Our crew has been daydreaming about Wausau ever since we started filming our latest episode in central Wisconsin's winter wonderland. In light of our fondness for the area, we're revealing our list of the top 10 things we betcha haven't heard about Wisconsin's "Best Place to Play in the Snow."
- The city was originally known as Big Bull Falls. Its neighbor to the south - now named Mosinee - was dubbed Little Bull Falls by the original French explorers because of the bubbles that were created by the river's long rapids, called bulle in French. Wausau means "a faraway place" or "a place which can be seen from far away" in the Ojibwe language.
- Marathon County is the Ginseng Capital of the World, producing 95 percent of all ginseng exported from the U.S.
- Representing the largest curling facility in the country and housing eight Olympic regulation sheets of ice, the Wausau Curling Facility is the home base for approximately 350 adult members and more than 150 local high school student athletes.
- Wausau ❤s pretty parks. Here you'll find 37 city parks, 18 county parks and 10 county forest units. If our math is right, that's roughly 32,366 acres of alluring turf to explore.
- At 1,200 feet, Sylvan Tubing Hill is the longest tubing hill in the state. You'll find both kids and their parents taking to this popular wintertime attraction, which features six runs and two tow lines.
- Speaking of steep slopes, the Wausau area is also home to Granite Peak Ski Area, where snow lovers relish the highest skiable peak in Wisconsin and one of the oldest in the nation. When it opened on the slopes of Rib Mountain in 1937, it was one of the first ski areas in North America.
- At 241 feet high, Dudley tower is the tallest commercial building in Wisconsin outside of Milwaukee.
- Bull Falls Brewery is Wausau's first micro-brewery. (Tip: Try the Five Star Ale.)
- Wausau is close to the center of the northern half of the Western Hemisphere. Just west of Wausau in the community of Poniatowski, 45°N meets 90°W (45°N 90°W), which is exactly halfway between the equator and the north pole and a quarter of the way around the world from the prime meridian.
- Dayspring Health Spa, located in the Jefferson Street Inn, is the only hotel/spa within a 100-mile radius. Needless to say, they keep busy!
Want more Wausau? Don't miss our Wausau episode: The Best Place to Play in the Snow.
Mariah Haberman is the co-host of the nation’s longest-running tourism TV show, Discover Wisconsin. She hails from Evansville, where she was brought up in a family of seven in a small farmhouse outside of town. Some of her favorite memories include Lake Michigan fishing trips with her Dad, showing sheep at the Rock County Fair and buzzing around the farm on an ATV with her little brother. Watch Discover Wisconsin Saturdays at 10 a.m. on FSN Wisconsin’s outdoor block.