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Traveling through 10 states for nearly 3,000 miles, The Great River Road is the Gateway to the wonders of the Mississippi River Valley. The Great River Road was the Nation’s first designated scenic byway. 

Day 1 – Twin Cities to La Crosse, WI

Our first stop on our backroads, river road adventure is across the St. Croix River to the Great River Road Welcome Center in Prescott WI. Our road winds south on Hwy-35 across a portion of the glacial plain, whose rolling hills sown in corn, account for an important part of the nation’s breadbasket. We will then cross back over the river to beautiful Red Wing with its beautiful hanging flower baskets. We have a treat awaiting us at the very historic St. James Hotel, an included lunch! After lunch, we leave Red Wing and again travel along the Great River Road to The National Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN. We will be guests at the Eagle Center and enjoy a very educational and interesting demonstration with the eagles. Wabasha is also home to the filming of “Grumpy Old Men.” We find ourselves crossing once again to the Wisconsin side as we amble our way along the mighty Mississippi with its beautiful vistas and river bluffs. Our home for the night is the very cozy and comfy Stony Creek Inn in La Crosse. Once we get settled into our room we will board the coach and head out for our wonderful included dinner at the Freighthouse, a historic shipping depot in downtown La Crosse, located at the confluence of three rivers.

Included Meals: Lunch, Dinner 

Hotel: Stoney Creek Inn 


Day 2 – La Crosse to Dubuque, IA

We enjoy a hearty breakfast before we head off and experience the stunning views as we skirt along the banks of the river to Dubuque. But first we will visit Guttenberg for a tour of the Lockmaster’s House and pick up our picnic lunch at The Picket Fence Café before enjoying a relaxing picnic in the park alongside the river. Once in Dubuque, we will experience the Fenelon Place Elevator, a 3 ft. narrow gauge funicular railway. It is claimed to be the shortest and steepest railroad in the world! We will then enjoy a tour of Dubuque with a local step-on guide. This evening our meal will be a Progressive Dinner and tour of several Victorian Homes. It is a fantastic event you will not quickly forget. After an evening well spent, we will be guests at the historic Julien Inn with its magnificent Victorian décor.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

Hotel: Julian Inn 


Day 3 – Dubuque to Moline, IL

After breakfast we tour the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, one of the two best and biggest dedicated to the history and culture of “Old Muddy.” A large collection of historic riverboats is highlighted by the steamboat, William M. Black, an official National Landmark, while other galleries include a National Rivers Hall of Fame, which tells the stories of explorers and adventurers like Lewis and Clark and John Wesley Powell. The introductory film “River of Dreams” is narrated by Mr. Lake Wobegon himself, Garrison Keillor. Follow the path of the Mississippi from Minnesota to the Gulf. It is the best place in the country to explore the culture and natural history of the river. Departing the museum, we cross the River to search out the quaint and charming village of Galena, one of the most preserved historic towns in America. Step back in time to the 1800’s as we experience this unique community. We will have lunch on our own and then make our way aboard the Galena Trolley. Our ride takes us to the home of President Grant, nestled in the hills & valleys of this former lead mining community and major port city. Then we depart Galena for a tasty stop at Krumpet’s Bakery for an included treat! We will follow the Mississippi River to Moline and check into our lovely riverfront hotel. Tonight we are dinner guests at the Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse, featuring “Ring of Fire,” a great tribute to Johnny Cash.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Hotel: Stoney Creek Hotel (2 Nights) 


Day 4 – Moline

We will enjoy breakfast at the hotel before starting out on our way to the Lock and Dam #15 Tour in Rock Island, IL. Lunch will be on our own in Burlington. We then proceed to the Celebration Belle for a glorious trip along the Mississippi! We will enjoy the fall foliage, live music entertainment, and a great lunch. If time then allows, we will stop at the John Deere Pavilion for a quick visit. Tonight dinner is served at our hotel as we recall a great day on the river.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 


Day 5 – Moline to Home

We start out with breakfast at the hotel before heading out on our last leg of the journey. We will stop only to wet our whistle for a coffee stop and lunch, before arriving back home in the Twin Cities and the conclusion of another great R&J Backroads Tour.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Motorcoach Per Person Pricing Information

Double: $1,199
Single: $1,449
Triple: $1,139
Quad: $1,089

Motorcoach Travel Protection Per Person

Double: $85
Single: $85

Travel Bucks

$25 Travel Bucks per person earned with this tour

Deposit Due

$100 deposit per person due at time of reservation. Full payment due 30 days prior to depart.

Passport Needed


Tour Pace

Moderate Walking

Price Includes

11 Meals, Hotels & Activities as stated in brochure, Luxury Motorcoach

Motorcoach Departure Date:
Motorcoach Return Date:

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Tour Highlights

Great River Road Welcome Center
Lunch at Historic St. James Hotel
The National Eagle Center
Lockmasters House Tour
Victorian Progressive Dinner
National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
Dubuque Tour & Fenelon Place Elevator
Village of Galena & Trolley Tour
Lock & Dam #15 Tour
Celebration Belle Lunch Cruise
“Ring of Fire” at Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse
Incredible Fall Colors

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