Welcome (back) to UWL If you're new to UWL or coming back for a visit, check out these 20 events and places to see.

No. 1. Riverside Park. There are many perfect spots along the levy to relax and take-in the views of the Mississippi River.

No. 2. Pettibone Beach. Grab a beach towel and get your toes in the water. But stay safe: no lifeguard on duty!

No. 3. Rotary Lights. What are the holidays in La Crosse without lights? Lots of them! Since 1995, Riverside Park has been lit with millions of lights and animated displays the day after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. Ice skating, reindeer, Santa and more are all free. Bring food items to add to more than 3 million already donated. And in 2019, take part in special 25th anniversary activities! See more at: https://www.rotarylights.org/.

No. 4. The marsh trails. Walking, running, bird watching, biking, researching — all happen in the city’s biggest, natural play yard. It’s all along the beautiful, winding La Crosse River. Don’t forget the bug spray!

No. 5. Downtown La Crosse. It’s a vibrant place with excellent dining and accommodations, an arts district, and a great riverfront. Look for “Hear, Here” signs for unique history lessons.

No. 6. The Maple Leaf Parade. Held during Oktoberfest, this is La Crosse's homecoming. There are lots of options for activities, but the Maple Leaf is a must! Get out your lederhosen and dirndls! The 2019 fest is Sept. 26-29.

No. 7. Scenic drives. Curvy roads and steep bluffs are a must. Take a scenic tour through the coulees on a beautiful, fall afternoon drive.

No. 8. Decadent Desserts. Dinner without dessert? The Pearl, Ranison and Sweet Shop won’t let that happen with homemade ice cream and candy. Start the diet tomorrow.

9. Riverboats. Take a trip back in time and watch these massive paddle wheelers dock at Riverside Park. The boats make stops throughout the summer and fall. Or, take a ride on La Crosse’s own La Crosse Queen — with tours leaving from Riverside Park from late spring through late fall.

No. 10. Grandad Bluff. The chunk of rock towering 590 feet above provides the best view in the Midwest. Three states from one spot - even better than the four corners out west.

No. 11. Hixon Forest. Need a break from class? Take a hike or bike ride to Hixon Forest and explore the trails.

No. 12. The Mississippi River. Discover the life of Huck Finn. Cruise along the Great River Road or drop a line in one of the largest river systems in the world.

No. 13. Fall Sports. Grandad and Miller bluffs, with trees painted autumnal in hues, are the perfect backdrop for watching soccer, football and the Screaming Eagles. In June, it's the country’s longest- running state high school track & field championships venue.

No. 14. Restaurants. From getting served corn dogs by carhops at Rudy’s to tasting steaks at the Freight House, you won’t go hungry.

No. 15. Hammocks on campus. Grab your hammock, your notes and take your studying outside.

No. 16. The Outdoor Connection. Your key to the outdoors! Housed in the Recreation Eagle Center, the Outdoor Connection is your top spot to rent bikes, canoes, kayaks, rollerblades, snowshoes, camping gear and more. Check out their rental equipment list at https://www.uwlax.edu/recsports/outdoors/outdoor-connection/rent-gear/.

No. 17. Moon Tunes. It doesn’t get much better than sitting on the banks of the Mississippi River listening to some of your favorite songs — for free. Concerts begin in June and run through early September. And in 2020, it will all center on a new stage, covered from the elements. Who needs Woodstock? Head down to the river with your blankets. Did we mention, it’s free? Photo credit: Moon Tunes Facebook page.

No. 18. Apple orchards. Fall doesn’t only mean back-to-school. It’s time for getting some apples for those teachers. You’ll find orchards on both sides of the river — in Minnesota’s Apple Capital La Crescent, or in Galesville. Taste everything from Honey Crisp to Delicious — and take your favorites home.

No. 19. Farmers markets. There’s one practically every day of the week in the La Crosse area — even some on campus. You’ll find everything from fresh veggies to eat, to that special bouquet to give to that special person. Get the complete line-up at https://www.explorelacrosse.com.

No. 20. Food. Squeaky Cheese curds, quiet coffee shops, pizza farms – there are plenty of fresh choices in the Driftless Region. You won’t have to worry about going home hungry!


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