Paddling the Wisconsin River from Brokaw to Wausau is a great way to enjoy the beauty of central Wisconsin. Wausau is known for its riverfront parks, cultural attractions, and culinary delights. Here are some notable places to eat, drink, and explore near your route:

Places to Eat & Drink:

  • The Mint Café: A classic spot in Wausau with a varied menu, this place offers both breakfast and lunch options with some delicious homemade pies.

  • Red Eye Brewing Company: A great place for artisan pizzas and a selection of craft beers.

  • Char: Located in the Jefferson Street Inn, this comfy bistro offers Wisconsin cuisine with a twist.

  • Thrive Foodery: A place for craft beer and locally sourced dishes.

  • Lemongrass:  Asian fusion at its finest in a unique and relaxed atmosphere.

  • Ciao: Traditional scratch Italian with fresh pasta and seafood dishes. 

Places to Explore:

  • Whitewater Park: This is a great stop if you want to challenge yourself with some whitewater kayaking. It's located near downtown Wausau and offers a series of rapids and features for kayakers of different skill levels.  Or just watch!

  • River Edge Parkway: This scenic walking trail winds along the Wisconsin River and connects many of the city's parks. Wausau on Water is there, as well as Briq’s Soft Serve! You can explore the shops, galleries, and parks in the area.

  • Downtown Wausau & The 400 Block: The city center has a vibrant arts scene with galleries, theaters, and shops. The Center for Visual Arts and the Grand Theater are highlights.

  • Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum: Known for its Birds in Art exhibition, this museum features a diverse collection of American art, from early 20th century works to contemporary pieces.

  • Marathon Park: A historic park located in Wausau with playgrounds, a pond, and beautiful paths.

  • Rib Mountain State Park: Though it's a short drive from the river, it's worth the detour. You can hike up to the top of Rib Mountain for panoramic views of the area.

Places to Stay:

If you enjoy the area, book a stay near downtown! Being the largest city in the       region, Wausau has several hotels to choose from. Some popular choices include:

  • Jefferson Street Inn: Located in downtown Wausau, this is a comfortable and conveniently located option.
  • Courtyard by Marriott Wausau: Another good choice, offering modern amenities.
  • Hampton Inn Wausau: Situated a little bit further out from downtown but still a convenient option with reliable service.
  • Bed & Breakfasts: If you're looking for a more homey experience, Wausau and its surrounding areas have several B&Bs, the Stewart Inn. These provide a unique and cozy stay.

If you're on a multi-day trip or if you finish your paddle in the evening, don't miss the sunset over the river. The Wisconsin River, with its rolling hills and lush landscapes, offers breathtaking views, especially during the golden hours.

Lastly, always remember to check the current river conditions and potential river hazards before setting out on your kayaking trip. Enjoy your paddle and your time in Wausau!



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