The biggest asset of this three-college town is its location, right on the Mississippi River in southwest Wisconsin's coulee country.
Getting there: Why not take the train? From the west, Amtrak's Empire Builder arrives at 10:47 a.m.; from the east, at 7:11 p.m.
What to do: Take a cruise on the paddlewheeler La Crosse Queen. Drive up Grandad Bluff for a panoramic view of the town. Bike the La Crosse River State Trail.
Events to catch: Sept. 4-Oct. 4, Bicycle Festival, with free route maps and giveaways.
Details: See Cruising La Crosse.