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The Mormon Temple in Nauvoo

Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky

Great Rivers Country: Americana Along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers

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Main Street in Galena

Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky

Great Rivers Country: Americana Along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers

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Pere Marquette State Park Lodge in Grafton

Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky

Great Rivers Country: Americana Along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers

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Quincy Museum in Quincy

Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky

Great Rivers Country: Americana Along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers

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One Eleven Main restaurant in Galena

Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky

Great Rivers Country: Americana Along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers

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Cruising the Mississippi on the Celebration Belle riverboat

Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky

Great Rivers Country: Americana Along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers

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Tractor exhibit at John Deere Pavilion in Moline

Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky

Great Rivers Country: Americana Along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers

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Driving the Great River Road near Alton

Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky

Great Rivers Country: Americana Along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers

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The Jail Hill Inn in Galena

Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky

Great Rivers Country: Americana Along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers

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Great Rivers Country: Americana Along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers Map
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  • States:
    Illinois
    Iowa
    Missouri
    Kentucky

For an unforgettable stay in Illinois, explore diverse landscapes and rich history in beautiful Great Rivers Country.

Travel through the region via the Great River Road, a National Scenic Byway that hugs the Mississippi River for 885 kilometers from East Dubuque to Cairo. Selected as one of National Geographic’s “500 Drives of a Lifetime,” the Great River Road delivers relaxing getaways, lively festivals, outdoor adventures and thousands of years of history along the way.

Sights Along the Way

Begin your journey in the charming town of Galena, where a visit down Main Street will take you back in time to when President Ulysses S. Grant called this town home. Wander its historic streets and revel in boutique shops and farm-to-table restaurants, relax in a cozy bed and breakfast, play a round of golf at Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa, visit wineries and breweries, or take a hot air balloon ride and enjoy the breathtaking view from above.

Stop along the towering bluffs at Mississippi Palisades State Park in Savanna for stunning views of the Mississippi River. Down the road, an authentic Dutch windmill stands tall above the river in the city of Fulton. At the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, sit in a giant combine, try one of the cutting edge simulators, and celebrate the farming pioneer’s inventive spirit. Board the Celebration Belle riverboat, with its authentic paddle wheel and hear tales of the mighty Mississippi.

Visiting Nauvoo is a journey back in time. Noted as a National Historic Landmark community and home to a rebuilt Mormon Temple, Nauvoo has over 60 restored historic buildings. Journey on to Quincy and try an original Maid-Rite sandwich while studying the diverse local architecture.

The River Life

In Alton, see the confluence of three rivers – the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois – and travel the 53 picturesque kilometers of the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway. At Melvin Price Locks and Dam, you can see barges going up and down the river and steer a virtual barge at the National Great Rivers Museum. Follow the footsteps of Lewis and Clark where they set off on their westward journey to the Pacific at Lewis and Clark State Historic Site. Explore the largest prehistoric city north of Mexico at Cahokia Mounds and walk to the top of Monks Mound at this United Nations World Heritage Site.

Built on the banks of the Illinois River, Peoria is home to the world headquarters of machine builder Caterpillar. Start your tour in the two-and-a-half story mining truck then stroll along Peoria’s waterfront to the neighboring Riverfront Museum.

Find delight everywhere in Great Rivers Country. Observe bald eagles or enjoy the vistas along one of the scenic drives. Indulge on local foods, relax at a bed and breakfast, taste Illinois wines or craft beers, or experience the outdoors by hiking, kayaking, or braving a zip line as it soars over limestone bluffs.

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A group kayaking on the Mississippi River
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Destination

Galena