|One of the first sports bars, also a great place for B-day parties|
|Downtown staple for breakfast.|
|La Crosse Queen boat rides|
The profile of downtown, with it's mix of older store fronts and new office buildings, is gaining acceptance as a place to hang out in its quaint coffee shops and boutiques. Downtown used to be overcrowded with bars during the glory days of Heilemans Brewery and 18 the legal drinking age.
To start the day campers require a hardy breakfast. First stop Fayzes. It's nice to see some of the local businesses still thriving. There used to be a McDonalds downtown, I wasn't sorry to see them evacuate to the mall, but do miss the subterranean garden that used to surround it.
Instead of hiking the backwoods or bluff vistas we set off on foot for a closer look at downtown La Crosse. Our first stop was along the water front in Riverside Park. There the La Crosse Queen still docks waiting to take you on a cruise of the Mississippi. The band shell, while waiting it's turn for renovation, entertains weekly with music in the park on Thursday evenings and the center stage for Riverfest.
|Band shell at Riverside Park|
|Gotta love this creative flower girl|
Just at the edges of the park lies the International Gardens, were friends of the gardens and friends from across the world celebrate their cultural differences cultivating plants. This beautiful display is worth visiting many times over. We see the support at our feet with the names of many who concur.
|What's a Keeffes?|
|Our highpoint in La Crosse|
We explored the many antique shops. The one on the 8th floor of Lynne Tower had the best vantage point over downtown.
After walking around its always good to try a new restaurant. The Golden Keg, featuring some middle east cuisine is now in the former Midas Muffler shop. The magic touch was the garage doors that can be opened to give you the openness of alfresco dining.
|The Golden Keg Restaurant|
We spied another new business called Great River Vineyard Church, we could only hope they truly worshipped Bacchus. But it was just a dream, services are Sunday at 10.
|No Whining Here|
All cities need a farmers market and Friday nights and Saturday mornings La Crosse has a wonderful dedicated space just for the fruits of the farmers labor. Local produce, fresh flowers, crafts and artisaen breads and cheeses are available.
The area has been evolving into a much more eco friendly place to live, supporting bicycling and new businesses. I think there's something to be said when you become a Segway town and have Parklets.