Fri, July 12: Fly to Minneapolis, Minnesota and check into hotel. Stay one night, with time to shop or sightsee around the city on your own.
Sat, July 13: Minneapolis/St. Paul. Spend the day exploring more of Minneapolis and St. Paul at your leisure. The Twin Cities are located on bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, and feature a number of historic buildings. Embark on the American Queen in St. Paul, surrounded by skyscrapers, bridges and the first of many Mississippi River locks and dams.
Sun, July 14: Red Wing, Minnesota. Home to a variety of shops, including arts, antiques, pottery and one-of-a kind boutiques, Red Wing ranks as one of Minnesota’s leading manufacturing cities. Historically it is known as home to products including shoes, pottery and linseed oil; today it also produces safety and robotic products. A guided tour of Red Wing begins at the Visitor Center and Art Association. Discover Minnesota’s favorite destination for antiques, gift shop, eateries and pottery at the Pottery Place District. Then visit the Stoney Ends Harps, who have made handcrafted folk lever harps for 25 years. At the Historic West End, you will find the Native American, Military and Sheldon Performing Arts Theatre. Do some fantastic shopping at Main & Bush Shopping Center, or grab a bite, relax or shop at the luxurious historic St. James Hotel. Don’t miss the spectacular view of bluffs of Minnesota and Wisconsin that await you at Memorial Park.
Mon, July 15: La Crosse, Wisconsin. This gem of Victorian and Art Deco architecture with an inviting Riverwalk is your gateway to local culture. Explore Amish Country or enjoy “lefse” and Scandinavian folk tunes with Norwegian descendants. Board a deluxe Hop On-Hop Off Steamcoach at the dock and enjoy a narrated tour of charming downtown La Crosse. Enjoy views from the Victorian-style Hixon House, a home from the late 1850s. Discover exhibitions with historical and educational art programs at the Swarthout Museum and Pumphouse Regional Arts Center. Other stops include the Chapels of St. Rose and the Riverside Museum with exhibitions from the War Eagle. Learn about the impact of La Crosse’s river growth, and enjoy an appreciation for the diverse cultures that share the earth at the Riverside International Friendship Garden.
Tue, July 16: Dubuque, Iowa. The flags of five nations have flown over a city that lives and breathes river lore. Take in its diverse flavors from Cable Car Square to the Smithsonian-affiliated National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. Start this amazing tour with a visit to Dubuque’s Museum of Art. Then visit the oldest and most “grand” of more than 16 legitimate theaters in the community, the Grand Opera House. While viewing the Shot Tower, hear about how this structure produced nearly two-thirds of all the lead shot used during the Civil War. The Fenelon Place Elevator sits on the bluff of Dubuque, overlooking downtown and the mighty Mississippi River. At the Mathias Ham House, capture the flavor of life along the Mississippi during the golden era of steamboating. Later, at The Old Jail Museum see a rare example of Egyptian Revivalist architecture — as well as the dungeon in the basement! Lastly, visit The Hotel Julien, which became known as one of the finest hotels in the Midwest and Al Capone’s hiding-out spot in Dubuque.
Wed, July 17: Davenport, Iowa. Spend an unstructured day, strolling from place to place and discovering surprises among the gift and gallery shops. Stay to eat, drink, shop or play at the Village of East Davenport. Interact in an exhibit with equipment and agricultural machines at the John Deer Pavilion. Amble through the Moline Walking Tour and the Quad City Botanical Center, which offers a collection of flowers, indoor tropical atrium, gardens and greenhouse. Discover our 3,000- year addiction to chocolate with taste testing and a tour of the tropical gardens and chocolate tree in historic downtown Rock Island. Relax with a narrated tour of the charming Quad Cities area. Enjoy an exhibition representing art from the 16th century to the present at the Figge Art Museum or listen to some American roots music at the River Music Experience. Other cultural and historic attractions include the German American Center and St. Anthony Church. Visit the first Preferred Summit Hotel in Iowa — the chic, hip, historic Black Hawk Hotel.
Thu, July 18: Burlington, Iowa. The ancestral home of the Suak Indians, Burlington became a bustling river and railroad port. Its rich heritage is kept alive in Historic Nauvoo’s Family Living Center and at Fort Madison. Start your guided tour at the Port of Burlington Welcome Center, now home to a State of Iowa Welcome Center. Drive through the Heritage Hill National Historic District which lines the northern sector of downtown. Nearly 160 structures reflect many architectural periods and styles and was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Enjoy a breathtaking view of the Mississippi River from Mosquito Park, so named for its tiny size. Visit Snake Alley, perhaps Burlington’s most famous landmark. Ripley’s Believe It or Not-dubbed Snake Alley the “crookedest street in the world.” The Alley consists of five half-curves and two quarter-curves and drops 58 feet over a distance of 275 feet. The brave are invited to walk down, and the Steamcoach will pick up walkers at the bottom of the hill. Step back in time as you visit the new Des Moines County Heritage Center. Experience what life was like in the 19th-century and learn more about the importance of river and rail in southeast Iowa. Tour the renovated Capitol Theater, a 1930s Art Deco theater, and learn of its rich history. Take some time visiting distinctive, locally owned stores inside historic buildings along Jefferson Street.
Fri, July 19: Hannibal, Missouri. Board the Twainland Express for a journey enlivened by the spirit of Samuel Clemens, who authored American classics under the pen name of Mark Twain. Stroll through the Museum Complex, explore the famous Cave and watch as your guide points out scenes from famous tales. Explore the Hannibal of Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain. Begin your journey into the town that inspired the author’s imagination at the Mark Twain Boyhood House & Museum. See the Justice of Peace, the courtroom setting used for trial in Tom Sawyer’s story. Visit the Becky Thatcher House, home of Tom Sawyer’s first sweetheart. Delight your palates with exclusive wines and free tasting at the Mark Twain Winery. Take a journey to a time where the golden age of railroading and toy trains were part of most everyone’s life at the Big River Train Town Museum. Last but not least, enjoy visiting local Trinity Church and shopping at the Huck Finn Shopping Center.
Sat, July 20: St. Louis, Missouri. After breakfast, keep an eye out for St. Louis’ Gateway Arch, the iconic landmark that is a symbol of America’s frontier journey. Return to Indianapolis by van or motorcoach transportation.
Steamboat American Queen
Travel in luxury on the largest and only authentic overnight paddlewheel steamboat in America. Highlights: staterooms • in-stateroom gourmet coffeemakers • three restaurants • complimentary wine and beer at dinner • Mark Twain Gallery (library) • entertainment in the two-deck tall Grand Saloon • complimentary shore excursions • optional shore excursions (fees apply).
Note: Some optional excursions may be scheduled during times of included shore excursions. All have limited capacities so please book early!
Birdwatching (7/14). Have a “Nose to Beak” experience with live bald eagles and a golden eagle at the National Eagle Center in downtown Wabasha, Minnesota. Duration: 3.5 – 4 hours. $59
A Taste of Norway in Wisconsin (7/15). Visit the Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center in Coon Valley, with a “Sons of Norway” costumed guide explaining how Norwegian immigrants came and settled the area, and what the life of a settler was like. At Norskedalen tour the Bekkum Homestead and enjoy Norwegian pastries. Be entertained by the Norskedalen Trio, a 3-piece band that lays traditional Scandinavian folk tunes with Ole and Lena jokes. Duration: 4 hours. $69
Baseball, Apple Pie & America’s Heartland (7/16). Discover Americana and the Midwest at its best: toys, Chevrolets, baseball and apple pie. Visit the National Farm Toy Museum in Dyersville, Iowa, which pays tribute to historic and contemporary crop contraptions. Then it’s on to the iconic “Field of Dreams,” the century-old Lansing family farm where a baseball diamond was carved from a cornfield and inspired the movie. Enjoy lunch at Breitbach’s, where everything is made from scratch, including the apple pies. Duration: 3.5-4 hours. $69
Galena Historic Tour (7/16). Galena enchants with historic sites and attractions, wonderful specialty shops and unlimited dining options. Ulysses S. Grant made his home here. See the Desoto House Hotel, the Old Market House and the Belvedere Mansion on a narrated historic trolley tour. Duration: 4 hours. $49
Heritage Tours to the Amana Colonies (7/17). One of America’s longest-lived communal societies, The Amana Colonies began in Germany in 1714 and continues today on the Iowa prairie. The community, now numbering about 1,200 people, called themselves the Ebenezer Society, and has carved a relatively comfortable living. Explore these fascinating people and their way of live with visits to historical sites, the Amana Colonies Heritage Museum and enjoy a traditional Amana family luncheon at the Ox Yoke Inn. Duration: 6 hours. $89
The John Deere Legacy (7/17). Delight as a costumed guide portraying John Deere, captivating you with his true American success story. See the site of his first factory in Moline, take a short walk to the John Deere Pavilion, then enjoy a personal escorted tour of his family home. Visit one of the John Deere’s manufacturing facilities. On the way back to the boat, stop at Lagomarcino’s ice cream parlor, a Davenport landmark since 1908, for a famous Fudge Sundae. Duration: 4 hours. $59
Live Cabaret Show in the Bart Howard Room (7/18). Songwriter Bart Howard, a Burlington native, is honored with a live cabaret show of his music and other cabaret standards. Howard’s songs were performed by Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis and others. His hits included “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Let Me Love You.” Duration: 2 hours. $39
Explore the Mark Twain Cave (7/19). Discovered by hunter Jack Sims in 1819, Mark Twain Cave has long been a favorite of visitors to Hannibal. Samuel Clemens explored the cave as a child and later, under the pen name Mark Twain, included it in five of his books. The cave became famous in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, where Tom and Becky get lost in the cave. Duration: 3.5-4 hours. $13
Mississippi Mud – A Hands-on Adventure (7/19). Enjoy a tour of Ayes Pottery to see functional pottery pieces created by a professional artist. Head down to the workshop and sit at a potter’s wheel to create your own work of art. Your piece will be fired and shipped to your home as a souvenir of your Hannibal adventure. Duration: 2-3 hours. $69