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Mississippi River Valley: Great River Road Scenic Drive
Though the Great River Road covers an incredible amount of ground—2,000 miles along the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Louisiana—it's easy to enjoy piece by piece during leisurely weekend getaways.
View of Great River Road and Mississippi River from Maiden Rock Bluffs in Stockholm, Wisconsin
Great River Road along the Mississippi River near Elsah, Illinois
Great River Road Mark Twain Mississippi Riverboat.
From its burbling start at Itasca State Park in Minnesota to its languid terminus in the Delta, the 2,000-plus-mile Mississippi River carries a nation’s worth of history, culture and lore in its muddy waters. Mark Twain (whom you’ll “meet” in Hannibal, Missouri) wrote that the river he knew was “as tranquil and reposeful as dreamland.” How much has it changed? We’ll leave that for you to discover.
Perfect panoramas Savor sweeping views from parks along the byway, which runs the full length of both sides of the river. Our faves include Perrot State Park in Wisconsin, Frontenac State Park in Minnesota and Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa.