A relaxing retreat, leisurely afternoon, shopping and dining, outdoor adventure and international entertainment – Whitewater has something for everyone.
There are few places as dynamic, yet as quaint and picturesque as Whitewater, Wisconsin. Situated on Cravath and Trippe Lakes, nestled within the forest, lakes, prairies, and hills of the Kettle Moraine State Forest in southeastern Wisconsin, Whitewater offers endless vacation and cultural opportunities. Visitors flock to Whitewater for its many recreational opportunities and the friendly, caring people who will welcome them. We’ve been waiting for your visit and look forward to showing you our city.
Rich in History
Proudly preserved historic landmarks stand firmly throughout the community. Native Americans once referred to Whitewater as “Minneiska,” meaning the city beautiful. Later, Potawatomi Native Americans used the term “Waubegannawpocat,” meaning white water, named after the whitish sands in the creek bottoms. Indian Mounds Park is one of the most diverse and unusual collections of animal and geometric mounds in the nation. The effigy mounds are believed to have been constructed around 1000 AD. The Whitewater Historical Society Museum, located in the Historic Train Depot, tells the story of Whitewater over the years. Calvary Cemetery, associated with St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, is where some of the city’s most notable historic figures are buried. Touring Historical Whitewater guides are available free of charge at the Whitewater Tourism Council office located at 150 W. Main Street in downtown. Whitewater is also home to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, a premier regional comprehensive university that takes pride in its 150 years of regional leadership, national presence, and global vision.
Prepare your eyes for a visual feast! The Kettle Moraine’s Southern Unit offers up more than 20,000 acres of glacial hills, kettles, pine and hardwood forests, lakes, prairie restoration sites, and dazzling wildflowers. The 3,500-acre Scuppernong River Habitat Area is the largest wet prairie east of the Mississippi River. You can take advantage of all four of Whitewater’s lakes offering boat, canoe, pontoon, kayak, and paddleboat rentals as well as picnic areas, beaches, campgrounds, fishing, hiking trails, and wildlife preservation areas.
The beginning or advanced bicycle enthusiast is guaranteed an exciting ride on one of the area’s many off-road trails, such as the John Muir and the Emma Carlin, as well as the picturesque on-road trails through the forest. Several organized rides and hikes depart weekly from the Whitewater area as well as a number of yearly group rides. Winter months see miles of white snow along the Scuppernong and Nordic Ski Trails.
Challenge yourself at one of the nation’s top twelve par-three golf courses; a round of disc golf; an hour or two of geo-caching; a day of hang gliding or perhaps a family afternoon at Whitewater’s very own Aquatic Center, featuring a 20-foot tall slide, lazy river, and interactive play structure. However you choose to spend your time in Whitewater, you are sure to like what you find!
The arts are alive and well in Whitewater. Enjoy world-class entertainment from many disciplines and diverse cultures at Young Auditorium, view art exhibits at Crossman Gallery, experience the annual outdoor community art projects along historic Main Street, rejuvenate at Concerts in the Park or find your inspiration and create your own art at an area studio.
Many free entertainment opportunities exist in Whitewater for the informed traveler as well. Whether it’s a Saturday evening on Whitewater Lake watching the Minneiska Water Ski Show or a Thursday evening in the summer at Concerts in the Park or Family Fun Nights at Cravath Lakefront, you and your family are sure to find exciting things to do. Other entertainment includes Fall Family Day, Freeze Fest, Polar Plunge, Group Guided Walks, Biking the Scenic Roads, Whitewater’s Historic Walking Guide, Effigy Mounds Park, our Artesian Well, or the countless other events and festivals held throughout the year.
Whitewater is also home to one of the largest 4th of July celebrations in the area. Our multi-day event is not to be missed and features live music, food, a carnival, and plenty of spectacular fireworks. See www.ww4th.com. Whitewater has something for everyone! For more information please visit https://www.discoverwhitewater.org/.