Early explorers and native tribes left their legacy behind in town names here: Joliet. Red Wing. Dubuque. Rolling farmland stretches out to the horizon; barges are measured in acres; man-made lakes and locks channel the river’s flow. What to do on a river day? Grab your binoculars and study a pair of American bald eagles. Wave to the motorboat captains locking through the dam beside you. Study red in ten different shades of fall foliage. Tap into the sense of wonder that caused early pioneers to call the heartland home.
Destinations handpicked to pique the interest of nature lovers, history buffs and culture enthusiasts let you delve into beauty and adventure on an epic scale. After all, this is America’s Heartland, envisioned by Washington and Jefferson, celebrated by Mark Twain and stitched into the very fabric of a nation. From Chippewa country in the north to the confluence of the Missouri near St. Louis and Ohio Rivers at Cairo, the Upper Mississippi flows through the pages of U.S. history.