Just like colorful leaves falling from trees around one of the Eagle River area’s bountiful lakes provides a perfect fall backdrop, the right drink can enrich a crisp fall day. The season inspires a fresh take on beverages that can be enjoyed between activities our little slice of Heaven provides.
What better way to celebrate autumn with an all-day beverage bonanza? We put together two fun fall beverage crawls for visitors to try. One crawl is designed around active outdoor events while the other is for a more relaxing set of activities.
The “Places-to-Go, Nature-to-See” Crawl
This is for that perfect autumn day for the active traveler. Biking and ATVing fueled by seasonal drinks and tasty grub.
Morning chai and bike
For a day with a full slate of activities, it’s important to fuel up the right way. A breakfast sandwich or quiche of the day paired with a chai-der (half chai, half apple cider) from Blend can be that morning starter. The downtown coffee shop is just a few blocks north of The Rental Shack, where active travelers can rent a bike before hitting one of the many area routes and trails. In fact, it’s at the trail head of the Three Eagle Trail – a leisurely ride that takes cyclists over scenic boardwalks and through wildlife-filled woodlands and wetlands. Be sure to bring another important drink on the ride – water!
Cranberry lunch drink and ATV
The mid-day is time to eat and drink cranberries. Wisconsin is one of the largest cranberry producing states in the country and the Eagle River area is home to some incredible cranberry farms. Many local restaurant favorites will be carrying cranberry foods and drinks. For those looking to see where those tart red berries actually come from, consider a harvest tour at Lake Nokomis Cranberries. The tours run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a multitude of cranberry drinks and samples to try. After taking down a seasonal drink, head back east to rent an ATV at the Toy Shop of Eagle River. Before putting on that helmet to explore some of the 230 miles of connected ATV/UTV routes spanning across Vilas County, visit the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce to snag a trail and route map.
A liquid reward to cap the day
A tasty, local Eagle River beer or cocktail is the perfect way to recap the day’s activities. As autumn brings about a variety of tastes in the craft beverage world, visitors have quite a few options. Pumpkin. Cranberry. Maple. Oktoberfest. If it’s a fall brew, Eagle River has a bar and grill that probably sells it. For that classic up north bar and grill experience, Buckshots is hard to beat with its lodge-like decor and tasty beer and food options. Prefer a cocktail? The Craftsman American Tavern can satisfy that fall cranberry craving with a Cranberry Bog Moscow Mule, which is a stewed cranberry compote (to remove that cranberry bite) added to a vodka-like base with orange, lemon and lime zest and juice.
The “Brunch-Day, Supper-Club-Evening” Crawl
This is for travelers who enjoy taking their time and relaxing on vacation. It’s also for people who just completed the other crawl a day earlier.
Coffee on the lake
Starting the morning off with a good breakfast and a hot coffee is an excellent way to wake up and warm up. Eagle River has a number of coffee shops and breakfast venues to get the day going right. Eagle River Coffee Roasters has a variety of Northwoods-inspired coffee flavors it roasts right here in Eagle River – from Bucksnort and Eagle Blend to Night Owl and Guide’s Blend. Pick up a coffee, cappuccino, latte or a Nutty Squirrel mocha with a cinnamon roll and head east on Pine Street (State Road 70) until arriving at Boat Sport Marina. Get in the rental pontoon and cruise the Eagle River Chain of Lakes. Fall can be chilly, so be sure to grip that hot beverage!
Mimosa and shopping
Once back on land, head back west on State Road 70 and north on North Railroad Street to Leif’s Café. The local restaurant favorite is currently offering a seasonal cranberry mimosa, which goes with seasonal Craisin pancakes for a nice brunch combination. Then head back downtown for an afternoon of shopping in Eagle River. In addition to finding fashionable fall and winter clothing or Northwoods knickknacks, a fun shopping excursion might include purchasing a mug or glassware for a favorite fall drink for the cabin.
Get artsy and enjoy an old fashioned
Before dinner, head on over to South Railroad Street and visit The Warehouse Art Center for a class (like a “pumpkins” clay class October 14) or ceramics open studio time in the afternoon. Be sure to call ahead or check the art center’s events calendar online to ensure a class of the appropriate skill level is available. Then for dinner, consider an Eagle River supper club to order one of Wisconsin’s iconic drinks, the old fashioned. We recommend staying in the area and experiencing an old fashioned at an old log cabin structure known as Eddie B’s White Spruce Restaurant & Tavern. Transport back in time in this historic establishment and sip on an old fashioned – sweet or sour, brandy or whiskey. It’s the perfect drink to end a relaxing beverage crawl around Eagle River.
Explore the Tastes of Eagle River Beverages
A good drink can inspire adventure. Sometimes, the adventure itself can be found seeking out a good drink. We hope to see you trying our local beverage flavors up in Eagle River this season!