What to do and see in La Crosse, United States: The Best Places and Tips

December 26, 2017 Mollie Coke

La Crosse is a city in the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of La Crosse County. Lying alongside the Mississippi River, La Crosse is the largest city on Wisconsin's western border.
Restaurants in La Crosse

1. Grandad Bluff

3020 Grandad Bluff Road, La Crosse, WI 54601 +1 608-789-7533
Excellent
76%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 844 reviews

Grandad Bluff

At 590 feet, this area offers scenic views.

Reviewed By 2017Queen - La Crosse, Wisconsin

This is a nice view on a warm, sunny day. However, we have also visited on a cold, not warm day, which was miserable. It is a lovely, panoramic view and worth the trip on a fall day when the leaves are changing colors. You don't need a lot of time; just enough to snap a few pictures and rest. Sometimes, it is hard to get parking (on weekends or when there is a big event in town).

2. Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

5250 Justin Rd, La Crosse, WI 54601-2347 +1 877-799-4059
Excellent
79%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 247 reviews

Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe will forever be a spiritual destination for visitors from all over the world. The Shrine is nestled on over 100 acres of God’s Country in the Mississippi River Valley. In addition to the many beautiful chapels, statues, gardens, and devotional areas, the Shrine has a full service cafe and gift shop open daily. The Shrine is open daily, there is never a charge for visiting, and everyone is welcome.

Reviewed By Kev521 - Freeport, Illinois

The shrine is on top of the hill. There are several buildings and statues to see on you walk up to the shrine. It is a good walk up hill. Not hard but if you can't walk far they have a golf cart that can...MoreKev521, Thank you leaving the Shrine a thoughtful review! We hope you will join us again soon!

3. Riverside Park

Veterens Memorial Drive, La Crosse, WI +1 608-784-2893
Excellent
72%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 561 reviews

Riverside Park

A Downtown park where three rivers meet.

Reviewed By Denise R

We came up during the cold, rainy, snowy weather days. The view was awesome from our vehicle. Wish it had not been so cold, so we could have walked around. What we did see was beautiful!

4. Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration Motherhouse

701 Franciscan Way, La Crosse, WI 54601-1608 +1 608-782-5610
Excellent
88%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 79 reviews

Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration Motherhouse

Reviewed By CaroleUK2 - La Crosse, Wisconsin

The Mary of the Angels Chapel and the Chapel of Perpetual Adoration are simply stunningly beautiful...actually breathtaking. Take the time to visit and enjoy the tour given by one of the lovely sisters. Tours are available Monday through Saturday 9 to 10:45am and 1 to 3pm.

5. Dahl Auto Museum

711 3rd St S, La Crosse, WI 54601-4461 +1 608-791-6494
Excellent
73%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 75 reviews

Dahl Auto Museum

Reviewed By dianel103 - Lake Placid, Florida

From the outside, it looks like an old automobile showroom. Oops, get inside and find out that is exactly what it is: only the showroom features beautifully restored classic automobiles. If you love the rumble seats, the fins, the chrome, two-tone paint presented on vehicles that look new, this is better than any theme park. Throw in that the rear portion of the building is a working auto service area with amenities of fresh popped popcorn and cold drinks for the asking and you'll ask, "Am I dreaming????" Get there quickly before you wake up.

6. Children's Museum of La Crosse

207 5th Ave S, La Crosse, WI 54601-4044 +1 608-784-2652
Excellent
62%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 96 reviews

Children's Museum of La Crosse

Learning and fun...Rolled into one! Three floors of hands-on exhibits, climbing wall (wall hours vary--call ahead), gift shop PLUS birthday parties, summer day camps, preschool programs and more. For ages 1-10 with adult.

Reviewed By travelinfamsd - Sioux Falls, South Dakota

We've been to a few different children's museums and this was the worst of them all.
1 - parking was almost non existent. We had to park several blocks away and it was a Thursday afternoon. I can't image the parking situation on a weekend.

2 - the lack of supervision was immediately evident. It didn't look like there was an employee over the age of 16 working, so there were children running around wildly. Now I get that this is the parents responsibility to control their kids, but the staff should have stepped in to stop some of the dangerous behaviors I saw from several children.

3 - "exhibits" were dirty and/or missing parts. There was one grocery cart for the Kwik Trip and almost no "food" items to play with. The bank was missing all of the props as well (although we did find some of the money in the tree house). There were several other exhibits that were also missing things or were very dirty.

4 - Other children's museums we've been to have staff waking around putting things away, wiping and sanitizing areas, and helping supervise exhibits. I saw one teenager supervising the climbing wall and three behind the counter at the gift shop. I never saw another employee anywhere else - which would explain why the museum was so dirty and the exhibits were trashed.

7. Turtle Stack Brewery

125 2nd St S, La Crosse, WI 54601-3206 +1 608-519-2284
Excellent
74%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
5%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 36 reviews

Turtle Stack Brewery

Reviewed By Babu2773 - Chicago, Illinois

We decided to sample some beers before heading off to dinner, and found the space charming with the rustic-industrial look. The other customers were eclectic from the 20-somethings to over-50-somethings. Our bar tender was informative and friendly as he explained the beer flights and our options. We ended up selecting 6 beers to sample, and found the Foreign Extra Stout, IPA and Smash Golden Ale the best. The others were kind of bland, but that may be because we tasted them after the stronger beers. We will definitely come back. We especially liked the fact that this wasn't a college-only crowd. Enjoy some of the board games while you are there.

8. Goose Island County Park

La Crosse, WI
Excellent
55%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 39 reviews

Goose Island County Park

Reviewed By Barb B - Jefferson, Oregon

The park is about 2 miles from the main highway along a narrow, winding, two lane paved road. Trees encroached on the road and vehicles were parked on the actual roadway narrowing the width of the road to a hazardous condition. The main highway out of La Crosse is not in good condition. But a few miles from the turn off to the park, the road was recently resurfaced.

The interior roads are paved but the design creates a challenge and potentially a hazard to larger MHs. The roads are narrow (some 1way) and some of the turns are tight.

The site parking pads are either grass or asphalt. A large majority of the grass parking pads have significant challenges to leveling an RV. Some of the sites have steep slopes. Some of the parking pads near the river were subject to flooding. The sites are the largest that we have encountered in our travels of the lower 48 states. Privacy is established by distance. The water & electric connections were some distance from the parking pads requiring long runs of cord/hose. They had an outside table and moveable fire ring. Part of the park is covered with trees and another portion is open to the sky allowing for satellite reception. There seem to be a lot of long term residents called “Seasonal Campers”. Those sites impacted the visual appeal of the park. Only WiFi reception was at the camp store. It was a long distance from the paved parking pad sites to the store. Dumpsters located throughout the park. The dump stations were located towards the rear of the park. One of them was along the main road in a congested area creating a traffic obstruction.

Although the county has a leash law, many dogs were allowed off leash and there was no enforcement of the law. There was no designated, fenced dog area but there was sufficient area to exercise along the park roads and in the adjacent day use area but dogs off leash posed a potential hazard. There were no bag dispensers around the park to pick up waste but there were trash receptacles around the park to dispose of waste.

For being in a hazardous/severe weather area, there was no underground storm shelter. None of the structures in the park were identified as a severe weather shelter. This was strange considering it seemed that at least once a week there were severe weather warnings issued including strong winds and several tornados touched down in the area. Some campers sought shelter in the restroom buildings but the buildings had wooden framed roofs.

We didn’t use the restrooms/showers/laundry room.

TIP:

For being in a hazardous/severe weather area, there was no underground storm shelter. None of the structures in the park were identified as a severe weather shelter. This was strange considering it seemed that at least once a week there were severe weather warnings issued including strong winds and several tornados touched down in the area. Some campers sought shelter in the restroom buildings but the buildings had wooden framed roofs.

The park did offer a pump out service for $25. This might be acceptable for a few day stay but it lacked basic utility connections for any long term stay.

9. Hixon House

429 7th St N, La Crosse, WI 54601-3301 +1 608-782-1980
Excellent
67%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 24 reviews

Hixon House

Historic Hixon House is a gem in downtown La Crosse. The original home began construction in 1858. Tour the home and hear of the Hixon family, their contributions to La Crosse, and their efforts to build this beautiful home. Hixon House is open seasonally- Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Reviewed By Jack S - Dunnellon, Florida

Hixon House is unique in that it has survived through the years largely intact, including furnishings and wall coverings. Much of the interior restoration work has involved cleaning what's there rather than tearing out and replacing interior feature with period replicas. There are also a few rooms that have not yet been restored and these give you a real appreciation for the work that has been competed. The Docents are well informed and allow plenty of time to take it all in. Allow 2 hours.

10. Pump House Regional Arts Center

119 King St, La Crosse, WI 54601-4030 +1 608-785-1434
Excellent
58%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 21 reviews

Pump House Regional Arts Center

Located at the center of La Crosse's arts district, the Pump House Regional Arts Center is a must for anyone visiting the area. Concerts, plays, exhibits, films and classes fill a busy schedule at this historic venue. Admission to the galleries is free and staff will provide a complimentary history tour of the building upon request. Artwork is available for purchase.

Reviewed By Roland K - La Crosse, Wisconsin

We enjoyed a wonderful evening of music with wine and beer with a group of about 40-50 others. An art gallery featuring an artist is on the first level. Opportunities to join and become a patron.

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