Shawano is a picturesque city nestled in northeastern Wisconsin. It is a hidden gem that has been quietly captivating the hearts of visitors for years. This charming city boasts a population of around 9,000 residents and has much to offer with its unique blend of natural beauty and historical significance.
Shawano’s history dates back to the mid-1800s when the area was primarily inhabited by the Menominee and Ojibwa Native American tribes. The city’s name itself is derived from the Menominee word “Shawanow,” meaning “to the south.”
In the late 19th century, European settlers arrived and shaped the town’s character. Today, you can explore this rich history through museums and living history exhibits.
Annually, Shawano attracts thousands of visitors who are drawn by its diverse attractions. The enchanting Shawano Lake that spans over 6,000 acres.
It is a recreational paradise that entices outdoor enthusiasts. Meanwhile, Heritage Park and the Shawano County Historical Society showcase the region’s heritage, appealing to history buffs.
Shawano experiences the beauty of all four seasons that make it an attractive year-round destination. Summers are warm and ideal for water activities, while fall brings a burst of colorful foliage, a photographer’s delight.
Winters offer a snowy wonderland for those who enjoy cold-weather pursuits. Spring sees the landscape burst into life. The best time to visit depends on your preferences, but the summer and early fall months are typically the most popular for tourists.
Intriguing history, an array of recreational opportunities, and a climate that embraces all seasons combine to make Shawano a must-visit destination.
Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or looking for things to do in your own backyard, this list of the 10 most fun things to do in Shawano, Wisconsin, will help you make the most of your time in this picturesque town.
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1. Mountain Bay Outfitters
Mountain Bay Outfitters is a renowned outdoor recreational company in Shawano, Wisconsin. They provide top-notch services for kayaking and biking enthusiasts that add a thrilling touch to your adventure.
Mountain Bay Outfitters was established in 1993 and offers locals and visitors an unforgettable experience of the stunning nature that Shawano has to offer. The establishment has a firm foundation in the community.
The company is known for its well-maintained rental equipment, which includes kayaks and bikes that makes outdoor exploration accessible for all. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff is always eager to assist you in planning your outdoor excursions.
Mountain Bay Outfitters is a go-to spot for those seeking an exhilarating ride down the Wolf River or a leisurely bike tour along the scenic mountain trails.
This establishment holds a key role in making Shawano an attractive destination for outdoor enthusiasts that ensures a memorable adventure to explore unique things to do in Shawano.
620 S Main St, Shawano, WI 54166, United States
2. Heritage Park
Step back in time at Heritage Park which is a living history museum that showcases the rich heritage of Shawano. Heritage Park was founded in 1972 and stands as a historical treasure in Shawano, Wisconsin.
The park was established to preserve the rich history of the region and offers an immersive experience into the past.
The park features a collection of well-preserved buildings and structures that transport visitors to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These include a one-room schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, a general store, and a pioneer log cabin, each brimming with historical significance.
Visitors can step back in time and witness the daily lives of Shawano’s early settlers through these carefully restored buildings. The park also hosts special events and educational programs that provide a deeper understanding of the area’s heritage.
Heritage Park stands as a testament to Shawano’s commitment to preserving its history that makes it a must-visit to explore new and unique things to do in Shawano.
524 N Franklin St, Shawano, WI 54166, United States
3. Shawano County Historical Society
The Shawano County Historical Society is a prominent institution that is dedicated to preserving the rich history of the region. This society was established in 1951 and plays a pivotal role in safeguarding and showcasing the area’s heritage.
The society had a founding mission to collect, document, and share the history of Shawano County and has amassed a vast collection of historical artifacts, documents, and exhibits. These treasures offer a captivating glimpse into the area’s development and the lives of its early settlers.
The society operates a museum that houses these historical gems, allowing visitors to step back in time and gain a profound understanding of Shawano’s past. Additionally, they organize events and programs that provide interactive and educational experiences for people of all ages.
The Shawano County Historical Society has opened its doors to the public and ensures that the rich history of this Wisconsin region is preserved and celebrated that makes it an integral part of the community’s cultural tapestry.
524 N Franklin St, Shawano, WI 54166, United States
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4. USAIR Motorsports Raceway
The USAIR Motorsports Raceway has become a thrilling hotspot for motorsports enthusiasts. This premier raceway was established in 1998 and offers a range of high-octane events that draw racing fans from near and far.
USAIR Motorsports Raceway hosts various racing events that include drag racing, autocross, motocross, and more. It’s not just a destination for spectators but also a hub for those who want to experience the rush of the track firsthand.
The raceway boasts a meticulously maintained facility that ensures a safe and enjoyable experience for participants and spectators alike. From the roar of the engines to the smell of burning rubber, the raceway provides an electrifying atmosphere for everyone.
Whether you’re a seasoned racer or a newcomer looking to witness the excitement of motorsports, USAIR Motorsports Raceway has something for everyone. It offers variety of things to do in Shawano.
This dynamic establishment is a testament to Shawano’s love for speed and competition that makes it a must-visit for adrenaline junkies and racing aficionados.
W5901 County Rd BE, Shawano, WI 54166, United States
5. Shawano County Park
Shawano County Park is a natural oasis that offere a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. It was established in 1952 and is a beloved destination that has been part of the community for decades.
This 300-acre park is a recreational paradise and features a variety of amenities such as hiking and biking trails, a sandy beach, and numerous picnic areas. It’s the ideal location for a family day out or a serene escape into nature.
One of the standout features of the park is the pristine Shawano Lake, which covers 6,000 acres and provides opportunities for swimming, boating, and fishing. The park is also home to a charming campground that makes it a perfect spot for a weekend getaway or a longer stay.
Shawano County Park is a testament to the town’s commitment to preserving and sharing the beauty of the natural world. It’s a popular destination for locals and tourists alike that attracts those who seek solace in the great outdoors.
Whether you’re into water activities or simply love nature, this park offers something for everyone to experience charming things to do in Shawano.
W5791 Lake Dr, Shawano, WI 54166, United States
6. Red River Riders
Red River Riders has become a go-to destination for those who want to explore the scenic countryside in a unique way. This family-owned business was established in 1998 and is known for its guided horseback trail rides that offer a distinct and exciting outdoor adventure.
Red River Riders provides a remarkable experience that allows visitors to appreciate the natural beauty of Shawano from the back of a horse. Their well-trained and friendly horses are suitable for riders of all skill levels, making it an accessible experience for everyone.
One of the most exciting aspects of Red River Riders is the variety of trails they offer. You can choose from leisurely rides through lush forests, or opt for more adventurous terrain, such as river crossings and hills.
The establishment’s commitment to safety and education makes it a top choice for horseback riding in the region. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a novice, Red River Riders is the perfect place to saddle up and explore the beautiful Shawano countryside from a unique perspective.
N6669 Cherry Rd, Shawano, WI 54166, United States
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7. The F.R.E.S.H. Project Shawano Farmers Market
The F.R.E.S.H. Project Shawano Farmers Market has grown to become a vibrant centerpiece of Shawano, Wisconsin’s local culture. The market was established in 2006 and is known for its fresh produce and vibrant atmosphere. It is a bustling hub for both locals and visitors.
This community-driven market operates from May to October that provide a delightful space for residents to access fresh and locally grown products. From fruits and vegetables to handmade crafts and artisanal goods, the market offers a wide variety of items.
The F.R.E.S.H. Project is more than just a market; it’s an initiative to support local farmers and artisans. It promotes sustainability that connects people with the producers of their food and goods.
Visitors can enjoy the market’s lively atmosphere, which often includes live music and special events. It’s a gathering place for the community that fosters a sense of togetherness and promoting the importance of buying local.
The F.R.E.S.H. Project Shawano Farmers Market not only provides a delightful shopping experience but also contributes to the economic and social well-being of the Shawano community.
It’s a testament to the town’s commitment to supporting local businesses and fostering a sense of community. This destination is a must-visit n your next visit to experience some new things to do in Shawano.
235 S Washington St, Shawano, WI 54166, United States
8. Shawano Country Chamber Of Commerce & Visitor Center
The Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center has been a vital force in promoting the town of Shawano, Wisconsin. This organization serves as a dynamic link between local businesses and the community.
The chamber of commerce was established in 1945 and plays a crucial role in fostering economic growth and development in Shawano. It offers resources, support, and networking opportunities to local businesses, helping them thrive.
One of the key responsibilities of the Visitor Center is to welcome and assist tourists. The center provides information about local attractions, events, and businesses, making it a valuable resource for visitors exploring the Shawano area.
The Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center also organizes events and initiatives that benefit the local community. From promoting local tourism to supporting charitable causes, the chamber is deeply involved in enhancing the overall quality of life in Shawano.
This establishment has a rich history and contemporary influence which is a vital component of Shawano’s success and continued growth. It showcases the town’s commitment to collaboration, progress, and welcoming visitors to this charming Wisconsin community.
1263 S Main St, Shawano, WI 54166, United States
9. Twig’s Beverage Museum
Twig’s Beverage Museum stands as a fascinating testament to the history of the beverage industry. This unique museum was established in 1964 and is dedicated to showcasing the evolution of soda pop and the bottling process over the decades.
The museum’s extensive collection includes an array of vintage soda bottles, memorabilia, and equipment used in the production and distribution of these fizzy drinks. It’s a walk down memory lane for anyone interested in the history of soft drinks.
One of the most interesting aspects of Twig’s Beverage Museum is its emphasis on regional soda pop history. The museum celebrates local brands and their stories that makes it a remarkable resource for understanding the role of these beverages in Shawano’s past.
Visitors can explore the history of soda, from its origins to the present day, and even enjoy a refreshing vintage soda from the museum’s collection.
Twig’s Beverage Museum is not just a trip through time; it’s a refreshing and educational experience for all ages that makes it a must-visit destination to explore charming things to do in Shawano.
920 S Franklin St, Shawano, WI 54166, United States
10. Sand-Bar & Grill
Sand-Bar & Grill is a cherished culinary destination that offers a delectable blend of flavors and a warm, inviting atmosphere. This popular eatery was established in 1977 and has been serving locals and visitors alike for decades, becoming a culinary cornerstone in the community.
Sand-Bar & Grill is known for its diverse menu and friendly service and has gained a reputation for its mouthwatering dishes, including burgers, seafood, and classic American comfort food.
The restaurant prides itself on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, ensuring a delightful dining experience for every patron.
One of the interesting features of Sand-Bar & Grill is its scenic location along the Wolf River. Visitors can enjoy their meals while taking in picturesque views of the river, creating a serene ambiance that enhances the overall dining experience.
The restaurant also hosts special events and live music that add to its lively atmosphere and making it a favorite spot for both casual dining and entertainment to experience charming things to do in Shawano.
With its rich history and commitment to culinary excellence, Sand-Bar & Grill continues to be a beloved culinary destination in Shawano.
W5045 Resort Rd, Shawano, WI 54166, United States
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Shawano, Wisconsin, may be a small town, but it’s big on fun and adventure. Whether you’re interested in outdoor activities, history, or cultural experiences, you’ll find a diverse range of things to do in this charming town.
So, plan your visit to Shawano and make the most of these exciting attractions and activities and explore the 10 most fun things to do in Shawano, WI.