James and I have been taking weekend getaways throughout the course of our courtship. When we moved to Atlanta we had to make sacrifices. Unable to afford traveling home to Wisconsin for every holiday, we opted to spend those long weekends renting cabins in Georgia. Eventually, leading to our engagement in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There is something wildly romantic about spending a weekend isolated in the woods, snuggled up to a fire and sharing a glass of wine under the clear dark sky sprinkled with stars. Last weekend we explored La Crosse, WI and added another romantic weekend getaway spot to our list.
When it comes to stuff, we have enough. I crave experiences over gifts. These weekends remind us of how our love story all began. The last two Christmas’ I asked my husband, for one thing, a romantic getaway for two. In case you missed it last years trip was to Kohler, WI. This year was a bit more rustic and a whole lot wilder! We stayed at the Percheron Paradise which was located in Norwalk, a 35-minute drive to La Crosse Wisconsin. Our Chalet was very secluded, so much so that we had to use the property’s supplied Jeep to reach the top of the bluff that our rental was nestled in. The bumpy ride up made me gitty. It was one of my favorite parts of the vacation!
Percheron Paradise, La Crosse WI
An expansive opportunity for the right investor.
Carl is the owner of the sprawling 200-acre property. When I inquired about his story he told us about how he and his wife happened upon the property when they stopped for gas on a trip they took. He was only Twenty-five years old at the time living in Milwaukee. They wanted a lifestyle in which they could enjoy quality family time and they decided to raise their three boys in the country. With his free spirit, you can tell that they put their heart and soul into this venture. Carl used his construction experience and built each of the hideaways. Now that the boys are men, Carl and his wife are ready to hit the open road again. The property is for sale!
I don’t have a bad thing to say about the hospitality shown to us on our visit. Carl even loaned us a stick of butter for our Halibut dinner, that we cooked on the first night of our stay! When your cooking at these rentals remember to bring your own butter/oil, seasonings, dishtowels and extra paper towels.
The chalet we stayed in could use an update. The first floor has a stone wall and enclosed gas fireplace, take one step up and it leads you to the kitchen. To the left of the kitchen is a huge whirlpool tub and walk-in shower, the winding spiral staircase continues up to a generously sized master suite. The master has another private balcony with more scenic views. This must have been quite the showstopper when it opened.
Expansive Potential for Chalets
I can be a bit boujee when it comes to vacation destinations, but I also love adventurous exploration. I believe in the need to be grounded by nature. The basic items for a cozy night in are provided by the accommodations, adding a few special touches would go a long way to impress guests and renovate this property. For the new owners that come in, I have a couple of suggestions:
- Love the Jeeps and the unpaved roads leading to the Chalets. Clear away the other vehicles and boats by the office, clear some of the trees for a clearer view of the property as you enter.
- Remove the artificial flowers, floral rugs, and blankets. Purchase solid color plush bedding, pillows, and towels. The natural surroundings are so beautiful and the decor is a distraction from the large windows and gorgeous views.
- Partner with a local winery and throw in a bottle of wine. The kitchen is minimally stocked, add a spice rack and a bottle of olive oil for the guest. It’s the little details that blow people away!
- When you arrive there are only two rules dictated to you in the office, no smoking in the chalet. No approaching any other private chalet on the property. However, once you are in the rental there are little laminated notes scattered around with instructions and tips. Removing these will make the chi better. Replace them with one bound guest book and encourage guest to sign it.
Eagle Watch in La Crosse, Wisconsin
We had no idea about the potential to see Eagles when we headed out on our road trip. As we drove into town I noticed a lookout spot off the exit running along the Mississippi River. Beyond the piers, I noticed black and white objects scattered on the water, I told James ” I think those are eagles, we have to stop.” to our surprise they were everywhere. It was a magnificent sight to see with their six feet wingspan and bright white heads. I am not a national geographic photographer but these pictures are from my Canon.
“If you want to find eagles, the most important thing to know is they work only as hard as they have to. When lakes up north start to freeze, eagles will head for the nearest open patch of water. Eagle watchers on the Upper Mississippi actually welcome snow and severe cold, because it forces the Eagles to congregate where there’s open water. ” Read more about how you can witness this spectacle, I’m so happy our timing was just right.
Things to do in La Crosse, WI
We started this romantic weekend the way we love to start all our weekend getaways with massages, at Balance Bodywork Massage Therapy. The storefront is not appealing and parking is limited. Once you enter the building the front desk staff is very friendly, the rooms are dark and despite the fact, they don’t offer couple’s massage we both enjoyed our individual treatments. I had Lilly and although she had only been practicing for a few months, she has the touch.
We spent the first night in. We made dinner together, listened to music and played cribbage as per usual. We enjoyed each other’s company with a drink in hand, no kids in sight and peaceful surroundings. Saturday morning we eased into the day, sipping coffee and reading our books before heading back into town for Bloody Marys and lunch at The Crow.
You can see three states from the cliff at the top of Grandad Bluff; Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, in addition to an aerial view of the Mississippi River. With the state basketball tournament in town, it was a busy sight that afternoon. We lucked out with sunny skies and mild weather, I am so glad we stopped to see the beautiful view.
Oysters and Steak at the Waterfront Restaurant and Tavern
Our last night we went out for a fancy dinner at the Waterfront Restaurant and Tavern. It was a toss up between there and Lovechild a newer fine dining option. I am glad my friend who saw pictures I posted with the Eagles, pointed us in the right direction. We arrived early and took advantage of the water fountain and waterfront with some pictures for the gram. The tavern had a diverse attractive crowd, there are views of the waterfront through open-air wooden shutters. We sipped wine and listened to live music in the tavern before a romantic dinner of oysters, salad, and ribeye which was all mouthwatering good. Like when you want to eat the gristle off the steak good. Want more romantic midwest options, we got it.