A&A Best Things To Do In Hayward, Wisconsin | Travel Review
End of Week #108
Moochdocking, Stone Lake WI
Miles traveled since last week's post = 0
Total miles traveled to date = 15,766 with trailer
We are spending this summer in small town USA, just about 25 minutes south of a place called Hayward, Wisconsin. Have you even ever heard of it? Ha! I have been coming here since I was a baby, and have a lot of fond memories with family, exploring in the woods, and enjoying the Wisconsin country life. This summer we are finding ourselves spending more time in Hayward than ever, as there really is just so much to do there!
This post is also just in time for the upcoming Musky-Fest, taking place downtown Hayward this weekend, June 25th - 27th. There are all kinds of fun things happening like a car show, a fishing contest, arts and crafts sales, a watermelon eating contest, and more! I am hoping I have a chance to stop by all the fun too.
A&A Best Things To Do In Hayward, Wisconsin
Walk & shop downtown Main Street
It's cute, it's small, and it's got it all! Downtown Main Street in Hayward has a little bit of everything, depending on what you're into, and it won't take you all day to explore either. You can first check out any of the cute gift shops for some Wisconsin merchandise, and if you get tired from all the shopping you can stop in any of the bars, restaurants, ice cream shops, a CBD shop, and even an edible cookie dough shop. Even though I've done it many times now, I still love to stroll each side of the street to people watch, and check out what's happening. I also seem to have my eyes on a lot of cute sweatshirts!
Eat Tacos at Main Street Tacos
While you're out exploring on Main Street already, it only makes sense to stop into Main Street Tacos and grab a few of their tasty tacos. This is truly authentic Mexican food found right in small town Wisconsin. It reminded me a of the street vendor tacos we had once before in Sayulita, Mexico - they were seriously that good! They also feature burritos, desserts, and beverages for the adults too.
Have drinks at Angler's Bar & Grill
If you're looking for a true Wisconsin bar through and through, you've found it here with Angler's - located right on main street, and filled with enough animals on the walls to keep you occupied for at least a few hours. I love going to this bar because you can sit inside or outside, as they have a large outdoor patio right in the front. But sometimes all the action is inside with their arcade games, wildlife decorations and historic photos from the Hayward of the past. Their menu selection is great too, however recently we noticed a lot of items were not available or were crossed off and we were not sure if this was due to not having enough help or supply shortages.
Take a photo with the Hayward mural
When you're walking up and down Main Street, you can't miss the Hayward murals - located actually on both sides of the street, but one side specifically features the word Hayward with a ton of very Wisconsin like activities surrounding it. I love to check out murals in new cities we visit and I think it can be fun to collect photos of all the ones we do find.
Get some ice cream
You wouldn't think such a small town would have SO many options for dessert, but they really do have at least three different ice cream shops to choose from! They also have a place that offers edible cookie dough bites, yum! I have for sure had ice cream at two of their shops downtown - West's Hayward Dairy, (the one with the giant cow head), and Sundaes with Annabel and Charlotte, and they were both equally good in my book. I am going to have to check out the cookie dough next time though, because I've still got that on my mind too.
Check out the Angry Minnow Brewery
After you finish exploring downtown Hayward, it's just a short few mile drive on Highway 63 to the Angry Minnow Brewery. It legit looks like it is set up in a haunted house, but I promise you shouldn't let that scare you away from stopping in for a drink, merchandise, or even a snack. The building is huge and does offer some outdoor patio seating as well, and the beer selections were awesome. They also had a few cocktail choices to choose from if beer is not something you are into.
Spend a summer day at Hayward City Beach
If shopping, eating, and drinking doesn't sound fun to you, or you want to mix it up, you could always spend a relaxing day at the Hayward public beach. The beach area itself is smaller, but there is still plenty of room for a lot of people to cool off in the water or enjoy a nice picnic in their shelter area, and various tables provided. There is also a pretty cool kids playground shaped like a castle that is fun to check out if you have little ones!
Take your friends or family Go Karting at Hayward Amusement Center
I'll be honest, I haven't done this since I was a kid visiting family in the Hayward area, but every time we drive by here it is always packed with people. The go kart track here has been a landmark in Hayward since 1961 if you can believe it. Aside from the go karts, they also have an 18 hole mini golf course, and are located very close to downtown, the Hayward Beach, grocery stores, gas stations, and anything else you would need or want to check out.
Stop by the "Big Fish"
More specifically known as the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame - this giant musky icon has been something I think of when I think of Hayward, Wisconsin since as far back as I can remember. Back in the day it was not a full museum with paid admission as it is today, but it was still something super cool to explore. The best part is that you can actually go up into the fishes mouth for some amazing photo opportunities.
Fun fact, the world's largest fiberglass sculpture also happens to be the worlds largest fish, which just so happens to be the main attraction at the Fishing Hall of Fame. The fish is over 4 stories tall and as long as a 757 airplane - which means you could consider it the biggest thing this small town has to offer!
The Hall of Fame itself features over 3,000 entries in it's world record book, 5,000 fishing reels, 200 rods and reels, 400 mounted fish, and is the keeper of the world record fish in North America. So, basically if you are into fish even the slightest, this is something you just can't miss!
Take a boat or pontoon out on any of the nearby lakes
If you have a boat, or can find a place to rent one, the Hayward area is a perfect place to be for a boat day. There are literally an endless amount of options to choose from on where to go boating for the day, or where to even go fishing! They say Minnesota is the land of 10,000+ lakes, but honestly northwestern Wisconsin has it's fair share as well. Some of my favorite nearby lakes include: Blueberry Lake, The Chippewa Flowage, Long Lake, Chetek Lake, Sand Lake, Stone Lake, and of course - Hayward Lake.
Check out the Wilderness Walk Zoo
Located just a little bit south of town, is a zoo and recreation park offering fun for the whole family. I haven't yet been here myself, but last weekend while we had some friends visiting they went and checked it out with their 3 year old and absolutely raved about it. They house a wide range of Northwoods animals, exotic animals, and other types of fun for everyone. You can even pan for gold here! Even though I still question what these poor warm weathered animals due in the brutal Wisconsin winters, this is still a place I want to check out myself sometime.
Is Hayward, Wisconsin on your next Midwest summer destination list yet!? I promise a trip to northern Wisconsin will give you more to do than eat cheese, and more to look at than farmland. Let yourself be surprised!
I've gotten all my blog post ideas planned for the summer, now I just have to put them in an order that will work best. :) I am making progress though... and I plan to be "on time" next week to get back on schedule too, woohoo!
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