Wisconsin Great River Road Roadside Attractions
Roadside attractions are the backbone of any great road trip. Easy pull-offs to unique and interesting stops that share a bit of the culture or beauty of a region. The Wisconsin Great River Road is full of pieces of Americana and here are some that are well worth the stop. Be sure to check out the website links for open hours of the indoor attractions.
Get out of the car, stretch your legs, fire up Instagram, and take a look at these uniquely River Road roadside attractions.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum – Pepin, WI
Did you know the author of Little House on the Prairie, was born in Wisconsin? Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote her first book, Little House in the Big Woods, about her time in a tiny cabin outside of Pepin, Wisconsin. Enjoy the museum to learn about what life was like in the area during the mid-1800’s, and then head out to the Little House Wayside. The cabin Laura grew up in is gone, but a reproduction was built on the site and it’s open 7 days a week for the curious to take a peek.
Alma Stair Step Streets – Alma, WI
There is nothing like following a meandering path through a town to really get to know it, and the Alma Stair Step Streets get you into many nooks and crannies of the village while taking you to some beautiful views of the Mississippi River. Alma is a small town squeezed between the Mississippi River and the bluffs, it’s seven miles long, but only two streets wide. The ten sets of stairs were built as easy access from one street to the other, and are in some cases, official streets themselves. Which can cause a bit of confusion in mapping a car route.
Sunny the Sunfish, Onalaska, WI
Lake Onalaska is a pool of the Mississippi River that’s about four miles wide and gives an expansive view of the Mississippi River and the Minnesota bluffs on the other side. Sunsets can be spectacular! And a perfect place to stop and take in the view is at the Sunny the Sunfish overlook. Sunny is a 15 foot high, 25 foot wide, fiberglass sunfish that’s perfect for a selfie or two. To the left of the statue you’ll find some steps descending the bluff to a trail below for further exploring, or stay up top and get a better view of the lake with the binoculars in the gazebo.
National Brewery & Transportation Museums – Potosi, WI
The Potosi Brewery is a cool stop along the road in its own right. But what makes it extra fun is that the space is also occupied by the National Brewery Museum and the Potosi Brewery Co Transportation Museum. Inside The Brewery Museum expect to find a world class collection of all things beer; including bottles, trays, coasters, advertisements and a lot more. In the 120 years of brewing history, there were challenges in getting the beer to market. In the Transportation Museum learn about how it was delivered by horse and carriage, steamboat, train, and truck.