Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site

Museums you should visit in Vilas County this summer


  • Article
  • Attractions
  • Museums
  • Native American History
Exhibits at Vilas Historical Museum Sayner-Star Lake Wisconsin

Visitors to the Northwoods of Wisconsin will find family-friendly fun at Vilas County’s engaging museums, where they can learn about everything from northern Wisconsin’s logging history to the lives and customs of the Ojibwe people. Here’s a closer look at a few museums to see in Vilas County.

Boulder Junction

The Boulder Junction Historical Museum is located next to the original 1903 depot building in downtown Boulder Junction (home to the Boulder Junction Historical Society) and features displays and photos about the Northwoods’ logging industry, resorts, notable fishing personalities, Aqualand, and more.

Eagle River

One of the most popular attractions in Eagle River, the Northwoods Children’s Museum is located near the intersection of U.S. Highway 45 and State Highway 70. It’s got more than 20 interactive exhibits to explore, including hands-on activities that teach kids about electricity, art, and more.

Lac du Flambeau

Learn about Ojibwe life and history at the George W. Brown Jr. Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center in Lac du Flambeau. The museum educates visitors about Ojibwe traditions like harvesting wild rice, fishing, hunting wild game, and more, and exhibits include a massive 24-foot dugout canoe, Ojibwe arts and crafts, and a world-record sturgeon.

Land O’ Lakes

Located in Land O’ Lakes in northern Vilas County, the Land O’ Lakes Historical Society’s Northern Waters Museum features exhibits and artifacts from the early days of the Land O’ Lakes area. The museum’s featured exhibit changes regularly to highlight different aspects of Vilas County’s past, from the Sylvania Wilderness to the area’s geological history.

Minocqua Area

Head to Woodruff to learn about “the Angel on Snowshoes,” Dr. Kate Pelham Newcomb, who made house calls to patients across the Northwoods in the 1950s. The Dr. Kate Museum also tells the story of Newcomb’s efforts to build a hospital in Woodruff thanks to the “Million Penny Parade,” which raised money from across the world.


Phelps in northeastern Vilas County was once home to one of the largest logging sawmills in the nation, and the Phelps Historical Museum tells the story of the Northwoods’ lumber industry and the people and events who shaped Phelps and Vilas County.

Presque Isle

Located in Presque Isle in northern Vilas County, the Presque Isle Heritage Society Museum is housed in a 1920s cottage that’s similar to the company homes that the Vilas County Lumber Company provided to their workers. It’s filled with artifacts from the area’s lumbering era and also boasts an impressive collection of audio and written narratives from Presque Isle’s history.

St. Germain

The prototype of the modern snowmobile was invented in Vilas County in the 1920s, and the Snowmobile Hall of Fame & Museum in St. Germain keeps this history alive with a large collection of historically significant machines, memorabilia, photographs, and more, as well as tributes to the legends of the sport.

Sayner-Star Lake

The Vilas Historical Museum in Sayner is easy to spot—it’s the one with Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox sitting outside. Inside, visitors will find exhibits about everything from the Northwoods’ military history to famous local fishing guides to information about the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Find more museums and attractions in Vilas County here.