Hudson is a charming city in St. Croix County, Wisconsin that is located within the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan region, providing convenient access to the outdoor recreational opportunities of nearby Willow River State Park, which is known for its boating, hiking, and swimming facilities. The quaint city has grown as an area tourist destination over the past few decades, showcasing a variety of restaurants, shops, and art galleries in its lovely historic downtown district. Visitors can see live performances at the Phipps Center for the Arts or enjoy seasonal recreational opportunities at nearby Badlands Sno Park, which features beginner and expert snow tubing hills for winter sledding fun.

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1.Willow River State Park

Willow River State Park
© Mark Herreid/stock.adobe.com

Willow River State Park is a delightful 2,891-acre Wisconsin state park located just a few miles outside of the city of Hudson, known for its gorgeous 200-foot gorge cascade Willow Falls. Due to its easy driving proximity to the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan region, the park is one of the most-visited state parks in the state of Wisconsin, offering a wide variety of outdoor recreational opportunities for visitors throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy excellent opportunities for non-motorized boating, trout fishing, and rock climbing throughout the park at sites such as the Willow River and Little Falls Lake. Swimming is permitted seasonally at Little Falls Lake, which also offers day-use picnic facilities and a full beach house. An extensive trail system showcases out-and-back paths through forested areas, glacial mounds, and wetlands.

1034 Co Hwy A, Hudson, WI 54016, Phone: 715-386-5931

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2.The Phipps Center for the Arts

The Phipps Center for the Arts
© The Phipps Center for the Arts


The Phipps Center for the Arts is a performing arts venue and center in Hudson that was originally constructed in 1983 and expanded in 1992, serving as the premiere arts destination for the St. Croix Valley. The nonprofit arts center presents a variety of theater, music, dance, and artistic performances throughout the year at its venues, which include formal and black box theater spaces, music and dance studios, and public art galleries. Galleries are open to the public seven days a week throughout the morning and afternoon hours, showcasing the works of regional and national artists. Annual special events include the Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival, which attracts more than 10,000 annual visitors.

109 Locust St, Hudson, WI 54016, Phone: 715-386-2305

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3.Octagon House Museum

Octagon House Museum
© Octagon House Museum

Octagon House Museum is a lovely historic home museum that has been operated by the St. Croix County Historical Society since 1964. It preserves the historic residence of Judge John Shaw Moffat and his family, who arrived in the Hudson region in 1854 and lived within the home for four generations over a century. Today, it is considered to be a prime example of the popular eight-sided dwelling architectural style of the mid-19th century, which was considered to be conducive to healthy living due to the ample amount of natural light it provided. Standard tours of the home are offered between May and October, along with special Christmas tours offered throughout the early part of December. Guided tours last approximately 45 minutes, showcasing the home's original and period-appropriate furnishings and design elements.

1219, 1004 3rd St, Hudson, WI 54016, Phone: 715-386-2654

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4.Badlands Sno Park

Badlands Sno Park
© Badlands Sno Park


Badlands Sno Park is an outdoor recreational park that was originally opened in Hudson in 1970 by the Kinney family as a means for area families to enjoy affordable winter fun activities such as snow tubing. The park has become the region's top-rated snow tubing destination, set amidst the landscape of the Hudson Prairie near the regional area known as "The Badlands." Tubing hills of varying size and difficulty level are offered throughout the park, ranging from gentle bunny slopes to thrilling hills for expert riders. The cozy Badlands Chalet offers a variety of refreshments, including sandwiches, pizzas, hot chocolate, and signature pickle on a stick delicacies.

772 Kinney Rd, Hudson, WI 54016, Phone: 715-386-1856

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5.San Pedro Cafe

San Pedro Cafe
© San Pedro Cafe


San Pedro Cafe is a culinary-focused Caribbean restaurant in downtown Hudson, opened in 2000 within the city's historic district within the vintage 1872 Bank of Hudson building. Today, the building has been converted into one of the region's top foodie destinations, serving up slow-smoked meats, specialty pizzas, and fresh seafood entrees. Its dining room is anchored around a large wood-fired oven, set amidst Caribbean-themed decor elements like a Brazilian Cinderella Blue granite bar and a 100-gallon saltwater coral garden tank. Delicious menu options served up throughout the day include blackened fish tacos, Jamaican jerk quesadillas, and lobster and Gulf shrimp pizzas. Outside, a two-tiered urban patio serves up island-inspired cocktails against the backdrop of a beautiful tropical waterfall feature.

426 2nd St, Hudson, WI 54016, Phone: 715-386-4003

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6.The Postmark Grille

The Postmark Grille
© The Postmark Grille


The Postmark Grille is a family-operated restaurant located within Hudson's restored historic post office building, owned by members of the Evenson and Moore families. Delicious Italian-American fare is served up throughout the day on the restaurant's extensive menus, which highlight everything from pizzas and pastas to casual sandwich and wrap options. All menu items are crafted and prepared in house, including elegant steak and pork options that are cut in house for prime flavor. Pizzas are crafted from scratch with 100% Wisconsin cheese, available gluten-free upon request. Happy hour options showcase full bar offerings, including regional beer selections.

225 Locust St, Hudson, WI 54016, Phone: 715-377-4699

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7.Bricks Neapolitan Pizza

Bricks Neapolitan Pizza
© Bricks Neapolitan Pizza

Bricks Neapolitan Pizza is a locally-owned pizza parlor located on the eastern shores of the St. Croix Riverway, offering excellent Naples classics since 2005. The restaurant is anchored around its namesake brick oven, which is constructed with volcanic rock sourced from Mount Vesuvius and can reach temperatures of up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Local seasonal ingredients are used in the preparation of all pizzas, including Wisconsin cheeses, morel mushrooms, and locally-produced Thai chili-infused honey from River Falls. Artisanal paninis are also served throughout the day, along with a selection of local Wisconsin craft brews and ciders. Made-to-order French press coffee from Creekside Coffee Company is also served, along with a selection of imported Old World wines.

407 2nd St #2, Hudson, WI 54016, Phone: 715-377-7670

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8.Dick's Bar and Grill

Dick's Bar and Grill
© Dick's Bar and Grill

Dick's Bar and Grill has been operated at its location as a bar and tavern since 1860, known as the St. Croix Tavern, the Lucky Dog Llama Lounge, and Yoerg's Brewery Saloon throughout its operation. The restaurant gained its current name from its purchase by owner Dick Brunelle in 1955. Today, it is owned and operated by Carol Raley and is known as a popular gathering spot for the local community. Diners can enjoy a full menu of classic and artisanal sandwiches throughout the day, including Cuban sandwiches, barbecue pulled pork, classic grilled cheeses, and unique signature pork fritter sandwiches. Entrees include homestyle favorites such as deep-fried chicken-in-a-hubcap and homemade meatloaf, served up alongside a selection of draft beers and house cocktails.

111 Walnut Street, Hudson, WI 54016, Phone: 715-386-5222

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9.EJ's Pizzeria

EJ's Pizzeria
© EJ's Pizzeria

EJ's Pizzeria was opened in 1987 by the Utech family and moved to its current location in Hudson in 2007. The pizzeria is known for its award-winning pizza sauces, which have been named among the top 10 sauces in the Twin Cities in several prominent area competitions. Specialty pizza options served up throughout the day include Greek-style gyro pizzas, bacon cheeseburger pizzas, chicken alfredo pizzas, and Mexican-style pizzas prepared with taco meat and hot sauce. All pizzas are available in 10-inch or 14-inch sizes, perfect for sharing with the entire family. Build-your-own calzones are also served, along with a selection of shareable appetizers and homestyle pasta entrees.

1830 Webster St #150, Hudson, WI 54016, Phone: 715-531-0500

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9 Best Things to Do in Hudson, WI