Our Fun Activities at the Visitor Center

We've got a lot to offer. Stop by to stretch your legs and get some local tourist information. Stay to enjoy the gift shop, exhibits, murals, trails, and more.

Archives and History Center

Our History Center and Archives is #14 on the statewide network of Area Research Centers (ARCs) operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS).

The WHS and the University of Wisconsin System cooperate in a network of ARCs, which are located at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center and UW campus libraries throughout the state.

Art Gallery

Be sure to stop on the second floor to see changing tableaux of exhibits pertaining to a combination of art, history, culture, or science. The center hosts traveling exhibits throughout the year, which are also integrated into educational programs for groups.


Step back in time! Listen to spirited songs of voyageurs singing as they paddle their fur-laden, 35-foot birch bark canoe across Lake Superior. Peek inside an 18th-century fur trade post. Feel the pulsating rumble of an explosion in a deep-shaft iron mine.

Our unique displays stage an overview of human cultures interacting with the land and natural resources of the Northern Great Lakes region, from the Ice Age to the present.

Gift Shop

The Spirit of the North gift shop offers a wide variety of educational and fun gifts for any age. Jewelry from local artists makes the store sparkle, while books about regional topics fill the space with the power of knowledge.

Come and experience the Spirit of the North for yourself!


The Community of Life Mural was completed in the spring of 2013. Artist Kelly Meredith designed six vignettes depicting the various ways that residents of the Lake Superior region have lived on and with the land we call home.

The six vignettes include tributes to Native Americans, fur traders, loggers, farmers, commercial fisherpersons, and people who love the outdoors, as well as many different species of plants and wildlife.


Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Northwoods wetlands on our 0.75-mile interpretive boardwalk trail. It winds along a black ash swamp, sedge meadow, mature cedar, and tamarack swamp.

Visitor Services

There's always something going on.

Kids’ Activities

Families will be amazed by the ongoing and varied types of events geared towards kids.