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In honor of the Great River Road’s 75th anniversary, we’ve compiled a three-day itinerary complete with charming river towns, breathtaking beauty and unforgettable memories. Whether visitors see every sight along the way or choose a few of their favorites, one thing’s for sure – the Great River Road that follows Iowa’s eastern border was made for remarkable road trips.
Mississippi Explorer Cruises, Lansing
Explore the backwaters of the Mississippi River and view extraordinary wildlife on a relaxing cruise.
Effigy Mounds, Harpers Ferry
Peace and tranquility are preserved at Effigy Mounds, an American Indian burial and ceremonial site featuring more than 200 mounds including many in the shape of bears, birds and other animals.
Eagles Landing Winery, Marquette
Sip in the sights at Eagles Landing Winery that features free tastings of their award-winning wines every day.
Old Man River Brewery, McGregor
Grab a bite and a brew at Old Man River Restaurant & Brewery, a spot that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
One of America’s Prettiest Towns, Guttenberg
Take a stroll on Guttenberg’s beautiful river walk and you’ll see why forbestraveler.com named it one of “America’s 20 Prettiest Towns” in 2009.
National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, Dubuque
The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium is a 10-acre campus where fun and learning flow together. Two buildings and an outdoor plaza offer dozens of exhibits of the power and majesty of American rivers and 12 aquariums showcase American aquatic life.
Bellevue State Park, Bellevue
This picturesque riverfront community is a nature lover’s dream. Bellevue State Park offers panoramic views of the Mississippi from atop a limestone bluff and a garden sanctuary that attracts more than 60 species of butterflies each year.
Felix Adler Children’s Discovery Center, Clinton
The Children’s Discovery Center offers a host of interactive exhibits, educational displays and special events. Displays include Brio train engine, Kapla blocks, ambulance, grocery store, hospital, and much more!
Mississippi River Distillery, Le Claire
You’ll be in good spirits when you take a tour of the Mississippi River Distillery, where they distill everything from vodka and gin to whiskey and rye, all from local grains.
Modern Woodmen Park, Davenport
Baseball doesn’t get any better than at Modern Woodmen Park. Catch a Quad Cities River Bandits baseball game – but also be sure to ride the park’s carousel, Ferris wheel and zipline for a complete entertainment experience.
Figge Art Museum, Davenport
The largest art gallery between Chicago and Des Moines, the 114,000 square foot Figge Art Museum’s collections include more than 3,500 paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the 16th century to the present.
Muscatine History and Industry Center & Pearl Button Museum, Muscatine
Muscatine honors its past as the “Pearl Button Capital of the World,” and its present as a global manufacturer of office furnishings, fireplaces, athletic field lighting, livestock feed, and more.
Snake Alley, Burlington
Twist and turn down Snake Alley, a one-of-a-kind street composed of limestone and blue clay bricks that Ripley’s Believe It or Not dubbed the “Crookedest Street in the World.”
Old Fort Madison, Fort Madison
Early settlers of the Louisiana Purchase were protected by soldiers at Old Fort Madison. The reconstructed fort was the only site in Iowa to see action in the War of 1812.
River Lock & Dam 19, Keokuk
Overlook the bustling Mississippi from the River Lock & Dam 19 Observation Deck and watch as paddle wheelers, barges and tug boats make their way up and down the river.