Top Things to do on the Mississippi River!
- Destinations, Things to Do
Top Things to do on the Mississippi River!
The Mississippi River is one of the world's longest rivers. It flows over 2300 miles and boarders and cuts through 10 states! It reaches from Lake Itasca in northcentral Minnesota all the way south through Louisiana into the Gulf of Mexico.
In small town Alma, Wisconsin lies the gateway to your houseboating adventure on the great Mississippi. Alma is full of small town charm, unique shops, and several riverfront restaurants. The marina itself is near a swimming beach and fishing float, where you can fish in tranquility, surrounded by the river. Fishing is a very popular activity on the waters of the Mississippi: Walleye, Perch, Sunfish, Crappie and Bass are all found in the area. Fisherman will need both a Minnesota and Wisconsin state fishing license.
Take to the water like Huck and Jim (but with a touch more style and comfort) on one of our four houseboat models: the Wanderer, the Therapy, Serenity and the Delight. Unlike the raft for two, these houseboats accommodate up to 11 people, and come equipped with a full kitchen.
There is so much to do and see along the river that's over 250 miles long, and flows through 33 river towns (and that's just in Wisconsin!)
North of Alma Marina:
- Danzinger Vineyards sits atop the Alma Bluffs. It spans 16 acres and boasts a breathtaking view of the Mighty Mississippi as you enjoy a tasting of all grape and fruit wines.
- Reicks Lake Park, also near Alma, is one of the top birding areas in Wisconsin. A number of bird species migrate to the area, but bird enthusiasts flock to see the Tundra Swan.
- Visit the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN, just 7 miles from the marina, and continue on to Reeds Landing, which is one of the oldest river towns. The Brew Pub on the river's edge is a popular spot to visit.
- Travel back in time in Pepin, WI (only 14 miles from Alma marina) to a replica of the log cabin as described in the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who was born near Pepin in 1867.
- Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery in Stockholm, WI offers classic hard ciders and a number of apple table wines. All of their products are locally produced in Wisconsin, which has given them their proud motto of "flavored by Wisconsin."
South of Alma Marina:
- Fountain City is home to Merrick State Park, which is a favorite for boaters and birdwatchers. There's also a nice serene canoe trail through the wetlands of the park for those who wish to take a break from town and enjoy nature. There are many restaurants, shops and attractions in town. Attractions such as Elmer's Toy Car Museum and Seven Hawks Vineyards.
- Trempealeau's National Wildlife Refuge is one of the best birdwatching destinations on the Mississippi. There is an observation deck that overlooks the wetlands; a wonderful opportunity to view waterfowl and nesting terns. Perrot State Park is also nearby with 1400 acres of wetlands and bluffs that offer fantastic hiking and biking opportunities, as well as a canoe trail.
- Drop your fishing line in Onalaska, Pool #7, which is known as being the Sunfish capital of the world.
- La Crosse is the largest riverside city in Wisconsin. Once a major center for milling lumber, La Crosse is now home to several restaurants, stores, museums and historic attractions. Simply walking through town is an attraction in itself, as many of its buildings date back to the 1800s. The community has a strong German heritage, so the local brewery is naturally home of the "world's largest six pack."
- Prarie du Chien has valley cheese and fish shop that is not to be missed; selling catfish, turtle meat, and other delicacies of the shop owner's personal catches. Fort Crawford Museum of military history and frontier medicine is another historical to-do, and Villa Louis to experience authentic victorian life during 19th century.
- Cassville is known for Bald Eagle spotting and Native American burial mounds in Nelson Dewey State Park. Stonefiled State Historic Site is another fun area that has recreated a farming village, a 1901 farmstead, and model railroads.
These suggestions are mere samples of all that the Mississippi River area has to offer houseboat vacationers. There's something for everyone! Click here for more information about the river towns in between. Call your friendly houseboating agent for more information and availability at 888-454-8825, or Request Information online.
Personally, the first stop on my list would be Pepin to check out the log cabin replica from the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. What about you? Where would you stop first along the Mississippi River? Share in the comments below!