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Day Two: La Crosse/Spring Green Tour

Stunning vistas like this one mark the way to La Crosse.
Stunning vistas like
this one mark the way
to La Crosse.

Begin your morning in La Crosse's beautiful Riverside Park, at the west end of State Street. The park offers the perfect vantage point for watching river traffic or for boarding one of the paddle wheelers for a sightseeing tour reminiscent of the era of great Mississippi River steamboats that traversed the river in the 19th century. Pay a visit to the Riverside Museum, which exhibits the river's importance to the growth and development of the area. Downtown La Crosse is home to the 15-room Hixon House, built in 1859 for lumber baron Gideon Hixon. The house contains one of only a few remaining "Turkish Nooks." Nearby, the Swarthout Museum offers changing local history exhibits.

After lunch take Highway 14 southeast 16 miles to beautiful Coon Valley. Here you can explore Wisconsin's rich Norwegian immigrant heritage at the 450-acre Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center, offering six miles of nature trails, tours of the restored Bekkum Pioneer Log Homestead and the Skumsrud Heritage Farm. Continue on Highway 14 through Richland Center, birthplace of Frank Lloyd Wright, then rejoin the magnificent Wisconsin River just west of Spring Green, a charming river town that offers a fine selection of restaurants and overnight accommodations. The area is also the home of the American Players Theatre, which offers a full summer season of professional Shakespearean theater performed in an outdoor amphitheater.

Expand your place in history

Society members at the History Lover level receive:

  • Free site admission
  • 10-percent discount on store items

Become a member today!

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