AAA Travel Guides
Current Search Destination:La Crosse, Wisconsin
Travel Information for major cities, national parks and other destinations across North America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

On the Mississippi River where the Black and La Crosse rivers meet, La Crosse was founded in 1842 as an Native American trading post. Serious development began a decade later, when settlers from New York, Ohio and Vermont established sawmills and gristmills and spurred the arrival of the railroad. The Easterners were joined by German and Norwegian immigrants attracted by the extensive pine groves.
La Crosse was faced with a crippling depression when the La Crosse and Milwaukee Railroad Co. went bankrupt in 1857. However, when the Civil War closed river traffic on the Mississippi below the Ohio River, La Crosse provided a major link with the East, thus ensuring the town's economic recovery. A railroad bridge erected over the Mississippi in 1876 precipitated a dramatic increase in trade and manufacturing, as the network of railroads radiating from La Crosse found new markets.
Overseeing all river traffic is a 25-foot carved wooden Native American in Riverside Park at the base of State Street near the downtown area; phone (608) 789-7533. Lock and Dam No. 7, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project 5 miles north of La Crosse, has an observation deck open April through October; phone (507) 895-2170.
Goose Island County Park offers developed recreational facilities and a wildlife refuge. During the winter downhill and cross-country skiing are available in the area.
Tours of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus are available; phone (608) 785-8067 or (608) 785-8939. The university's art gallery, at 16th and Vine sts., exhibits works by prominent artists September through May; phone (608) 785-8230. Cultural events also take place at Viterbo University.
The city lies on a scenic route that follows the Mississippi. The route consists of SR 35, which heads southeast to Prairie du Chien, and US 53, which runs northwest to its junction with SR 54/35.

Visitor Info
La Crosse County Convention & Visitors Bureau 410 Veterans Memorial Dr. LA CROSSE, WI 54601. Phone:(608)782-2366 or (800)658-9424

Valley View Mall, I-90 exit 5 at 3800 US 16, has more than 90 stores, including Herberger's, JCPenney and Sears. Downtown La Crosse, off I-90, exit 3, is one of the largest commercial historic districts in the state with unique shops, galleries and award-winning restaurants.

Things to See
Grandad Bluff


Skiing and Snowboarding
Mt. La Crosse Ski Area
Click to View Map
Top Hotels
Current Location: La Crosse, Wisconsin
AAA Inspector Rating
Members save 5% or more and earn Marriott Rewards® or SPG® points when booking AAA rates!
Home2 Suites by Hilton
210 Jay St. La Crosse, WI 54601
AAA Inspector Rating
Members save up to 10% and earn Honors points when booking AAA rates!
Radisson Hotel La Crosse
200 Harborview Plaza. La Crosse, WI 54601
AAA Inspector Rating
The Charmant Hotel
101 State St. La Crosse, WI 54601
AAA Inspector Rating