Eau Claire is a free-spirited university town surrounded by crystal-clear rivers, rolling farmland and wooded bluffs. The lively downtown district features unique shopping and local museums. Eau Claire is also known for its farm-fresh produce, including local cheese, crisp apples and small-batch wine.
Things to do in Eau Claire
In downtown Eau Claire, most of the action is clustered along Water Street, which is dotted with indie record stores, antique emporiums and independent art galleries. Get your caffeine fix at Acoustic Café, an artisan coffee shop and live music venue.
The Chippewa River Water Trail is a seven-kilometre paddling route that cuts through downtown Eau Claire. In summer, the river is brimming with kayakers and tubers enjoying the Wisconsin sunshine. Eau Claire is also a paradise for cyclists, with over 100 kilometres of interconnected trails.
Wisconsin is known as America's Dairyland", a reputation Eau Claire lives up to. At the historic Nelson Cheese Factory you can bite into an incredible selection of global cheeses. Eau Claire is also studded with apple orchards and boutique wineries.
Step back in time at the Chippewa Valley Museum, a family-friendly attraction housed in a historic brick building. It showcases an eclectic mix of memorabilia, including vintage cars, dollhouses and antique farming machinery. After touring the museum, stop by the on-site ice cream parlour for an ice-cream cone.
Getting around Eau Claire
Downtown Eau Claire is easily navigated on foot, especially around the Water Street district. The city is serviced by local buses and taxis. Chippewa Valley Regional Airport offers domestic flights, while the drive to Minneapolis takes roughly 1.5 hours.