La Crosse, Wisconsin: The Series

It’s been cold here in La Crosse lately. To humor myself in between putting on extra layers of clothing, I’ve been texting the current weather conditions to friends elsewhere. A friend in California said she was so cold she was wearing everything she owned. The temperature in her world: 35. (In her defense, she just moved back to the mainland after living on Kauai for a while.)

I sometimes text RollerbagMom to warn her that it’s not yet safe to return from Arizona. And to send her my flight arrival details when applicable.

The Upper Hixon Human Powered Trails in winter. Photo by BackpackMr., Joel Badzinski.

But I can’t always be in Arizona; my life is here. And here in La Crosse we’ve woken up to -9 F two days in a row. I could tell you what the F stands for, but the blog might get flagged.

There are certain people who say they love living here because of the “change of the seasons.” While I expect to see them leaping for joy when winter is in its glorious prime, as it is right now, they’ve been mysteriously absent from my neighborhood. Nary a leaper to be found. Weird.

Cass St Bridge la crosse fog
The Cass Street Bridge over the Mississippi in La Crosse, Wis. emerges from thick morning fog on a warm summer morning. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

Needless to say, when the weather is this cold and the snow is deep, BackpackMr. and I want to hunker down, cocoon, hibernate and eat carbohydrates. Because winter lasts six months here, the cabin fever can get ridiculous. I will spare you the details, but when the fever gets bad, some people around here wind up drinking a lot of beer and rolling around in the snow in little or no clothing. Or cutting a hole in the ice on the Black River and jumping in the water. As if exposing oneself to frostbite somehow makes it better.

So why do we live here? It’s a question I often field, and truly, there is so much to love in La Crosse. Since there’s a good three months of winter left, I figure we have some time to spell it all out together. I’ll feature some of my favorite local places and things to do, and with your help, I’ll further build my list.

Why We Travel
Wisconsin autumn sunset. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

Now it’s your turn: why do you live here? What do you love about living here? What would you recommend to visitors and people contemplating moving to La Crosse?


Charish Badzinski is an explorer, food-lover and award-winning travel and food writer. When she isn’t working to build her blog: Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World, she applies her worldview to her small business, providing strategic communications, media relations and writing support to individuals and organizations.

Destination Celebrations: Take a Trip with Your Guests

Find Charish on Twitter: @charishb.

Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World by Charish Badzinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at


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