downtown west bend wi
There’s a lot to discover in beautiful downtown West Bend—you’ll find an eclectic mix of interesting shops, historic buildings, tasty restaurants and scenic spots.
Geocaches are located throughout downtown, and hunting caches can be a great way to explore the city. West Bend is very pedestrian friendly, with plenty of parking and tranquil sidewalks and walking paths.
All you need is a GPS device (a smartphone works!) and the desire to see why West Bend is the Geocaching Capital of the Midwest™.
Stop 1: Go with the flow
Just north of downtown, you’ll find a geocache just off of Riverfront Parkway, one of the city’s scenic locations. Once you find the cache, take in the view of the dam, the Milwaukee River and Barton Pond and stroll into downtown via Riverfront Parkway and North Main Street.
Stop 2: Secrets of the museums
West Bend has an intriguing selection of museums downtown, and geocaches can be found at all sites. The Museum of Wisconsin Art is a place you should see, even if you don’t have time to step inside. It’s a gleaming, 32,000-square-foot structure in downtown West Bend, near the Milwaukee River. It has nearly 5,000 works of contemporary and historic art created by more than 350 artists.
Once you’ve taken in this masterpiece and found a cache, head to the Tower Heritage Center of Washington County, where you’ll find exhibits detailing West Bend’s history. Kids can admire the 27-room Zinn Dollhouse, sit in a real wigwam and explore a fur trading post. Next door is the Sheriff’s Residence and Jail, a preserved example of an early American jail. The building was once considered escape-proof until an enterprising convict proved otherwise! You’ll find a geocache adjacent to both these museums.
Stop 3: Cruise downtown
Downtown West Bend is a lively place—it’s lined with historic brick buildings that hold a wonderful variety of stores and restaurants. This is a good place for a lunch break or to grab a beverage. You may be tempted to do some shopping, so allow a little extra time to make your way through downtown’s streets. There are several geocaches downtown, including caches near the Milwaukee River, Old Settlers Park and a memorial for West Bend firefighters.
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