'Swan Song' by Suzie Seerey-Lester
Swan Song by artist Suzie Seerey-Lester is one of the many works depicting birds
now on display at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau

Winged Beauty

Quick—before they all head south to warmer climes: It’s the second-to-last weekend for the Woodson Art Museum’s 36th Annual Birds in Art exhibit. But Wausau, Wisconsin’s yearly artistic tribute to our fine, feathered friends is only one of three great reasons to look north for adventures this weekend.

  1. Free birds
    Through Sunday, November 13, the Woodson Museum hosts the works of 112 artists from 11 countries. Among the images of plumage, majestic wingspans, and other flights of fancy: Winter Swan, a chilly, lovely piece by the Netherlands’ Ewoud de Groot; Liquidity, Chris Bacon’s watery acrylic of a barn swallow; and Solitary, an alabaster dove by sculptor Dale Weiler. Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday; and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free.
    GO Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, 700 N. 12th St., Wausau; 715-845-7010, lywam.org.
  2. More free art
    Less than a mile from the Woodson, the Center for Visual Arts is wrapping up its Color exhibit, which closes Sunday evening. The Center’s main gallery is lined with works that explore the inarguably vast topic of color. Featured artists in the exhibit include the watercolorist and photographer Christine Alfery and the digital artist Dave Tilton, who creates abstract works by combining thousands of photographic images into a single, complex panorama. Upstairs in the Loft gallery, a non-juried exhibition by members of the University of Wisconsin–based Wisconsin Regional Art Program continues through Saturday.
    GO Wausau Center for Visual Arts, 427 N. 4th St., Wausau; 715-842-4545, cvawausau.org.
  3. Last call for leaf peep
    Should you want to catch one of the season’s last natural exhibits of color and birds, try the top of the observation tower at Rib Mountain State Park or drive north on Highway 51, where the hills of Brokaw (between Wausau and Merrill) offer fine fall-foliage viewing. If you’re up for a 27-mile side-trip, head to the Dells of Eau Claire County Park, where you’ll find 27 woodland acres and miles of hiking trails. For maps and more information on all three jaunts, stop at the Wausau/Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau (219 Jefferson St., Wausau; 715-355-8788).
    GO Rib Mountain State Park, 4200 Park Rd., Wausau; 715-842-2522, ribmountain.org.

Where to stay: The Rib Mountain Inn (2900 Rib Mountain Way, Wausau; 715-848-2802, ribmtinn.com) is surrounded by scenic woods and offers easy access to the adjacent Rib Mountain Golf Course; nightly rates range from $69 (single room) to $519 (four-bedroom townhouse). Everest Inn (601 McIndoe St., Wausau’ 715-848-5651, everestinn.com) has eight guestrooms (four with private baths, four without) in a Queen Anne mansion within walking distance of the Woodson Art Museum; rates range from $57 (shared bath) to $139 (private bath) per night.

Where to eat: At the Wright Place on 6th (901 N. 6th St., Wausau; 715-848-2345, wrightplaceon6th.com), the owner, Patricia Kay, oversees a robust menu of seafood, steaks and pasta served in an Italianate mansion with historic landmark status. The Mint Café (422 N. 3rd St., Wausau; 715-845-5879, mintcafewausau.com) serves substantial breakfasts, and casual lunches and dinners.


Photograph: Courtesy of the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum