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Driftless Region - Decorah, IA & La Crosse, WI

Driftless Region - Decorah, IA & La Crosse, WI

The Dritless Region

Decorah, IA & La Crosse, WI


July 10-13, 2023


Join us as we travel to a portion of what is known as the Driftless Region, an area that was never covered by ice during the last ice age. This area lacks the characteristic glacial deposits known as drift. See the distinctive landscape, majestic limestone bluffs, forested valleys and winding river bottoms, spring-fed waterfalls, and cold-water trout streams. We’ve plenty to do and see including a visit and lunch at the Little Brown Church in the Vale, an opportunity to be immersed in everything Norwegian while visiting Decorah and a dinner cruise on the La Crosse Queen plus a guided “Bluff to Bluff” tour showcasing the beautiful bluffs in the La Crosse area. This tour lets you experience many of the wonders, charming history, and captivating views of the Driftless Regions of Decorah and La Crosse. The glaciers missed these areas, we’re making sure you don’t! 


Click here for a full brochure with day-by-day itinerary


Tour includes:

• Deluxe Roundtrip Motorcoach Transportation

• Friendly On-board Host

• 3 Nights Hotel Accommodations

• 7 Meals Including:

  - Lunch at the Little Brown Church in the Vale

  - T-Bocks Sports Bar & Grill

  - La Crosse Queen Dinner Cruise

- Houghtons

• Little Brown Church in the Vale

• Seed Savers Exchange

• Decorah Fish Hatchery

• Decorah Eagles Nest

• Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum

• La Crosse Queen Dinner Cruise

• Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

• Bluff to Bluff Trolley Tour

• Carr Valley Cheese Company


Tour Pricing:

$850 per person Double

$1000 Single

Non-members add $25


Deposit & Final Payment:

A $150 deposit per person is required within one week of reservation. Must be paid in full by May 16, 2023. No refunds will be issued after May 16, 2023.


Activity level 3:

Travelers may be required to walk on uneven surfaces (dirt paths, cobblestone streets or hilly terrain) and up to a distance of one mile at a time.


Day 1

Day 1: Monday, July 10, 2023
Join us as we travel to a portion of what is known as the Driftless Region, an area that was never covered by ice during the last ice age. Set out this morning from the available departure location of your choice aboard one of our luxury motorcoaches with a friendly Burlington Trailways Host and Driver, then settle in as we make our way to Nashua, IA for lunch at the Little Brown Church in the Vale and a tour of the church made famous by the song “Church in the Wildwood.”
After our lunch, we are headed to Decorah, IA. Our first stop, the Seed Savers Exchange, a farm located outside of downtown Decorah that is world famous for growing history. Seed savers preserves over 20,000 historic seeds ensuring they’re around for future generation. See display gardens featuring varieties from their collection and catalog. Have a bit of time to explore downtown Decorah on your own before we settle in at our local hotel for the night. Enjoy an included dinner at T-Bocks Sports Bar and Grill and have the remainder of the evening on your own.

Day 2

Day 2: Tuesday, July 11, 2023
Have breakfast at the hotel this morning before departing for the Decorah Fish Hatchery. A state-of-the-art rearing station, the Hatchery is responsible for stocking 15 put-and-take streams in Allamakee, Howard, Mitchell, and Winneshiek counties in Iowa. They also stock seasonal urban lakes in Mason City, Sioux City, Spencer, Ames and Ankeny or Bondurant. Easy access to the raceways makes this a popular stop to see the fish of various sizes. A handful of feed purchased from the dispensers brings fish swirling to the surface. The Decorah Eagles Nest is located just across the road from the hatchery and if we’re lucky we might get a glimpse of them in person.
Our next stop is at the Vesterheim Norwegian – American Museum for a guided tour. You’ll learn that Decorah is famous for a lot of things Norwegian and is commonly known as a pocket of Norway located in Northeast Iowa. Explore the diversity of American immigration through the lens of the Norwegian-American experience, with over 33,000 artifacts and 12 historic buildings, including a folk-school, library and archives. This treasure showcases the most extensive collection of Norwegian-American artifacts in the world. But you don’t have to be Norwegian-American to enjoy all the beauty and wonder Vesterheim has to offer. Lunch will be on your own today.
After our museum tour we depart for La Crosse for a 2-night stay at the Raddison Hotel. This evening we enjoy the La Crosse Queen Dinner Cruise. Just sit back and relax while the La Crosse Queen paddles slowly along the main channel of the Mississippi River. The musicians will provide a relaxed atmosphere as you enjoy your meal. Beer, wine, and liquor are available for purchase. Return to the hotel with the remainder of the evening free, on your own.

Day 3

Day 3: Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Have breakfast at the hotel this morning before departing for the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Shrine is nestled in a peaceful 100-acre site overlooking rolling, wooded countryside just a few miles from the Mississippi River. The Shrine is a spiritual destination with many beautiful chapels, statues, gardens, and devotional areas for visitors and pilgrims all over the world. Our first stop is the Pilgrim Center, the 12,000 square foot center where you will find the Flores Mariae Gift Shop, we will spend some time here at the end of our tour. Walk the winding path up the shaded hillside, passing a lovely little brick chapel and several devotional areas before proceeding to the main church. Whether Catholic or of another Christian affiliation, or even non-Christian, we all can admire the architecture and wonderful scenery and serenity the Shrine has to offer.
After our tour we will head back to La Crosse to enjoy an included lunch at Houghton’s before we return to our hotel for a quick rest and refresh break. Later we will meet our step-on guide for our 4-hour Bluff to Bluff Trolley Tour. Learn about the Driftless regions history from local wine to breathtaking views atop ancient bluffs, experience the wonder of La Crosse and La Crescent and have some treats and surprise stops along the way. As your experience comes to an end, a final stop at Le Chateau will provide nibbles to tantalize your taste buds. We end our tour back at our hotel, with dinner and the remainder of the evening on your own.

Day 4

Day 4: Thursday, July 13, 2023
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel with your fellow Trailways Travelers this morning before departing for Carr Valley Cheese Company for a quick stop before we head home. A Wisconsin trip is not complete without bringing home some Wisconsin cheese. Carr Valley is famous for making cheese the old-fashioned way, by hand, with a goal of producing high quality cheese with outstanding flavors. They produce more than 50 original cheese varieties using cow, goat, and sheep milks.
Return home this evening with wonderful memories from a portion of America’s Driftless Region.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Davenport Garage Davenport Garage for Host/Driver
Davenport, Iowa 8735 Northwest Blvd - Burlington Trailways Bldg.
1st right past Blain's Farm & Fleet; on the left
Ft. Madison, IA Ft. Madison Prison Industries Parking Lot
1st Street & Avenue E
Mediapolis, IA Mediapolis, IA - Mepo. Foods
111 N. Wapello Rd.
Muscatine, IA Muscatine - Wal*Mart 3003 US-61
West Burlington Burlington Trailways Depot, 906 Broadway
West Burlington Garage West Burlington Garage - Host/Driver
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