Chamber of Commerce
(800) 44-NORTH (446-6784)
While pondering how to describe Minocqua, Wis., I decided to check with my 13-year-old son. "Do you think Minocqua is like the Dells?" I asked. "No," he replied, "It’s nicer." I think he’s right. Minocqua is a small, picturesque town located in north central Wisconsin. It is about a five-hour drive from Chicago and it’s definitely worth the trip.
My family has been returning to Minocqua for many years. We like it because it has something for everyone—ice fishing, skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling, shopping and indoor water parks. Field and Stream magazine recently named it one of America’s top 20 fishing towns. The quaint downtown shopping district offers clothes, antiques, toys or fudge.
There are many choices when it comes to lodging. Minocqua offers a variety of hotels, cabins, bed and breakfasts and campgrounds. Our favorite is The Waters of Minocqua hotel. The log home style and the north woods décor put us in the right spirit for our Wisconsin adventure and the indoor water park keeps the kids busy all day no matter what the weather. The older kids enjoy the two large water slides and the little ones have their own separate splash park area. Best of all, the main pool and massive hot tub allow you to swim between the indoor and outdoor sections. The kids could do this for hours, which leaves time for mom and dad to relax. Double queen rooms start at $89.99, but check online for specials.
In the evening, head downtown for dinner, where the choices are plentiful. Our tradition takes us to the Island Café several times. It’s that good.
We also enjoy the Minocqua Brewing Company or Otto’s for a drink in the courtyard. "The pool is open until 11," my son reminds me. "We always stay until it closes." He’s right. We grab our towels and the tradition lives on.