With a 2,600 acre lake located downtown, some would say the entire community of Shell Lake is a hidden gem. If you’ve visited before, you can likely confirm that to be true. There have been many additions to the Shell Lake community over the past several years making spending a day, weekend or even a lifetime there even more attractive. Here are what some of our locals and visitors said were their top hidden gems. 

The Lake
A day at the beach is always a day well spent. When you spend the day at Shell Lake Beach, you’re sure to fall in love with not only the beach, but also the vibes of this artsy little lakefront town. Near the beach you’ll find a great playground, bandshell with live music many evenings of the summer, a fishing pier, and plenty of space for the kids to run and play. Near the information kiosk by the beach, you’ll also find the perfect photo opp - a two tailed walleye, ready to pose with you for your family photo! 

Find Some Fun
Located just west of Shell Lake you’ll find Clover Meadow Winery, the midwest’s only organic winery. Not only are their wines super tasty, but this quaint farm is a genuine treasure as well. There’s a common theme as you wander around Shell Lake; the art. From the Mosaic Tour highlighting several intricate mosaics through town to the art galleries, you’ll find some of the best art stops in Northwest Wisconsin. A visit to Shell Lake isn’t complete without a trip to The Potter’s Shed where you can buy handmade art or even create your own. Be sure to spend some time in their garden or take in some live music on Friday night in the summer at their Music at the Shed series. Be sure to mark your calendar for Labor Day weekend each year when Shell Lake celebrates Town & Country Days. You’ll find good old fashioned small town fun! 

Quaint Shops
If you’re looking for the perfect gift or a souvenir from your trip, you won’t be disappointed with the shopping in Shell Lake. If you love clothes that create an effortless yet stylish look, you’ll definitely want to pop into Indigo where you’ll find clothing, shoes, jewelry and even some amazing home goods. Looking for something totally unique? Head over to Play Dirty Clay Studio where you’ll find very unique clay pieces, you’ll just have to check it out for yourself to see what we mean! In addition, Shell Lake is now home to a couple of new shops including The Corner of Fifth and Little Ivy Market where you’re sure to find something you just can’t live without. 

Eats & Treats
You won’t go hungry when visiting Shell Lake. Two of Shell Lake’s restaurants have won the Best Bites category in the Best of WashCo awards over the past two years. In 2020, the Laughing Goat Food Truck brought home the award and in 2021, Lakeview Bar & Grill came in the top spot! In addition to food, you’re sure to find the best summertime treat...ice cream! Head over to the Scoop ‘N’ Brew or Matt’s Ice Cream Stand to check out the great flavors. The best part - they’re right across from the beach! 

Rest Your Head
With all of the fun going on in Shell Lake, you may just want to camp for the night! Camping is plentiful in Shell Lake. For a great family-friendly campground, be sure to check out the Red Barn Campground. Bringing your ATV? Book a site at the Shell Lake ATV Campground which offers great direct trail access. Want to spend as much time on the water as possible? The Shell Lake Municipal Campground just down from the beach is perfect for you. 

There are so many hidden gems around the Shell Lake area that we couldn’t even come close to covering them all. Be sure to find out more about Shell Lake on our Shell Lake page.