ONALASKA, Wisconsin (WXOW) - In the Coulee Region, mid October means tourists.
"We see a ton of people coming in from far away," said Jean Lunde. "We see people from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan…We see them coming from all over the tri-state area as well as down south."
Besides Oktoberfest, this is one of the busiest times during the fall season. The reason is a large number outdoor recreation activities and stunning fall colors.
"Fall's awesome," said Lunde. "You have to get out and see it. It's absolutely breathtaking. A lot of people travel just looking at the fall colors, and just kind of relaxing."
And with seasonably mild temperatures this year, business has been booming on the water.
"Very busy," said Tony Christnovich, owner of Schafer's Boats and Bait LLC in Onalaska. "This last month and a half has been really good because of the fact that a lot of people are going out just for a ride on the river to see the colors, or to see the migrating birds, and also fishing has just been fabulous."
Last weekend, Christnovich counted over 60 boats in one area of Lake Onalaska. He says observing the changing seasons from the water is a unique experience.
"It's just that it gives you a different perspective," said Christnovich. "When you add the water to it you just have one more element."
Christnovich said he anticipates full color by the water next weekend.
"To me it's just the beginning because of all the activities that are presented," said Christnovich. "You're not going to go out swimming in this weather, but you can still enjoy the fishing."
By November, traffic both on the water and into the Coulee Region will start to slow down. But it will only be a matter of time before these waters turn to ice ushering in a new season of recreation.
For those that want to explore area waters or keep their feet on dry land, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the changing seasons. For ideas you can visit the Onalaska Tourism Commission website at www.DiscoverOnalaska.com.
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