The north-central region of Wisconsin offers a bit of something for almost everyone, particularly so with the town of West Bend. From the Glacial Blue Hills Recreation Area, the Eisenbahn State Trail, and the West Bend Labyrinth Garden, there is outdoor recreational activities in abundance.
In addition to nature, visitors and locals alike can visit the zoo, museums, parks, great restaurants, and more, along with festivals, fairs, and other events throughout the year.
1. Shalom Wildlife Zoo
While still a working farm, the Shalom Wildlife Zoo was licensed to be a zoo in 2010 and is now home to more than 400 animals. The mission of the zoo is the preservation of wilderness, while also providing wildlife encounters, fun, and education within a natural ecosystem. The Shalom Wildlife Zoo, containing over sixty different species, boasts a wide range of things to do for visitors, including trails, animal interactions, a tiger exhibit, an Indian artifact museum, play areas for children, a holiday drive thru attraction, a gift shop, and supposedly the largest petting zoo in the United States.
1901 Shalom Dr, West Bend, WI 53090, Phone: 262-338-1310
2. Museum of Wisconsin Art
© Museum of Wisconsin Art
The Museum of Wisconsin Art, or MOWA, was established back in 1961 and explores the culture and art of the state of Wisconsin. It is considered to be one of the country’s top museums for regional art, containing more than five thousand works of both historic and contemporary art by over 350 different artists. The Museum of Wisconsin Art aims to provide “an innovative forum for the culturally engaged” through educational programs and rotating exhibitions, and offers an annual membership for an affordable fee to visitors during their first visit as part of its “everyone’s a member” philosophy.
205 Veterans Ave, West Bend, WI, Phone: 262-334-9638
3. West Bend Labyrinth
© West Bend Labyrinth
The West Bend Labyrinth Gardens in West Bend, Wisconsin offers a stunning and inspirational setting for reflection and meditation, as well as a great place to simply get some fresh air and nature. Constructed in 2005 by a workforce made up entirely of volunteers, the Labyrinth Garden’s Earth Sculpture was created in the seven-circuit Cretan labyrinth tradition, with a diameter of ninety feet. The garden’s grassy pathways are lined with ornamental grasses, bulbs, herbs, annuals, and perennials. Designed for people of all ages to enjoy, visitors are welcome to explore the West Bend Labyrinth throughout the year.
800 N Main St, West Bend, WI 53090, Phone: 262-338-6903
4. Washington County Fair Park and Conference Center
© Washington County Fair Park and Conference Center
The Washington County Fair Park and Conference Center is one of the leading event sites within the Washington County of Wisconsin. The property encompasses more than one hundred and thirty acres of beautiful landscaped grounds, as well as more than fifty-two thousand square feet of indoor space. The facility includes the Pavilion, multiple meeting rooms, the Expo Center, an outdoor amphitheater, and more. The Washington County Fair Park and Conference Center is the home of the annual Washington County Fair in July, along with more than three hundred and fifty different events of all sizes and types throughout the year.
3000 Hwy PV, West Bend, WI 53095, Phone: 262-677-5060
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5. Eisenbahn State Trail
The Eisenbahn State Trail is a county-operated trail of approximately twenty-five miles in length, extending from historic West Bend, through the scenic eastern Wisconsin countryside, and past the Kettle Moraine State Forest’s glacial landscape along its way to Eden, Wisconsin Created along the area’s former railroad corridor, its history is recognized in the trail’s title of “Eisenbahn,” or “railroad” in German. The 30,000-acre Kettle Moraine State Forest offers a variety of outdoor recreation activities, including multi-use trails for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking. Other activities possible within the state forest include fishing, hunting, and camping.
West Bend, WI
6. Regner Park
© Subbotina Anna/stock.adobe.com
The Regner Community Park in West Bend is a popular spot among local residents for outdoor recreation, a natural setting that is interwoven with numerous activities. The community park includes an open play area, nature trails, and playgrounds, as well as opportunities for other activities, such as baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, and swimming. The bathhouse, pond, and beach are busy during the summer, while the park turns into a winter paradise with a warming house, hockey, and ice skating during the winter season. Regner Park also includes picnic groves, a bandstand area, concessions, the Camp Lodge, and the Centennial Shelter.
800 N Main St, West Bend, WI 53090
7. Kettle Moraine Ice Center
© Kettle Moraine Ice Center
The Kettle Moraine Ice Center in West Bend is owned and managed by the Families of the Washington County Youth Hockey Association, a not-for-profit volunteer group, and provides many different activities open to the local community for people of all ages. The Kettle Moraine Ice Center is home to the West Bend Bombers, the Washington County Adult Hockey League, the WIAA Germantown Ice Bears, the Kettle Moraine Figure Skating Club, and the Washington County Youth Hockey Association. Several special days, programs, and events are hosted here as well, such as hockey free days, public skating, and learn to skate classes.
2330 S. Main St, West Bend, WI 53095, Phone: 262-335-0876
8. West Bend Library
© West Bend Library
The West Bend Community Memorial Library contains over two hundred and twelve thousand items, including more than twelve thousand DVDs, over seven thousand CDs, and almost one hundred and seventy five thousand books. A wide variety of programs for children are provided by the library as well. The community library of West Bend is the state of Wisconsin’s thirteenth largest public library building, measuring approximately 62,000-square feet.
630 Poplar St, West Bend, WI 53095, Phone: 262-335-5151
9. Riverside Park
The Riverside Park spans across a expansive area of open play area, river, and prairie. Among the activities visitors will find in the West Bend park are two basketball courts, three tennis courts, and two sand volleyball parks, as well as softball fields, soccer fields, and football fields. The river and trails allow for fishing, canoeing, hiking, and bike riding. The combination wooded picnic grove and playground provides a place for parents to relax and kids to let out their energy. The Riverside Park also is home to a sculpture garden, a hiking trail and nature walk, and a disc golf course.
700 East Kilbourn, West Bend, WI 53095
10. Glacial Blue Hills Recreation Area
The Glacial Blue Hills Recreation Area near the city of West Bend, Wisconsin is a hardwood forest native to the area that contains various landforms formed by glaciers. The recreation area rewards visitors with spectacular views of the surrounding woodland valley, as well as provides access to the interior solitude of the park, while also allowing for a unique chance to mountain bike, hike, and explore the park through orienteering. Trailheads for the area’s Ice Age National Scenic Trail can be found in multiple locations. Two self-guided orienteering courses can be found in the Glacial Blue Hills Recreation Area as well.
Beaver Dam Road, West Bend, WI
11. The Braising Pan
© The Braising Pan
The Braising Pan is one of West Bend’s unique charmes, providing an upscale, yet still casual dining experience for people of all ages. The restaurant’s menu includes a variety of modern and traditional favorites with influences from German cuisine, specializing in dishes like rouladen, schnitzel, and sauerbraten. Breakfast and lunch are offered seven days a week with a philosophy of using good ingredients to make good food. Guests can find signature drinks on the menu at The Braising Pan’s full-service bar, along with German imports. The restaurant’s German culinary influences come from the Klumb Family’s recipes from Germany.
1100 N Main St, West Bend, WI 53090, Phone: 262-334-9668
12. Timmer's Resort
© Timmer's Resort
The Timmer’s Resort is a generationally historic and iconic establishment in West Bend, Wisconsin and offers unique experiences to guests for more than one hundred and fifty years. The on-site restaurant of Timmer’s Resort has been named by Forbes as one of the country’s “Top 100 Brunch Spots” and features a casual cuisine menu that includes slow-roasted prime rib, lobster tails, barbecue ribs, and daily specials.
5151 Timmer Bay Rd, West Bend, WI 53095, Phone: 262-338-7710
13. Silverlake County Inn
© Liv Friis-larsen/stock.adobe.com
Established more than twenty years ago by Dawn Robarge and Dan Rau, the Silverlake County Inn sits on the shores of West Bend’s Silver Lake. The cozy and quaint bar and restaurant continues to thrive, primarily through word-of-mouth recommendations. In addition to its full menu, the Silverlake County Inn also hosts all-you-care-to-eat nights during the week and a fish fry on Fridays. The menu includes a wide variety of dishes, including homemade soups, sandwiches, steaks, shrimp, and homemade cheesecake. The Silverlake County Inn is particularly known in the local community for its Honey Dijon and BBQ Ribs.
5602 Peters Dr, West Bend, WI 53095, Phone: 262-338-7975
14. Laughing Mountain Gourmet Popcorn
© Laughing Mountain Gourmet Popcorn
The Laughing Mountain Gourmet Popcorn shop offers flavorful handcrafted popcorn made in small batches. Customers can even see the popcorn being made in front of them during a visit to the shop in West Bend, Wisconsin. The most popular flavor is the buttery caramel corn, made from the family’s own recipe. Visitors to the shop and try sample of the popcorn.
148 N Main St, West Bend, WI 53095, Phone: 262-429-1070
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15. Bibinger's Restauran
© Bibinger's Restaurant
The Bibinger's Restaurant is gastropub located pretty much in the town of West Bend and serves made-from-scratch dishes paired with a variety of handcrafted drinks. The dining spot is a place where “old meets new,” offering new takes on classic Wisconsin fare, housed inside of the historic Bibinger’s Building, more than 170 years old. The menu features dishes that offer the best of the area’s seasonal and local ingredients with options ranging from made-from-scratch sandwiches and appetizers to signature entrees of seafood and steaks, and the full-service bar offers everything from local brews to craft cocktails.
3747 Cedar Creek Rd, Slinger, WI 53086, Phone: 262-247-0703
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