Art-mural-is-eau-claire-worth-visiting-phoenyx-rises. Jpg

Is Eau Claire worth visiting?

Truth be told, many are unaware of the hidden gem that lies in Wisconsin’s heartland…

This picturesque city, tucked away at the junction of two rivers and teeming with hometown appeal, holds more than what meets the eye.

A thriving arts scene? Check. All the cheese curds and beer you could possibly imagine? Absolutely.

Breathtaking outdoor attractions for nature enthusiasts? You bet! But there’s so much more…

You see, Eau Claire isn’t just another Midwest town – it’s an experience waiting to be discovered.


Table of Contents:

Fun Facts

  • Population: Around 68,000
  • Pronunciation: “Oh Claire”
  • Meaning: French word translating to “Clear Water”
  • Nickname: EC

Popular Activities

  • Scenic bike trails
  • Canoeing
  • Tubing
  • Hiking trails
  • The Children’s Museum

Eau Claire is Worth Visiting: Uncover Wisconsin’s Hidden Gem

From its thriving arts scene to outdoor attractions and local flavors, explore Wisconsin’s hidden gem where you will meet some of the nicest people in the world. So, is Eau Claire worth visiting? Grab your road trip buddy and come with us to see for yourself!

The Renaissance of Eau Claire

In downtown Eau Claire, you’ll find projects like The Oxbow Hotel and The Lismore that are more than just buildings. They’re catalysts for change, sparks igniting a cultural revolution akin to throwing open windows in a stuffy room. I personally stayed at The Lismore and can attest to their elegant simplicity which is extremely refreshing to the eyes.

The Lismore is home to the ECDC which fueled our daily caffeine fix in a way that energized the body and soul. While the The Dive (which is anything but) supplied us with the most creative and delicious post-TBEX marathon drinks.

EAU CLAIRE, Wisconsin

Eau Claire, nestled on the clear waters of the Chippewa and Eau Claire Rivers in western Wisconsin, is frequently overlooked by visitors flocking to the bustling cities of Milwaukee and Madison.

Venture away from the expected and uncover a “hidden jewel”—yeah, it’s a tad overused, but it suits perfectly here!—that offers a distinct Midwestern retreat.

A Taste of Local Flavors in Eau Claire

Imagine walking into a lively restaurant, the air filled with delicious aromas that tease the senses. You’re handed a menu that’s brimming with dishes made from locally sourced ingredients – welcome to dining in downtown Eau Claire.


Breweries in Eau Claire

At the breweries of Eau Claire, you can expect an experience that blends creativity and tradition for a truly unique beer-drinking journey. These crafty suds tantalize the taste buds, leaving one thirsting for more.

Take a popular spot like Fire House, for instance; they’ve got an impressive lineup of beers crafted using time-honored brewing methods. Normally, I cannot stand the carbonation or hoppy flavor of beer, but our favorite bartender found a white stout that kept me coming back for more and telling everyone who would listen about it.

In the heart of Chippewa Falls, is the famous Leinenkugel’s Brewery – where traditional German brewing meets Wisconsinite flavors. This iconic brewery has been doling out barrels of joy (and beer) since 1867, from classic lagers to quirky brews that even include a hint of Wisconsin’s favorite fruit, the cranberry! If you’re thirsty for authentic midwestern charm, a dollop of humor, and a frothy pint of history, then Leinenkugel’s Brewery is your hoppy haven.

Leinenkugel's brewery - eau claire - phoenyx rises

Downtown Dining Scene

If food is what makes your heart sing then prepare yourself because downtown Eau Claire has quite the culinary choir. The Informalist, housed inside The Lismore, stands out among other restaurants due to its dedication to its locally sourced menu – it doesn’t get fresher than this.

In essence, whether you’re sampling innovative brews or indulging at farm-to-table eateries like The Informalist, every bite, every sip immerses you deeper into the unique gastronomic tapestry woven by this wonderful city called Eau Claire – making it truly worth visiting.

Outdoor Attractions in Eau Claire

Eau Claire, a city that translates to ‘clear water’ that’s nestled between two rivers and surrounded by nature’s canvas of greenery. It’s the kind of place where you feel like taking off your shoes to walk barefoot on trails stretching over 30 miles, paved with love for biking enthusiasts or those who simply enjoy leisurely strolls. The parks are beyond phenomenal too!

Kayaking the chippewa river - eau claire - phoenyx rises

Chippewa River

Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Eau Claire as you kayak down the gently winding Chippewa River. It was probably the most peaceful kayaking trip I have ever had giving me time for quiet contemplation and reflection.

With every stroke, you’ll glide smoothly over the tranquil waters, surrounded by the lush landscape of trees on either side, bathed in the soft glow of the sun. This kayaking adventure on the Chippewa River not only offers an exhilarating journey, but also a chance to embrace nature, reflect on life, and discover a new perspective.

Once you’re done, park your kayak at one of Chippewa Falls outdoor attractions, Loopy’s Grill & Saloon in Chippewa Valley. Here, you can grab a bite to eat, drink some Leinenkugel’s beer, and try your hand spiking a volleyball.

This popular spot doesn’t close when it snows though. No, they use a dome over the volleyball courts and heaters under the sand to enjoy that tropical feel all year round!

Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park, nestled in the heart of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is naturally named after yours truly. Just kidding, I am definitely not that cool.

Phoenix Park is a verdant haven where the city’s heartbeat echoes in rhythm with nature’s tranquil melodies. The glistening waters of the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers converge here, providing a serene backdrop for leisurely strolls, reflective moments, and unforgettable adventures.

Whether it’s the vibrant farmer’s market, the striking Phoenix Park Bridge illuminating the night, or the gentle rustling of leaves whispering stories of the past, Phoenix Park offers a stirring blend of urban charm and natural beauty.

Phoenix park in eau claire - phoenyx rises

Artistic Flourish in Eau Claire

Eau Claire, the “millennial,” “artsy,” and “hipster” city that it is today, didn’t happen overnight. It’s been a journey of creativity and expression, nurtured by local artists who have made their mark on this Wisconsin gem.

Gizmo art statue - eau claire - phoenyx rises

Exploring the Eclectic Art Scene of Eau Claire

My favorite surprise was the murals the size of building faces that were as beautiful as they were varied. It was always a pleasant surprise when we would turn the corner and find another that I would make my side-eyeing teenager pose with. The sass was worth it though.

Equally amazing were the fun statues that peppered nearly every street from the more traditional metal statues to ones that looked like they were made with spare industrial parts. My personal favorite was the fed-after-midnight version of Gizmo that was displayed in Haymarket Plaza across from Phoenix Park.

Jazzing Up with Festivals

Beyond year-round displays of creativity at venues like Artisan Forge Studios, annual festivals such as the famed Eau Claire jazz festival bring together music enthusiasts from all over for a celebration unlike any other. These gatherings not only celebrate jazz but also encourage community participation through workshops led by renowned artists on improvisation techniques and performance skills a testament to how deeply ingrained music is within life here in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

In fact, these very reasons, the thriving arts scene coupled with outdoor beauty; friendly people; manageable size; and affordable living costs; are why national media outlets now refer to our beloved city as a “boom” destination. And we couldn’t agree more…Eau Claire indeed has risen phoenix-like amidst all underrated getaways out there.

Media Attention on Eau Claire

Eau Claire, this city that once hummed quietly in the background of Wisconsin’s narrative, is now singing a louder tune. It’s like an unassuming six-seater airplane suddenly becoming the talk of aviation enthusiasts – unexpected yet intriguing.

National media outlets are taking notice and they’re labeling it with terms such as “millennial,” “artsy,” “hipster,” “boom,” and even “destination” city. Not unlike bolts and screws holding together our metaphorical plane, these labels come together to paint a picture of what makes Eau Claire special.

Eau Claire: A Millennial Magnet

The millennial crowd has been drawn to Eau Claire like skydivers to their next thrilling leap. The music scene here resonates deeply. Events like Eaux Claires festival were brought into existence by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon himself.

Beyond just tunes though, there’s something else at play, an ethos that rings true for millennials seeking balance away from big cities’ hustle-bustle, a community vibe where creativity thrives alongside tradition; local artists showcasing their work at Artisan Forge Studios being one example among many others.

Key Takeaway: Uncover the hidden gem of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. From its thriving arts scene to friendly community, this boom town is worth a visit. Experience the music festivals and explore unique downtown spots.

Discover why it’s becoming a top travel destination today!

FAQs – Eau Claire Edition

So, is Eau Claire worth visiting?

Absolutely. With its thriving arts scene, outdoor attractions, local flavors, and friendly atmosphere, Eau Claire is a hidden gem in Wisconsin that’s well worth exploring. We’re even debating on moving there because of how awesome it is.

What is Eau Claire Wisconsin famous for?

Eau Claire is renowned for its vibrant music and arts scenes, burgeoning brewery culture, scenic beauty along the Chippewa River State Trail, and annual indie music festival – Eaux Claires.

Is Eau Claire Driftless?

No. While close to the Driftless Area known for its unique topography untouched by glaciers, Eau Claire itself was shaped by glacial activity leaving it with beautiful river valleys.

What is the sister city of Eau Claire?

Lismore in Australia serves as a sister city to Eau Claire under an agreement aimed at fostering cultural understanding between these two communities.

How far is Eau Claire from the twin cities?

Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is about 90 miles, or an hour and a half drive, east of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. Bring along your favorite road trip buddy, and make this worth-while trek!


During my Eau Claire travels, I discovered not only the city’s vibrant culture and serene landscapes, but also a part of myself I hadn’t known before. I embraced the warm, familiar energy of Eau Claire to my core. Is Eau Claire worth visiting? If you’re looking for unique, relaxing, and underrated getaways Eau Claire, Wisconsin, with its vibrant arts scene, lush parks, and friendly midwestern charm, should definitely top your travel list.

If you’re ready to uncover more hidden gems through authentic experiences that promote inner growth and transformation – consider joining us at Phoenyx Rises! Explore more transformative travel at Phoenyx Travels. Your journey toward self-discovery starts here!