Thursday, July 05, 2007

Coon Valley, Wisconsin Beckons

What would you expect to find in Coon Valley, Wisconsin? Maybe some old lazy dogs, a sleepy bar dotted main drag, and a meandering trout stream out back! Yes, they're all there, but would you expect a fine Italian restaurant masquerading under the cover of a stereotypical small town Wisconsin tavern. Disciasios is the place and Lou, the proprietor, and his wife Marty produce as good an Italian menu as you can find anywhere in Cheesehead country. To top off the spinach lasagne, stuffed mushrooms, and veal scalopini there is also a nice selection of wines and imported brews.

If that's not enough of a reason to visit Coon Valley, about three miles out of town is Norskedalen. It is a nature center and Norweigian heritage village nestled in a gloriously scenic valley. It brings you the life of the gritty and resourceful Norweigian pioneers who settled the area in the latter part of the 19th century. There is a modern visitors center, a large shelter house for outdoor events, nature trails, and a group of restored pioneer buildings furnished with turn of the century fixtures and implements. For a very reasonable five dollar admission fee you can get a tour with a knowledgeable guide, visit the museum, and amble about through the grounds at any leisurely pace you prefer. The operation is supported by a private foundation, and in addition to charming tourists, it provides thousands of school children from all over the La Crosse area with hands on experience in history, culture, and environmental awareness. For more information go to

For a quick tour you can also take a look at the pictures.

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