Encompassing rolling, wooded hills and the mighty Mississippi’s riverbank in southwestern Wisconsin, the Driftless Region is an adventure worthy of your bucket list. Best enjoyed in good company, you’ll want to bring friends and family, too.
The name Driftless Region comes from the last Ice Age, when glacial drifts missed carving the terrain as they tore their way south.
Today, the landscape echoes the same prehistoric state of untouched beauty. Adding in the thriving communities and friendly people that now call the Driftless Region home, we have a perfect place to explore, filled with the unexpected waiting to be discovered.
Life in the Driftless Region
Although glaciers didn’t shape the land, the land shapes how we do life here.
It’s slowing down to take in vast views: an endless green in summer, a color kaleidoscope in fall or crystalized white in winter. There’s excitement in our celebrations here, like the larger-than-life Oktoberfest USA each year. It’s farm directly to table, with unmatched fresh and local tastes at places like the Driftless Café or the Driftless Glen. The region’s urban centers, Eau Claire and La Crosse, live in and around the area’s natural beauty, like the breathtaking overlooks in Wyalusing State Park and the mighty Mississippi along the Great River Road. And it’s a place of connection among good company — including visitors who quickly become friends and family.
Experience the Driftless to the Fullest
When visiting the Driftless, you can choose from a variety of accommodations. Stay together in a castle-like Victorian mansion turned bed & breakfast at Castle La Crosse, or book a suite at the Tobacco Warehouse Inn in the heart of the region.
A road trip along the Great River Road, the nation’s first national scenic byway and designated as an All American Road, is one of our favorite ways to explore the Driftless Region’s most iconic natural feature, the Mississippi River. And it’s even better catching the views with a glass of wine in hand, surrounded by friends old and new at family-friendly wineries along the Great River Road Wine Trail — it’s a must for wine lovers.
For another Driftless icon, explore Taliesin, the former home and cornerstone work of Frank Lloyd Wright. The Driftless Region’s landscape, way of life and rich culture were a constant source of inspiration for the late architect. After a tour, talk art and dream houses over lunch at the estate’s Riverview Terrace Cafe.
And of course, enjoying the outdoors in the Driftless Region is one of the best ways to make unforgettable memories here. Be it hiking, biking, birding, camping or boating, any time spent outside here is time well spent.
There’s so much more to the Driftless Region, and you’ve got to experience it to know what we mean. Filled with hidden and unexpected gems, it’s a perfect destination for your next family trip or friends getaway.