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.
1. 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
2. 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
3. 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
4. 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
5. 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
6. 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
7. 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
8. 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
9. 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
10. St. Croix Valley Art Bench Trail
© St. Croix Valley Art Bench Trail
Who would have thought that some of the St. Croix Valley’s most eye-catching works of art could be found on something as simple as a public bench? With the Art Bench Trail, visitors can explore portions of the valley on foot and see some of it’s most beloved works of art, as each bench is created by young local artists in partnership with various art programs. Hudson is one of the stops along the Art Bench Trail, with the River Bench. This particular bench was created by sixty children and their parents from the Hudson’s Destination Imagination program and the Phipps Center for the Arts, who spent over 1,000 hours to complete their benches alongside the local Hudson artist, Lynn Jermal.
Picnic Point, Lakefront Park, Hudson, Wisconsin
11. Hudson Tree Treks
Whether you’re a budding arborist or simply want to explore the best of Hudson’s foliage on foot, a Hudson Tree Trek deserves a spot on your Hudson bucket list care of Hudson Tree Treks. The city is home to a total of five trek trails, each of which is self-guided and stops at various species of trees. The first option is the Lakefront Park Tree Trek which takes visitors from Picnic Point to the Beach House. The second is the Vine Street Tree Trek, which is characterized by larger shade trees along an 18-block stretch. The Historic District Tree Trek takes guests through the shared school forests of St. Patrick’s, Trinity Academy, and Willow River, while the E.P. Rock Tree Trek is arguably the most diverse trek of the five. Last, but not the least, is the River Crest Arboretum, which is the first tree trek in the city and is a gorgeous perimeter trail that reaches the YMCA Camp. Phone: 715-386-4765
12. Hop and Barrel Brewing
© Hop and Barrel Brewing
Just a few blocks away from the pier of the gorgeous river town of Hudson is Hop and Barrel Brewing, a craft beer brewing company known for their delicious variety of craft beers. From invigorating IPAs to mouthwatering stouts, there are a lot of tried and tested beers to sip on in their 16-tap taproom. Visit the tap room and enjoy a night chatting with friends, or head to the taproom patio to enjoy your beverage al fresco alongside classic games like foosball, skee ball, and duck claw. The brewery is co-founded by Brian Priefer and Justin Terbeest and helmed by brewers Nathan Grosse and Jason Pahl. The brewery’s taproom has 6 staples that are available year-round, and 10 rotating and seasonal brews. Some of the staples to try including their crisp and easy Helles Lager, and the malty Double IPA.
310 2nd Street, Hudson, Wisconsin 54016, Phone: 715-808-8390
13. Seasons on St. Croix Gallery
© Seasons on St. Croix Gallery
The Seasons on St. Croix Gallery is all about celebrating the creativity, talent, and quality of art available in the St. Croix Valley. In fact, Seasons Gallery pours out so much support to local and regional artists that they represent a whopping 160 artists from Hudson and the surround areas. From these artists, the gallery hand selects each piece that gets featured in the exhibit. Come to the Seasons Gallery to see fantastic sculptures, mixed media pieces, and even works of art crafted from fibers. At the gallery, guests can also see areas dedicated to clay, glass, and metal sculptures, 2D works, and sculptures of wood. Not to be missed either is the gallery’s annual Jewelry Trunk Show.
401 2nd Street, Hudson, Wisconsin 54016, Phone: 715-381-2906
14. Troy Burne Golf Club
© Lukas Gojda/stock.adobe.com
Tee off at one of America’s greatest public golf courses when you visit the Troy Burne Golf Club. Officially opened in 1999, the Troy Burne Golf Club was designed by a world-class team including PGA athlete Tom Lehman, and Hurdzan-Fry, an internationally acclaimed architectural firm. It was Tom Lehman’s experience playing so many challenging and demanding courses that shaped the 420-acre course of the golf club into what it is today. The Troy Burne Golf Club features rolling hills, more than 120 bunkers, stadium greens, and classic bent grass fairways in addition to prairie grass along many of the courses’ hillside holes. After a long day on the course, golfers can head to The Grill to tuck into fantastic American cuisine.
259 Lindsay Road, Hudson, Wisconsin 54016, Phone: 715-381-9800
15. White Eagle Golf Club
Just a short drive east of Hudson is the White Eagle Golf Club, a 350-acre golfing paradise nestled within a natural wonderland of wetlands and wildlife. This 18-hole championship course was designed by Gill/Miller Inc. and constructed by Eneback Construction, with every level of golfer in mind. Not only does the White Eagle Golf Club challenge and help to improve the skills of the athletes that tee off on it, but it also offers one of the most genuine and enjoyable Northwoods golfing experiences in the East Metro. In addition to its exceptional and unique challenges, White Eagle Golf Club also features five sets of tee boxes that range from 5,000 to 7,200 yards. The club recommends booking a tee time prior to visiting to avoid disappointment.
316 White Eagle Trail, Hudson, Wisconsin 54016, Phone: 715-549-4653
16. Cracked Barrel Winery
© Alexandr Vorobev/stock.adobe.com
Get a taste of the wine country life at a river city when you visit the Cracked Barrel Winery. Located in St. Croix County, Cracked Barrel Winery delivers a refreshing breath of country air from within its alluring and magical vineyard. The winery specializes in vintages made with northern climate grapes and offers a great variety of red and white wines alike. While the winery does have a great array to choose from, the Cracked Barrel Winery offers guests the unique opportunity to make a wine to their personal tastes and liking. Not only will participants get to learn the winemaking process from start to finish, but it’s also absolutely easy and fun, and allows guests to take home a whole case of their own personal wine.
570 Coulee Trail, Hudson, Wisconsin 54016, Phone: 715-690-2217
The top attractions to visit in Hudson, WI near me today according to local experts are: