Top 5 Stops Along The Great River Road

The Nationally renowned scenic byway that you can’t afford to skip in the La Crosse Region.

Up for a road trip? Enjoy beautiful 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.

1. Apple Blossom Scenic Drive

Have you enjoyed the Apple Blossom Scenic Drive yet? Early to Mid-May is the peak season to experience the natural beauty of rolling hills covered in blossoming apple trees. Plan to bike or drive the 17-mile route before the season ends!  Apple Blossom Scenic Overlook also offers a short path to a rocky overlook with vistas of the La Crosse Region and Mississippi River below. After exploring, descend into charming La Crescent, Minnesota for some savory food and drinks.

2. Big Blue Bridge (Cass Street Bridge)

This iconic bridge lives on Cass Street in La Crosse, that bridges over the Mississippi River into La Crescent, MN. You can walk, bike or drive along the bridge and get gorgeous views of downtown La Crosse, Pettibone Park, and beyond. Klug and Smith Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin was the superstructure contractor while Minneapolis Bridge Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota was the substructure contractor.

Riverside Park

The famous Riverside Park of La Crosse is the center of our active community. At the confluence of three rivers, Riverside Park is designed for active lifestyles and for those that want to relax and watch the river slowly pass by. The park is just blocks away from Historic Downtown La Crosse’s restaurants and shopping stops, the La Crosse Convention Center, a multitude of lodging options, and is home to the famed La Crosse Queen paddle boat and the International Friendship Gardens. Riverside Park is both a signature sight and prized jewel of the La Crosse Region.

Great River Landing

The Great River Landing is renowned for its natural beauty, Welcome Center, and friendly atmosphere overlooking Lake Onalaska. Located in lively Onalaska, it serves as the trailhead for the Great River State Trail which connects over 100 miles of state bicycle trails and is a short walk from local cuisine and shops.

Sunny The Sunfish

Onalaska is known as the “Sunfish Capital of the World!” To commemorate and to share the city’s love of the fish, head to another road-side stop and see Sunny the Sunfish. Sunny the Sunfish is a quick drive North of the Great River Landing on HWY 35 of the Great River Road. The massive and brightly colored sunfish sculpture is 15-feet high and 25-feet long perched on a scenic overlook of Lake Onalaska. Sunny provides memorable amusement from a massive sunfish statue for family photo ops, the Great River State Trail, and views of Lake Onalaska.


3 Road Trips to Take in 2024

Enjoy beautiful scenery, access to excellent hiking, fishing, scenic overlooks, and the picturesque vistas of the Mississippi River along the Wisconsin Great River Road. The National Scenic Byway sits on Highway 35 and covers 250 miles of adventure and river towns in Wisconsin.


4 Charming Towns To Visit This Summer

Visit some of the best charming towns in the La Crosse Region! These local hidden gems are top-rated and bursting with delicious restaurants and things to do. Only a few minutes away La Crosse and Onalaska, you’ll fall in love with their charm, sights, food, and so much more!