Suggested Itineraries and Entertainment for Groups Clarissa Erickson

Suggested Itineraries and Entertainment for Groups
Clarissa Erickson
La Crosse Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
Toll free: 800-658-9424
Direct: 608-782-2220
Fax: 608-782-4082
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.explorelacrosse.com
The following tours are only suggested itineraries.
Please feel free to select components based on the interests of your group.
American Quilt I:
Round trip from La Crosse to Cashton, Viroqua, Westby and Coon Valley
- Travel to the “Heart of Amish Country” in Cashton, Wisconsin where you will experience the Amish
lifestyle of the fourth largest Amish settlement in the Country. Includes visits to Old Country Cheese and
gift shops where you can purchase cheese, handmade Amish quilts, rugs, crafts, and gifts. Open April 1
through November 1. Allow 2 to 2 ½ hours for tour and shopping, cost is $250.00 for entire coach. Tour
services include step-on guide. Companies offering tours are Down A Country Road and Kickapoo Valley
Heritage Art & Tours. www.downacountryroadamish.com, www.oldcountrycheese.com
- Next, you can enjoy a home cooked lunch at the Westby House Victorian Inn or Borgen’s Café.
www.westbyhouse.com, www.borgenscafe.com
- After lunch, visit Dregne’s Scandinavian Gifts where you will find Norwegian art, fine crafts, clothing,
clogs, and many other treasures from around the world. www.dregnesscandinaviangifts.com
- Next, enjoy a Maple Farming experience at Ocooch Mountain Acres. The experience includes a dish of ice
cream topped with maple syrup. You will also receive a discount on purchases of Maple Syrup the day of
the tour. Allow one hour for the tour, $5.00 per person, escort and driver comp.
www.ocoochmountainacres.com
- Experience Norwegian culture and history at Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center. Here, you will
learn about the Scandinavians that settled in the coulees of western Wisconsin. You will tour the “Bekkum
Homestead,” an original settler’s log home that has been reconstructed at Norskedalen or you can learn how
to carve wood, experience rosemaling, or make Norwegian flat bread. Open year around with exception to
March due to weight restrictions on road. Allow 1½ hours for tour. $5.50 per person with complimentary
passes for escort and driver. www.norskedalen.org
- Complete this perfect day with dinner at one of La Crosse’s award winning restaurants. We have fine dining
establishments to meet every budget. Does your group like to dance? Make the evening a cherished memory
with entertainment. Band packages start at $350.00.
- All day step-on guide service is $95.00.
American Quilt II:
Round trip from La Crosse to Harmony, Minnesota
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Begin your day with a scenic drive to Harmony, Minnesota for a trip back in time to the Amish Culture.
Amish Tours of Harmony offers a group tour at $125.00 for guide aboard your coach. You will want to add
a wonderful lunch with dessert at Harmony House. Open April 1 through November 1. Allow 2 ½ hours for
the tour plus time for lunch. www.amish-tours.com
Your visit to this charming little community would not be complete without a visit to the “Village Green”
where you will find handmade crafts, Amish furniture, gifts, and home decor. Allow 1 hour for shopping.
Exploring a cave is next on the list with a visit to Niagara Cave. Here, you will experience a guided tour
through one of the highest rated limestone caves in the United States. During this spelunking adventure, you
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will see a 60-foot waterfall, stalactites, fossils and the “Wedding Chapel.” Pan for gemstones and enjoy
browsing in the unique gift shop. Open May through October. Allow 45 minutes to 1 hour for tour. Cost is
$10.00 per person plus tax with complimentary passes for escort and driver. www.niagracave.com
Complete this perfect day with dinner at one of La Crosse’s award winning restaurants. We have fine dining
establishments to meet every budget. Does your group like to dance? Make the evening a cherished memory
with entertainment. Band packages start at $350.00.
All day step-on guide service is $95.00.
Boats, Barns, Vines, and Ale
La Crosse, Cashton, Coon Valley, Viroqua, Prairie du Chien, and Potosi
Day One:
- Begin your tour in LaCrosse, located on the Mississippi River. Arrive in the early afternoon and meet your
step-on guide to begin your River Town Discovery Tour. Sit back and relax as your tour guide introduces
you to the homes of Lumber Barons, Early Entrepreneurs and more! The tour includes a stop atop Granddad
Bluff, voted the most scenic view in Wisconsin where you can see the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and
Iowa. After that, you will visit the beautiful Chapels of St. Rose,
www.fspa.org/Prayer/maryofangelschapel/index.html, and then Hixon House, www.lchsweb.org the home
of Gideon Hixon – Lumber Baron and Financier. Cost is $55.00 for step-on guide, $2.00 per person at the
Chapels, and $7.50 per person at Hixon House.
- Tonight set sail on the Mighty Mississippi aboard the La Crosse Queen, www.lacrossequeen.com, authentic
paddle wheeler for a two hour relaxing dinner cruise. Scenic sunset over the towering bluffs included!
Return to hotel.
Day Two:
- After breakfast, depart for Cashton Wisconsin, the heart of Amish Country for a “Round Barn” tour. The
area has the largest Amish settlement in Wisconsin and at one time had over two dozen round barns. Today
there are ten standing. On your tour, you will travel through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the
Midwest and visit one or two round barns, depending on time allowance. Learn about the Driftless area and
the story of Algie Shivers, son of ex-slave Thomas Shivers. Algie was the most well-known round barn
builder in the area. The Shivers family was one of the families of the rural African American settlement
named Cheyenne Valley. Allow 2 hours, cost is $250.00 for entire coach.
- Depart Cashton for lunch in Westby, a Norwegian town with a big Velkommen sign as you come into town.
In Westby, you will enjoy a home-cooked meal at Borgens Café, www.borgenscafe.com, and perhaps also
purchase homemade pies and desserts to take with you. Take some time for some unique shopping in
Westby where you will find Dregne’s Scandinavian gifts, and across the way, the “Uff-da” shop. You can
also stop and purchase cheese at Westby Coop Creamery. Lunch menu and pricing available upon request.
- Next, enjoy a Maple Farming experience at Ocooch Mountain Acres. The experience includes a dish of ice
cream topped with maple syrup. You will also receive a discount on purchases of Maple Syrup the day of
the tour. Allow one hour for the tour, $5.00 per person, escort and driver comp.
www.ocoochmountainacres.com
- Then, it’s off to Coon Valley for an “Evening at Norskedalen.” Norskedalen (which means the Norwegian
Valley), is a nature and heritage center dedicated to preserving, interpreting and sharing the natural
environment and cultural heritage of the area surrounding Coon Valley in southwest Wisconsin.
Norskedalen has so much to offer in so many different ways, exploring the natural beauty, regional history
and traditional Norwegian heritage of the region. Here your group can enjoy a guided tour, Rosemaling or
Woodcarving demonstration, or a hands on activity. After this, a traditional Norwegian meal will be served.
Slip on your dancing shoes because the Norskedalen Trio will entertain with Scandinavian folk tunes,
polkas, and waltzes. Allow 3 to 3 ½ hours, cost is $24.00 per person. www.norskedalen.org
- Return to Hotel.
Day Three:
- Depart Hotel and La Crosse for an excursion on the southern Great River Road. After a beautiful drive you
will arrive at Villa Louis in Prairie du Chien for a guided tour. Experience Victorian life during the 19th
century as you visit the estate of one of Wisconsin's most prosperous families. Open the door of Villa Louis
and enter the world of upper-class Victorian America. Built on the banks of the Mississippi River, it was the
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country home of the Dousman Family. Today it has been vividly restored to its 1890s splendor. Allow 2
hours for tour, cost is $7.25 per person. www.villalouis.wisconsinhistory.org
Another scenic drive on the Great River Road and you will arrive in Potosi at the historic Potosi Brewery for
lunch followed by a tour of the National Brewery Museum. Welcome to Potosi, Wisconsin, where a brewing
tradition is alive through the Potosi Brewery Restoration Project. Come explore our history, memorabilia,
and gift shop and see the Potosi Brewing Company Transportation Museum, Great River Road Interpretive
Center, National Brewery Museum™, and Potosi Brewing Company Restaurant. Allow 2 ½ hours for meal
and museum, cost for museum is $5.00 per person, group lunch menu available upon request.
www.potosibrewery.com
Depart Potosi for home or continue on to Spring Green for an overnight and a visit to the House on the
Rock. www.houseontherock.com
Culinary Treasures
La Crosse and Cashton
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Enjoy a beautiful drive to the “Heart of Amish Country” in Cashton, Wisconsin where you will experience
the Amish lifestyle of the fourth largest Amish settlement in the Country. Includes visits to Old Country
Cheese and gift shops where you can purchase cheese, candy, and handmade Amish crafts and gifts. Open
April 1 through November 1. Allow 2 to 2½ hours for tour and shopping. Tour cost is $250.00 per coach.
Tour services include step-on guide. Companies offering tours are Down A Country Road and Kickapoo
Valley Heritage Art & Tours. www.downacountryroadamish.com, www.oldcountrycheese.com
Next, it’s a wonderful lunch at the famous Piggy’s Restaurant. A special presentation is in store for you
because Chief Chef and Owner, Chris Roderique, is going to be preparing lunch for you Emeril style and
your entire group will get to enjoy it! Allow 1½ hours for the lunch. Cost is $20.99 per person inclusive with
complimentary meals for escort and driver. www.piggys.com
Your next incredible experience will take place when you savor the flavor of Wisconsin Wines in
La Crosse's first "wine bar." Just a few steps down the block from Piggy’s, you will find the “Wine Guyz,”
where you will have the opportunity to sample Wisconsin Wines and learn about wines from all over the
world. You will even get some wine pairing tips. Allow 45 minutes to one hour for the experience. Cost is
$2.00 per person with complimentary passes for escort and driver. www.wineguyz.com
Pleasoning Seasoning is your next tour stop, where you will learn different ways to season your cuisine for
a healthier lifestyle. Allow 45 minutes to one hour for tour. Cost is a $10.00 non-refundable reservation fee.
www.pleasoning.com
You can never get enough candy or ice cream, so your next stop is The Pearl old fashioned ice cream and
soda fountain for a step into the past. Enjoy a hand-dipped ice cream cone, malt, or candy, and experience
Historic Downtown La Crosse. Allowed time for this stop is 45 minutes.
Now it's time to return to the hotel to refresh before departing again for a relaxing dinner cruise on the
Mississippi. The La Crosse Queen Paddlewheeler will be happy to accommodate your group! Options
range from 2 hour excursion to three hour cruises. www.lacrossequeen.com.
Europe Wisconsin Style:
La Crosse, Coon Valley and Westby
This itinerary is flexible and can be done alone or combined with other itineraries. It includes:
- A guided tour of the beautiful Chapels of St. Rose. The chapel has been featured on national and regional
television. The interior of the Chapel is an architectural and artistic treasure. Designed by European
Architects, it is Romanesque in style, with Corinthian pillars and windows of Bavarian glass. Altars of
Italian marble are decorated with gold bronze, onyx pillars, and inlaid mosaics of Venetian glass and mother
of pearl. Your group will receive a guided tour, which highlights the unique features of this exquisite chapel.
Open year around. Allow 1 hour for tour and shopping in gift shop which sells items handmade by the
sisters. Cost is $2.00 per person with complimentary passes for escort & driver.
www.fspa.org/Prayer/maryofangelschapel/index.html
- Afternoon or Evening in Norway at Norskedalen Norwegian Nature and Heritage Center. The Norwegian
Valley beckons your group to enjoy a taste of Scandinavian Heritage. The program begins with a guided
tour of the Heritage Center and Bekkum Homestead. Next, your group will enjoy a delicious buffet of
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Norwegian meatballs, lefse and all the trimmings including dessert. After the meal, the Norskedalen Trio
will entertain your group with traditional Scandinavian folk tunes, polkas and waltzes laced with Ole and
Lena jokes. This program is a group favorite that creates many happy memories. Open year round, winter
program offers rosemaling or woodcarving demonstration in place of Bekkum Homestead Tour. Allow 3 to
3½ hours for entire program. Cost is $25.00 per person inclusive with one complimentary pass for every 40
paid. www.norskedalen.org
Europe Wisconsin Style would not be complete without a shop stop at Dregne’s Scandinavian Gifts in
Westby. The area’s most exclusive Scandinavian Gift Shop, with a 25-year tradition of providing distinctive
giftware for all ages. www.dregnesscandinaviangifts.com
Find homecooked “comfort” food and great pies at Borgen’s Café. A great place to stop for lunch, dinner or
pie and coffee. www.borgenscafe.com
If it’s REAL Wisconsin Cheese you want, you need to stop at Westby Co-op Creamery. Family farm
owned, Westby Cooperative Creamery offers many dairy products including a variety of natural cheeses,
cottage cheeses, sour cream, butter, and their famous cheese curds. Located in downtown Westby, the heart
of the Norwegian Valley. www.westbycreamery.com
Would you like a local costumed escort? All day step-on guide service is $95.00.
Fall for La Crosse:
Round trip from La Crosse to LaCrescent, Warrens and Tomah
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Begin your day with a City Tour. Sit back and relax as your costumed tour guide introduces you to the
history of La Crosse from its beginnings as a fur trading post. You’ll be introduced to the homes of lumber
barons, early entrepreneurs and more! Tour includes a stop atop Granddad Bluff, which gives you a
panoramic view of La Crosse and the upper Mississippi Valley. Available year around. Cost for all day stepon guide service is $95.00.
A fall visit to La Crosse is not complete without a tour and sampling at an Apple Orchard. Southwind
Orchards offers guided tours of the orchard and production facility. You can taste some of the 28 varieties
of apples that we grow in our retail shop. You can also purchase freshly picked apples and other apple
related products. Plan an hour to an hour and ½ for the tour stop. Cost is $2.00 per person.
www.southwindorchards.com
A relaxing luncheon cruise on a Mississippi River Boat amidst Mother Nature’s patchwork quilt of colors is
next. Two excursion boats offer a variety of prices, cruises, and ambiance. Open May through October.
www.lacrossequeen.com, www.mississippiexplorer.com
After the cruise, it’s on to Warrens to visit the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Museum. Your group will
get a unique look into the heritage of the cranberry industry. Bog Tours conducted late August through midOctober. Allow 1 to 4 hours depending on components of tour selected. Cost for museum tour is $4.00 per
person. Berry Best Tour includes the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center tour followed by a guided tour
of the bogs and production facility at Wetherby Cranberry Company for only $9.00 per person with
complimentary passes for escort and driver. You can add cranberry snacks baked in the Discovery Centers
taste test kitchen or delicious cranberry inspired ice cream made by Ranison Ice Cream in La Crosse. Cost
dependent on choice. Allow 3 hours for program. Visit www.discovercranberries.com
Unique cranberry glass, artwork, and crafts will be found at the Cranberry Country Mall. They offer gifts,
crafts, collectibles, art gallery and custom framing with over 65 dealers of quality antiques. The Mall is open
year around. Allow 45 minutes to 1 hour for this shopping stop. www.tomah.com/antiquemall
Return to La Crosse for dinner.
Fins, Feathers, and Fur
Tour stays within La Crosse Area
- Begin your day with a visit to the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center. As the Nation’s largest
water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the U.S. Geological Survey works in
cooperation with more than 2,000 organizations across the country to provide reliable, impartial, scientific
information to resource managers, planners, and other customers. Visitors to the center can enjoy
educational displays including information on invasive species, migratory songbirds, native freshwater
mussels, and radio telemetry methods used to track fish and wildlife for research. The Learning Lab is a
renovated research laboratory available for an up-close learning environment and offers opportunities to see
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a variety of live fish, amphibians, and reptiles. The Outdoor Classroom is a handicap accessible walkway
through the floodplain forest and out over a backwater slough to an observation platform. You can also
enjoy a Restored Native Prairie Tour by a Prairie Naturalist to learn about the ecological value of prairie
habitat and identification of prairie plants. Allow one to two hours for this tour depending upon the
programming you choose. No cost for the tour. www.umesc.usgs.gov
Next, it’s time for an Eco-Tour Cruise. Mississippi Explorer Cruises offers unique Wildlife Eco-Tours upon
the backwaters of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. The refuge consists of
acres of wooded islands, marshes and backwaters that provide a home for nesting Bald Eagles, Great Blue
Herons, Pelicans, Egrets, Muskrats, 119 species of fish, over 600 plants, and much more! Binoculars and
cameras are suggested. Allow two hours for the cruise. The cost is $20.00 per person.
www.MississippiExplorer.com
It’s time for lunch at one of our wonderful restaurants in the La Crosse Area. We recommend a lunch with
cooking demonstration at Piggy’s or the Radisson Hotel.
A visit to Myrick Hixon EcoPark is next. This eco park is a family-friendly place for people of all ages.
It’s a place for all to learn about animals, nature, the environment, zoology, veterinary care, energy
efficiency and more. You will find a hands-on learning experience that can’t be reproduced in the
classroom. The ecopark is a demonstration of the value that our community places on conservation, wise use
of natural resources and environmental awareness. www.myrickecopark.com
After a full day of exploring, it’s time to refresh and then it’s off to a restaurant for a wonderful dinner to top
of the day. We have great choices for dinner entertainment from story tellers to broadway style shows or
theatre.
River Town Discovery Tour:
Tour stays within La Crosse City limits
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Begin this memorable day with a City Tour. Sit back and relax as your costumed tour guide introduces you
to the history of La Crosse from its beginnings as a fur trading post. You’ll be introduced to the homes of
lumber barons, early entrepreneurs and more! Tour includes a stop atop Granddad Bluff, which gives you a
panoramic view of La Crosse and the upper Mississippi Valley. Available year around. Cost is $95.00 for all
day step-on guide service.
A visit to the historic Hixon House is a step back in time to an elegant Victorian era. Built for lumberman
financier Gideon Hixon in 1860, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has all of the
original furnishings including a “Turkish Nook”. Open year around. Allow 45 minutes to 1 hour for tour.
Cost is $7.50 per person with complimentary passes for escort and driver. www.lchsweb.org
The men on your coach will really enjoy a visit to the Dahl Auto Museum. Take a stroll down memory
lane and immerse yourself in the rich history of the most widely used mode of transportation, the
automobile. The Dahl Auto Museum celebrates the Dahl family's involvement as automotive dealers
spanning over 100 years and 5 generations. It also features the history of the automobile through the eyes of
Ford Motor Company, an extensive mascot collection and many beautifully restored classic automobiles
from the turn of the century to present. www.dahlauto.com/welcome.htm
No visit to La Crosse is complete without a stop in historic downtown La Crosse. Here, you can enjoy a visit
to T.J.’s Cheddarheads, home of those famous Wisconsin Cheeseheads. Other great stops include Stamp N’
Hand, Satori Arts, Main Street Framing and Cross Stitchery, Antique Center of La Crosse and Finnotte’s
Nut and Chocolate Shop. Allow 1 to 3 hours depending on components selected. Group discount on
purchases available at the La Crosse Clock Company. www.cheddarheads.com, www.stampnhand.com,
www.crossestitchery.com, www.finnottes.com
Next, is lunch in one of our award winning restaurants? Menus and prices to fit every budget are available.
After lunch, your guide will escort you to the Chapels of St. Rose. The chapel has been featured on national
and regional television. The interiors of the Chapels are an architectural and artistic treasure. Designed by
European Architects, it is Romanesque in style, with Corinthian pillars and windows of Bavarian glass.
Altars of Italian marble are decorated with gold bronze, onyx pillars, and inlaid mosaics of Venetian glass
and mother of pearl. Your group will receive a guided tour, which highlights the unique features of these
exquisite chapels. Open year around. Allow 1 hour for tour. Cost is $2.00 per person with complimentary
passes for escort and driver. www.fspa.org/Prayer/maryofangelschapel/index.html
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Next, it’s a tour of Pleasoning Gourmet Seasoning. Includes a walk-through of the plant and tasting! Open
year around. Tours available from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Allow 45 minutes to one hour for tour. Cost is
$10.00 for the motor coach, which is a reservation fee and is non-refundable. www.pleasoning.com
After refreshing at your hotel, dinner at the Waterfront Restaurant will complete the day. Located on the
banks of the Mississippi River in downtown La Crosse, the Waterfront offers fine dining with a view. Visit
the website for menus: www.thewaterfrontlacrosse.com
Taste of La Crosse:
Tour stays within La Crosse City limits.
- Begin this journey with a City Tour. Sit back and relax as your step-on guide introduces you to the history
of La Crosse from its beginnings as a fur trading post. You’ll be introduced to the homes of lumber barons,
early entrepreneurs and more! Tour includes a stop atop Granddad Bluff, which gives you a panoramic view
of La Crosse and the upper Mississippi Valley. Available year around. Cost is $95.00 for all day step-on
guide service. www.explorelacrosse.com
- Next, it’s a visit to Pleasoning Gourmet Seasoning. Includes a walk-through of the plant followed by
tasting! Open year around. Tours available from 10AM to 2PM. Allow 45 minutes to one hour for tour. Cost
is $10.00 for the motor coach, which is a reservation fee and is non-refundable. Web site:
www.pleasoning.com
- Our guide continues to escort you on the next stop, which is a visit, and/or pilgrimage to Our Lady of
Guadelupe` Shrine. A guided tour of the beautiful visitor’s center and chapel nestled amidst the bluffs of
Mormon Coulee will delight your group. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious lunch at Culina Marinara located in
the visitor’s center. Donations are appreciated for the pilgrimage. Open year around. Allow 1 to 2 hours.
www.shrineofourlady.com
- A sweet confection awaits you at The Pearl. Enjoy hand-dipped ice cream cones, malts, or shakes in the
quaint little shop that will bring back memories where people gather to chat and share life and laughter.
Just next door, you will find Satori Arts, Main Street Framing and Cross Stitchery, and the La Crosse Clock
Company. Let your group enjoy the sweet confections and then wander to the quaint shops on “Pearl
Street.”
- Looking for Wisconsin Cheese and Wine? Well, at the Wine Guyz, you get to sample gourmet Wisconsin
Cheeses and Wisconsin Wines. This “tasty” retail tour will be fun and educational for your group. Allow
one hour for the experience. Cost is $2.00 per person with complimentary passes for escort and driver.
www.wineguyz.com
- Refresh at the hotel and then it’s off to dinner at one of La Crosse’s hometown restaurants. Live
entertainment is available to top off the wonderful day.
Twinkling Lights, Country Sights – a two-day Christmas itinerary
Day One
- Arrive in La Crosse for lunch at Piggy’s Restaurant. Luncheon selections are $12.95 and $13.95 inclusive of
beverage, cookie, tax, and tip. www.piggys.com
- Guided tour of the beautiful Chapels of St. Rose. Cost is $2.00 per person.
www.fspa.org/Prayer/maryofangelschapel/index.html
- Arrive at Hixon House all decked out for Christmas Victorian style. Cost is $7.50 per person.
www.lchsweb.org
- The men on your coach will really enjoy a visit to the Dahl Auto Museum. Take a stroll down memory
lane and immerse yourself in the rich history of the most widely used mode of transportation, the
automobile. The Dahl Auto Museum celebrates the Dahl family's involvement as automotive dealers
spanning over 100 years and 5 generations. It also features the history of the automobile through the eyes of
Ford Motor Company, an extensive mascot collection and many beautifully restored classic automobiles
from the turn of the century to present. www.dahlauto.com/welcome.htm
- Arrive at your hotel and check in. Enjoy a welcome reception and get settled in.
- Dinner at a local restaurant or at Hotel if available.
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Day Two
- Depart Hotel for Warrens for a tour at the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center. Afterwards, enjoy
cranberry muffins and coffee. www.discovercranberries.com
- Arrive at the Cranberry Country Mall in Tomah for a unique shopping experience. Here, you will find gifts,
crafts, collectibles, custom framing, an art gallery, and over 65 dealers of quality antiques. Humbird Cheese
is right next door if you have a cheese lover on your Christmas shopping list. www.antiqueoftomah.com
- Arrive in Westby Borgens Café or Westby House Victorian Inn for a scrumptious Christmas themed lunch.
Price varies with menu selected. www.borgenscafe.com, www.westbyhouse.com
- Arrive at Norskedalen Norwegian Nature and Heritage Center for an “Old Fashioned Christmas.” Enjoy a
memorable start to your celebration of the Christmas Holidays with the timeless sounds, smells and
traditions of old. Enjoy horse drawn wagon rides, crafts, music, food, and all kinds of Christmas traditions.
Cost is $5.50 per person. www.norskedalen.org
- Arrive back at Hotel to refresh.
- Next, it’s dinner at a local restaurant.
- Depart restaurant and enjoy a drive through Rotary Lights. The Rotary Lights Display was started in 1995
and has grown tremendously since that time. Over 2 million lights illuminate Riverside Park. Upon entering
the park, you will be greeted by a lights volunteer who will escort your group through the display covering
the history of Rotary lights, explaining the light displays, and the community-wide effort of volunteers to
make this event a success year after year. Tonight, you will enjoy a live nativity complete with Roman
Soldiers and live animals sponsored and staffed by area WELS Lutheran Churches. The cost for the tour is
$50.00 per motor coach with all proceeds going to area food pantries. www.rotarylights.org
- Depart Riverside Park and return to Hotel.
Wheels and Water:
Round trip from La Crosse to Pickwick, Fountain City & Trempealeau
- Climb aboard your land ship and cruise up the Great River Road. A step-on guide will escort your group all
day, charge is $150.00. The first stop is Pickwick Mill, the oldest existing industrial site in Minnesota. A
beautiful mill with six floors of equipment, a 4 x 20 water wheel, trout streams and falls. Open April
through October. Allow 45 minutes to 1 hour for guided tour. Cost is $2.50 per person. Complimentary
passes for escort and driver. www.pickwickmill.org
- Then, it’s Pepin, the childhood home of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Visit a replica of the log cabin she lived in.
Next, stop in at the museum which features items once owned by this famous American pioneer and author.
Donations accepted ($2.00 per person) at the museum.
www.pepinwisconsin.com/cgi-bin/viewnlcontent.cgi?nlarticle_id=2
- By now, your group has worked up an appetite for a delicious dish at the Monarch Tavern is an Irish
restaurant featuring favorite Irish cuisine. www.monarchtavern.com
- Looking for a scenic view where eagles soar? Visit Buena Vista Park in Alma. The scenery is awesome and
you can see for miles. Perfect place to enjoy cookies and lemonade. Allow 30 minutes.
www.almawisconsin.com/local_attractions.htm
- Seven Hawks Vineyards tasting room in Fountain City is a great place to sample award winning fruits of the
vine. You can enjoy the tasting room and a tour of the vineyards. Seven Hawks Vineyards won six medals
in the International Cold Climate Wine Competition. The medal count included two gold medals for the
Prairie Star 2008 vintage and the Smiling Moon 2008 vintage. Other wines winning medals include Hunters
Blend, Frontenac Reserve, Frontier Red, and Ridge Top Apple. Visit our website for more information:
www.sevenhawksvineyards.com
- Your Great River Road adventure continues with a visit to Elmer’s Auto and Toy Museum in Fountain City
where you will find a collection matched only by the House on the Rock. Vintage automobiles, pedal cars,
Indian motorcycles, bicycles, dolls, toys and more are housed in four large buildings. Your group will be
amazed by this collection! Open year around. Allow 1 to 2 hours. Cost is $7.00 per person with free passes
for escort and driver. www.ElmersAutoandToyMuseum.com
- If there’s time, a guided tour of Mississippi River Lock and Dam at Trempealeau will give your group an
insight on how the Mississippi is controlled. Free tours.
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The historic Trempealeau Hotel or Sullivans Restaurant is a great place for dinner before you return to
La Crosse. Both restaurants offer tasty fare, great prices and a visit with the locals. The Trempealeau Hotel
offers summer concerts under the stars on weekends May through September. www.trempealeauhotel.com
or www.sullivanssupperclub.com
Wine, Weave, and Wander
La Crosse, Ettrick, Arcadia
- Depart Hotel and then meet step-on guide from Trempealeau County and depart. In route to your
first stop you will see historic "Decorah Peak,” apple orchards and a unique tin barn.
- Tour of Phoneco Antique Phone Museum, the largest old phone company in the United States.
- Depart on a scenic drive through "Beaver Creek County."
- Arrive at historic Beaches Corner School, now home of "Rural Reflections," a fiber art studio featuring
weaving, spinning, carding, and felting.
- Depart and take a drive along Beaver Creek, passing the tiny hamlet of “Hegg." This back roads community
was named after Colonel Hegg commander of the Wisconsin 15th, a Norwegian Regiment in the Civil War.
- Arrive at Tenba Ridge Winery, nestled in the hills of Joe Coulee. The view is spectacular and you can sit
back, relax, and sip wine made by the Wine Wizard, John Gill.
- Depart the Winery and rumble through the Highlands.
- It's time for lunch prepared and served by the ladies auxiliary in a quaint old church. They might even share
a recipe or two!
- You will be awestruck by Soldiers Walk "Avenue of Heroes." This is the Midwest's largest veteran’s
memorial with over 30 monuments in remembrance of all wars and conflicts.
- Stop in for a chat with "Lou Sauer" who played in the 1940's All Star Pro Women's Baseball League. Lou
played for the Rockford Peaches and the Racine Bells.
- Depart for "Skyline Drive" where you will view the awesome broad vista of un-glaciated country from the
clouds. Afterwards, you will drive by the setting of the Stephen King/Peter Straub novel entitled "Black
House" with the unique "Tamarack Grove."
- Drop off step-on guide and return to La Crosse.
- Refresh at hotel and then have a sumptuous dinner at one of La Crosse’s award winning restaurants.
Entertainment Ideas
These artists will bring their show to you for lunch or dinner entertainment
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Norskedalen Trio musical group is a three-piece band. Their repertoire includes Scandinavian Folktunes,
polkas and waltzes laced with Ole and Lena jokes. Truly a group favorite. Their charge is $5.00 per person
with a minimum charge of $250.00.
Three Boomer Broads is a musical comedy act. Their skit is flexible so they can tailor make the script to fit
your group! They have two options for show duration: 30 minute show is $300.00 and a 60 minute show is
$500.00
Members of Bluff Country Tale Spinners will entertain with ghost yarns, local legends, and folklore. Cost
for one or two storytellers is $200.00 for 45-60 minutes of story telling. They work with you to create
material that matches your groups interests.
Wayne Nowicki Trio is a German oom-pa-pa band. Great after dinner entertainment for a German themed
evening. Cost is $350.00.
Guided Architectural Walking Tours led by local historian Eric Wheeler. Price is dependent upon number of
people in the group.
Suggested Itineraries – Revised 07/12
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