Rhinelander’s most famous resident is the Hodag, a mythical woodland beast that was “discovered” in the 1890s and whose presence can still be felt throughout the city today. Rhinelander visitors will see the Hodag’s name and image everywhere, from the giant statue outside the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce to the local high school to statues and signs throughout Rhinelander. Hodag merchandise can be found at lots of local shops, including The Hodag Store, and the Hodag even has its own official fan club.
Learn more about the Hodag here.
Rhinelander is home to all the outdoor amenities visitors expect in an iconic northern Wisconsin vacation destination, from tree-lined lakes and rivers to hiking and biking trails to great fishing opportunities. Boom Lake—a flowage on the Wisconsin River—sits just north of downtown and is a great place for boating and fishing (there’s also a sandy beach at Hodag Park.) Bikers and hikers will find lots of fantastic trails to explore at the Holmboe Nature Preserve or the Washburn Lake Trail. In winter, trails like the Cassian County Two-Way Trail and the CAVOC Trails are great for skiing and snowshoeing, and the Rhinelander Area is also home to hundreds of miles of top-notch snowmobile trails.
Rhinelander’s event calendar is also filled with fun activities year-round. The Hodag Heritage Festival in May celebrates the city’s most famous resident with a week of activities and special events, capped off with a festival that includes a Hodag calling contest, Hodag vendors, Hodag tours, and more. The Art Fair on the Courthouse Lawn in June features dozens of vendors set up around downtown’s iconic Oneida County Courthouse. Hodag Country Festival has welcomed some of country music’s top acts to the Northwoods every July since 1978, and the Project North Festival in September is a weekend filled with live music, interactive art, and environmental education.
See more Rhinelander events here.
Shopping & dining
Head to Rhinelander’s retailers to find an eclectic selection of specialty gifts, home décor, apparel, Northwoods, and Hodag souvenirs and much more. Mel’s Trading Post will get you set for your outdoor adventures, The Hodag Store will set you up with all the Hodag gear you could imagine (and some you couldn’t), and Lattitudes is home to fashionable items for your home and your closet.
See more Rhinelander shopping options here.
Rhinelander is home to family restaurants, pizza places, pubs, supper clubs and more—find delicious dishes at places like Brown Street 151, Backwaters Bar & Grill, Crimson Cafe, and Holiday Acres – Three Coins Restaurant.
See more Rhinelander restaurants here.
Places to stay
Whether you’re looking for a hotel with all the amenities, a cozy cabin for a couples’ getaway, or a summer vacation home that can fit the entire extended family, you’ll have lots of options to choose from in Rhinelander.
See Rhinelander lodging properties here.