- La Crosse County Convention and Visitors Bureau
- 123 7th Street S. - La Crosse
- Wisconsin 54601 - United States
La Crosse is a city located in the western part of the state of Wisconsin, in the United States. The area that is now La Crosse was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) and the Dakota (Sioux). French fur traders and explorers arrived in the area in the late 17th century, and the first permanent settlement was established in 1841.
During the mid-19th century, La Crosse became an important hub for the lumber industry, as logs were floated down the Mississippi River from forests in Wisconsin and Minnesota to be processed in La Crosse's sawmills. The city also became a major transportation hub, with the construction of the Milwaukee Road and Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroads, as well as the growth of steamboat traffic on the Mississippi River.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, La Crosse experienced significant growth and development, with the establishment of businesses and industries such as brewing, distilling, and manufacturing. The city also became a center for higher education, with the founding of several colleges and universities.
During the 20th century, La Crosse continued to grow and prosper, with the expansion of its healthcare industry and the development of its downtown area. Today, La Crosse is home to a thriving arts and culture scene, numerous parks and outdoor recreation areas, and a diverse and growing economy.
Top Tourist Attractions
La Crosse is home to many popular tourist attractions. Here are some of the top attractions in the area:
- Riverside Park: Located along the banks of the Mississippi River, Riverside Park is a beautiful park with walking trails, picnic areas, and a performance pavilion that hosts many events throughout the year.
- Grandad Bluff: This scenic overlook provides breathtaking views of the city of La Crosse and the surrounding area. The bluff is accessible by car or hiking trails.
- Dahl Auto Museum: This museum is dedicated to the history of automobiles, featuring over 100 classic and vintage cars on display.
- La Crosse Queen Riverboat: The La Crosse Queen is a replica 19th-century paddlewheel riverboat that offers scenic cruises along the Mississippi River.
- Hixon Forest: This large nature reserve features hiking and biking trails, as well as opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife viewing.
- Pump House Regional Arts Center: This historic building houses a gallery, theater, and studio space for local artists.
- Children's Museum of La Crosse: This interactive museum is designed for children and features hands-on exhibits and activities.
- Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe: This Catholic shrine is set on over 100 acres of wooded land and features a replica of the famous Mexican shrine, as well as gardens and walking paths.
- Riverside International Friendship Gardens: These gardens feature over 20 themed gardens representing various cultures from around the world.
- La Crosse Distilling Co.: This craft distillery produces high-quality spirits and offers tours and tastings.
La Crosse has a humid continental climate with four distinct seasons. Summers are typically warm and humid, with average high temperatures in the 80s°F (27-31°C) and occasional heatwaves with temperatures in the 90s°F (32-35°C). Winters are cold, with average high temperatures in the 20s and 30s°F (-6 to -1°C), and occasional stretches of subzero temperatures. The area receives an average of 38 inches (97 cm) of snowfall per year.
Spring and fall are transitional seasons with mild temperatures and occasional precipitation. The area is also prone to thunderstorms, particularly during the summer months. The Mississippi River can also have an impact on the local climate, with occasional flooding in the spring and early summer.
Overall, La Crosse has a climate that is characterized by distinct seasons and a relatively high amount of precipitation throughout the year.
The city is situated along the Mississippi River, which forms the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota. The city has an area of approximately 22.5 square miles (58.3 square kilometers), with a population of around 51,000 people.
La Crosse is surrounded by hills and bluffs, including the iconic Grandad Bluff, which rises over 500 feet (150 meters) above the city and offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. The city is also home to numerous parks and recreational areas, including Riverside Park, which is located along the banks of the Mississippi River and features walking trails, picnic areas, and a performance pavilion.
The city's location along the Mississippi River has long been an important factor in its history and development, providing a vital transportation link for the lumber and manufacturing industries that were once key to the city's economy. Today, the river continues to play a significant role in the city's economy and culture, with riverboat tours and recreational activities such as fishing and boating drawing visitors from around the region.