As the colors begin to change along the ancient bluff sides, the La Crosse Region’s vibrancy continues to burst. When you’re ready, visit famous overlooks of the Mississippi River highlighted in reds, oranges, and yellows. Check out the many shops, coffee shops, fine eateries, supper clubs, orchards, and wineries our Region has to offer!
Grandad Bluff, Alpine Inn, and Hixon Trails
Grandad Bluff is a destination for thousands of visitors and also a symbol of the beautiful La Crosse Region. The 600-ft high bluff overlooks the city of La Crosse, the Mississippi River Valley, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. Just imagine the sight of vibrant fall colors on “the most scenic view in the state” as voted by Wisconsin Trails readers. Just a short 10-minute drive up a winding bluff road is a legendary sight perfectly suited as a Fall Hot Spot.
On your way up to Grandad Bluff from the Mississippi Valley is the Alpine Inn; a historic bar & grill in La Crosse, WI. Known for great Bloody Mary’s, beer, burgers, and all-around good food, this unique bar hosts some of the prettiest fall views along the bluff side! Enjoy this fun atmosphere, one-of-a-kind views, and good grub during your Fall Foliage exploration!
Upper Hixon Trails are near the legendary Grandad Bluff and famous for epic hiking and mountain biking treks. Embarking on the trails of Upper Hixon, Brian Kennedy, YouTube famous mountain biker, relayed it took no time to realize the incredible scenery of the Driftless Region. “This is a beautiful forest! This terrain is so cool,” he remarked of the staggering timbers, underlying ferns, and karst topography. So, why not explore the fall foliage while setting out first-hand on the bluffs with the natural beauty of the La Crosse Region? More trail information can be found HERE.
Great River Landing along the Great River Road
Great River Landing
Located off Highway 35/2nd Avenue and Irvin Street in Onalaska, the Great River Landing plays host to the trailhead of the Great River State Trail, famous for the 101 miles of interconnecting state trails. A new visitor center allows for beautiful views of Lake Onalaska and the Black River lit with warm golds and rich oranges of shoreline and bluff sides in the distance. You can enjoy the contrasting sculptures or relax on the porch swings available to visitors to soak in all of the fall beauty.
Great River Road
Want to savor some scenic views while enjoying the comfort of your own car? You can explore beautiful fall scenery, access to excellent hiking, fishing, and boating, rugged bluffs, and of course the picturesque Mississippi River along the Wisconsin Great River Road.
U.S. Highway 35 covers 250 miles in the state of Wisconsin, from Prescott in the north to Kieler in the south. With 33 charming river towns to dot the landscape along the highway, the opportunities to experience convenient stopping points with hospitality, farmer’s markets, wineries & breweries, and family activities are endless.
Apple Blossom Scenic Overlook & Riverview Vineyard and Winery
Apple Blossom Scenic Drive
Starting in La Crescent, Minnesota, across the Big Blue Bridge, this 17-mile Apple Blossom Scenic Drive winds through farm country and along the blufftop roads overlooking the Mississippi River and La Crosse. Enjoy mowed paths nestled into Apple Blossom Overlook leading to exceptional overlooks highlighting the entire region. Later, the drive descends into Pine Creek Valley for a return trip back to La Crescent, MN. The route is famous for its remarkable landscape surrounded by apple orchards. Pull over at the many scenic overlooks for Instagram-worthy autumn landscape photos lit with fall foliage.
Riverview Vineyard & Winery
River View Vineyard and Winery is nestled in the scenic bluffs of Apple Blossom Scenic Drive, North of La Crescent, Minnesota. Opened in 2003, the vineyard was started with cold-hardy grapes, La Crosse (white), Frontenac (red), and Swenson Red (rose), developed for our Region by Elmore Swenson and the University of Minnesota. The winery offers ten different types of wines to enjoy while overlooking the entire Mississippi River Valley aglow with fall leaves and fresh, crisp breezes reminding you just how cozy autumn can be.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe & Culina Mariana Café
The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe a famous, spiritual destination for visitors from all over the world. With over 100 acres tucked into a bluff side, it is easy to soak in the autumn colors among the many beautiful chapels, statues, gardens, and devotional areas. There’s more… The autumn splendor can continue at the Shrine’s full-service café and gift shop!
Justin Trails Resort & Getaway
Are you looking for a day of wide-open spaces, fun spots, fresh air, and autumn sunshine, disc golf, and unique lodging? If that’s you, then come out to Justin Trails Resort! With two championship disc golf courses, Classic & Big Brother, you can get active amidst the glowing bluffs and rural forest. The property is 150 acres of forest and 50 acres of grassy mowed trails, tillable cropland, and gardens. Justin Trails Resort is located near Sparta, Wisconsin, and is noted as one of the top Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts by TripAdvisor. From playing to staying, Justin Trails offers the opportunity to soak in the fall foliage in a safe setting.