Iron ore mining may come to mind first when discussing the city of Mayville in Dodge County, Wisconsin.
This was once the city’s primary industry but has long given way to modern pursuits.
As the home of a dynamic, energetic, and pleasant people, Mayville obtained the distinction of being Dodge County’s fastest developing city.
Mayville’s downtown expanded along with the iron industry, attracting various companies, including delis, cigar factories, distilleries, and piano shops.
Mayville's fascinating history contains several breakthroughs, including the origins of John Deere, the shotshell reloader, milk trucks, and the aircraft carrier net.
This forward-thinking tradition is still alive today in Mayville, the first city in Dodge County to permit lunch on the sidewalk.
It is also home to some of the top restaurants in the region.
If you want to discover more about this city, here are the 15 best things to do in Mayville, Wisconsin:
Discover the Magic of Downtown Main Street - Mayville
One of the many things that make Downtown Main Street Mayville unique is its quaint downtown area with shops, restaurants, and businesses.
Mayville has preserved its historic buildings while adding new features that make the city more inviting to visitors.
If you love adventure, you can give the Gold Star Trail a try.
This trail is a 2.1-mile loop that connects Mayville, Horicon, and finally Beaver Dam via a safe, off-road, non-motorized trail.
Otherwise, while away your time at the Open Door Coffeehouse and try their Pumpkin Cream Shaken Espresso.
You can also visit Don Ramon Mexican Restaurant and have a glass of margarita while enjoying their authentic Mexican dishes.
Explore the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge
Colonial American immigrants described the marsh, where Horicon National Wildlife Refuge sits, as an impassable jungle that people walked around rather than through.
Horicon Wildlife Refuge covers 22,000 acres of the Horicon Marsh.
More than 300 different bird species live in Horicon Wildlife Refuge, along with a range of other wildlife species, making it the largest saltwater wetland in the United States.
Established in 1941, the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for various shorebirds and waterbirds, including the redhead duck.
It also aims to allow people to engage with nature through various animals and outdoor recreation like wildlife observation, education and awareness, fishing, and hunting.
Other ways to enjoy yourself include guided tours.
Likewise, the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge offers a variety of ways to enjoy yourself, including cross-country skiing, biking, sightseeing tours, sledding, and deer trapping.
Challenge Your Buddy at the Mayville Golf Course
The Mayville Golf Course is a one-stop shop in Dodge County, sitting among the lovely rolling hills of the rural areas, with fantastic sights, facilities, and dedicated staff.
The Mayville Golf Course opened in the early 1930s and is among Wisconsin’s oldest and most challenging public golf courses.
Mayville Golf Course’s greens have a reputation for being “true and smooth” and are among the finest you can tee up on, with an 18-hole golf course consisting of hills and valleys.
The Golf Course is also available for events like weddings, banquets, and more.
Check out the pro shop with all the equipment and apparel you need to enjoy your game.
Mayville Golf Course also offers golf lessons and clinics for those who want to learn or improve their game.
Spend a Day at the Ted and Grace Bachhuber Aquatic and Fitness Center
The 46,000-square-foot Ted and Grace Bachhuber Aquatic and Fitness Center, constructed in 2002, is a gift from the Bachhuber Foundation.
Ted and Grace Bachhuber Aquatic and Fitness Center are on the west side of Mayville, on a generous 40-acre plot.
Regardless of the weather, indoor recreation is always safe and comfortable at the Ted and Grace Bachhuber Aquatic and Fitness Center.
It is perfect for everyone as it provides socializing, fitness, and recreation opportunities.
With a 228-foot tube slide, interactive game zones, lap lanes, and a current channel, the Indoor Aquatic Center simulates a water park experience and is a great place to make a splash all year long.
The Fitness Center also boasts an impressive array of equipment, including free weights, selectorized weight machines, cardiovascular equipment, and much more.
The Aquatic Center’s water and air quality was enhanced thanks to a cutting-edge ozone water treatment system that uses little chlorine.
Take a Walk Down Memory Lane at the Hollenstein House
John Hollenstein Sr., the owner of the Hollenstein House and the famed Hollenstein Wagon & Carriage Factory, came to Mayville in 1873.
The Hollenstein House, which John and his wife purchased in 1876, is now a stunning museum open to the public and houses many artifacts from the Hollenstein family’s life and work.
The Hollensteins were a prominent family in Mayville, and their story is an integral part of the city’s history.
The Hollenstein House was initially built with frames, and afterward, they added a cream brick façade added locally.
The family had to expand their residence as the Hollensteins had eight children.
The Hollenstein House’s six downstairs rooms are full of vintage furniture, clothing, and artwork.
Old farm equipment and tools are in the Farm Shop, next to the Hollenstein House.
You can observe a stationary Eli hay press from the Farm Shop used to bale marsh hay and cool beer at nearby breweries.
An ensilage cutter and scale built in Mayville and more tools and equipment from the late 1800s through the 1950s are additional noteworthy pieces in this exhibit.
Win a Game at Cardinal Lanes
Cardinal Lanes is a family-friendly bowling alley on Main Street in Mayville.
This bowling establishment now boasts state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, perfect for family outings, corporate events, or just a night out with friends.
Cardinal Lanes offers open bowling, leagues, and tournaments.
There is also a full-service bar and grill on-site, adding fun for visitors.
Cardinal Lanes’ Pro Shop also offers a wide range of bowling balls, shoes, and accessories.
Cardinal Lanes is the perfect place to enjoy some friendly competition, whether you’re a seasoned bowler or just getting started.
Learn Local History in Mayville Limestone School Museum
The Mayville Limestone School Museum has served the city since the mid-1840s.
The museum is in an old limestone schoolhouse built in 1849 and houses various exhibits on the city’s history.
In 1857-58, the museum first transferred to what once was one of the best school buildings in the area, made of white limestone.
A 70-foot addition, essentially identical in design to the original structure, was built on the south end in 1876 as a result of the increasing population of the area brought on by the success of the nearby iron smelting industry.
One of the exhibits you need to visit is Iron Country.
The Mayville Limestone School Museum showcases the 83 years when Mayville’s primary industries were mining and smelting, with the first iron mines opening in Neda's village.
Inspect a real iron ore car from the Neda Iron Ridge Mine that dates back to the early 1900s.
Pulled by a single mule and weighing 1850 pounds, the car could contain two tons of ore.
Other notable exhibits are the past classrooms, Rock River League Baseball Hall of Fame, Charles Henderson Collection of Native American Relics, and Mayville Cast Oron Parlor Stove.
Play with Your Furry Friends at the Wag N Tag Mayville Dog Park
Wag N Tag Mayville Dog Park is a fenced-in dog park that offers a safe and fun environment for dogs to play and exercise.
The dog park has two sections - one for small dogs and one for large dogs - so that all visitors can feel comfortable.
The park also has poo stations and benches and is handicap-friendly.
Wag N Tag Mayville Dog Park is open daily from dawn to dusk for those who want to enjoy some time outdoors with their furry friends.
A nearby parking lot makes it easy to get to the dog park.
Wag N Tag Mayville Dog Park is the perfect place to take your dog to socialize, play, and burn off some energy.
Visit the Mayville Public Library
The Mayville Public Library is a community gathering place that offers a variety of resources and services.
Established in 1904, the Mayville Public Library had a small room above the former Mayville News Building at 26 South Main St. as its first location.
The Library moved several times as its collection expanded.
The Mayville Public Library has an extensive collection of books, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, and audiobooks.
The Library also organizes the Fall Back into Story Time Program, which targets children three to six years old every year.
Pick Strawberries at the Mayberry Farms
Mayberry Farms is a family-friendly farm that offers a variety of activities for visitors.
One of the most popular activities at Mayberry Farms is picking strawberries and turning them into delicious strawberry jam.
Mayberry Farms also keeps a honeybee farm, and visitors can buy raw honey from the farm.
The farm also offers handcrafted soaps made with natural ingredients; visitors can purchase them at the farm’s store.
Skincare products include lotion, body balms, shampoo bars, and scrubs made from Mayberry Farms’ goat’s milk, honey, and beeswax.
Mayberry Farms is the perfect place to enjoy a day in nature and learn about strawberry farming and honey beekeeping.
Meet New People at the Open Door Coffeehouse
The Open Door Coffeehouse is a nonprofit coffee shop that offers community mentorship initiatives, and it is a welcoming location where individuals can mingle or find some alone time.
There are numerous seating spaces with unique amenities.
Settle down on its outdoor seats or near its substantial front window, letting in warm natural light.
The Open Door Coffeehouse features a sizable area with many chairs and outlets, ideal for gatherings or studying.
For adults, you can also use a private meeting room.
Finally, the Open Door Coffeehouse’s family area has developed into the ideal location for families with young children to enjoy some socialization, coffee, and other refreshments.
Live Large at the Audubon Hotel and Event Venue
The Audubon Hotel and Event Venue is a historic hotel built in 1896 in the heart of downtown Mayville.
The hotel has various unique guest rooms, and each room is decorated with luxury in mind.
The hotel’s event venue is a popular location for weddings, and the hotel has a variety of event spaces that can accommodate any event.
It boasts a connected suite for the bride and groom, with king- and queen-sized beds, modern amenities, and luxurious soaking tubs.
It features four floors, 18 rooms, three lobby areas, and a restaurant, which you can rent for private events.
The Audubon Hotel and Event Venue is the perfect place to stay when you want to live and enjoy all the luxury that Mayville offers.
Sample Local Produce at the Mayville Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market
The Mayville Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market is a weekly farmers market that features a variety of local produce and handmade goods from local artisans.
The market is open every Thursday, from May to September, near Erie and Blanchard Streets.
At the market, you can find strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet corn, zucchini, and more.
The market also features a variety of artisan goods, such as handcrafted soaps, clothes, keychains, pillows, and vases.
Likewise, you can listen to live music, and there is a food truck on site that sells lunch items.
The Mayville Farmer’s & Artisan’s Market is the perfect place to sample some of the best local produce and handmade goods that Mayville has to offer.
Explore the Hollenstein Wagon and Carriage Factory Museum
The Hollenstein Wagon and Carriage Factory Museum, located on the corner of Bridge and Germar Streets, is a must-see for anyone interested in transportation history or the Hollenstein family.
The museum is in the former Hollenstein Wagon and Carriage Factory, built in 1873.
After establishing his farm, John Hollenstein built and managed the Hollenstein Wagon & Carriage Factory and started creating wagons and carriages with blacksmith William Albrecht.
The Hollenstein Wagon & Carriage Factory was a family-run business that produced a variety of wagons, sleighs, and carriages sold throughout the Midwest.
The museum features the Hollenstein family and the wagon and carriage that the Hollenstein Wagon & Carriage Factory created throughout the years.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Go Kayaking at the Rock River Trail
You can find the Rock River Trail in Theresa, Wisconsin, nine minutes from Mayville.
The Rock River Trail is one of the longest rivers in Wisconsin, stretching over 299 miles from its source in Fond du Lac County to its confluence with the Mississippi River.
The Rock River has become a popular destination for canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts for many years due to its gentle current and scenic beauty.
There are kayak rental companies in the area, so you can easily find one that suits your needs.
Once you have a kayak, you can head down the river and enjoy the peaceful scenery as you paddle your way through.
The Rock River Trail safely transports kayakers and paddlers 320 miles from the headwaters above the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge to the Mississippi River.
a delicate slope through the stunning village, wilderness scenery, and thriving urban riverfront.
Mayville is a charming city that is the gateway to different kinds of adventure that will tickle your fancy.
From strawberry picking to live music and delicious coffee, Mayville has something for everyone.
Mayville is also rich in history, and there are a variety of historic landmarks and buildings that you can explore.
If you want a place to relax and enjoy some peace, you can explore the best things to do in Mayville.