Great River Road is a collection of state and local roads that follow the course of the Mississippi River through 10 states of the United States. It offers travelers the opportunity to explore the history, culture, and natural beauty of the Mississippi River Valley. Here is a guide for travelers to help plan their trip along the Great River Road.
Fishing of the Fleet
This annual Fishing of the Fleet event takes place in May in Alton, Illinois, where the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers meet. The event features a parade of boats decorated with colorful lights, followed by a blessing ceremony performed by a Catholic priest. It is a unique and exciting way to experience the Mississippi River and the local community.
Hiking in Great River Hills
The Great River Hills is a section of the Great River Road that runs through Wisconsin and Minnesota. The area is home to various hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the Mississippi River and the surrounding landscape. One popular trail is the Great River State Trail, which runs for over 50 miles and offers a variety of scenic views and wildlife.
Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum
This museum is located in Hannibal, Missouri, the hometown of the famous American author Mark Twain. The museum offers a glimpse into the life and times of the author and the setting for many of his famous novels, such as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Visitors can tour the restored boyhood home of Twain, as well as the museum, which displays artifacts and exhibits related to his life and work.
Vicksburg National Military Park
This national park is located in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and is home to the Vicksburg National Cemetery and the Vicksburg Campaign of the American Civil War. Visitors can tour the battlefields, see the restored earthworks and trenches, and learn about the history of the Civil War in the Mississippi River Valley.
Mississippi River Museum
Visit the Mississippi River Museum at Mud Island in Memphis, Tennessee. This museum offers a unique perspective on the Mississippi River through its exhibits and interactive displays. The museum also features a scale model of the entire Mississippi River, which visitors can walk on and explore.
The World’s Largest Catsup Bottle
This water tower, located in Collinsville, Illinois, is a 170-foot-tall replica of a catsup bottle. Visitors can take a tour of the inside of the bottle and enjoy the view from the top. It was built in 1949 by the W.E. Caldwell Company as a functional water tower for the Brooks Catsup bottling plant but was later turned into a landmark and tourist attraction.
The Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox Statues
These statues are located in Bemidji, Minnesota, and pay homage to the famous American folklore figure Paul Bunyan and his trusty companion, Babe the Blue Ox. The statues are over 18 feet tall and were constructed in 1937. They are a must-see attraction for visitors to Bemidji and are considered one of the most photographed landmarks in Minnesota.
The Mississippi River Hostel in La Crosse, Wisconsin, is a budget-friendly option for travelers. The hostel offers private and shared dormitory rooms and a shared kitchen and common area. It is a great option for backpackers and budget-conscious travelers.
The Riverboat Lodge in Dubuque, Iowa, is a mid-range option that offers comfortable and affordable accommodations. The hotel features riverfront rooms with private balconies, as well as an indoor pool, fitness center, and on-site restaurant. It is a great option for families or travelers looking for a little more comfort and amenities.
The Chateau on the Mississippi in St. Charles, Missouri, is a luxury option for travelers. The hotel is located in a restored 19th-century mansion and features elegant guest rooms and suites, as well as a fine-dining restaurant and spa. It is an excellent option for couples or travelers looking for a luxurious and romantic getaway.
The Paddlewheeler Creole Queen in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a unique option for travelers. The Paddlewheeler is a replica of a 19th-century Mississippi River paddlewheeler and offers overnight cruises on the Mississippi River. It is a great option for travelers seeking a unique and memorable experience.
In summary, Great River Road offers a rich and diverse experience for travelers. It is a perfect place to experience outdoor activities, must-see places, and an unusual tip. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or natural beauty, the Great River Road has something for everyone.