Eagle River, Wisconsin is typically a summer vacation destination. There is a chain of 28 lakes within and near the city, which makes it perfect for Wisconsin water activities. It is approximately 4 hours north of Milwaukee and absolutely worth the drive.
My friends and I decided to visit in November while it was a balmy 28 degrees outside. We still very much enjoyed our trip and absolutely made the most of the beautiful city.
We were lucky enough to be given a stay at Dollar Lake Retreat. This is a newly renovated lake house right on the shore of Dollar Lake. It holds 14 people in 5 bedrooms. There are 3 full bathrooms, a gorgeous modern kitchen, a game room, and a cozy living area facing the water. I have never stayed in a place as nice as this.
On the first night of our stay, we wanted to spend some time at the house. The kitchen was stocked for everything necessary to cook a good meal, so we made steak, potatoes, asparagus, and garlic bread. Pair that with a glass of good red wine - I was living the dream. After dinner, we spent the evening playing games in the recreation room. The room was completely stocked with activities for all ages. We were entertained for hours on end.
FOOD & DRINK
Early afternoon we began exploring downtown and visited Roots Juice. They have so many different combinations of not only juices, but smoothies, coffees, and protein shakes. The inside of Roots is ideal for relaxing and enjoying some down time. Some of the girls had ginger shots, I stuck with a fruitier juice. The staff at Roots was so helpful answering our questions and giving us recommendations. I would love to visit again.
For lunch, we stopped at Buckshot's Downtown, which has some of the best food in the area. We started with some garlic cheese curds (of course) and French onion soup. They have a full bar and plenty of TVs if you're looking to watch some sports. The service was fantastic and all of us enjoyed our meal.
After lunch, we headed to Mary Kate's Wine Bar for some wine. They even have wine on tap! So many options to choose from, so we all got our own flight. The wine bar was decorated beautifully for the holiday season. There are spots to sit at the bar area, but also plenty of couches and smaller tables throughout the venue. It is attached to Arrow Gift Shop which I will touch on a bit more later.
Next up was Tribute Brewing Company. This is a small brewery on the outskirts of town. They typically have between 10-15 beers on tap and the menu rotates through different seasons. They offer Sprecher soda if you are looking for a non-alcoholic option. There is a popcorn machine if you are looking for a snack!
For dinner, we ventured to The Craftsman American Tavern. They have not been open very long but everything was fantastic. Their cheese curds were really good and they were served with homemade ranch and aioli. They are known for their smash burgers at Craftsman, so I treated myself to one. It lived up to the hype. We ended dinner with an espresso martini - yum! The entire restaurant gives an "up north vibe" which is perfect for the city of Eagle River.
Before leaving Eagle River the next morning, we stopped at Friendship House Family Restaurant for breakfast. It has a small town diner feel with an extensive menu. Something for everyone! We tried a few different skillets, pancakes, and of course eggs benedict. Everyone working at Friendship was extremely nice and the food was brought to us very quickly.
There are tons of small boutiques in downtown Eagle River; you may as well shop them all! I had a few favorites during our trip.
We found some great Eagle River apparel at Arrow Gift Shop. It has been locally owned and operated for 40 years! I mentioned previously that they are connected to Mary Kate Wine Bar; have a glass of wine and then do some shopping! They have a lot of cute souvenir-type items here.
We also stopped by Minocqua Popcorn and Puffs. They have so many creative flavors of popcorn available for purchase, and you can taste test some of them! They also make and sell "puffs" which are a little bit lighter but just as delicious. We purchased the Brandy Old Fashioned and Cheddar Cheese flavored popcorn - so good!
Fredrick's Corner Shoppe was another great stop. It is also a locally owned family business. If you are looking for somewhere to do your holiday shopping, this should be your spot. Many unique items such as jewelry, games, home decorations, books and much, much more.
Although it was 28 degrees and snowing, we decided to take advantage of the lake anyway. When you visit Eagle River, make sure you take advantage of it, too. We kayaked on Dollar Lake! It was very chilly but the views of the lake while in the water were stunning. When I return to Eagle River, I will spend an entire day enjoying the beautiful scenery it has to offer.