There’s far more to the city of Rhinelander than its designation as Oneida County’s county seat, but that was all I knew about it up until my visit last weekend. As a kid, I had once tagged along with my dad when he went to the courthouse to inquire about some property records in Three Lakes, but that was the extent of my time in town. While the courthouse is beautiful, I now have a full itinerary to help you plan your first trip to Rhinelander! Read on for the area’s best lodging, hiking, dining, and more!
Lodging in Rhinelander
Ben and Kourtney Berscheit took ownership of this scenic lakeside retreat only a few months ago, but have already put in the work to make it an amazing place to stay. The resort is home to over five cabins of varying sizes, all of which are within walking distance to the beautiful Lake George. We (my good friend Karina and I) stayed in the Point View cabin, which overlooks the lake. It was perfect for the two of us, but would comfortably fit up to two couples. Renters have access to a beach, dock, and various non-motorized boats during warmer months, but lodging is available year-round.
Hiking in Rhinelander
This beautiful local park has 2.25-miles of looping trails through the woods and is nestled along the shores of Buck Lake. We explored the Upland Trail this time around to avoid the high water levels encroaching the shoreline path.
There are so many routes you can take on this set of trails! Karina and I wandered aimlessly until the cold got the best of us and chose which path to take at each fork based on how colorful the trees were!
The beautiful Wisconsin River flows right through Rhinelander and you can follow its winding path along the riverwalk. The trail begins right next to the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce building, so be sure to grab your picture with the Hodag while you’re there!
Dining in Rhinelander
This place is so cute and cozy! We stopped here on our first morning in Rhinelander, right as the snow flurries began to fall. Watching it snow out the window while being surrounded by rustic decor and eating amazing comfort food was the perfect start to our day.
All the traditional supper club vibes with a way more progressive menu! There is an entire vegetarian selection here, as well as dishes for those with other dietary restrictions. The cauliflower and chickpea tacos I ordered were so good!
It was the perfect place to carbo-load before the long drive home! I ordered the French toast, and – while it was amazing – I almost regret not ordering their insane Alaskan waffle, too… so I guess that just means I’ll have to come back soon!
This was actually recommended to us by Kourtney! It’s the only coffee shop in Rhinelander with a drive-thru and is a local favorite. Their pastries are almost as good as their famous drinks, not to mention the cozy vibes inside!
Shopping in Rhinelander
What’s green, looks mean, and is the coolest thing in Wisconsin you’ve ever seen? The Hodag, of course! Stock up on all your quirky green monster goods at the one and only Hodag Store! I may or may not have splurged on a $30 painting of the Hodag in his native northwoods habitat.
Overall, my first real visit to Rhinelander was incredible. It served as the perfect weekend getaway to experience fall in the northwoods, spend time with a good friend, eat comfort food to my heart’s content, and escape the claustrophobia and chaos of the city. Thanks again to Explore Rhinelander for inviting me to explore your town. I hope to visit again soon!
Have you ever been to Rhinelander? If so, what are your best recommendations for things to do, eat, and see in the area? Leave a comment below with your top picks!