Wisconsin’s 250-mile Great River Road celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, and this stretch of highway that parallels the Badger State’s western border along the Mississippi River offers one of the best fall-color drives in the United States.
Beginning in Prescott, the two-lane National Scenic Byway, WIS 35, meanders through 33 towns that are filled with shops, restaurants, art galleries and cozy beds and breakfasts. State parks along the way provide accesses to biking, hiking, camping and historic sites. Begin your journey in Prescott at the Great River Road Visitor & Learning Center, where you’ll learn about the history and ecology of the region while watching bald eagles soar from the large back patio overlooking the river.
In Maiden Rock, the Journey Inn Bed & Breakfast offers a spirit-renewing stay on 66-acres of wildflower-covered grounds that also have a labyrinth (journeyinn.net), sample apple wine at the Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery (maidenrockwinerycidery.com) and indulge at the Smiling Pelican Bakeshop. Bring a big appetite to tiny Stockholm’s Bogus Creek Café & Eatery (boguscreekcafe.com), but leave room for the Stockholm Pie Company (thestockholmpiecompany.com), then learn to cook gourmet dishes at The Palate (thepalate.net).