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What Is Boscobel? A Comprehensive Guide

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What Is Boscobel? A Comprehensive Guide

Boscobel is a charming small rural village located in Grant County in southwestern Wisconsin. Situated just off of U.S. 61, this small community boasts picturesque views of the scenic bluffs along the Mississippi River and is known for its historical sites, great fishing spots, and the home of the nationally renowned Shake Rag Alley Art and Cultural Center. While small in size, its local attractions and special events will leave visitors feeling enriched and entertained.

The name Boscobel comes from a 16th-century French phrase “bos ombelle,” which means “beautiful woods.” This name is certainly fitting as the small town is surrounded by lush rolling hills, farmland, and wooded areas. Along with standard attractions like golf courses, parks, and campgrounds, there are also several unique museums, art galleries, and other attractions that draw visitors from far and wide.

What Attractions or Activities Can I Enjoy When Visiting Boscobel?

For many visitors, Boscobel’s great outdoors is the highlight of their trip. With several state parks located close by, outdoor enthusiasts will find much to enjoy including boating, camping, hiking, fishing and wildlife watching. One of the most popular lakes in the region is Lake Redstone – with over 40 miles of shoreline, this lake offers excellent swimming, fishing and boating opportunities. The area also hosts a plethora of activities geared towards birdwatching enthusiasts – with over 100 species spotted in the nearby Mississippi River valley expanse.

The small village offers a few smaller scale attractions as well such as independent shops selling handmade local items, a drive-in theater and Boscobel’s Railway & Motor Car Museum. For art lovers, there is Shake Rag Alley – originally established in 1864 as an industrial school for children. This remarkable center has been converted into a collection of specialty studios offering classes in painting and sculpting.

Finally, sports fans shouldn’t miss the historical house of Colonel John W. Wilcox located in Boscobel’s Old Town Historic district – originally built as a home for people suffering from typhoid fever during the Civil War it has since become home to dozens of athletes over the years.

What Are the Best Hotels or B&Bs to Stay at in Boscobel?

For those who wish to stay in Boscobel overnight or longer, there are several lodging options available to meet just about any need. Visiting couples can enjoy a romantic stay at one of several cozy B&B buildings or spend the night at one of Boscobel’s modern hotels from which it’s easy to explore all that the area has to offer.

One popular option for couples is Shake Rag Alley Loft B&B, located close to downtown Boscobel. Ideal for couples on a romantic getaway, rooms are equipped with cozy fireplaces and many boast riverviews of scenery along with extras like private hot tubs and spa treatments on-site. Other top-rated B&Bs in the area include Wacougar Lodge Vacation Rentals and Whispering Bluffs Bed & Breakfast, both stylishly designed and close to outdoor activities like fishing and kayaking.

For those seeking out a more traditional hotel experience, Boscobel also offers several standard lodging options ranging from budget to luxury rooms, most equipped with modern amenities such as free Wifi and HDTVs as well as complimentary breakfasts or other services like room service and dry cleaning. Notable choices in town include Best Western Grant County Inn & Suites, Eclipse Inn & Suites, and Randy’s Motel.


Boscobel provides visitors with an abundance of activities and attractions, giving visitors ample opportunities to explore the area’s natural landscapes while also enjoying cultural activities in the village itself. From cottages and B&Bs to modern innovation hotels, there’s so much to choose from tailored to suit just about anybody’s individual tastes and needs. With such a great combination of rural scenery juxtaposed with family-friendly attractions like Shake Rag Alley Art & Cultural Center, Boscobel is truly an ideal destination for nature and art lovers alike.

An Insider’s Guide to Boscobel

Boscobel, a small city nestled in the southwestern region of Wisconsin, is an often-overlooked gem. This hidden treasure offers an abundance of attractions and experiences that will delight any traveler seeking a unique and authentic experience.

Local Attractions

While many people visit Boscobel for its beautiful natural surroundings, including the Lower Wisconsin Riverway and the Driftless Area, there are several lesser-known attractions that only locals know about. The Boscobel Depot Museum is a must-visit for history buffs, featuring exhibits on the town’s railroad history and local farming practices. The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, just a short drive away, showcases a vast collection of antique dolls and toys that will take visitors on a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Pine River Recreation Trail is a popular spot for hiking, biking, and birdwatching. The trail offers stunning views of the landscape, including a gorgeous overlook of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway. And for a taste of the supernatural, visitors can explore the famous Gibson Cemetery, known for its unexplained ghost sightings and paranormal activity.

Dining Spots

Boscobel is a haven for foodies, with an array of dining options that cater to every palate. The city’s signature dish is the Boscobel Booyah, a hearty soup consisting of beef, chicken, and vegetables that has been a local favorite for generations. For a taste of the best Booyah in town, head over to the Riverside Pub, which has been serving this iconic dish for over 50 years.

Those seeking international flavors can check out La Providencia, serving authentic Mexican cuisine, or the Blackhawk Junction, which offers a diverse menu of American classics, including burgers, sandwiches, and steaks. And no visit to Boscobel is complete without a stop at the Bluffview Bakery, known for its homemade pies and pastries.

Cultural Experiences

Boscobel is steeped in culture and tradition, with a rich and vibrant history that is celebrated through its festivals, music, and art. One of the most popular events is the Boscobel Polish Fest, held every August, which features traditional Polish food, music, and dancing. The city also hosts an annual Rails and Trails Festival, which pays tribute to its railroad heritage and offers fun activities for the whole family.

For art lovers, the Boscobel Area Artist Guild features rotating exhibits showcasing the work of local painters and photographers. And music enthusiasts can catch a variety of performances throughout the year at the Boscobel Opera House, which hosts everything from classical concerts to community theater productions.

Local History

Boscobel has a fascinating history that is deeply rooted in the city’s natural surroundings. Visitors can explore the Wisconsin Riverway Interpretive Center, which offers a glimpse into the region’s prehistoric past through interactive exhibits and displays. For a more detailed account of the town’s rich heritage, head to the Boscobel Depot Museum, where visitors can learn about the city’s railroad history and the impact of agriculture on the local community.

One of Boscobel’s most significant historical landmarks is the Civil War POW Camp, which housed both Confederate and Union soldiers during the war. Visitors can explore the site and learn about the daily lives of the prisoners, as well as the role the camp played in the war effort.

Off-The-Beaten-Path Suggestions

For those looking for an adventure beyond the usual tourist attractions, Boscobel has plenty of hidden gems to discover. One of the best-kept secrets is the Hourglass Bay, a secluded and picturesque spot on the Lower Wisconsin Riverway, perfect for a picnic or an afternoon of fishing. Another must-see is the Wyalusing Hardwoods State Natural Area, which features an impressive stand of old-growth forest and rare plant species.

And for a unique and unforgettable experience, visitors can book a hot air balloon ride with the Wisconsin Balloon Company, which offers scenic views of the stunning countryside from above.

In conclusion, Boscobel may be a small town, but it has a big heart and plenty of experiences that are waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast, Boscobel has something for everyone, and we hope this insider’s guide will help you make the most of your visit.

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What Is Boscobel? A Comprehensive Guide

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!