Great River Road
September 12-15, 2021
Join us as we drive along the Great River Road in Illinois. Ride a riverboat, take an aerial lift, visit a lock & dam, and learn more about the mighty Mississippi River.
Day 1: Departing Yoder this morning, we head east and arrive in Alton IL for the evening. During dinner at the hotel, enjoy a lively and interactive comical dinner theater. We stay at the same hotel for all 3 nights in Alton, IL. (D)
Day 2: Today we take a scenic drive along part of the Great River Road. Experience the rolling waters of the mighty Mississippi River and the limestone bluffs on our way to meet our step-on guide at the ferry crossing, which takes us across the Mississippi River. Discover the quiet beauty of Calhoun County on our rural tour. Our local expert leads us on a unique adventure to explore the fruits and labors of the county. Enjoy a delicious three-course family-style lunch at Wittmond Restaurant, a quaint historic building. This afternoon we soar over the bluffs on the Grafton SkyTour aerial lift. Ride the enclosed gondola cars to the top for breathtaking views overlooking the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Explore the resort gift shop and experience group wine tasting at the Aerie’s Winery before our descent. Later, we board the Hakuna Matata Riverboat. Relax during this fun-filled cruise listening to tales of the river and their communities. Tonight we dine at the massive Pere Marquette State Park Lodge overlooking the Illinois River. (B, L, D)
Day 3: America’s Central Port is located adjacent to Locks #27, the last lock on the Mississippi River heading south. Enjoy a windshield tour of the Port District including a levee system, a steel dock facility, a warehouse district, and a mixed-use business district. Next, we visit the National Great Rivers Museum, dedicated to telling the story of life on the Mississippi. We also take a guided tour of the Melvin Price Locks & Dam, one of the largest lock structures on the river. This afternoon we stop at the Jacoby Arts Center for a live art demonstration and a hands-on activity. On our Alton Living History Tour, costumed docents tell stories about the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the infamous Alton Prison, and the legacy of the Civil War in Alton. This evening, travel back in time and experience dinner at Lincoln’s Table. This interactive dinner will showcase the many who dined with Lincoln & Mary Todd during the years. Enjoy a menu that would have been served at Lincoln’s table, hosted by Mary Todd, Robert Todd, and Mary’s longtime servant sharing all the household gossip. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Today we drive back to Kansas with memories of the Mighty Mississippi and the rich history along part of the Great River Route. (B)