Waukesha County Attractions
From the inspiring towers and tranquil beauty of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians atop Holy Hill in the northwest, to the magnificent forest, cabins and pioneer farmsteads of Old World Wisconsin in the south; from Hawks Inn, an 1846 Greek Revival Stage Coach Inn, to the crenelated towers and proud tradition of St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy at Delafield, Waukesha County is full of modern and historic attractions for the entire family.
Named “Waukesha”, which is Native American for “By The Little Fox”, the county is traversed by picturesque rivers and streams. The county’s 77 lakes are popular fishing grounds for visitors from far and wide. Outdoor and wildlife enthusiasts enjoy trekking through the county’s abundant forest lands, hiking and biking the county’s more than two hundred miles of trails, including a portion of the Wisconsin Ice Age Trail. Camping, swimming, boating, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing are all available in season.
Waukesha County hosts a lively arts community, ranging from the Waukesha Symphony Orchestra, Carroll Players, Waukesha Civic Theatre, Waukesha Choral Union and outdoor concerts at the Les Paul Band Shell in the City of Waukesha. Area hotels offer a wide variety of quality accommodations and dining experiences from pioneer fare and fast foods to outstanding old world ethnic cuisine.
Located only minutes from downtown Milwaukee and less than an hour’s drive from Madison, Waukesha County is an ideal destination for a fun day or a longer trip for the entire family!
Museums and Historical Sites
Waukesha County Historical Museum
101 W. Main Street, Waukesha
Waukesha Co. Museum, ever changing interactive exhibits including Civil War, Early Technology, Doll Houses, Antique Toys, Architecture, Fur Trading Post, and historic Springs. Visit our research center and discover photos, diaries, family records and more.
2777 Mission Rd., Nashotah
Founded in 1842 as a frontier mission, and incorporated as a “college of learning and piety” in 1847 by the provisional legislature of Wisconsin, Nashotah House serves today as a theological seminary of the Episcopal Church. Nashotah House Seminary offers a self-guided walking tour of its historic buildings and grounds. Personalized group tours and information are available through the seminary’s Development Office.
Western Ethnic Settlement Trail (W.E.S.T.)
101 W. Main Street, Waukesha
Take a self-guided or guide-interpreted tour of Waukesha County’s 19th century European ethnic settlements. Tours, tapes and information on the many different historic settlements are available at W.E.S.T. headquarters.
426 Wells Street, Delafield
Step back in time with a visit to this 1846 Greek Revival Stage Coach Inn with 18 rooms, all authentically restored and furnished. Tour the Inn with costumed guides May through October, with special events sprinkled throughout the year.
Old World Wisconsin
S103 W37890 Highway 67, Eagle
Journey back in time to 19th century Wisconsin with a visit to Old World Wisconsin, a rural outdoor living history museum. While at the museum, learn about the European immigrants who built our state and how these Wisconsin settlers lived, ate, farmed, conducted business and trades and more. Old World Wisconsin schedules many special and educational events for its visitors so call for a schedule. Open May 1 through October 31, Monday through Friday from 10 AM – 4 PM, Saturday & Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM. Admission.
Special Things To Do
Pewaukee Farmers Market
Pewaukee Village Park
June 19 – October 31
Every Tuesday from 7:00 am – 10:00 am
For more information call 262-695-9735 or 262-691-7275 or visit www.positivelypewaukee.com
Waukesha Farmers’ Market
Market runs Saturdays, May 12 through October 27, 7 am until noon.
Tuesdays, beginning July 17, through October 30, 2:30 until 6:30 pm.
Join us for Community Day at the Market on opening day, Saturday, May 12 from 9 until 11 am. Free market bags to moms, music, food, fun and more! Call 262-549-6154 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Delafield Farmers Market
Municipal parking lot on Main St., next to Fish Hatchery
Saturdays 7:00am – 1:00pm
Genesee Woolen Mill
S40 W28178 Hwy. 59, Waukesha
Visitors to this unique country cottage factory are fascinated as fresh fleece is picked, washed, carded and turned into finished woolen products used in quilts, comforters and more. Tours by appointment only.
Holy Hill – National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians
1525 Carmel Road, Hubertus
Visible for miles in all directions, the spires of Holy Hill beckon travelers to visit this special place. The observation tower located in one of Holy Hill’s sky-piercing spires offers a breath-taking view of the southern Kettle Moraine countryside with the Milwaukee skyline on the horizon, thirty miles to the Southeast. The neo-Romanesque Church that dominates the surrounding landscape offers priceless stained glass windows, magnificent mosaics and 19th Century statuary for viewing. Pilgrims may walk along the half-mile outdoor Way of the Cross with 14 groups of life-size sculptures, pray at the Lourdes Grotto, stroll around 400 wooded acres crossed by Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail, dine at the Old Monastery Inn Cafeteria, and stay in the facility’s simple but comfortable guest rooms. Easily accessible from Interstate 94 between Milwaukee and Madison via Highway 83 north to Highway 41/167 south of Hartford, Holy Hill welcomes visits by individuals and groups year-round.
Kettle Moraine Steam Train
Ride back in time through the age of steam when life was a little bit simpler. The nostalgic eight-mile round trip through the forests of the northern Kettle Moraine State Forest includes a visit to an 1890’s railroad depot. Groups call for reservations.
St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy
1101 North Genesee, Delafield
Founded in 1884, St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy is one of America’s premier military boarding schools for boys. Visitors are encouraged to tour the grounds view the impressive lannon-stone facades and crenelated towers of the Academy’s 19th and early 20th Century buildings, review the cadets as they march to their noon meal and visit the extensive archives that chronicle the Academy’s proud history.