Grownup Getaways · The Mud Belt-Traveling the Mississippi · Wisconsin

Off-Peak Season My Kinda Season: Vernon County, WI

The eastern banks of the Mississippi River is one of the best places in Wisconsin to observe the sunset. This was taken on the Great River Road heading south just before the town of Stoddard. What a night we were in for!

Stoddard & Genoa, WI: Vernon, County (Our Second Wisconsin County)

There was a genuineness to everywhere we went in scenic Vernon County. Supper club specials, happy hour, fishing advice and my favorite, genuine and premium Midwest hospitality. This would be the theme we had all over the Driftless area during our week there, but there was something here that made us feel right at home, like returning locals. And this was our first big trip to Wisconsin! Let’s see what the folks at Rocky’s are up to…


Rocky’s Supper Club had all the main food groups on the vacationing food pyramid. The flaky and breaded Cod with a large cup of creamy tartar sauce, smothered chicken with plenty of melted cheese and golden hash browns, and the ever important salad bar. If you love made from scratch Bleu Cheese dressing then you found your place here in Stoddard, WI. They know that veggies are important, so why not serve’em fresh and crisp and feature pickled and mayo-coated favorites and that chunky dressing. Our server was as cheerful as a 12 year old with a new X-Box and she made our experience here feel very welcoming. That would continue down the road.


The nightcap was just off the Great River Road at Tuna’s Bar and it was just a few steps from our hotel room. The bartender was speedy and the drinks were VERY tasty and inexpensive. We met many more locals including Tuna himself. Hey, that was his name on the bar…I get it now! We laughed and carried on with camouflage and Carhartt nation. Tuna’s had the good times with large game and and prized catches on the walls and a feel of community that was ready to do it all over again the next night. This is what I call R&R in my book.


I always wondered how it would have felt to stay in a stagecoach back in the day and I think we got a taste of that style at Rudy’s Hotel & Bar on Main Street-Genoa. The rooms have hosted generations of hunters, fisherman, motorists and travelers like us. Our keisters settled right into the bar stools and it made them even more comfy knowing our room is right up the stair. If you want a comfortable spot overlooking the Mississippi without the frills and you’re okay with sharing a bathroom, then you’ll be just fine with the accommodations at Rudy’s. The best part is that you get to meet more folks that make this area shine. We partied with the dart league and got to know the guys in town on an ice fishing trip while the trusty bartender kept the good times pouring into the night. The happiness we felt here was instant and stayed with us into the morning.


Another theme here in Genoa was bumping into the great people we met the night before early the next morning. We met Tuna once and a boisterous “Hey, JayJay!” was heard as I walked by his bar en route to Big River Bar & Grill. One of the dart league heroes we met at Rudy’s was the owner of Big River and they had rib-stickin’ breakfast we needed. Ham, biscuits and gravy, hash browns, and runny eggs with toast. Belly-up to the bar and slam this down when you’re in town and you might as well get a Bloody Mary and beer back while you’re at it.

Leaving Genoa was the least enjoyable part of our trip to the Driftless Area. We found ourselves needing just what we received on our grownup getaway. Small town-USA. Stunning scenery. GREAT food. Cozy roadhouse room. And people that make these places thrive. Their loyalty to community and hospitality to visitors combined with just being themselves makes us and countless others want to come back. Take care, Vernon County. The Wisconsin Takeover of The Iowa Gallivant wouldn’t have been complete without you. Save a fish fry for us and some cold ones to go with it. We’re proud to have some Badger State friends like you to keep us fed, entertained, and loving life on the river everyday.

2 thoughts on “Off-Peak Season My Kinda Season: Vernon County, WI

  1. Thank you for the awesome review of Genoa and Stoddard!! We are the new owners of the little 2 room motel down the hill from the Genoa bank and it is called the Genoa Motel !! We welcome you and all other travelers that come into our beautiful driftless area!

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