Best hotels in La Crosse
La Crosse IntroductionLa Crosse lies in the shadow of Grandad Bluff, a favorite landmark of Mark Twain’s during his years as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River. The majestic landform is a typical feature of the Driftless Area of the Midwest, the rugged terrain that has gifted La Crosse its popularity as a base for hunting, fishing, and skiing vacations. The city also boasts a lively cultural scene, an abundance of restaurants and bars, a wide diversity of festivals from Mardi Gras to Oktoberfest, and a charming historic downtown where visitors can still catch a glimpse of a passing paddle wheeler.
Hotels in La CrosseHotels in La Crosse have been catering for visitors ever since steamboats began bringing the first eager sightseers up the Mississippi. The city’s long-established reputation as a center for outdoor recreation and sporting trips ensures a wide selection of comfortable, well-appointed hotels and friendly B&Bs. Many La Crosse hotels also supply a hearty home-cooked breakfast that’ll provide you with fuel for a day of strenuous activity. La Crosse hotel rates peak during the city’s popular festivals, so if you’re planning a trip to coincide with a cultural highlight, it’s definitely worth booking well ahead to be sure of the best prices.
Where to stayHotels in La Crosse’s downtown area situate you in one of the city’s most atmospheric neighborhoods. Here, you can enjoy the ambience of this friendly, easygoing community, where a warm Wisconsin welcome comes as standard. Choose between quaint boutique properties, stylish waterfront suites, and well-equipped budget-friendly chains. Stay on the Black River overlooking French Island to be close to the municipal airport and Interstate 90, or head further northeast on the I-90, where you’ll find many of the best discount hotels in La Crosse, including the conveniently situated Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center LaCrosse, which attracts both business and tourist trade all year round.
Things to seeOne of the most exciting ways to get your bearings on a first visit to La Crosse is to make your way to the top of Grandad Bluff. From the summit, you’ll get a dramatic panorama across the city and the Mississippi Valley, with views of the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa in the distance. Back on ground level, take a walk through 10th and Cass Streets Residential Historic District—this neighborhood contains many buildings of architectural interest dating from the mid-19th century, including grand Italianate and Queen Anne-style family homes. Discover what gets La Crosse’s taste buds tingling with a visit to one of the city’s craft breweries, which continue a tradition of beer production stretching back to the founding of the iconic Old Style brand in 1858. Or follow the downtown sculpture trail to admire the work of Elmer Petersen, the Wisconsin sculptor who was instrumental in acquiring many of La Crosse’s much-admired public artworks.
How to get to La CrosseGetting to La Crosse 21st-century style is definitely more prosaic than it was in Mark Twain’s day, and sadly the paddle wheelers are strictly for leisure cruises. However, you can still catch a thrilling first glimpse of the mighty Mississippi from the Interstate 90 bridge. La Crosse Regional Airport, just a short cab ride from downtown, has scheduled flights to Minneapolis and Chicago. The MTU bus network provides public travel in La Crosse and further afield, while the pedestrian-friendly city center and waterfront are perfect for exploring on 2 feet.