Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Antigo, WI

  • Published 2023/01/26

The city of Antigo is the seat of Langlade County, Wisconsin. What can you find here?

You’ll find a vibrant lumber and farming district, which manufactures lumber products, such as furniture, chairs, doors, spokes, hubs, and many others.

Antigo may be a small city, with only a population of 8,234 according to the 2010 census, but it has a distinct appeal that should lure many a guest.

Like many small cities in the United States, Antigo is a historic place.

Francis A. Deleglise, with George Eckart, founded the city in 1876.

Deleglise once lived in a log cabin in the area.

Today, the Langlade County Historical Society Museum has preserved this cabin for posterity.

Likewise, Antigo honors Deleglise by naming a street after him.

In 1883, the town officially became a city.

The city got its name from the Ojibwe term for the local river, “Nequi-Antigo-sebi,” which means “evergreen” or “spring river.”

During the early 1900s, Antigo became famous for its sawmills.

The years had seen the city strike a balance between agriculture and industry.

Besides lumber products, the city also produces fur, potatoes, dairy products, shoes, fur, aluminum, and steel.

Do you want to know more about Antigo, WI?

Here’s a list of the best things to do in the city:

Learn Local History with the Langlade County Historical Society

The Langlade County Historical Society operates at a historic site, comprising the main museum building and the Deleglise Cabin.

Both sites date back to the late 19th century to the early 20th century.

For instance, the museum building used to be the Carnegie Library built through a $15,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie in 1905.

The building became the Antigo Public Library until 1997 when the library relocated and gave way to the Langlade County Historical Society Museum.

Meanwhile, the Deleglise Cabin has stood in town since 1878.

The Historical Society moved the cabin from the west bank of Spring Brook, but its original artifacts remain inside.

These objects include photographs, furniture, and Deleglise’s surveying equipment.

You can also find his tripod there.

Besides the museum and cabin, the Historical Society grounds also feature the 440 Locomotive and 1956 Caboose.

This 2-8-0 Baldwin locomotive has existed since 1900, and it became the last steam engine to cross Antigo in 1957.

Set Up Camp at the Antigo Lake RV Park & Campground

Enjoy spending the night outdoors at the Antigo Lake RV Park & Campground.

You can find this site off Hudson Street and Third Avenue, not too far from familiar conveniences.

For instance, you can leave your RV or campsite and walk to the four nearby baseball diamonds, playgrounds, the Springbrook Trail, and even an 18-hole disc golf course.

You can also reach downtown Antigo on foot. You won’t run out of fun things to do at camp.

During your stay, you may also rent bicycles to make your Antigo stroll easier.

However, the campground only has a few bicycles.

Grab Fine Wines at Wild Epitome

You can find this winery in the gorgeous northern woods of Wisconsin.

This winery produces and offers various types of country fruit wine, mead, and specialty wines (or special’tea’ wines).

Besides wine, the store also sells Ultra Premium olive oils, balsamic vinegar, hand-thrown pottery, jewelry, ceramic glasses and cups, and many other craft items.

Wild Epitome uses berries, not juice, to create their country fruit wine.

Their wine menu comprises strawberry wine, cranberry raisin, blueberry, cherry, blackberry, and raspberry.

Meanwhile, their Special’tea’ wine uses a blend of caffeine-free herbal tea and concord grape concentrate.

If you’re curious, you can try their Bog Harvest, Blue Velvet, Berry Blunder, and Rastanzie wines.

Catch the Latest Blockbuster in the Historic Palace Twin Theater

In 1916, the Palace Theatre opened to the public in Antigo, offering a seating capacity of 1,100.

Later, J.P. Adler of the Adler Theater Company took over operations and remodeled the building.

After a few years, the refashioned building became the New Antigo Theater, which opened on April 8, 1928.

This new version came equipped with a Barton organ.

Later that year, the Adler Theater Company sold the building to Fox Midwest, which immediately closed down the theater.

In 1984, the theater reopened but closed again for two weeks until it landed under the ownership of Tim Suick.

After 40 years, the Suick family still owns the theater.

During its heyday, the Palace Twin Theater earned renown as the largest movie house in northern Wisconsin.

Today, you can spend a lovely evening at the movies with family or loved ones at the Palace Theater.

The place continues to show the latest blockbusters for everyone to enjoy.

Go Fishing with Theisen Adventures

This fishing guide operation runs services in the counties of Langlade, Vilas, and Oneida, though its office is in Antigo.

For over 20 years, the company has guided guests to the best fishing spots in northern Wisconsin.

Book them to hook all the panfish, Muskie, and walleye you could ever hope to catch.

The company’s passion for sharing its owners’ passion for fishing and the great outdoors has earned them a good reputation in the area.

You can also depend on them to find your preferred fish species in their precise locations, avoiding wasted time trawling the waters.

Likewise, you can try jigging, trolling, and casting methods.

Theisen Adventures will give you the fishing adventure you desire, whether you want to learn more about fishing or you simply want to enjoy a leisurely afternoon of fishing.

They will even clean and prepare your catch for you.

Let Out Steam with Escape and Smash It!

This escape room comes with a twist—you can break things inside it!

Billing itself as an “escape room and smash room entertainment center,” Escape and Smash It shows you a new and exciting way to have fun and vent stress from your system.

The locally owned and operated escape room began from a small idea and has now expanded to serve the community and beyond.

Bring your family or friends and pick between an escape room or a smash room. You know the drill with escape rooms already.

Work together with your team to find clues, solve puzzles, and leave the room.

On the other hand, the smash room is a little more straightforward.

You just get in some protective gear, enter the room, and just smash the breakable items inside.

The smash room gives you 15 minutes to smash 20 breakable items.

Are you looking to blow off some steam?

Get in Antigo’s smash room!

Bring Your Family to the Langlade County Fair

The Langlade County Fair is an Antigo staple for the whole family, held near the end of July every year.

During the fair, you can see several exhibits housed in different buildings.

You can check out more than 5,000 4-H exhibits displayed in several buildings, for example.

Likewise, you might want to drop by the beef, swine, cat, horse, rabbit, lamb, and dairy shows.

Venture to the grandstand to catch thrilling entertainment acts performed nightly.

Then, head to the Midway Tent and the Down Under Stage to catch the best musicians playing your favorites every night.

The fairgrounds also feature more than 30 carnival rides for the more adventurous ones in your family.

Likewise, the fair also features over 15 food stalls when you get hungry.

This event is truly for the whole family, so don’t miss out on the fair!

Play on the Ice at the Langlade County Indoor Ice Rink

You might want to bring your ice-skating gear if you plan to visit Antigo in the winter.

Head to the Langlade County Indoor Ice Rink, found at the Langlade County Fairgrounds.

Don’t think that just because the annual fair is over, you won’t find anything to do at the fairgrounds.

The complex features the Multi-Purpose Building, which hosts the indoor rink every winter.

During your visit, you can enjoy a game of hockey or just enjoy yourself on the ice.

The rink features bleachers, a scoreboard, and an announcer’s booth.

Likewise, it also has a fully equipped kitchen and spacious restrooms.

If you just want to watch people play hockey, then you’re in luck.

The Antigo Red Robins hockey team plays at this rink, too.

Spend the Day at the Antigo Optimist Skate Park

From spring to the fall, the Antigo Optimist Skate Park offers skaters the chance to enjoy peaceful afternoons skating or honing their skills.

You can find this park at the Antigo Railway Activity Park, and it opens from early morning to dusk.

Bring your rollerblades or skateboards with you during your Antigo visit.

The skate park features several boxes, ramps, and rails that give skateboarders and rollerbladers a reasonable challenge as they hone their skills.

Your kids will love stopping by this park.

Set aside an afternoon for them to be themselves and make new friends over skateboarding or rollerblading.

Grab Fresh Produce at the Antigo Farmers Market

Start your healthy lifestyle by dropping by the Antigo Farmers Market, held every Saturday in downtown Antigo.

The vendors sell a diverse selection of items, from fresh produce, honey, fresh eggs, mushrooms, maple syrup, and flowers.

You can also buy homemade craft items from local artisans.

If the sun gets too hot, you can duck inside the Heinzen Pavilion at the Peaceful Valley Park for shelter.

This pavilion is open to guests and vendors alike.

The park also offers benches and picnic tables so you can sample what you just bought while it’s still hot.

Likewise, the market sells only locally produced items and presents food demonstrations.

You can also grab informative materials during your visit.

During the growing season, the market also gives fresh produce to the city’s food pantry.

Enjoy Fine Dining at Swartzendruber’s Supper Club

You can find the only supper club in Antigo on the south side of the city, just a mile west of Highway 45.

Enjoy all the luxurious trappings of fine dining inside a casual setting at this unique restaurant.

Don’t worry about acting all stuffy because the restaurant has a casual dress code.

However, you’d still get to enjoy premium dishes such as sumptuous seafood, pasta, and steaks.

Likewise, the full bar offers a quality selection of drinks to liven up the evening.

The restaurant also offers daily specials, so choose your schedule accordingly if you want to try something new.

Tie the Knot at North Star Lanes

This Antigo bowling alley is not just a terrific bowling spot, but it’s also one of Langlade County’s largest reception facilities.

So, you can enjoy a thrilling game with friends or family today and hold a grand wedding reception by tomorrow.

It’s also an affordable venue, plus it’s right next to the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Hotel.

You’ll take care of your wedding needs with one venue, from your bridal showers and rehearsal dinners to the reception itself.

The venue’s spacious banquet room should accommodate a huge party.

However, the venue is not open only to weddings.

North Star Lanes are also available for birthday parties and other events.

Otherwise, if you just want to bowl, the place also has 16 lanes plus a bar and grill when hunger strikes.

Take Your Fur Buddies to Antigo Dog Park

Bring your furry family members to Antigo Dog Park for some enjoyable fun.

The park sits just off the Highway 64 bypass on the North West side of Antigo.

Your dogs can run around inside the 17-acre fully fenced area and you can visit the park all year round.

If you have smaller dogs, the park has a separate 2-acre space they can play and run.

They’ll enjoy mingling with other pooches off the leash including dog walks on various trails around the park.

You can check the city website for park rules, more updates, and information about Antigo Dog Park.

Host a Family Event at Peaceful Valley Park and Festival Grounds

If you’re planning a get-together or a family picnic, Peaceful Valley Park and Festival Grounds has a host of amenities to meet your needs.

Located along Field Street between 5th and 8th Avenue, the park has a spacious 4.5-acre area designed for any outdoor event.

The Warming House and Heinzen Pavilion have several features like a kitchen area, refrigerator, counters, tables, chairs, restrooms, and others.

The park and Festival Grounds areas also have amenities you can use for your outdoor activities.

Enjoy a packed lunch or grab some snacks and stay at the picnic tables and park benches dotted throughout the park.

You can also stroll or enjoy a bike ride along Springbrook Trail which runs through the park.

Little ones can also have fun at Peaceful Valley Park and Festival Grounds with large Rockin’ Robin Playground and Castle Park to climb, slide and jump.

Grab Healthy Eats at Sweet Thyme

Craving for healthier food options? Sweet Thyme located on Century Avenue is a must-try food stop just right for those cravings.

You can dine in from Monday to Saturday or get pre-orders for carry-out or pick-up.

Every item on the menu is served with fresh ingredients sourced from local farmers and producers in the Antigo area.

For local coffee favorites, try the Infused Maple Syrup Latte, added with original, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger maple flavors.

Go for the Fat Shot, a mix of Ghee, coconut oil, and vanilla, blended with espresso and topped with cinnamon, or sip some Aztec Mocha made of Aztec spice mix, mocha sauce, espresso, and milk.

You can also try other espresso drinks, brewed coffee, blended drinks, non-espresso beverages, tea, or smoothies.

Take bites of tasty sandwiches and wraps with your option of cafe-made gluten-free bread, gluten-free wraps, and cafe-made keto buns; you’ll enjoy the delicious BLT Classic, Chicken Chipotle, Grilled Cheese with Walnut Basil Pesto, Wiscali Wrap, and much more.

They also serve soups, chili, and Auntie E’s Kids Menu for your hungry little ones; likewise, Sweet Thyme’s Chocolate and Blueberry Smoothie Bowls are worth the try.

Get Immersed with Nature at Springbrook Trail

For some nature tripping, you can head out and stroll the Springbrook Trail.

You’ll start the loop from the 4th Avenue Dam going to 2nd Avenue and then head west towards North Elementary, finally ending south on Arctic Street.

The trail was opened in 2010, built with a 1,800-foot boardwalk and equipped with low-level lights, so you can go for some evening walks or early morning jogs.

You can enjoy the sights as you meander the trail passing through four park areas and a backwoods area.

Take time to view the landscaped trees and plantings and spot some deer and other wildlife along the way.

You can also go biking, get on your rollerblades or take your leashed dogs for a relaxing walk.

Pack some food to grill and enjoy picnicking at any of the parks, play at the ball fields, or have rounds of disc golf.

Likewise, enjoy more views from the overlooks, and don’t miss the bluebird houses, wood duck houses, the island shelter, and some educational signages along the way.

Springbrook Trail will surely give you plenty of space to enjoy nature.

Enjoy Delicious Food at bb Jack’s

A family-friendly restaurant that serves flavorful pizza, sandwiches, pasta dishes, and more, bb Jack’s is a place for great lunch and dinner meals.

Located on Superior Street, they offer all-time American favorites that are sure to satisfy any level of craving.

You can order a serving of Mixed Basket for a taste of assorted starter treats, plates fresh salads, yummy wraps, homemade soups, and side selections.

You’ll enjoy big bites of juicy burgers like Double Bacon Cheeseburger, Western Burger, Mushroom and Swiss, and more.

Otherwise, you can have some filling sandwiches like bb’s Special, Brisket Sandwich, and Reuben.

Try their specialty pizza flavors like bb’s Deluxe, or try their Vegetarian and Spinach Artichoke Chicken pizzas.

You might also want to try bb Jack’s daily specials on the menu, then cap off your meals with sweet desserts.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore the Outdoors at the Dells of the Eau Claire Park

Scenic rock formations at Dells of the Eau Claire Park

Gerald A. DeBoer /

Stay in Aniwa for a while longer and head to the Dells of the Eau Claire Park to see the majestic rock formations near the Eau Claire River.

Through the centuries, the river has carved out the nearby rocks into unique shapes and forms.

The river also crosses the 190-acre park.

Likewise, the park also features a swimming beach thanks to the dam built upstream from the waterfalls.

Short waterfall at Dells of the Eau Claire Park

Jeremy’s N Photography /

If you want to camp out here, you can pick a site from the 27 available campsites.

Then, you might also want to take a walk along the Ice Age trail nearby.

This trail is just one of the many nature trails following the banks of the Eau Claire River.

Bring your camera to capture the majesty of these ancient rock formations.

Tall trees at Dells of the Eau Claire Park

Michael Tatman /

Go Cross-Country Skiing at the Kettlebowl Downhill and Cross Country Ski Area

You’ll need to drive 27 minutes away from Antigo to reach the village of White Lake, Wisconsin, but it’ll be worth it.

The village contains the Kettlebowl Downhill and Cross Country Ski Area, an exciting destination for winter thrill-seekers.

However, the place is open only on weekend afternoons, so you might want to schedule your trip carefully.

You can also still access the cross-country ski trails even when the Kettlebowl Ski Hill is closed.

Bring your snowboards and enjoy gliding downhill on the slopes.

The Kettlebowl Ski Hill also features natural snow, filling five runs.

The slopes also have tow ropes for downhill skiers and snowboarders.

Cross-country skiers can also enjoy the 4.3 miles of trails.

Likewise, you can rent equipment at the venue and enjoy the chalet with concessions if the Ski Hill is open.

Learn Car History at the Motorama Auto Museum

Just 15 minutes away from Antigo is the village of Aniwa, Wisconsin, which is home to the Motorama Auto Museum.

This museum contains numerous exhibits of vintage cars, and it keeps growing its collection through donations.

Likewise, the museum aims to educate guests about the historical value, aesthetics, and innovative engineering of these classic 20th-century cars.

During your visit, you’ll find more than 450 rare and unique vehicles gathered from across the world.

You’ll find more than 50 vintage Alfa Romeos in the Alfa Heaven collection, for instance.

Then, head to the Race Room to find even more vintage race cars along with memorabilia.

Otherwise, enter the main museum building to find two floors of unusual cars.

Some of these cars might also be the only surviving models.

The Bike Barn contains hundreds of classic motorcycles and even more unusual cars.

If you want to see old military vehicles (plus an enormous gun), then visit the Motor Pool.

Finish your trip with a visit to the Bone Yard and Ralph’s Quality Corvairs.

Final Thoughts

Antigo is a small but charming city that’s perfect for tourists who want to relax and get away from it all.

Likewise, it’s a gateway to nearby villages with their own quiet but appealing attractions like museums and parks.

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Time to recharge your batteries and refresh your spirit by booking a trip to Antigo today!

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