BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY - 2007
The drive to Trempealeau, along Wisconsin's Great River Road, is one of the most stunning in the area. Indeed, it is considerably more scenic than the parallel route on the Minnesota side of the Mississippi—further evidence that Wisconsin almost always edges Minnesota in a beauty contest. The deeper charms of Trempealeau become evident upon arrival. The town is a handsome cluster of hotels, bars, and houses set amid forests and picturesque bluffs. If it seems as though there isn't a whole lot to do in Trempealeau, well, that's because there isn't. But it doesn't matter. A perfect weekend can be had doing almost nothing. The tiny main street is anchored by the town's centerpiece, a charming inn built in 1871 called the Trempealeau Hotel. Here, travelers can enjoy an ample glass of red wine (or several); a second floor of cozy, hostel-style rooms; and even, surprisingly, a homemade vegetarian walnut burger. Of course, chowing the burger would mean passing up Sullivan's Supper Club at the other end of town. And you don't want to do that. Sullivan's, which is straight out of the 1960s, serves a mean steak, offers an equally formidable salad bar, and makes for a perfect landing place after hiking the extensive trails of neighboring Perrot State Park.