

The Min-Aqua Bats are one of the oldest water ski show teams around today and their performances are among the world’s longest-running water ski shows.

They put on these entirely free performances from mid-June to mid-August, with shows at 7 pm every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday during this period.

Try to catch one as they are one of the great Minocqua events.

12. Visit an Escape Room

visit Minocqua Wisconsin, neon sign reading ESCAPE
Can you escape?

If you’re seeking a challenge then The Key to Escape is a great escape room in Minocqua for all ages.

You’ll find the creative puzzles tricky enough to keep you entertained. See if you can escape within your allocated hour!

It’s located right in the center of town and they are able to take walk-ins as well as bookings. Group bookings are also available.

If you enjoy this escape room, Minocqua is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other great escape rooms in Wisconsin.

13. Eat at The Boathouse

Best restaurants in Minocqua, WI, Crinkle cut fries & dips
Fries at The Boathouse, Minocqua

With a stunning lakeside setting, is one of the finest restaurants in Minocqua, WI.

They offer a wide variety of food including fish (of course), pasta, steak, and salads, but what really sets this restaurant apart is the magnificent location.

If you go in the daytime, especially on non-weekend days, you should be able to get a seat by the windows overlooking the lake.

So, if you’re seeking relaxing things to do in Minocqua, Wisconsin, you can while away the afternoon eating and drinking to your heart’s content.

14. See a performance at Campanile Center for the Arts

things to do in Minocqua at night, elegant young man in smart clothes and hat playing guitar
Performing at Campanile Center for the Arts

If you’re looking for events in Minocqua, WI, then check out the Campanile Center for the Arts.

This downtown facility offers the very best of the performance art scene in Northern Wisconsin and acts as a hub for the local non-profit arts community.

 Performances are held in the main auditorium and are primarily music and dance events.

The center does a lot of great work in offering art classes to local children, so it’s a great place in which to lend your support.

In terms of Minocqua events, the center is the beating heart of the town.

15. Go shopping

best places to go shopping in Minocqua, person pulling a shirt off the rack
Going shopping in Minocqua

One of the best things to do in Minocqua is to just go shopping. In Minocqua, shopping is easy.

As it is set on an island, the town itself is relatively small and compact, with all the shops within easy reach.

Most of the shops are clustered on either side of Oneida Street, between Chicago and Front Street. Here you’ll find a collection of boutiques, art galleries, and antique shops.

Stepping into the Gaslight Square Shoppes is like stepping back in time, with the shops designed to portray buildings from an earlier time.

So, if you’re in town and looking for things to do in Minocqua, WI this weekend that are not too strenuous, then this is for you!

As we’ve seen, if you’re in Minocqua things to do are plentiful. The charming town is a great year-round destination and there’s always something interesting going on here. Because of the diversity of options, it’s a good option for families, as you’ll find a range of possibilities for all ages.

While this is an ideal place for those who love the outdoors and outdoor activities, the variety of things to do in Minocqua means that there really is something here to suit everyone.

For the active, there’s zip-lining, hiking, mountain biking, and snowmobiling. For those with children, you have wildlife parks, escape rooms, waterparks, and waterski shows. If you just want a relaxing break, then you can stay at a cabin in the woods, tour a distillery or visit a spa resort.

The beauty of Minocqua is that you can do all of this while staying within easy reach of great bars, restaurants, and shopping facilities.

I hope this guide has inspired you and filled you with great ideas for your visit. The main takeaway I can give you is that Minocqua really does offer something for everyone!

Short FAQ About Things to do in Minocqua, WI

What are the best things to do in Minocqua on a rainy day?

Although many of the top Minocqua attractions are outdoor-related, there are also a lot of fun indoor Minocqua activities, as well. One of the best things to do in Minocqua when it rains is The Key to Escape, an escape room. But you could also do go for a nice meal, tour a distillery or relax at a spa.

What are the best things to do in Minocqua, WI in winter?

Snowmobiling! You can do pretty much any popular winter sport in Minocqua. However, this is one of the best places in Wisconsin to go snowmobiling.

What are the best family things to do in Minocqua?

The top kid-friendly things to do in Minocqua are visiting the Wildwood Wildlife Park Zoo & Safari, or spending the day at The Waters of Minocqua, a local waterpark. More adventurous kids might also have fun zip-lining or going mountain biking.

Before You Go: Top Tips for your Trip 


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