Hayward, Wisconsin is well-known as one of the most popular vacation spots in the Midwest. It’s a great place to sit back and enjoy some well-earned downtime. There’s plenty of fishing to be done thanks to the wealth of stock available, and nothing beats Wisconsin when it comes to providing an absolutely quiet setting.
Wisconsin is known for having the two largest lakes in the US, so it’s definitely an angler’s destination. Nature lovers will fall in love with Hayward’s scenic woodland nature trails. Then you’ve got awesome annual events which attract young and old alike, such as the Sawyer Country Fair and the Lumberjack World Championship.
If you’re thinking of visiting Hayward, Wisconsin, here are 10 things to tick off your bucket list while you’re there:
Visit the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame
Founded in the 1960s, the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame is over 25,000 square meters large and houses 7 buildings. Over 100,000 visitors come to see this historic site each year and many don’t leave until they’ve taken a selfie with the 143-ft tall Muskie statue.
Enjoy a Glass of Wine at the Out of the Woods Winery
Regular visitors in Hayward will know that this winery was recently passed on to new management after the previous owner passed away. It’s located on the historic 10588 Main Street and the McLaughlin family have rebranded and changed its name from the Hook Stone Winery to Out of the Woods Winery. Here you can enjoy a wide range of locally produced wines as well as a selection of international meads, ciders, and wines. Their wine tastings are available by the glass or by the bottle depending on your preferences.
Attend the American Birkebeiner Event
This annual skiing event draws over 10,000 participants and ski lovers from all over the world and it has been around for well over 45 years now. This event is arguably the most important for cross country skiers in North America because it offers two fun but challenging races. There’s the 50 km freestyle event and the 55 km classic race.
What makes this even more unique is the fact that it places participants in a survivalist situation, which means skiers must carry a large and weighty backpack for the duration of the trip. This backpack includes essentials like warm clothes, survival gear, food etc.
Watch a Show at the Park Theater
For a period of 60 years, the Park Theater was known as the gateway to Hayward. It served as a movie theater for years before a rebranding saw a shift from Technicolor film showings to local theater shows. Here, you’ll see the local talent at its best as many of the performance groups play here on a regular basis. Park Theater is known for its preservation of the local art scene with a focus on multi-cultural ideas, and it also showcases local visual artists.
Eat at the Italia Ristorante
This famous Italian restaurant offers a specialty menu of homemade cuisine that you won’t find anywhere else. Their food is made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and the owners are passionate about providing healthy yet tasty and flavorful food to the community. Everything here is made with love and you can taste it in the food and feel it in the warm and welcoming ambiance that they’ve created. Oh, and their service is exceptional!
Volunteer at the Northwood’s Humane Society
The Northwood Humane Society is committed to providing a stable home for abandoned animals and is a first choice for locals who’re looking to adopt pets. The society is made up of passionate animal lovers who work to socialize and train animals that may have been seen as wild or timid. Not only do they provide the animals with shelter and food, but they offer them a place to call home, including medical facilities to take care of their every need.
Volunteers are welcome here and there’s even a dedicated thrift shop which helps to raise funds for the society. It’s the perfect place to give back and get a souvenir before you go home!
Go to the Angler’s Bar and Grill
Angler’s Bar and Grill is perfectly located in the center of the town’s busiest street. Here, they serve a little bit of everything for everyone. From Mexican-style dishes to homemade pizzas and burgers, there’s no shortage of scrumptious comfort food to feast on!
This bar dates back to the early 1930s and it started out as a basement bar with a gas station. Later, the bar was extended to include the area which formerly housed the gas station, and before long it became one of the most popular spots in town.
Enjoy a Night Out at the Angry Minnow Brew Pub and Restaurant
The Angry Minnow was founded in 1889 and is a cultural staple of the town. The restaurant serves up a cozy atmosphere to accompany their ever-changing and exciting menu. Meanwhile, the bar is always stocked with homemade beers to tantalize the senses, from McStukie’s Scotch Ale to the aptly named Honey Wheat. The daily specials on both fronts are worth checking out and you’ll love the inviting atmosphere.
Drink at The Chippewa Inn
The Chippewa Inn was formerly known as De Shanty and this quaint little tavern is run by owners Debbie and Tom Landrandgrad. It’s where the locals hang out after work and on the weekends and has become a touching stone for the community. As a tourist, you’ll enjoy the warm family atmosphere and be sure to try their famous steak which is considered the best and most flavorful in the entire region.
Visit The Ranch
The Ranch Supper Club is a must-visit when you’re in Hayward. They have the best combination of food and cocktails in town, some of which have recipes dating back to the 1930s! Although it has gone through different owners over the years, this restaurant remains one of the town’s most famous landmarks and has managed to maintain its authenticity. Hayley Bochler is the most recent owner of the restaurant and it was passed on to her by her family after seeing her passion for sharing good food.