The Mississippi River is your constant companion along the Great River Road, but the river towns between La Crosse and Prescott lure you off the road. Check out our guide for what to do, where to eat and where to stay along Wisconsin's Great River Road.

By By the editors of
Great River Road


Art and Soul Paintings of rural scenes and imports from Africa and Asia fill this Alma shop. A percentage of every sale goes to nonprofits.

Big River Theatre Storytelling, films, live music and comedy routines entertain in Alma.

Birding The Wings Over Alma Nature Center ( and Prescott's Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center ( share info on the best viewing spots.

Buena Vista Park Follow signs from State-35 along County-E, or walk from Second Street to reach a park 500 feet above Alma for a great view of the Mississippi River.

Great Alma Fishing Float Flip a sign to signal the fishing crew to pick you up and take you to this floating island of docks; there, go fishing and snack at The Float Cafe.

Great River Road Wine Trail Pick up a Wine Trail Passport and visit one or more of a dozen wineries.

Ingebretsen's av Stockholm Scandinavian Gifts This satellite of a popular Minneapolis store carries handwoven textiles and blown glass.

La Crosse Queen The paddle-wheeler departs on daily narrated sight-seeing cruises from La Crosse.

LaCrosse Queen

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum Learn about the Little House in the Big Woods author and see a re-creation of the wooden cabin where she was born in Pepin.

Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery The complex and surprising ciders include the sweet Honeycrisp Hard and robust Scrumpy.

Mississippi River Pearl Jewelry Company The Alma shop specializes in jewelry made with rare, natural Mississippi River pearls.


Bogus Creek Cafe and Bakery Get Swedish pancakes with lingonberries, Swedish pastries or stuffed toast made with Swedish doughnuts in Stockholm. Bogus Creek Cafe & Bakery Facebook page

Bogus Creek Cafe and Bakery

The Monarch Public House Wisconsin's oldest bar (open since 1894), the Monarch in Fountain City serves old Irish family recipes, such as potato soup.

Muddy Waters Bar and Grill Live blues and three decks overlooking the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers appeal to Prescott diners as much as the steaks, seafood, pasta or smoked ribs. Muddy Waters Bar and Grill on Facebook

Muddy Waters Bar and Grill

Nelson Cheese Factory The 19th-century dairy building holds a modern shop with wine, cheeses and ice cream.

Pier 4 Cafe and Smokehouse One step above a river shack, it serves the tangy sauces and smoky flavors of Memphis-style barbecue but overlooks Alma's Lock and Dam No. 4. Pier 4 Cafe on Facebook

Pier 4 Cafe and Smokehouse

The Stockholm Pie Company and General Store The slices of peanut butter fudge, double lemon or apple pie are large enough to be lunch, but also try the hearty potpies and quiches at this Stockholm eatery.

The Stone Barn The restored barn of a farm 10 miles northeast of Nelson is home to a seasonal pizzeria, serving thin-crust slices in a bucolic setting.


Blue Door Inn A sense of history settles around guests as solidly as original 1853 rock walls- carved into a Mississippi River bluff in Alma.

The Charmant Hotel Savor free truffles at check-in inside a retired 1898 candy factory in La Crosse. The Charmant embellishes its legacy with a 24-hour gourmet sweets counter, framed candy tins decorating guest rooms and an elevator shimmering like a golden Willy Wonka ticket.

The Charmant Hotel

Great River Bed and Breakfast You get the entire Swedish stone cottage to yourself outside Stockholm.

Hotel de Ville Rooms in the four restored historical buildings have river views. Antique furnishings suit the feel of the period suites. ​

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