Where to go in Wisconsin?

Cass Street Bridge over the Mississippi RiverCass Street Bridge over the Mississippi River

Tourism alums: the badger state has plenty of unique spots

Over the last six years, tourism has grown by 35 percent in Wisconsin, generating an estimated $20 billion economic impact each year, along with 193,000 jobs.

Behind this economic powerhouse are many UW-La Crosse alumni who are promoting Wisconsin’s many attractions — from the beauty of Lake Michigan to the beloved Green Bay Packers.

We asked several alums working in Wisconsin tourism to share just one unique sight to see in their corner of the state.

The Pack is celebrating something big this summer — in Green Bay and beyond

Green Bay has some cool attractions — but one of the most popular is Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packers. While the Pack is known around the world, what most don’t know is this will be the team’s 100th season!

The Packers have a huge celebration planned. And they are inviting fans to join in recognizing this historic milestone. Beginning in June, a traveling interactive exhibit will go to five locations around the state. Later in the summer a free festival for fans of all ages is planned. Get more details.

– Brad Toll, ’85, president and CEO of Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau. Toll earned a business administration degree and has worked in tourism since he graduated.


Street Fair with lots of people, tents and trees

Willy Street Fair. Photo courtesy of TNT Creative Studios.

This street in Madison has a lot in store … and we’re not talking about State

The Willy Street Fair is Madison’s longest running neighborhood gathering. It’s an eclectic and vibrant neighborhood festival right before fall begins that has great energy. Enjoy live music, local food vendors and a parade that is one-of-a-kind!

– Laura (Senz) Portz, ’07, convention & event services manager for the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau. Portz was a communication studies major with an emphasis in organizational & professional communication and a recreation management minor.

A view of Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee skyline.

Milwaukee’s amazing feature that has put the city on the map — globally

Everyone knows Milwaukee for its beer, but Lake Michigan’s waterfront is one of the city’s most notorious assets. The city has 20 miles of bike paths along the shore running from the north to south ends of downtown. People come from around the globe to enjoy activities including sailing, kayaking, charter fishing and surfing. Popular summer festivals take place along the lakefront every weekend from Memorial Day through September.

– Laura Lutter Cole, ’91, convention sales manager for VISIT Milwaukee. She earned her degree in political science and public administration.

Ghost Tour Logo, "La Crosse Public Library and Old School Entertainment, LLC PRESENTS THE GHOSTS OF HISTORIC LA CROSSE, WALKING TOUR" with Grimm Reaper Guide

A ghostly walk back in time through La Crosse’s historic downtown

This one-mile walking tour around downtown La Crosse will give attendees insight to some of La Crosse’s more ‘permanent’ residents. The Ghosts of Historic La Crosse Tour is a spooky exploration of historic downtown and promises to be fun and informative. Tours meet and leave from Riverside Park, 410 Veterans Memorial Drive, at different times now through October.

– Megan Kirking, ’16, event and marketing assistant at Explore La Crosse. Kirking earned a degree recreation management.

 UWL launches new tourism emphasis

Growth in tourism translates to increased opportunities for students to pursue tourism-related careers, says Daniel Plunkett, assistant professor of Recreation Management. UWL is adapting to this need. UWL Recreation Management faculty officially launched the new tourism emphasis in fall 2016. Read more.

More on the growth of tourism