La Crosse is a beautiful riverside city surrounded by forested bluffs, immersive hiking trails and scenic waterways. Spend time exploring the characterful downtown district, relaxing at waterfront cafes and cruising along the Mississippi River on historic paddle wheelers.
Things to do in La Crosse
Most of the action is centred around Riverside Park, a lush expanse set on the Mississippi. Classic steam paddle wheelers depart from the dock and offer a unique perspective on the iconic waterway. Wine-soaked dinner cruises are the perfect way to celebrate special occasions.
Retrace the city's colourful history at the Riverside Museum, run by the La Crosse County Historical Society. It's housed in a historic redbrick building and features displays on steamboats, logging and prehistoric artefacts. The 19th-century Hixon House is another historic highlight, filled with period antiques and memorabilia.
At over 350 metres above sea level, Grandad Bluff commands sweeping views over Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. You can drive to the lookout or walk the easy hiking trail. The nearby La Crosse River Trail winds through forests, wetlands and prairies.
It's easy to spend hours exploring Historic Downtown La Crosse, a characterful district filled with cafes, antique stores and art galleries. Meat lovers can make a beeline for Piggy's, an award-winning restaurant serving hickory-smoked meats in a historic setting. Head next door to the Blues Lounge for craft cocktails and live music.
Getting around La Crosse
La Crosse is easy to explore on foot or on bicycles, especially around the riverfront district. The city is serviced by an Amtrak station north of the downtown core, while Minneapolis is a 2.5-hour drive away.