The Great River Road was named an All-American Road in 2021, which means it’s considered one of the country’s very best National Scenic Byways. So why is this 3,000-mile route along the Mississippi River so special? Here’s a look at some of the historical sites and other attractions that make the Great River Road so great.
The Great River Road passes through 10 states and tells the story of the Mississippi River region and the country at large at dozens of museums, historical sites, and attractions along the route. Travelers will discover everything from iconic music clubs to the boyhood home of America’s most famous author.
Here’s a look at a few historic attractions along the northern Great River Road:
- Charles Lindbergh House and Museum – Little Falls, Minnesota
- Downtown Alma, Wisconsin
- Historic Nauvoo, Illinois
- Buffalo Bill Regional History Museum & River Pilot’s Pier – Le Claire, Iowa
And some historic attractions along the southern Great River Road:
- Hampson Archeological Museum State Park – Wilson, Arkansas
- Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site – Wickliffe, Kentucky
- National World War II Museum – New Orleans, Louisiana
- Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange – Memphis, Tennessee
Another reason the Great River Road was named an All-American Road is because of its strong connection to the culture of the Mississippi River region. Cultural attractions dot the landscape and include bustling arts districts, iconic architecture, and charming river towns.
Cultural attractions along the northern Great River Road:
- Mississippi River towns in Minnesota – Red Wing, Wabasha, Winona, and Hastings
- Stockholm Art Fair – Pepin, Wisconsin
- Village of Elsah, Illinois
- Heritage Center Museum – Burlington, Iowa
Cultural attractions along the southern Great River Road:
- Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home – Dyess, Arkansas
- The Great River Road Steamboat Museum at Houmas House – Darrow, Louisiana
- Memphis in May International Festival – Memphis, Tennessee