Historic Alma is a small, charming Wisconsin town on the Great River Road/National Scenic Byway, perched high on a narrow piece of land between the Mississippi River and 500-foot high limestone bluffs. With less than 1,000 inhabitants and only two streets wide, Alma has rich history and much to offer to visitors.It is listed on America's National Register of Historic Places because of its beautifully preserved waterfront nineteenth century buildings. These structures were built into the river bluffs in the style typical of historic European village, the style brought by the town's original Swiss and German settlers. Downtown Alma has several shops, galleries, gift shops and Wings Over Alma Nature & Art Center. Nearby is the Buena Vista Park with spectacular views of the Mississippi River and the barges going through the river lock. Castlerock Museum is a fascinating museum of arms and armor through history.
1.Buena Vista Park
© Phongphan Supphakank/stock.adobe.com
Located on a large natural balcony 500 feet above Alma, Wisconsin, overlooking the Mississippi River, Buena Vista Park is a small city park where visitors can watch barges and riverboats slowly traveling on the river and passing through Lock & Dam #4, sand islands and backwaters. The park is a popular picnic area with picnic tables, a picnic shelter, grills, restrooms and a kids’ playground. The park is a favorite local wedding destination. It is also great for hiking, enjoying spectacular sunset and bird watching. Hiking trail leads to the viewing platform from Alma’s Main Street and is an easy walk for anyone.
Alma, WI 54610
© Danzinger Vineyard
Danzinger Vineyards is a family-owned and operated vineyard and winery percied on top of the Alma Bluffs, overlooking the magnificent Mississippi River. The vineyard grows over 8000 plants on 18 acres. All Danziger wines are made exclusively from the estate grapes, which are processed and bottled on site. They grow Frontenac, Frontenac Blanc, Frontenac Gris, St Pepin, La Crosse, La Crescent, Brianna, St. Croix and Marquette, which are made into delicious wine blends.. Visitors are invited to take tour of the vineyard and enjoy a glass of wine from their charming tasting room or from the outside patio with spectacular views of the river and river valley. Danzinger Vineyard was voted the Wisconsin Grape Growers 2013 Winery of the Year.
S2015 Grapeview Ln, Alma, WI 54610, Phone: 608-685-6000
© Castlerock Museum
Castlerock Museum is a museum of arms and armor through history located in Alma, Wisconsin. The exhibits include arms and armor from different periods in European history. The museum’s purpose is to show how arms and armor develop and change through the centuries. The collection begins with pieces from ancient Greece, and ends with arms from the early modern period. The displays are enhanced by art prints which show the arms and armor in the historical context. Self-guided visits to the museum allow visitors to feel like they are walking with the warriors of the Western world from ancient Rome, the Dark Ages, the Vikings, the Crusader Knights and the Golden Age of the Renaissance. Some of the most interesting exhibits are a Roman helmet and sword, a Viking Chieftains sword,
a sword carried in the First Crusade and much more.
402 S 2nd St, Alma, WI 54610, Phone: 608-685-4231
4.Wings Over Alma
© Wings Over Alma
Wings over Alma is a Nature and Art Center located right on the Main Street of Alma, Wisconsin. Located in the heart of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge, the area provides home to hundreds of bald eagles, with many active nests. The center offers great outdoor viewing deck overlooking the Mississippi River with spotting scopes and binoculars. The Mississippi Flyway brings hundreds of migrating birds that fly right past the Center. During the winter, eagles can be spotted feeding in the open water below Lock and Dam #4. Inside the Center, there is a display where local area artists show their work inspired by the majesty of the surrounding nature in rotating exhibits. Local historical societies and museums also provide occasional displays.
110 N Main St, Alma, WI 54610, Phone: 608-685-3303
5.Rieck's Lake Park
Located just north of downtown Alma, Wisconsin, Rieck's Lake Park is a popular local recreation area and a migratory spring and autumn stop for hundreds of Tundra Swans, ducks and cranes. There is an information kiosk that provides information on the history and nature of the park. The park also has a wildlife observation platform, camping and picnic area, restrooms, a ball diamond, playground equipment, a pavilion, and grills. The park is famous for its Tundra Swan Watch, in spring and fall, when thousands of people come to watch swans as they pass through the park on their annual migration south from northern Canada and Alaska. There was time when the peak population of swans reached 6,000, but their number greatly declined since.
Great River Rd, Alma, WI 54610, Phone: 888-936-7463
5 Best Things to Do in Alma, WI