Download GPX file for this article
44.8167-91.5000Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Eau Claire (pronounced: O'Clare, French for clear water) is a city of about 62,000 in Northwest Wisconsin.

Get in[edit]

Map of Eau Claire (Wisconsin)

By bus[edit]

  • 1 Greyhound, 6251 Truax Lane (off Hwy 12/312 near I-94 exit 59), +1 715 874-6966. Eau Claire is served by Greyhound services from Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Chicago. The bus "terminal" is inside a McDonald's restaurant at the far northwestern outskirts of town, so you will need to hire a taxi from there to your accommodations unless you feel like walking 7 miles to downtown.

By car[edit]

Eau Claire is on Interstate 94 and U.S. Highway 53 and is 90 miles (145 km) east of the Twin Cities.

By plane[edit]

  • 2 Chippewa Valley Regional Airport (EAU IATA), 380 Starr Ave., +1 715 839 4900. Public airport on the north side of town. Most U.S. destinations are available within 2-3 hours of transfer. Daily service is available to Chicago O'Hare on United Express. Beginning on December 1, 2022, United's service will be replaced by Sun Country flights to Minneapolis, and seasonal flights to Fort Myers and Orlando. Chippewa Valley Regional Airport (Q3273819) on Wikidata Chippewa Valley Regional Airport on Wikipedia

Alternatively, you can fly into Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP IATA) and take the shuttle service to Eau Claire:

  • Chippewa Valley Airport Service, 6204 Chuck Lane. The terminal in Eau Claire is in the northwestern part of town, across the street from the Greyhound terminal.

Get around[edit]

Like most U.S. cities of its size, all Eau Claire offers by the way of mass transit is a relatively anemic municipal bus [dead link] system. The buses have bike racks.

The downtown and Water Street areas, and most of the University academic buildings, are located within a river valley. Other parts of the town are located on higher ground. Walking and biking is an option in and between downtown, Water Street, and the University lower campus. However, for most folks (particularly in the winter) travel to other parts of the city will be by auto, taxi, or bus.


Nearby towns[edit]


For a fairly complete listing of current events, pick up a copy of Volume One, a free magazine available at more than 200 locations throughout the area. Another listing can be found in the Thursday edition of the local Eau Claire Leader-Telegram newspaper.


  • 1 Chaos Water Park.
  • Action City. Indoor/outdoor amusement center, including a climbing wall, arcade, laser tag, go karts, mini bowling, bumper cars, and mini golf.
  • Cinema
  • L.E. Phillips Planetarium, Phillips Hall on UW-Eau Claire Campus.
  • Ski Sprites. Water ski shows offered in the summer months.
  • Wise Nature Center, Fall Creek, Wisconsin (Highway 12 east to Fall Creek (about 12 miles, 19 km), then north on County Road K (about 4 miles, 6 km)). Hands-on learning stations, interpretive displays of local fauna and flora, live animal exhibits, and a butterfly house.

The arts[edit]

Younger children[edit]

Festivals and events[edit]

These listings are presented in chronological order.

Nearby festivals[edit]

  • Chippewa Valley Renaissance Faire, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin (North of Eau Claire off Hwy 129). Mid-May to Mid-June: daily 10AM-6PM. Jousting, juggling, comedy, minstrels, magic, stage shows and more! You’ll find gourmet delights and entertainment fit for a king! Our artisan village is filled with merchants offering pottery, stained glass, jewelry, costumes & finery and other handmade wares. Plenty of fun for the wee ones too!
  • CountryFest, Cadott, Wisconsin (about 24 miles (36 km)) northwest of Eau Claire). A country music festival held in the fourth weekend in June.
  • Rockfest, Cadott, Wisconsin (about 24 miles (36 km) northwest of Eau Claire). A rock music festival held in the third weekend in July.
  • Village of Terror, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin (North of Eau Claire off Hwy 129). 5PM-11PM. Magic, music, mayhem & more. Unlimited carnival rides every night. One price for all attractions. Friday and Saturday nights late Sep-late Oct.


  • City Parks. Eau Claire has many city parks. Carson Park is in the center on the city, surrounded by an oxbow lake. Home to Eau Claire baseball and football teams, Chippewa Valley Museum, Chippewa Valley Railroad, and Paul Bunyan Camp. Phoenix Park is the newest park at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers. It is home to the Eau Claire Downtown Farmer's Market and features free concerts on Thursday evenings in the summer. Other city parks include Mount Simon, Rod & Gun, Boyd, Owen, and Riverview.
  • Bowling. Two public bowling alleys: Wagner's (South Hastings Way, East side) and Bowlwinkles (North Clairemont Ave, West Side).
  • Chippewa River State Trail (trail head is located at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers in downtown Eau Claire). Bicycling, walking, running, in-line skating, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Connects to the Red Cedar Trail to the south, and planned expansion will link it to Chippewa Falls to the north, and eventually to the Old Abe State Trail.
  • Disc golf. Three courses, one in town at Mount Simon City Park, another just a few miles east of Eau Claire at the Tower Ridge Recreation Area, and the final located an North Star Middle School.
  • [dead link] Fairfax Pool. The facility includes a main pool with zero depth entry and an Olympic size, eight lane, 50 meter swimming area. A stationary waterslide, 22 feet high with a flume extending 150 feet, is one of the main attractions of the pool. The pool also features a "Raindrop" in the zero depth area of the pool. A separate diving well includes both a one meter and a three meter diving board. Also located on the grounds are a sand volleyball court, a concession stand, and a covered pavilion.
  • Golf. Six public courses. Pine Meadows (Par 3 course), Mill Run, Wild Ridge, Lake Hallie Golf, Hickory Hills (a few miles south of town, on Hwy 93), Princeton Valley Golf. Two private clubs, Hillcrest Country Club and the Eau Claire Country Club (both in nearby Altoona)
  • Riverside Bike & Skate, 937 Water Street (at the end of the Water Street district), +1 715-835-0088. Offers rental bicycles, canoes, kayaks, rollerblades, child trailers, and ice skates. It also offers one to four hour canoe and kayak trips on the Eau Claire or Chippewa Rivers.



  • Oakwood Mall, 4800 Golf Rd (south of town near the intersection of Interstate 94 and Highway 53). The Oakwood Mall commercial area includes Target, Walmart, and Best Buy stores.
  • Water Street District. Small shops primarily catering to the nearby University population.

Farmers' markets[edit]


Eau Claire has its share of the usual chains. For more unique dining try:


  • Ray's Place, 838 Water Street St. Hot beefs and hot ham sandwiches, and Ray's hot horseradish mustard.
  • Acoustic Cafe, Barstow St. Coffee house and sandwich shop.
  • Dessert First, 210 S Barstow St, +1 715 833-8440. M-F 7:30AM-5PM, Sa 8:30AM-3PM. Bakery and cafe.
  • Grand Avenue Cafe, W Grand Ave (Near the courthouse). Coffee house and cafe. Sidewalk seating available.
  • Houligans, S Barstow St. Steak and seafood. Upscale casual. $10-30.

Oakwood Mall Area[edit]

Upper Campus Area[edit]

  • Randy's Family Diner.
  • Shanghai Bistro. Chinese and Japanese (sushi and sashimi.)
  • Sweetwaters. Upscale casual.

Water Street[edit]

  • El Patio, Water Street. Mexican food.
  • Mona Lisa's, 428 Water Street, +1 715 839-8969. Tu-Sa 4PM. Upscale casual contemporary Italian and Mediterranean $12-40.
  • The Nucleus. Th-Su 8AM-2PM. Casual. Serving breakfast (until closing on weekends) and lunch. Unique variety of sweet and savory breakfasts, including daily varieties of quiche.


  • Draganetti's Ristorante, Clairemont Ave at Hwy 53, +1 715 834-9234. M-Sa from 4PM. Italian cuisine. Patio seating available.
  • Mike's Smokehouse, 2235 North Clairemont Ave (Near Westridge Center), +1 715 834-8153. M-Th 11AM-9PM; F Sa 11AM-9:30PM. Barbeque.
  • Monkey in the Middle Pizza Co., 2402 Lorch Ave (inside Action City amusement center).
  • Olympic Flame, London Road. Gyros and a few other Greek specialties. A long time Eau Claire favorite.
  • Tokyo, London Road. Japanese. Dinner is grilled at the table. Lunch is table service from the kitchen.

Nearby restaurants[edit]

For restaurants near Eau Claire click here.

Coffee houses[edit]

  • The Coffee Grounds, Hwy 93 (Across from the Saturn dealership), +1 715 834-1733. Coffee roasted on the premises. Sandwiches. Also sell bulk coffee, craft beers, wine, fine spirits, teas, chocolate, gourmet foods. Walk-in cigar humidor. Outdoor seating available.
  • The Goat Coffee House, 408 Water St. Sidewalk seating available.
  • The Living Room Coffee House & Drive Thru, 2006 Cameron St (off the Clairemont intersection), +1 715 831-0245. M-Th 5:30AM-6PM, F 5:30AM-9PM, Sa 7AM-5PM.
  • Racy D'Lene's Very Coffee House, 404 Riverside Dr (Just off Water St). Behind the Nucleus Cafe (connected), faces the Chippewa River and bike trail. Outdoor bench seating available.
  • Seattle Pride, Brackett Avenue (Upper East Side). Locally owned. Drive up window.
  • Gloria Jeans, Oakwood Mall and at Menards West (2 locations).
  • Seattle's Best Cafe (Inside Borders bookstore, near Oakwood Mall).
  • Starbuck's, Located in Target, one on Hastings Way, one on Clairemont Ave (near Shopko) (3 locations). Drive up at Hastings Way and Clairemont Ave locations



  • The Mousetrap, S Barstow St. Live music.
  • Clancy's Irish Pub, 414 S Barstow St.

Water Street[edit]

The primary bar scene in Eau Claire is on Water Street, near the University lower campus. There are 10-15 bars within a few blocks. Highlights include:

  • Stella's Red Room near downtown
  • Dooley's Irish Pub (Corner of 5th & Water, on the ground of the former Camaradarie). Food available. Private room available.
  • The Joynt.
  • Mogie's Pub. Burgers and Chicken Wings, and other food available.
  • Brother's Pub.
  • The Pioneer.
  • The Brat Kabin.



Upper Campus Area[edit]


Bed & Breakfast[edit]

Go next[edit]

Routes through Eau Claire
Saint PaulMenomonie  W  E  OsseoMadison
Saint PaulMenomonie  W  E  AltoonaWisconsin Dells
DuluthAltoona  N  S  OsseoLa Crosse

This city travel guide to Eau Claire is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.