In June 1849, five men from Vermont started out on their voyage west. They had heard about the Indian lands in which the Government obtained in the 1848 treaty. Before arriving, they had heard of a place called "The Falls" - as Waupaca is divided by the beautiful, rocky Waupaca/Tomorrow River. Upon arriving in what is now Waupaca, they became the first men to penetrate that far into the wilderness of Wisconsin.
Waupaca is a quaint town of just over 6,000 people, located between the Crystal River and Tomorrow River, both of which feed off the Chain O' Lakes. In summer months, the town and outlying areas are a huge tourist attraction, bringing visitors and seasonal cottage owners. The Chain O' Lakes is a group of 22 lakes, all connected by small channels which can be traveled through by boat. Between May and September, the lakes are a fun way to enjoy waterskiing, wakeboarding, wave-runners, or just a relaxing day sitting on the sandy beaches, which many of the 22 lakes have to offer. The affordable "Lake Life" is what brings so many visitors and seasonal residents from cities like Chicago and Milwaukee. In winter months, it is a key destination for snowmobiling and cross country skiing.
When you're in Waupaca, you feel the sense of small town charm. The people are always friendly. The weather is always beautiful, showing all four seasons of the year perfectly. Nothing in Waupaca is huge or extravagant, it is just a quaint and quiet little town with all the best small town attractions.
Waupaca is accessible by WI State Highway 10, which travels east and west, to Appleton/Oshkosh or Stevens Point/Wausau, respectively. State Highway 22 will bring you directly into Waupaca from the north or South, and is a short route to Interstate 39. Highway 54 travels east and west, and is an easy and short route to and from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Waupaca is a 40-mile (64-km) drive from Appleton, 55 miles from Green Bay, and 140 miles (225 km) from Milwaukee, via Oshkosh.
Waupaca has no transit system, but it does have a taxi service.
- Chain O' Lakes: Located 2 miles (3.2 km) outside of Waupaca, it is a favored destination for all who travel to the area.
- King: A small unincorparated town where the Wisconsin Veterans Home is located along the shores of Rainbow Lake. In King, you will find shops carrying clothing, Lake Life decor, and treats of all kinds. A walk down the "Strip in King" will provide you with a cup of coffee from Amherst Coffee Co., a one-of-a-kind handbag or article of clothing from Kate&Co., hand-made furnishings and collectibles, and a stop for a seafood dish or delicious burger at the Clearwater Harbor Bar, with deck views and drive-up boat service on the shore of Taylor lake. They provide daily tours of the lakes on the double decker Chief Waupaca sternwheel boat.
- Downtown Waupaca: enjoy the variety of Old Mainstreet shops and restaurants. In June, Strawberry Fest is an annual festival, celebrating the area's strawberry harvest and features a large selection of arts and craft booths, a delicious array of foods - and, of course, strawberry shortcake. At Main Street's south end, South Park, a 2-level park with a large playground and beach on Shadow Lake, is a great place to enjoy a warm summer day.
Main Street offers all kinds of locally owned stores:
- Dragonwings Bookstore for the kids
- Panache Boutique for women's clothing and fun gifts
- Acme Sports for sporting goods - or how about a Wisconsin cheesehead hat?
- Studio 212, an Aveda salon with professional and friendly stylists.
- Rosa theater, featuring four cinemas to catch the newest movies.
- The historic Danes Home, which housed Danish immigrants in the early days of Waupaca is now a 3-level antique store, sure to amaze you with its historic beauty.
Waupaca's west side is where you will find:
- Pick 'N Save
- Piggly Wiggly
- Cheesy Bob's in King to find a fabulous selection of beers, wines, and liquor - while you're there, be sure to grab some fresh, locally made Wisconsin cheeses
- Fine dining at Simpson's Restaurant, with local bands who perform on their outdoor deck.
- On Fulton Street, you will also find a selection of fast-food restaurants.
- Woods Restaurant: for a nice, sit-down meal. Locally owned, with large portions and very pocket-book friendly prices.
- Weasels - laid-back
- Simpsons - wine and dining
- Speakeasy - a rowdy place
- Paca Pub - for those who want a place where you can order a shot and a beer and feel an old time saloon-style bar. A longtime standby on Main Street.
- T-Dubs Irish Pub is located behind Main Street, overlooking the Waupaca River. Its a place to find specialty microbrews and true Irish atmosphere.
- Clearwater Harbor, overlooking Taylor Lake
- Wheelhouse, about 1 mile southwest, overlooking Limekiln Lake.
- Chain O' Lakes Bar and Grill, with delicious pizzas and a fun, younger crowd.
- Wally World - cheap, cold beer and a game of pool.
Waupaca has three hotels, and a handful of B&Bs.
- Comfort Suites, an all-suite hotel located on Foxfire Golf Course, just off Highway 10.
- Best Western Grand Seasons, with an indoor waterpark
- Village Inn Hotel, a privately owned budget hotel.
Waupaca has one hospital, Riverside Medical Center, located in the east side of town. It has emergency care and urgent care, 24 hours 7 days a week. Rated one of the top hospitals in the region.
|Routes through Waupaca|
|Saint Paul ← Stevens Point ←||W E||→ Appleton → Manitowoc|
|Black River Falls ← Plover ←||W E||→ Jct → Green Bay|