the places you should go when you need to take a break
So let’s say it’s finals week. Or midterms. Or maybe you just have three papers, four tests, and an art project due by Friday. We’ve all had those days where stress levels are through the roof, and sometimes you just need to get as far away from the library as you can. Here are a few off-campus options for unwinding based on your stress personality. You’ll thank us later.
For the caffeine-addicted coffee types:
Near campus, you can head on down to Racy’s for some coffee-type treats (try a Zombie if you need to stay up for the next 24 hours), or try The Goat right on Water Street. If you don’t even want to look at a college building, try Turks Head Coffee Shop downtown. There’s also Tempo, which is near Phoenix Park, so you can enjoy a stroll through the park while supplying your addiction. The Bean Bag is a good option for you Stout kids.
For the stress eaters:
When in doubt, eat a sandwich. And Obsession Chocolates provides not only sandwiches and soups, but also delicious chocolates served in a very unstressful environment. If you’ve been up all night and you’re ready for a meal that isn’t made of “processed egg product,” we’ve heard Grand Avenue Café makes a breakfast to die for and Chickadees is a greasy spoonhaven. Eco-friendly? Try Harmony Corner Café, which makes bread, muffins, and other treats from organic and local ingredients, with 100% fair trade coffee and tea. The Raw Deal and Legacy Chocolates are hip and delicious options for Menomonites.
For the food ’n music lovers:
Performances happen all over this town, but your best bets for music and tasty treats are The Acoustic Café (also good for you stress eater-types) or Infinitea, which also happens to have the best selection of tea and tea-related drinks in the area (good for the manic caffeine people). The Nucleus, which is right next to Racy’s, and Menomonie’s Blind Munchies occasionally have a few music performances, too.
For the 21+ beer crowd:
We could rattle off downtown bars like crazy for those looking for beer, but those looking to drown out their minds with music is another matter. The big ones are The Mousetrapdowntown, House of Rock on Water Street, and The Waterfront in Menomonie. Otherwise frequent quality music performances happen at The Fire House, The Bottle and Barrel, and Playmakers in Eau Claire, plus The Buck, Log Jam, and Pioneer in Menomonie.
For the retail-therapy, anti-mall types:
You’re broke anyway, right? But since you’re already spending our hard-earned money, you might as well do it locally. For unique treasures, there’s Eclectica on Grand. Art lovers will dig Tangled Up in Hue, which makes glass and jewelry right in the store, plus other fun items. For audiophiles there’s Revival Records and The Local Store, which also has books, art, clothing, and other local knick-knacks. Crossroad Books and Wax Paper have the used book market cornered. Antiques Emporium is a treasure trove that’ll take several hours to scour. If you’re out of ideas, Truckers Union has everything from handmade mittens to William Shakespeare action figures. Also the patchouli smell might calm you down. All you Stout-ers can visit Bookends, Town & Country Antiques, and Penco Art Supply for obvious equivalents, plus funky giftshop La Dee Dah and homemade jeweler A Cute Bead.
For theater and movie buffs:
Catch a good show at The State Theatre, Grand Little Theatre, and The Oxford in downtown Eau Claire, while The Mabel Tainter holds the fort in Menomonie. If it’s those newfangled moving pictures you want, head to Downtown Cinema (also known as The Budget) or Menomonie 7.
For the retro gamers:
Have no fear, the arcades are here! Action City is not only an arcade, but it also has go-karts, laser tag, and bumper cars for those looking for catharsis. Buzzy’s Arcade is closer to campus and more traditional, with 17 machines and a wide selection of games for purchase.