West Bend, WI is a charming city in the heart of Kettle Moraine. With beautiful natural surroundings and a distinct small town charm, West Bend attracts thousands of visitors every year. In addition, the city is just less than an hour from Milwaukee, where you can enjoy all the urban conveniences of a major metropolitan area.
Discover West Bend and the wonderful quality of life it offers. To start you off, check out this list of some of the best things to do in the city.
Enjoy the great outdoors at the Kettle Moraine State Forest
To the north of West Bend is the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, a stunning 30,000-acre natural wonder that stretches across three counties.
The state park features miles of trails, some of which can be accessed from the parking lot at County H, just around 15 minutes from West Bend. These trails are great for hiking, with a variety of terrains to suit any skill level. Biking trails are also available, ranging from paved, leisurely paths to more challenging uphill terrains. You may also explore the forest on horseback, or by car, through the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive that connects the southern and northern units of the forest.
Have a fantastic time at the slopes in the winter
With two premier skiing areas nearby, West Bend makes a great base for your winter adventures. Sunburst Winter Sports Park is a 77-acre facility with the world’s largest tubing park. It has several ski slopes with various difficulty levels and a hill with a 214-foot vertical ski drop.
Little Switzerland is one of the oldest ski resorts in the Midwest. Featuring 18 runs and a 200-foot vertical drop, it’s a favorite destination for skiing and snowboarding in the area. In the summer, the resort becomes a mountain bike park with thrilling downhill slopes.
Experience geocaching at its most fun
West Bend is known as the “Geocaching Capital of the Midwest”. Geocaching is a treasure hunt game where players search for caches throughout a certain area, guided by their smartphones or a handheld GPS. West Bend does this game best, with over 1,600 caches concealed within a 10-mile radius that features stunning trails, parks, and historic places. Each year, the city holds the West Bend $1,000 Cash Ba$h, participated in by a host of geocachers from across the globe.
Learn about West Bend’s rich history
West Bend has a wealth of historic attractions that will take you back to its earliest days. Some of the places to explore include:
Shop and dine in style
West Bend’s downtown is home to lovely shops and restaurants housed in well-preserved historic buildings. Find gifts, clothing, jewelry and more in specialty shops along charming Main Street or nearby Washington Street.
West Bend’s restaurants are a mix of casual and fine dining establishments serving a wide array of cuisines, including barbeques, Mexican, Italian, and breakfast food. There are also a number of bars where you can have a relaxing nightcap after a long day of activities.