Things to Do in Westby, Wisconsin
There are a number of things to do in Westby, Wisconsin, and the surrounding areas of La Crosse and Viroqua. You will find the Westby, Wisconsin area to be unblemished, unencumbered, unmistakable and mostly undiscovered. Deep in the peaceful valleys and high atop the ridges are breathtaking vistas of this part of Southwest Wisconsin known as the Driftless Area of the Hidden Valleys Region. This area is where you can have fun in the outdoors in every season, find arts in abundance, and history on display in the land and buildings. Celebrated rivers, rolling hills, miles of farmland, and tranquil back roads are the perfect venues to renew, rest, and visit. With the diverse local arts and crafts, ethnic culture, the silent sports of fly-fishing, biking, hiking, and canoeing, quaint towns and villages, sighting bald eagles, and the people that you will be inspired by during your visit are just a few of the reasons why this is the heart of the Driftless Area. This is the best place to find the most exciting things to do in Wisconsin!
Discover Westby, Wisconsin & the Driftless Area
There are a number of things to do in Westby during your stay with us, with something for every type of visitor to enjoy. Take a short stroll from the inn and visit the number of antique shops, including Dregne’s Scandinavian Gift Store that offers beautiful Scandinavian wares. Or visit the Nisse House of Art where local artisans show off their creations. One of the most unique things to do in Wisconsin that is only a short distance from the Inn, are the number of Amish shops and farms available for visiting.
For those looking for active things to do in Wisconsin, look no further than the Bicycling Capital of America: Sparta, Wisconsin. Start the day with a bike ride on the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail with the starting point located in the old train depot. For bike rental stop in at Speed’s Bike Shop in Sparta. Bike to the tunnel or through to the next town. When you return to the depot head into downtown Sparta for lunch and shopping. Stop in at Ginny’s Cupboard on Water St. where refreshments from the 1957-soda fountain or the espresso bar awaits you. Enjoy homemade soup, sandwiches, and desserts too. The hometown hospitality from the real soda jerks will welcome you.
One of the most unique things to do in Wisconsin is a Huck Finn’s Rivertown Adventure Trip. Travel this historic highway and pause to browse through museums, enchanting village shops and antiques. Enjoy restaurants and local culinary delights. Hike, bike, fish or just enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Your trip to the Great River Road will begin on Highway 14/61 from Westby with your first stop at the city of La Crosse. It is bordered on the west by the Mississippi River and on the east by 600-foot high bluffs. The trip encompasses a number of the best things to do in Wisconsin!
Top Things to Do in Westby, WI
We have provided the following list of things to do in order to assist you in planning your trip in and around Westby, Vernon County, and the Hidden Valley region. Please note that the following itineraries are just a very small sampling of things to do in the Westby area. Visiting antique shops or spending time enjoying your favorite outdoor sports can be an entire trip! Whether it’s by photographing the beautiful sights and sounds, finding local artists around every bend, or taking in the winding roads on two wheels, you will witness that this part of Wisconsin is alive and well!
Start the day with a bike ride on the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail with the starting point located in the old train depot. For bike rental stop in at Speed’s Bike Shop in Sparta. Bike to the tunnel or through to the next town. When you return to the depot head into downtown Sparta for lunch and shopping. Stop in at Ginny’s Cupboard on Water St. where refreshments from the 1957-soda fountain or the espresso bar awaits you.
A sizeable Amish settlement in Vernon County focuses on family, community hard work and faith. After your breakfast at the Westby House, drive out to the Cashton settlement where you will find a large assortment of authentic Amish goods at specialty shops and farms. You will find hickory bent wood furniture, hand-made quilts and rugs, baskets, custom oak and cherry dining and bedroom furniture, candies, jams, maple syrup and produce.
The scenic and switchback curves to the top of Wildcat Mountain State Park makes you think “there’s gold in them thar hills!’ From Cashton, Highway 33 will lead you to this jewel of outdoor recreation. This is the perfect area for hiking, bird watching, picnic, horseback riding, and canoeing. Following the Kickapoo River begins at State Highway 131 in Ontario. The scenic drive will cross the river several times as it winds between the bluffs, thereby known as the crookedest river.
Travel this historic highway and pause to browse through museums, enchanting village shops and antiques. Enjoy restaurants and local culinary delights. Hike, bike, fish or just enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Your trip to the Great River Road will begin on Highway 14/61 from Westby with your first stop at the city of La Crosse. It is bordered on the west by the Mississippi River and on the east by 600-foot high bluffs.
- Farmer’s Market, Downtown Viroqua – Every Saturday morning until 12:00 noon, May through October – Local produce, flowers and Amish wares.
- Riverboat Excursion Cruises – Spring through mid-October – Cruise the Mississippi River on one of three La Crosse Riverboats or explore the backwaters on the Mississippi Explorer boats.
- Golf courses abundant between La Crosse, Viroqua and Westby.
- Annual fairs and festivals from May through October.
Westby, Wisconsin Restaurants
We have compiled a list of the our favorite Wisconsin restaurants in the area:
Old Towne Inn Supper Club just on the city limits of Westby, (closed on Monday) and Badger Crossing Pub & Eatery in Cashton (open 7 days a week, except holidays) offer full dinner menus of steaks, seafood and more. Badger Crossing also is open for lunch with a great sandwich/burger menu and pizza is available all the time.
The Restaurant at Westby House offers a lunch menu Monday through Saturdays. Dine in a unique parlors while taking in the past of this historic 1920’s home. Your imagination will let you wonder on how the families lived back when it was a private home. Reservations are appreciated for dining groups of 4 or more – 608-634-4112. Restaurant operates seasonally; Mid-March through October.
For a culinary experience offering local foods, try the Driftless Cafe or the Tangled Hickory Wine Bar & Bistro. They are open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Saturday. Both are in the downtown block area of Viroqua. These are the perfect match if you are a true foodie or wine lover!! The Driftless Cafe offers pizza, too. If you are following a special diet like glutten-free or sugar-free, there’s a good chance that the Driftless Cafe has something on the menu that will meet your dietary needs.
Wine tasting: Branches Winery and Vineyard is minutes from the Inn. Open Thursday through Monday 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Vernon Vineyards is located between Westby and Viroqua on County Road Y West, off of Highway 14. Open Fri – Sat: 12 Noon-8 p.m. Sun, Wed, Thurs: 12 Noon-6 p.m. Note: Winter months/hours may vary from for each winery.
Note: Most dining places in the Westby/Viroqua area are closed on Monday.
For more information on things to do in Wisconsin and the areas surrounding Westby, check out:
Also make sure to download a copy of our Vacation Guide for a complete list of all there is to do in Wisconsin!