Cities Journal

Top 21 Small Cities In Wisconsin

9. Wausau
Photo credit: Ron Reiring / Flickr

4. Wausau

If you’re an outdoorsy type, if just going for a walk isn’t enough for you, if you need to hike, ski, boat and hunt, take a trip to Wausau.

Google shows that Wausau has a population of just under forty thousand people, which makes it a little bigger than some of the outdoorsy towns on this list. Don’t let the population fool you. This town will put you very close to nature.

The town is classified as being halfway between temperate and subarctic climate, which essentially means that there is no such thing as a common outdoor activity that cannot be found in Wausau, from sports to camping to hiking and building a snowman. You can enjoy your favorite outdoor activities in Wausau. If you just want to take the kids sledding, that’s an option, too, as is going for a long walk and enjoying the fresh flowers that pop up every spring in Wausau.

Due to the combination of temperate and wintery conditions (according to Weather website), it’s really no exaggeration to say that every reasonable outdoor activity is on display here in Wausau. If you’ve always wanted to try curling, of all things, you can find that in Wausau along with bicycling, swimming, and plenty of indoor activities like bowling.

There are even plenty of spas in the area if you ever get worn out from a week of horse riding and hiking and just want to take it easy. Wausau is a small city with all the pleasures you’d expect from a big one.

Interestingly, the largest ethnic group in Wausau is the Hmong population. Several dozens of immigrants moved here in 1978 and they have seen several population booms since then, increasing by more than one hundred percent in the 1990’s. While most areas of Wisconsin remain predominately White, Wausau is one little town where you can meet people from a variety of backgrounds.

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