Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Part V from La Crosse: A final look at downtown March 29, 2017


IN ONE FINAL PHOTO sweep through downtown La Crosse, I present a collage of images.



I am drawn to signs and architecture, to distinct characteristics which define a town’s personality.





La Crosse is a river town, storied in history. You can see that in the aged buildings which flank streets that bend, like the Mississippi River. History holds a place of honor within this downtown.





Yet, this Wisconsin city is not stodgy, existing only in the past. Rather, La Crosse is like a sometimes flamboyant relative claiming attention with loud colors and signs and messages. I doubt I’ve ever seen more vivid and unique signage in a small Midwestern city.




But that does not surprise given La Crosse’s considerable number of downtown drinking establishments. Wisconsinites love their booze. And this is a college town. Visit in the daytime or early evening and you can avoid that whole bar scene, although remnants of night life may linger the morning after with beer in a glass outside a bar door. (True sighting.)





La Crosse seems, too, part big city urban yet rooted in rural. Somehow the blend works in a downtown that draws all ages.



FYI: Please check back for one more post in this “From La Crosse” series as I take you to one of the city’s most notable natural landmarks.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


14 Responses to “Part V from La Crosse: A final look at downtown”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    There certainly is a lot to see in La Crosse and you captured some of the best and most interesting parts in your posts. Thanks for the tour. 🙂

  2. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Your pictures really make me want to snoop through the upper levels of these buildings. It would be fun to see the town from that perspective

  3. Almost Iowa Says:

    Inspired by your piece on Cannon Falls, we drove over there the day before yesterday…. Uh, it’s not a good idea to visit antique stores, wineries and breweries on a Monday. Silly us. 😦

  4. Sue Ready Says:

    Again your photo journey of a small town is refreshing with your keen detailed observations. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Don Says:

    My kind of town, stoplights and all! Service must be really bad at the casino so much so that they advertise it!

  6. Don Says:

    Thanks for the link! I can certainly understand Alaska being last! The costs here are way too high and in Fairbanks medical expenses are in the stratosphere. Many people I know go to Canada or Mexico for medical and dental work. It is cheaper to buy an airline ticket, hotel room, rental car, and food than what it costs for services in Fairbanks. I spoke with a person just the other day that needed to have an MRI and the cost in Fairbanks was over $1,500.00 while even in Seattle (SEA) the cost was only $250.00 for the same service! They flew down to SEA for the cheaper prices and had a mini vacation to boot! Alaska Airlines gives Alaska residents a better price if they are a member of the 49er club which is part of the Alaska Airlines millage plan. I will read the retirement article this evening! The Midwest sounds better and better all the time, I can hardly wait!

    • I can’t tell you what an MRI costs in Minnesota. But $250 sounds like a bargain price.

      Thanks for all the insights. This is amazing, that Alaskans are traveling out-of-state like this to save on medical costs. Wow.

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