A Weekend Escape to Manitowish Waters


With the arrival of summer, we all find ourselves longing for the quintessential Northwoods weekend - long sunny days playing in the lake; bike rides through the woods; and days so full of fresh air that you can’t wait to crawl into bed when the sun goes down. Whether you are a local or a visitor, here is a weekend full of our favorite experiences in Manitowish Waters to spend with the people you love.


Celebrate tradition. As you arrive on Friday evening, plan to enjoy a traditional Northwoods classic, the Friday Night Fish Fry. Every restaurant in the Manitowish Waters area puts their own unique spin on the classic meal. Our favorites include Perch from Aurora Borealis Restaurant, Blackened Cod from Aberdeen Restaurant + Bar, and Parmesan Encrusted Haddock from Rustic Roadhaus.


Time to explore. Wake up early for a walk around the Big River Trail at the North Lakeland Discovery Center, your favorite four-legged friend is more than welcome. Start from the small parking lot off of Tower Road to walk along the Manitowish River and enjoy the morning calm; the loop is about 2.5 miles. If you bring a dog, remember to use a leash and pick up after them. After working up an appetite, stop into Aurora Borealis Restaurant for breakfast. Our pick - Huevos Rancheros with a bottomless mimosas because it's the weekend! 

Hit The Water. While the sun is high in the sky, make the legendary Manitowish Waters Chain of 10 Lakes your playground. Pack a picnic for Koller Park on the shores of Rest Lake, cruise to The Lower Unit Bar + Grill at Greer’s Pier Marina (by boat or car) for grilled tacos and delicious cocktails, or tie up at Little Star Beach for a boat party - we recommend bringing beach games. To enjoy lake life at a slower pace, rent a kayak or paddleboard from Coontail and make your way down the river, one paddle at a time.    

Slow Down. Need to get out of the sun? Visit The Wine + Beer Barn in downtown Manitowish Waters for a wine tasting experience. Throughout the year, they have special olive oil, cheese and beer tastings - stop in to check out what they are serving up today! Explore the area one shopping bag at a time, visit Northerly Collective’s Adventure Guide - Adventure By Shopping Bag for favorite destinations.   

Enjoy. Enjoy a cocktail cruise across the Manitowish Chain as you make your way to your dinner destination. Muddle up a Brandy Old Fashioned, the unofficial drink of northern Wisconsin, for the ride. We suggest enjoying a cajun-meets-Northwoods experience at Blue Bayou Inn or a classic Wisconsin-style supperclub ambiance at Parkside Tavern. As you arrive back to the cabin, gather around the bonfire with friends and family to roast s’mores, tell stories, and enjoy the starry night sky.  


By sunrise. Maximize your adventure by sharing the early morning with loons and fishermen on the lake before waterskiers are out. Bring a thermos of coffee and explore the calm water by kayak, letting the crisp morning air wake you up.

Peddle the path. Spend Sunday on the trail, pick up a bike from a Cal’s Borrow A Bike rack or rent from Coontail to ride the Heart of Vilas County bike trail. On your way through town, grab your morning cup of joe, served with a beautiful view of Vance Lake, from Dixie’s Coffee House.

Listen to tunes. Grab a lawn chair or blanket and head to Music in the Park, a free summer long concert series, in Koller Park. On a warm day, grab a pea water or cold brew from the Pea Patch Saloon across the street. A local secret - come by boat! Just remember an anchor or come early for a spot at the dock. 

Where to Stay?

Stay in northwoods luxury at The Lodge at Manitowish Waters - rooms are carefully curated for ultimate relaxation, close to downtown businesses, and a grab-and-go breakfast is provided. Our pick - splurge on a room with a fireplace. Make it a family affair at Mill Point Resort in Manitowish Waters. Watch the sunset over Alder Lake, cast your line from your private dock and reconnect with family in the cozy cabins. All cabins are 3 bedroom/2 bathroom and include updated amenities such as air conditioning and a washer + dryer.

Bring your furry friend! Pets are considered in Hojnacki’s Cedar Hideaway, a 4 bedroom/2 bathroom cozy cabin located on the Trout River between Alder Lake and Manitowish Lake. Bonus, located within walking distance of Aberdeen Restaurant + Bar. Another lakeside location, this Manitowish Lake Condo, 3 bedroom/2 bathroom, is within walking distance from the Blue Bayou Inn, a local favorite!


Make exploring the land of woods + water easy, whether you’re traveling with friends + family or a large group, contact us for custom itinerary + concierge services.

Northerly Collective