La Crosse Tourist Attractions
The pretty city of La Crosse has just over 50,000 inhabitants. The town boasts of several good museums and a zoo. La Crosse is a tourist town and much busier in the summer when vacationers descend to enjoy its outdoor attractions.
Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
Prairie du Chien, in the far south-west of Wisconsin at the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers, was founded in 1673 by the Frenchman Marquette and Joliet and was for a long time an important fur trading post. Today it is a river station for the big Mississippi paddle steamers, with the added attraction of the Kickapoo Indian Caverns and the Villa Louis Mansion, former home of a wealthy fur trader.
Stonefield State Historic Site, Cassville
The Stonefield State Historic site is a recreated farmstead. Originally owned by Nelson Dewey, the state has restored a majority of the buildings back to their original appearance. To add to the experience, costumed interpreters speak to visitors and provide history and information on the their work, skills, and crafts.
Governor Nelson Dewey Homesite
Governor Nelson Dewey Homesite provides visitors with information on the life and times of Governor Nelson Dewey. Personal articles and other memorabilia are on display as is some of the history of the original home, which burned to the ground in the late 19th Century.
Official site: dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/specific/nelsondewey/
Address: Box 658, Cassville, WI 53806, United States
Fort Crawford Museum
The Fort Crawford Museum is located in Prairie du Chien and is a delight to visit. The museum has over 50 exhibits spread across 3 buildings. One of the museum's main exhibits is dedicated to Dr. William Beaumont. Pack a picnic lunch, there are wonderful facilities on site for this type of activity.
Official site: www.fortcrawfordmuseum.com
Address: 717 South Beaumont Road, Prairie Du Chien, WI 53821-1911, United States
One of Prairie du Chein's more notable attractions is Villa Louis. This restored mansion from the late 19th Century features period pieces along with historical items from the Dousman family. The house is lavishly decorated in Victorian fashions. Each year the property hosts the Villa Louis Carriage Classic.
Official site: villalouis.wisconsinhistory.org
Address: 521 North Villa Louis Road, Prairie Du Chien, WI 53821-1333, United States
Pump House Regional Arts Center
The Pump House Regional Art Center in Prairie du Chein showcases the work of local artists. The building is almost as impressive as the art inside. It is from the late 19th Century and is done up in Romanesque Revival style. The Pump House Regional Art Center also features traveling exhibits so be sure to check in with the box office to see what's in town.
Official site: www.thepumphouse.org
Address: 119 King Street, La Crosse, WI 54601, United States
Hamlin Garland Homestead, West Salem, Wisconsin
Fans of Pulitzer Prize winning author Hamlin Garland will want to visit this museum in his honor. His home where he did much of his writing has been restored to its original glory. The Hamlin Garland Homestead has many interesting exhibits that detail the mans life and influences and many of the family belongings have been repatriated back to the homestead by the historical society.
Palmer-Gullickson Octagon House
The Palmer-Gullickson Octagon House is of interest to anyone fascinated by unusual home design. The home was built in the mid 19th Century and has been maintained and restored by the local historical society. Inside the Palmer-Gullickson Octagon House visitors will find furniture and decorations from the mid 19th Century.
Address: 357 West Garland Street, Box 884, West Salem, WI 54669-1146, United States
Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center, Coon Valley, Wisconsin
For those looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center is just for you. Spread out over 400 acres, this property has hiking and walking trails along with fine picnic facilities. There is a homestead and heritage center that provides information for the visitor.
Those visiting La Crosse and wishing to find out more about the area should stop in at the Riverside Museum. The museum features fascinating exhibits on two steam ships that used to ply the Mississippi River. Also of note is information on the role of the river in the development of La Crosse.
The Swarthout Museum in La Crosse makes for a great family outing. A variety of interactive exhibits will keep the youngsters entertained. Of particular note is a dress up room where kids can put on all manner of clothing. Also on site is the museum gift shop selling a variety of souvenirs.
The town of La Crosse is known for the very distinct 600-foot bluff called Grandad Bluff. It is located just behind La Crosse and has a number of walking trails. Fantastic views of the surrounding area can be had from the top.
Hixon House and Museum
Built in the mid 1800's, the Hixon House in La Crosse is a perfectly restored home. Inside visitors will find period pieces and a history of the Hixon family. The Hixon family was heavily involved in the local lumber industry.
La Crosse Queen
The La Crosse Queen is a paddlewheel steamer that plies the waters around La Crosse. There are cruises of varying length which are very popular during the summer months.
Myrick Hixon EcoPark (formerly Myrick Park Zoo)
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