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Great River Road: An Epic RV Camping Journey

By now, most of my regular readers know that I’m a boomer princess when it comes to accommodations. Give me luxury bedding, personal service and a hot, gourmet breakfast and I’m a happy camper, uh, princess. However, I’m aware that a large segment of the baby boomer population enjoys traveling by RV. Well, I certainly don’t want to leave you out. Since I can’t provide first-hand reports about RV camping, I’ve consulted an expert. Today, Joe Laing of El Monte RV Rentals shares why baby boomers should travel the Great River Road by RV.

united-states-great-river-road-mississippiRV travelers have been drawn to the Mighty Mississippi since the first recreational vehicle was built. There’s something about the immense power of a river that flows from one American border to another that keeps us coming back for more. For those baby boomer RV campers who would like the ultimate Mississippi River experience, there’s the Great River Road, passing through river towns, national forests and some pretty amazing scenery in ten states. Come with us as we cover the highlights along the Great River Road.

The Route
According to the National Scenic Byways Program, you should plan ten days for traveling the Great River Road, which allows time to stop and savor life along the River. From north to south, the route begins at Lake Itasca in Minnesota, three hours south of the Canadian border and the source of the Mississippi River. The Great River Road then swings down through Minneapolis and over into southern Wisconsin.

Continuing south, the River Road divides Iowa and Illinois and takes you through river towns in both states. The river continues as a boundary between Illinois and Missouri, cuts across the southwestern corner of Kentucky, flows through southern Arkansas and becomes the major waterway for the State of Mississippi. Rolling on, your route will continue to the Mississippi Delta in coastal Louisiana.

Traveling through ten states on a vast network of highways and state roads, the entire journey will cover just over two thousand miles. No matter where you start along the way, it’s an epic RV voyage that will leave baby boomers with special memories of the historic Mississippi.

The Sights
There’s simply so much to see along the Great River Road that we can’t cover it all in one article. Here’s a small sampling of the types of attractions this scenic byway offers:

  • Bald Eagle Bluff and the National Eagle Center in Minnesota are exceptional places to learn more about our national symbol.
  • St. Feriole Island in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin celebrates the early settlement of the Upper Mississippi Valley with historic reenactments and a beautifully restored Victorian estate.
  • Hannibal, Missouri will delight you with its ghost tours, Mark Twain historical sites and riverboat cruises.
  • Lady Luck Casino in Caruthersville, Missouri has its own RV campground and is situated right on the Mississippi River.
  • Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge in Tennessee is also a major waterfowl sanctuary. Birding enthusiasts and wildlife photography buffs will especially love this stop along the Great River Road.
  • Memphis Riverboat Cruises are the perfect way to experience the power of the Mississippi River. Learn more about the history, culture and wildlife of the Mississippi.
  • The Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi gives visitors a big dose of the music that grew up along this mighty river.
  • LSU Rural Life Museum in Baton Rouge is a fantastic place for families. This well-planned outdoor museum details life on a Louisiana plantation, complete with farm animals!
  • Vidalia, Louisiana will take your breath away with its river views, riverboats and charming southern hospitality.

There are hundreds of fascinating things to see and do along the Great River Road. Go to byways.org for more details on attractions in each state.

The RV Camping
Here’s a quick guide to exceptional RV camping along the Great River Road:

There’s a whole river full of adventure waiting for intrepid boomer RV travelers. Book your campsites and get going. The Mighty Mississippi is waiting!

Disclosure: This is not a paid or sponsored post. Joe offered solid information about traveling the Great River Road by RV camper that we thought our baby boomer readers would enjoy.

Have you traveled the Great River Road by RV or as an extended road trip by car? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email.

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