By: Antonia Grant, Families Love Travel
La Crosse is an ideal destination for families and social groups!
If you’re headed into town, here are itinerary ideas for a weekend-long visit along the Mississippi River that will please everyone in your group. Plus, find tips on where to eat and where to stay in La Crosse. Written in collaboration with Families Love Travel, experts in family travel tips and destinations around the world.
Where to Stay
Selecting where to stay in La Crosse is your first step to an amazing adventure together. Here are some great options that families and large groups will love.
Wilson Schoolhouse Inn
If you’re looking to stay somewhere unique, Wilson Schoolhouse Inn is a fantastic option. Bookings include the entire schoolhouse and can accommodate up to 8 adults. In addition to two bedrooms, you’ll also have two queen-sized sleeper sofas, a futon, and a crib for infants. Plus, there are two bathrooms, a spacious living room, and a fully equipped kitchen. Families will love staying here due to its proximity to the Mississippi River (within a mile), historical importance, and rural setting with ample space to play. Plus, you’re only 8 minutes from downtown.
Pine View Campground
Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate Pine View Campground for its cleanliness and amenities. While it is 45 minutes away from La Crosse, there are plenty of nearby attractions to keep you busy. Kids and those still kids at heart will love the on-site miniature golf course, paintball course, kayaks, and more! Staying here also gives you access to laundry facilities, hot showers, WIFI, and a fishing dock. Finally, this campground is open all year round, providing endless fun, no matter the season.
Courtyard by Marriott La Crosse Downtown/Mississippi Riverfront
With a prime location, groups centering their entertainment downtown and near the riverfront will love this Courtyard by Mariott. There’s on-site dining (from breakfast to cocktails) and a variety of options nearby, so you won’t go hungry while staying here! Then, guests will also appreciate access to a fitness center, heated indoor pool, and whirlpool. Guestrooms range in size from single king beds to 1-bedroom suites.
GrandStay Hotel & Suites La Crosse
Locally owned and operated, the GrandStay Hotel & Suites offers families and groups spacious accommodations from studios to two-bedroom suites, all outfitted with fully-equipped kitchens. Begin each day with a complimentary breakfast. Then, enjoy family-friendly amenities like the indoor pool, laundry facility, exercise room, and outdoor playground. Finally, its convenient location makes the GrandStay Hotel & Suites one of the best options in town!
Where to Eat
Finding restaurants that can accommodate families and large groups can sometimes be tricky. We’ve hand-selected some of the best options in town to get you started. Most have kids’ menus, as well as offer seating for large parties.
Fayze’s Restaurant and Bakery
If your accommodations don’t cover breakfast, head to Fayze’s Restaurant and Bakery (lunch and dinner are also served)! Grab a sweet treat from the bakery before heading out for the day. Or, sit down for a hearty breakfast before a day of exploration. Kids will love munching on staples like blueberry pancakes and Belgian waffles. Plus, their central location makes it the perfect starting point!
Milwaukee Burger Co.
Talk about comfort food! A hometown favorite for lunch or dinner, the Milwaukee Burger Co. will keep everyone in your group stuffed and happy. Featuring a variety of burgers and fan favorites like cheese curds, wings, and totchos, you simply can’t go wrong here! Find delicious choices like cheese quesadillas, pretzel bites, and mini corn dogs on the extensive kids’ menu. Adults will also appreciate the large drink menu, including signature Bloody Marys.
Sullivans Supper Club
You can’t visit Wisconsin without the iconic experience of dining at a supper club! And Sullivan Supper Club is one of the best. While enjoying views of the Mississippi River, dine on classics like filet mignon, prime rib, or grilled pork chops. Kids in your travel party even get their own menu, featuring items like grilled cheese and chicken tenders. Groups of 10 or more can also consider booking a private dining experience.
Uno Venti Pizzeria
Offering a dining room and seasonal patio, Uno Venti Pizzeria is a fantastic option for families and large groups. While there is no specific kids’ menu, we are confident little ones will be very satisfied with options like the Margherita and Pepperoni, while adults will devour options like the Spicy Hawaiian, Carbonara, or Wild Mushroom. Regardless of which pie you choose, everyone will love the fresh ingredients and stone-fired style!
Large groups and families can also consider The Crow. With one of the largest bourbon and beer selections in La Crosse, they also feature menu items like signature burgers, flatbreads, and gourmet sandwiches. Plus, their kids’ menu will keep children happy with tasty options like macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, and boneless wings. Be sure to check out their events calendar for fun activities that may be happening during your visit!
Things to Do for Families & Groups
Now that you know where to stay and where to eat in La Crosse, here are attractions and adventures to help you make amazing memories together! From outdoor activities to kid-friendly attractions, we have your weekend of fun in La Crosse covered.
Go Hiking or Biking
Enjoy the great outdoors through unparalleled hiking and biking opportunities. Families and large groups will delight in trekking local gems like Granddad’s Bluff, Hixon Forest, and the Great River State Trail. Then, find a variety of biking trails in the area too, including trails for all seasons and electric bikes. Whether you are looking for panoramic views, scenic river walks, or racing along wooded trails, La Crosse offers some of the best activities for outdoor enthusiasts.
Wrangle in a Big Fishing
Families and groups flock to La Crosse to fish. There is nothing like reeling in a big one from the mighty Mississippi River! And, McCormick’s River Guide Service can help make that happen. Specializing in Walleye, Perch, Northern Pike, Bass, and Flathead Catfish, Mike can’t wait to take you out for the fishing experience of a lifetime. In fact, Mike can take you out no matter the season, so be sure to pack for the weather and bring your lucky lure just in case.
Birds of a Feather Flock Together
La Crosse also offers two opportunities to meet local birds. Young visitors and budding ornithologists will adore learning about these amazing creatures at the National Eagle Center or the International Owl Center. Each location offers opportunities to meet the birds and engage in interactive exhibits. Check each website for special upcoming events and activities to complete your visit.
Jump Start Adventure Park
No matter who you’re traveling with, Jumpstart Adventure Park is an action-packed adventure from start to finish. This award-winning indoor experience features everything from a Ninja Warrior Course and trampolines to a toddler area designed for the tiniest travelers. In fact, parents with small children can even attend an exclusive parent and tot time on Saturday mornings.
Enjoy a Day at the Children’s Museum of La Crosse
A rainy day while traveling can be tough, especially with littles in tow. Certainly, families will appreciate the option to explore the Children’s Museum of La Crosse together. Here, find a variety of hands-on experiences across three floors of fun. Exhibits include everything from fire trucks and treehouses to a dino maze and more! No matter the weather, this is a great option for families to have fun and make memories together.
A Weekend of Kid-Friendly Getaways
The La Crosse Region is just a road trip away! Explore a destination bursting with adventure and exploration suited for the whole gang. As the weather warms up and your little one’s are anxious to get out and about, check out our epic list of family-friendly opportunities that will keep everyone busy! You’ll find that the La Crosse Region is an outdoor playground filled with family-friendly gems!
For more recommendations on family travel in the Midwest and beyond, including these 11 Exciting Weekend Getaways from Minneapolis for Families, please visit Families Love Travel.
Cover Photo Credit to JLWiswellPhotography