The Things That Make Eau Claire "Eau Claire"
Eau Claire caught your eye and now it’s time to discover the authentic midwest indie experience. This list will get you started on the essential things to see and do when you’re in the area to get a true feel of umgås:
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1. Find some live music
This will be an easy feat. Eau Claire’s music venues include large-scale festival grounds, quaint riverside parks and hole-in-the-wall bars, each offering a tempting variety of musical genres from indie to hip hop to country to bluegrass to jazz. You can immerse yourself in the energy of music festivals including Country Jam or Eau Claire Jazz Festival or opt for a more intimate show at The Mousetrap or Stones Throw. If you’re around in the warmer months, you’ll want to check out one of our many outdoor summer concert series, such as Sounds Like Summer. Or, if you'd prefer, Pablo Center at the Confluence is always having acts from around the country grace the stage.
2. Spin some vinyl
As a city that knows music, Eau Claire understands the comfort that comes from listening to your favorite music via a vinyl record. The Oxbow Hotel features a record player in every suite and a vinyl lending library in the lobby. If there’s enough room in your suitcase, shop Revival Records, named by record club Vinyl Me, Please as the best record store in Wisconsin.
3. Play a game of Kubb
A game of what? When you visit the Kubb Capital of North America, you cannot leave without learning how to play this lawn game sometimes referred to as Viking chess. Whether you’re feeling competitive enough to try your hand at the U.S. National Kubb Championship or are more interested in a casual game on the patio of The Lakely, well, that’s all up to you.
4. Quaff a bier
Wisconsin is known for its artisan beer culture and the brewers in Eau Claire do not take that fame lightly. If you’re looking for a traditional experience, check out the oldest brewery within Eau Claire’s city limits, Lazy Monk Brewing, where Bohemian and German biers are the big draw. Craving a more unexpected brew and an industrial tap room where you can watch the brewing process? Hit up The Brewing Projekt to try a Piña Colada Milkshake IPA or, the one Eau Claire just can’t get enough of, Gunpowder IPA
5. Eat horseradish……..yep, horseradish
Image credit: Silver Spring Foods
It’s a weird claim to fame, we know. But where’s the fun in being run-of-the-mill? In 1929, Ellis Huntsinger planted a half acre of horseradish, the start of what was to become Silver Spring Foods, an award-winning maker of horseradish and mustard. If you have yet to actually try horseradish, seize the opportunity while you’re in Eau Claire, perhaps starting with a Bloody Mary.
6. Walk every bridge
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to cross all nine iconic pedestrian bridges all within walking distance of each other in downtown Eau Claire. Does it come as a surprise that Eau Claire is also known as the City of Bridges?