Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Whitewater, WI

  • Published 2022/07/19

Located in Walworth and Jefferson Counties, Whitewater is a beautiful city and the home of the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater.

This warm and welcoming community has a vibrant downtown that serves as a great backdrop to its many parks and green spaces.

You can find the charming city of Whitewater at the intersection of Spring Brook and Whitewater Creek.

The little town gets its name from the white sand at the bottom of its two primary water sources.

Settlers from New England, commonly referred to as “Yankees,” initially planned out this small city center.

Locals like to say that Whitewater has a little bit of everything for everyone.

You can enjoy hiking trails, art galleries, wineries, local eateries, and all other things in Whitewater.

This city has become a popular destination because it also offers something rare: solitude and serenity.

If you want a memorable vacation, check out the best things to do in Whitewater, WI.

Explore the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Sunrise over University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Ryan Broshar /

The University of Wisconsin–Whitewater is a young and modern public educational institute in southeastern Wisconsin.

A part of the University of Wisconsin System, the campus spans 400 acres surrounded by trees and soft hills in Whitewater.

The campus hosts many cultural services, including an art gallery, a stage for live music performances, and a coffee shop that serves many different dining options.

The University Center contains many recreational facilities, including bowling lanes, pool tables, tennis courts, and much more.

The Young Auditorium serves as the primary venue for theatre, dance, comedy, music, and other university events.

Likewise, the UW-Whitewater Nature Preserve is in the northeast corner of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

It makes up 110 acres of land featuring various ecosystems like wetlands, woodlands, grassland, and prairie.

Moreover, it’s a beautiful outdoor classroom where students and visitors can learn more about nature by hiking and enjoying the stunning trail.

Celebrate Freeze Fest

Whitewater’s great Freeze Fest event occurs in early February at Cravath Lakefront Park on Fremont Street.

You can come here and have fun with all the activities and programs and support the local Special Olympics.

This event urges you to take the plunge by jumping into an 18,000-gallon and four-foot-deep pool.

The warm atmosphere helps to warm you up instantly and assure you that you’re safe underwater.

Underneath the water are wrestling mats in place for safety purposes.

Everyone who jumps in must wear shoes appropriate for such chilly conditions.

If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate the winter season at Whitewater, WI, check out Freeze Fest.

Spend Time in Starin Park

Starin Park is a pleasant and inviting place for everyone and is one of the best places to visit in Whitewater.

It’s large, so there’s plenty of room for activities.

Likewise, it has many pavilions for hosting events, which makes it a perfect venue for families or groups.

The park has grills, slides and swings, workout machines, picnic tables, and free parking.

Plus, there are two shelters in the park if you need a break from the sun.

The area also has a large baseball diamond, so plenty of people can play at once or watch from the sidelines at any given time.

As if that wasn’t inviting enough, the park is also home to one of the tallest water towers.

Although modern buildings currently dwarf this park, this sports landmark remains an iconic reminder of the city’s history.

See the Minneiska Water Ski Shows

The Minneiska Ski Team started in 1974 on a hot summer day at a Lion’s Club chicken barbecue.

At Laursen’s TC Campground, the skiers made a good impression and began catching the attention of more and more people.

When the Whitewater Lake Sports Club started, the plan included many sports, but water show skiing was their favorite activity.

As Minneiska grew in popularity, the team began competing in the WI State Tournament, the Show Ski Nationals, and the Lamb’s Farm tournament.

The Minneiska Ski Team has entertained a variety of families through their numbers and performances at Lake Whitewater for nearly 40 years.

Bring Your Friends to Willow Brook Golf Course

Willow Brook Golf Course is a serene nine-hole course for the entertainment of golfers.

This golf course extends its services to the public and includes a full bar, dance floor, big-screen TVs, and a comfortable dining area with sweeping views of the greens.

During the event seasons, banquets, weddings, and parties take place in its spacious banquet area overlooking the course.

Those who frequent the Willow Brook Golf course value this golf course’s restaurant’s fish specials.

You can also try their homemade potato pancakes, and fish fry serving clam chowder every Friday.

This golf center is an excellent facility for travel-prone golfing families because it is so convenient to use.

Take a Look at the Farm Toy Show

The Whitewater Farm Toy Show aims to help the Whitewater FFA by raising funds to support the group.

This annual event takes place in late February on South Elizabeth Street.

Admission costs a small fee.

Farm toys from yesteryear are on display and for sale here.

There’s also a food stand at the Farm Toy Show all day.

Go Skateboarding or Rollerblading at Rotary Skate Park

If you’re an avid skateboarder, a cyclist, or a rollerblader, visiting the Whitewater City’s Rotary Skate Park is going to be worth it.

The skate park welcomes everyone of all ages, tailored for skaters at every level.

The skate park comes equipped with street spines and angled wall rides that are perfect for speed demons.

Located within Brewery Hill Park, the skate park provides a 62′ x 145′ concrete pad with a three-ramp structure.

There’s enough space for individuals to perform simultaneously, making it easier for friends to take turns doing tricks.

You can find the skate park in a relatively quiet and sparsely populated area, mainly because it sits off the main road.

There’s also a creekside walking path here.

If you want to take a quiet stroll through nature, you can follow these paths, too.

Shop for Local Produce at Whitewater Farmers Market

Established in 1991, the Whitewater Farmers Market brings the best ingredients straight from the farms to your table.

This is a producer-only market.

Every product sold here is not only fresh but also locally sourced.

You’ll walk out of there with a basket full of goodies like veggies, artisan-made products, honey, and herbs, just to name a few favorites.

There’s also a nice variety of free-range chicken and beef stands and eggs cultivated on the vendor’s farms.

You can also find other food options, including fresh loaves of bread and other goodies they produce themselves.

However, shopping at the Whitewater Farmers Market involves more than just food.

You’ll meet friendly folks who will make your shopping experience fun and add some authentic, local flavor to your purchase.

See Beautiful Autumn’s Blossoms at Cravath Lakefront Park

Cravath Lakefront Park is a great place to spend the day.

Open buildings, gazebos, stairways, brick walls, and well-placed trees bring an enchanting atmosphere to this park.

Picnic tables, a shelter, and a community center are available here.

People can come here daily to walk along the scenic trails surrounding the lake.

As a bonus, you may see some bald eagles by the water as you take your morning stroll through the park.

Whether you come here early in the morning or later in the day, Cravath Lakefront Park is perfect for observing autumn’s blossoms.

Finally, yummy local food vendors and a small weekend farmers market offer all kinds of tasty treats.

Find Great Deals during Maxwell Street Days

Maxwell Street Day is the place to go if you’re looking for a bargain, since this massive event takes over the streets of Whitewater.

This annual tradition in Whitewater is where you can spend the day exploring the many fantastic stores on offer.

Buy some discounted gifts for your friends and loved ones.

This event will go on throughout downtown Whitewater, where people can enjoy good music and local goods and eat good food.

A big part of this event is keeping it free of charge by sampling or purchasing something special yet affordable.

The Whitewater Area Chamber of Commerce organizes Maxwell Street Days.

The group wants to encourage people to shop locally with their favorite independent retailers.

Enjoy a Morning Cup of Joe at the SweetSpot Cafe

The SweetSpot Cafe considers itself the neighborhood’s best-kept secret.

It’s hard to believe that there’s a quiet refuge like this on the edge of town.

The SweetSpot Cafe has a welcoming vibe and atmosphere, serving coffee and beverages in addition to gourmet sandwiches and sweets.

This cute cafe, located in a quaint Victorian building, offers everything from wedding cakes to coffee/tea service to cupcakes, cookies, and more.

The SweetSpot Cafe features lovely spacious seating and offers incredible drinks that work well with their muffins.

Some of the most sought-after food in this seriously fantastic local cafe are their sandwiches and soups, popular with kids and adults.

See the Latest Movies at Whitewater Cinemas

Everyone’s favorite hometown theateris Whitewater Cinemas.

This theater is even better now that they have a drive-in screen.

This well-maintained movie theater provides the best movie experience in town.

See the latest movies in the theater’s modern auditoriums with closed caption devices that ensure a comfortable experience for everyone.

Enjoy a fun environment that hosts birthday parties kids are sure never to forget.

Watch them enjoy their food and drinks served in plastic popcorn buckets.

The movie theater has reasonable ticket prices that are much more affordable than any other movie theatre in this town.

Likewise, this theater also has 3-D movies for an extra charge.

People who have seen movies here have always praised how Whitewater Cinemas has excellent comfy seats and fantastic service.

Whether you’re a local or just driving through town, don’t forget to stop at Whitewater Cinemas for an out-of-this-world moviegoing experience.

Show Off Your Bowling Skills at Hawk Bowling Lanes

If you’re looking for somewhere to take your family for some good old-fashioned fun, stop by Hawk Bowling Lanes.

This Whitewater bowling alley is a fun, exciting place for young bowlers to go and learn quickly.

The variety of family-friendly packages is also an excellent draw to families looking for a fun activity to do together.

During the weekends, you can also enjoy cheap bowling as part of special promotions.

Additionally, this premier bowling center is home to leagues for avid bowlers and professionals.

The employees here are accommodating.

Don’t think twice about going there for an enjoyable night out with friends or co-workers.

Hawk Bowling Lanes lies smack in the center of greater Walworth County, Wisconsin.

Go Camping at the Whitewater Lake Campground

The Whitewater Lake Campground offers rudimentary camping amenities.

It’s a campground of 63 primitive campsites with pit toilets but no shower facilities.

You should travel elsewhere if you require the luxury of showers, for there are other locations nearby that provide for such needs.

On the other hand, if you are looking for an uncomplicated and authentic atmosphere, you should stay at this campground.

A recycling/garbage station is provided for campers, open during summer.

The campground is excellent for holiday weekends.

You will need to make reservations and buy vehicle stickers on-site.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Take an Afternoon Hike at Ice Age Trail

Rice Lake and Whitewater Lake occupy the southernmost points of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, Southern Unit.

The Ice Age National Trail picks back up here after it has passed through the Janesville area trails.

This section of land features five stop-free miles of footpath.

You can find this trail in Eagle, Wisconsin, 25 minutes from Whitewater.

Traversing the Ice Age Trail also leads you to the southern trailhead.

This trailhead is easy to access and is near campsites featuring running water in a quiet wooded setting that overlooks Rice Lake.

Ice Age Trail then connects to Blackhawk Island Segment on Highway 12.

On average, you’ll spend about an hour and a half to complete this easy, fun route, but you could get lost in the scenery easily.

The best seasons for this challenging hiking trail are usually April through October.

Dogs are allowed off-leash in some areas, so remember to pick up after them on the trail.

Final Thoughts

It’s always more fun to relax and enjoy with friends, family, and loved ones than to do it all by yourself.

Why not bring them to the charming city of Whitewater, WI?

There are lots of things to do and see here in Whitewater.

Start planning your trip today!

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