Authored by Blake Gerrits, Sarah Johnson and Jackie Barba; students in Assistant Professor Kate Edenborg’s class in the professional communications and emerging media program.
Menomonie is not Miami and with the University of Wisconsin-Stout hosting the Science Olympiad National Tournament, those traveling to Menomonie are wondering, what is there to do?
Although Menomonie is a small town, there are ample opportunities to enjoy the spring season and Wisconsin culture. For students, teachers and families participating in and attending the Science Olympiad National Tournament, there are a variety of attractions in the Menomonie area.
For cost-effective activities, Menomonie has many options. It’s highly advised that you take advantage of the scenic beauty that surrounds Menomonie and makes it unique.
Christopher Freeman, UW-Stout professor, family man, and Menomonie resident; says exploring the natural sights in the area is a must, and if you can bike it- even better.
“Biking and walking on the Red Cedar with my family is one of my great joys. Biking in the hills of Dunn County is a close second. It is so beautiful here, it is like cycling in rural France except folks speak English,” exclaimed Freeman.
The Red Cedar Trail is a fun time for those who enjoy walking, running or biking in nature.
“Within a few blocks of campus, is the Red Cedar trail,” explained Grady Richartz, UW-Stout director of the Campus Card Office and long-time Menomonie resident.
For those wanting something even more scenic and adventurous, try Hoffman Hills. Hoffman Hills offers paths that weave throughout the woods, with varying levels of difficulty. You can make your way to the lookout and see for miles.
“Hoffman Hills is a great thing to do, although it is a little farther out,” said Grady Richartz.
Megan Klatt, UW-Stout student and resident of Menomonie recommends visiting Wakanda Park for a little adventure. There you can visit the animal park, where they have buffalo, deer and elk, for your viewing and possibly petting pleasure.
Devil’s Punch Bowl is a must see. This large hole eroded from water flow over many, many years has exposed the layers of earth beneath the surface, creating natural formations within the rock. You can go down into the base of the “bowl” and explore.
If the great outdoors isn’t your thing, some other activities that take you indoors are tours of the Louis Smith Tainter House and the Mabel Tainter Theater.
The Louis Smith Tainter House was built in 1891 and is now home to the UW-Stout Alumni Association and Foundation. The Mabel Tainter Theater was built by the same architect as the Louis Smith Tainter house and is a site to see. The theater was featured by CNN and you can see the article here. Both tours are free.
Some attractions that may cost a little are the Russell J. Rassbach Heritage Museum and Wilson Place Museum.
Klatt recommends the Russell J. Rassbach Heritage Museum to students and families as it is close to Wakanda Park and the animal park.
Also, Freeman recommends the Wilson Place Museum with tickets costing very little at five dollars a person, with prices varying for students and children.
“Wilson House is a must see for everyone in and around the city and a visit can really connect you to the stories of our community,” said Freeman.
After seeing the sites of Menomonie, go in search of refreshing drinks and delicious dining and you can be sure to find a wide variety of foods in the town of Menomonie.
“Go to Acoustic Café – it is, in my opinion, one of the best restaurants we have downtown. It has a relaxed atmosphere and the food is delicious,” exclaimed Klatt.
Unique bites for every taste can be found; whether you want a sandwich and soup from Acoustic, Pho from Chia’s Market, or a burger from Waterfront or LogJam.