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Westby House

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 a number of antique shops, including Dregne’s Scandinavian Gift Store which 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 is 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 await 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!

cyclist on an outdoor trail

1. Sparta Wisconsin, Bicycling Capital of America: Located just 26 miles North of Westby

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 await you.

horses pulling a plow

2. Simplicity, Craftsmanship, Lifestyle Trip: The Amish of Southwestern Wisconsin, Vernon County

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 bentwood furniture, hand-made quilts and rugs, baskets, custom oak, and cherry dining and bedroom furniture, candies, jams, maple syrup and produce.

river waterfall

3. Follow the Crookedest River Trip: Up and Down the Kickapoo River, Ontario to Readstown

The scenic and switchback curves to the top of Wildcat Mountain State Park make 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 most crooked river.

close-up of country road

4. Huck Finn’s Rivertown Adventure Trip: Mighty Mississippi River on Great River National Byway

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.

Seasonal Adventures

  • 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 are abundant between La Crosse, Viroqua, and Westby.
  • Annual fairs and festivals from May through October.

Visit driftlesswisconsin.com or explorelacrosse.com for more details on these seasonal activities.

Westby, Wisconsin Restaurants

We have compiled a list of our favorite Wisconsin restaurants in the area:

Subject to change based on openings/closings due to COVID-19.

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 Saturday. Dine-in unique parlors while taking in the past of this historic 1920s home. Your imagination will let you wonder how the families lived back when it was a private home. Reservations are appreciated for dining groups of 4 or more – 608-634-4112. The 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 gluten-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 from 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 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:

Things to Do in La Crosse & Things to Do in Viroqua, both offer recommendations for activities and restaurants to try in the areas that surround Westby House Inn.

Westby House
Address 
200 West State St
Westby, Wisconsin 54667

Email
westbyhouseinn@gmail.com

Phone
(608) 634-4112

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