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mississippi 'great river road'.. travel tips for 10 states?
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english bob



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 840
Location: england, uk
mississippi 'great river road'.. travel tips for 10 states?  Reply with quote  



seeing as there's a decent demographic spread across the country represented here, i'm appealing for any and all tips and tidbits that might help me plan a trip down the Mississippi this summer. (does anyone even call it 'great river road' or is that just wikipedia?)

we're going to be flying into Fargo, and leaving from New Orleans but everything in between is pretty much up for grabs.. there are a few things earmarked but nothing major.. seeing as it's going to be a fairly decent amount of driving, i'm trying to get an idea of where along the route it's worth spending more than a day or so etc..

so if you live in or around (or know about) any of the following states: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin (or more specifically, near the river in those states, because we're refraining from detours. chicago is a no-go for instance) - then tell me why your state is great (or not)!
Post Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:03 am
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 8422
Location: Third Coast
 Reply with quote  

Obviously this was the first thing that came to mind:



So I have to ask: is this the inspiration?


I have never heard it referred to as the "Great River Road," nor have I heard anyone use that term. Are you traveling by river the entire journey? If yes, how? Just remember that the might river has taken many a life, so swimming can be unsafe.

http://www.mississippiriveradventures.com/

I don't recommend anything in Arkansas. St. Louis, Missouri seems like an obvious choice for visitation. Memphis, Tennessee as well. I would check out Baton Rouge, Louisiana too. I've been to all of these places and the offer very nice and diverse samples of American culture.
Post Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:51 am
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english bob



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 840
Location: england, uk
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i'm currently reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and i have that to read next, purely to 'get into the mood' - but no, the only inspiration really was that we did the whole west coast last year (vancouver to san diego) and would like to do the east coast at some point, but in the meantime, thought that the mississippi could provide a decent route down the middle(ish) of the country..

and, we wont actually be on the river at all (bar for a few day trip type things on boats like in your link).. i'll be driving as close to the river as possible (or, until it gets too boring) on the roads..

at the moment, i've got more time planned in new orleans than baton rouge - simply because i have no idea what's in baton rouge.. (consider this the very early stages of a fact finding mission.. i'm sure i'll become enlightened shortly)
Post Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:13 am
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Dan Shay



Joined: 30 Aug 2003
Posts: 11242
Location: MN
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Go to Mark Twain's boyhood home, Hannibal and check out the caves.

Last time I was there I was a little kid, my Mom was in St. Louis serving on the committee that came up with that whole "Great River Road" thingy.
Post Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:49 pm
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Bob_ptmfus



Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Posts: 743
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I mean you might as well stop and see St. Louis. I love it here and it is literally next to the river so why not? At least keep an eye out for the arch while you're passing by. I'll have more touristy tips tomorrow if you want them.
Post Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:41 am
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english bob



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 840
Location: england, uk
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hannibal is on the list, and i think we're going to be in st louis on july 4th so if there aren't some fireworks by that arch thing, i'll be disappointed. touristy tips are welcomed.

and,
Dan Shay wrote:
Last time I was there I was a little kid, my Mom was in St. Louis serving on the committee that came up with that whole "Great River Road" thingy.

so it does exist.. though in my head, it was a name that emerged over decades of people travelling down the 'great river' road, rather than via a committee.
Post Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:12 am
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icarus502
kung-pwn master


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 11287
Location: ann arbor
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Stop at the City Museum in St. Louis. Tom Sawyer would have loved it. I think it's one of the coolest public attractions in the country.
Post Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:41 am
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mzehe916



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 4542
Location: Switzerland
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I was all excited when I read the OP because I thought you were actually going to float down the Mississippi. Come on, English Bob, driving down the Mississippi? You need to chop down six medium sized trees and tie them together and do it the real way. And if you are really cool then you'll even build a shelter on your raft.
Post Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:05 am
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english bob



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 840
Location: england, uk
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city museum - check.

and, as much as i'd love to actually take the river all the way - i think it'd be a bit limiting.. it'll be nice to take the occasional detour. also, i read somewhere that you're not allowed to stay overnight on the river(?) so we'll just have to tow our handmade raft, and launch it every other day or so for a bit..
Post Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:52 am
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icarus502
kung-pwn master


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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Location: ann arbor
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If you want to get a true feeling of what life on the river, and in surrounding communities, islike today, I'd advise you to stay at least one night at a decrepit, rural riverboat casino hotel. Not one of the nicer ones, one of the seedier ones. Gamble, people-watch, etc.
Post Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:59 pm
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Dan Shay



Joined: 30 Aug 2003
Posts: 11242
Location: MN
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english bob wrote:

Dan Shay wrote:
Last time I was there I was a little kid, my Mom was in St. Louis serving on the committee that came up with that whole "Great River Road" thingy.

so it does exist.. though in my head, it was a name that emerged over decades of people travelling down the 'great river' road, rather than via a committee.


I guess it existed as a concept, but there wasn't actually highway anywhere near the Mississippi for large stretches before this committee, they filled in some of the road gaps, and in other places just deliberated on what highway in the general vicinity would get labeled Great River Road. They also put in signs.

Post Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:29 am
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mindtoast



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 664
Location: australia
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I remember driving through kentucky and seeing the turn for the creationist museum...said to the wife-- we must go and ride the dinosaurs! But seriously no, don't take a 3 hour detour for that
Post Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:17 pm
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jakethesnake
guy who cried about wrestling being real


Joined: 03 Feb 2006
Posts: 6278
Location: airstrip one
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Graceland and the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis?

I could recommend lots of expensive hotels (I used to work in the industry) but that doesn't really cover destinations...
Post Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:13 pm
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 1971
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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There are some very nice wineries in Minnesota and Wisconsin near the river. Falconer Vineyards in Red Wing MN particularly gets my recommendation.
Post Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:55 pm
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english bob



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 840
Location: england, uk
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wineries, museums, mansions of dead rock and roll stars are all good shouts.. creationists.. ehh.. if it wasn't a 3 hour detour, i'd do it. also, i'm down for luxury travel, but 'expensive hotels' will probably be few and far between. still, if there's any particularly note worthy, then do share..

how far do those signs for 'great river road' go down i wonder(?) i'll be keeping an eye out for them.
Post Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:38 pm
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