The Great River Road is America’s oldest and longest National Scenic Byway, so it makes sense that it’s also home to a lot of history and unique attractions. Here are a few things you might not know about the Mississippi River and the cities and states along the Great River Road.
- It takes approximately 90 days for a raindrop to travel the length of the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.
- There are more than 70 official interpretive centers—museums, historical sites and more—along the Great River Road.
- Memphis, Tennessee is home more than 100 barbecue restaurants.
- The Mississippi River actually flowed backwards after a series of earthquakes that rocked the New Madrid, Missouri, area in 1811 and 1812. You can learn about it at the New Madrid Historical Museum.
- Founded in 1791, the French Market in New Orleans is the oldest public market in the United States.
- Waterskiing was invented on Lake Pepin—part of the Mississippi River that forms the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota—in 1922.