Great RiverRoad IN ILLINOIS
169 m 272 km
31.3 m 50.3 km
18.4 m 29.6 km
35.8 m 57.6 km
Quad Cities 106 m 171 km
Nauvoo 47.1 m 75.8 km
98.5 m 159 km
15 m 24.2 km 23.6 m 38 km 301 m 484.4 km
Grafton Alton St. Louis
Great River Road in Illinois Illinois Route 66 Mississippi River
Map locations and distances are approximate.
COVER PHOTO: PAUL NORDMANN
Illinois’ Great River Road hugs the Mississippi River from East Dubuque to Cairo, sharing 550 miles (885 km) and thousands of years of Illinois history and breathtaking beauty along the way. The Great River Road is filled with historic destinations, such as the town of Galena in the northern region. Galena was once home to nine Civil War generals including Ulysses S. Grant, who went on to become the 18th President of the United States. As you follow the curves and clips of the limestone bluffs and woodlands, explore ancient civilizations at Cahokia Mounds, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Revolutions in trade and travel began over 100 years ago shaping the world’s land and are found along the Great River Road. John Deere’s steel plow revolutionized farming, turning muddy prairies into prospering farms. The John Deere
Pavilion in the Quad Cities celebrates his inventive spirit in a 14,000 sq. ft. (1,300 sq. meters) exhibition of new and old farming equipment. If nature and the great outdoors is your mission, the Great River Road offers awe-inspiring views of the mighty Mississippi, soaring bald eagles and lush forests. If your idea of heaven is an afternoon of shopping, you’ll find quaint towns with antique stores, art galleries, and boutique shops offering one of a kind pieces. Experience all of this and more along the Great River Road in Illinois!
RIVER ROAD IN ILLINOIS NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAY
DAY 1 & 2
Galena Savanna Fulton
Your journey begins in Chicago, a world-class destination, offering stunning architecture, endless shopping, and world-renowned museums.
Springfield Grafton Alton St. Louis
Day 1 begins with experiencing the scenic beauty of one of the world’s greatest cities by taking a Chicago sightseeing tour. The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Architectural River Cruise is one of the most popular tours, taking you through the heart of the city on a leisurely boat ride down the Chicago River. Experience incredible views, insightful narrators,
Savanna Fulton Chicago and learn why Chicago is known for its innovative architecture. Other scenic tours include Chicago Trolley and Double Decker Tours, Sightseeing and Dining Tours from Navy Pier, and Segway Tours, to name a few.
at North Bridge, department stores, Quad Cities including Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as brand name stores, including Apple, Burberry, Nauvoo Cartier, Coach, Gap, Garmin, Gucci, J. Crew, Nike, The LEGO Store, Quincy
Chicago is home to great restaurants, serving delicious cuisines to fulfill any appetite. You can enjoy American, Asian, Italian, Greek, Mexican and more, from casual to lavish settings throughout the city.
Grafton Alton St. Louis
After a hearty lunch, feast your eyes on Chicago’s incredible shopping. Michigan Avenue, often referred to as The Magnificent Mile, is a favorite destination among visitors from all over the world. You will find shopping malls, such as 900 North Michigan Shops, Water Tower Place, and The Shops
Galena Savanna Fulton Chicago Architectural Tour Quad Cities
Day 2 begins with Chicago’s worldclass museums. Located on the lake and a 10-minute cab ride from Michigan Avenue or State Street, is the 57-acre Museum Campus, home to the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Shedd Aquarium. For art lovers, visit the world-famous Art Institute, offering over 300,000 works of art, including Impressionist, PostImpressionist, Decorative Art, Asian Art, modern, and contemporary exhibits.
Afternoon The Ledge
MaxMara, Williams-Sonoma, and hundreds more. Located in the heart of Chicago’s business district is State Street, where you’ll find luxurious shops alongside bargain stores. Macy’s on State Street is the second largest department store in the world, home to the former Marshall Field’s. Explore 8 floors of fabulous merchandise, including apparel, jewelry, cosmetics, and home furnishings, as well as a food court and restaurants on the 7th floor.
Choose from a variety of activities based on your taste and schedule. You can visit Navy Pier, Chicago’s top tourist attraction. The historic pier features a 19-story Ferris wheel, an IMAX theater, the Children’s Museum, dining, shops, cruise ships, and more.
For the ultimate view of the city and beyond, take a trip to the 103rd floor of Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), and step out onto “The Ledge,” a glass box extending several feet from the building. If you prefer a leisurely stroll, with feet firmly on the ground, visit the Lincoln Park Zoo, a 10-minute cab ride from downtown, offering free admission. If you want to get away from downtown, visit one of Chicago’s neighborhoods, including Wrigleyville, home to Wrigley Field and the Chicago Cubs, Lincoln Park, a great destination for shopping and dining, and Bucktown/Wicker Park, a neighborhood filled with cafes, shops and boutiques.
In the evening, enjoy a spectacular sunset while dining at The Signature Room, located on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building, or sip your favorite beverage at The Signature Lounge, one floor above.
Across the street is Block 37, a 5-story shopping mall with an eclectic mix of retail. Down the State Street corridor, you’ll find name brand stores, luxury retailers, and bargain outlets.
Chicago offers an exciting array of night life, romantic restaurants to jazz clubs, wine sipping to swanky lounges, microbrew tastings to comedy clubs. Enjoy! Cloud Gate GreatRiverRoad-Illinois.com 3
Galena Savanna Fulton
Springfield Grafton Alton
Main Street Galena
Getting to Galena Driving distance to Galena from Chicago: 169 m (272 km); approximately 3 hours. The itinerary below assumes arrival in Galena by 9:30 AM. Afternoon activities can be adjusted should arrival be later.
on the National Register of Historic Places and hasGalena been noted as one Savanna of the Top 10 Most Romantic Small Fulton The Chicago Towns in North America. area’s rich history canQuad be traced back to the Cities Black Hawk Wars between the Native Americans and settlers.
Begin your visit to Illinois’ Great River Road in the charming town of Galena. The Mississippi River played an integral part in Galena’s history and growth. It was a bustling town in the early 1800s and grew quickly with the discovery of lead in the surrounding hills. Over 85 percent of the town is
Take Quincy a guided trolley tour of Galena’s historic district. Springfield Tri-State Trolley Grafton Galena Alton Tel: 815-777-6447 St. Louis www.tristatetravel.com/trolley/ Approximate tour time: 1 hour Tour the Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site, home to the 18th President of the United States. The house was presented to General Grant upon his victorious return from the Civil War in 1865. Furnishings are original.
Long Hollow Canopy Tour
U. S. Grant Home State Historic Site Galena Galena Savanna Tel: 815-777-3310 Fulton Chicago www.granthome.com Quad Cities Approximate tour time: 45 minutes
Galena Enjoy lunch at the Courtyard Restaurant, situatedSavanna in the historic DeSoto House Hotel. Opened Chicago in 1855, Fulton the hotel is the hub of Galena’s Main Quad Cities Street. Lunch buffet available Monday through Friday.
Courtyard Restaurant Nauvoo Galena Tel: 815-777-0090 Quincy www.desotohouse.com/courtyard.html Springfield
Explore over 100 shops and eateries Louis taste lining Main StreetSt.Galena, Illinois wines and spirits, stroll along the picturesque Galena River, take a canopy tour, see the countryside in a hot air balloon, or take a trail ride. Long Hollow Canopy Tours Elizabeth Tel: 815-281-2853 longhollowcanopytours.com Approximate tour time: Galena 2 hours 30 minutes Savanna Driving distance from Galena: Fulton 10.5 m (17 km); approximately Chicago Quad Cities 17 minutes
Galena on the Fly (hot air balloon rides) Galena 815-777-2747 www.buyaballoonride.com Approximate tour time: 1 hour, total event 2 hours 30 minutes Driving distance from Galena: 6.9 m (11 km); approximately 14 minutes Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. Galena Tel: 815-777-1000 www.blaumbros.com Approximate tour time: 45 minutes Shenandoah Riding Center (horseback riding, sleigh and wagon rides) Galena Tel: 815-777-9550 www.theshenandoahridingcenter.com Driving distance from Galena: 9.9 m (16 km); approximately 16 minutes Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery Galena Tel: 800-397-9463 www.galenacellars.com/winery Driving distance from Galena: 7.6 m (12 km); approximately 16 minutes – private tours and wine/ cheese/chocolate tastings for groups of 10 or more
Check into one of Galena’s many charming bed and breakfast inns, resorts, or well-appointed hotels.
Suggested inns: The Inn at Irish Hollow Galena Tel: 815-777-6000 www.irishhollow.com
Enjoy a farm to table dinner at One Eleven Main showcasing the best of local produce and ingredients, visit any of the other quaint restaurants in town, or dine at your inn. One Eleven Main Galena Tel: 815-777-8030 www.oneelevenmain.com
The Goldmoor Inn (19 Luxury Suites) Galena Tel: 815-777-3925 www.goldmoor.com
Vinny Vanucchi’s Galena Tel: 815-777-8100 www.vinnysgalena.com
Jail Hill Inn Galena Tel: 815-207-8306 jailhillgalena.com
Generals’ Restaurant Galena Tel: 815-777-0090 desotohouse.com/restaurants/ generals-restaurant
Suggested resort hotels: Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa (Amenities Include: treatments at the resort’s Stonedrift Spa, 4 championship golf courses, hot air balloon rides and horseback riding) Galena Tel: 815-777-5000 www.eagleridge.com Chestnut Mountain Resort (Amenities include: Segway tours, alpine slide, zip line, skiing, panoramic views of the Mississippi River and Mississippi River cruises) Galena Tel: 800-397-1320 www.chestnutmtn.com
Frank O’Dowd’s Irish Pub & Grill Galena Tel: 815-776-0707 www.theirishcottageboutiquehotel. com/galena-restaurant.aspx Log Cabin Steakhouse Galena Tel: 815-777-0393 logcabingalena.com Fritz and Frites Galena Tel: 815-777-2004 fritzandfrites.com Fried Green Tomatoes Galena Tel: 815-777-3938 www.friedgreen.com
The Irish Cottage Boutique Hotel Galena Tel: 866-284-7474 theirishcottageboutiquehotel.com
Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa
The DeSoto House Hotel Galena Tel: 815-777-0090 desotohouse.com
Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. GreatRiverRoad-Illinois.com 5
Savanna Fulton Chicago Quad Cities
Springfield Grafton Alton St. Louis
Mississippi Palisades State Park
Today you will explore the charming riverfront towns and natural beauty of the great Mississippi River. After breakfast at the hotel, begin your drive along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway. This section of the Mississippi is lined by tall bluffs. For dramatic overlooks above the river, stop at Mississippi Palisades State Park. The park is rich in Native American history and offers excellent hiking trails of varying difficulty. Oak Point Overlook is a must see.
Celebration River Cruises 6
Mississippi Palisades State Park Savanna Tel: 815-273-2731 www.dnr.illinois.gov/Parks/Pages/ MississippiPalisades.aspx Distance from Galena: 31.3 m (50.3 km); approximately 40 minutes
Continue following the Mississippi River to Moline, one of the Quad Cities – four communities comprising the commercial and cultural hub of Galena northwestern Illinois/northeastern Iowa. Savanna Distance from Fulton: 35.8 m (57.6 km); Fulton Chicago approximately 55 minutes
Continue south along the river through the riverfront town of Savanna and on to Fulton, home to 1 of only 12 authentic Dutch windmills in the U.S. Walk up to the windmill for panoramic views of the Mississippi River, then visit the adjacent Windmill Cultural Center to learn more about the use of windmills and see the collection of more than 20 miniature working windmills.
De Immigrant Windmill and Windmill Cultural Center Fulton Tel: 815-589-4545 www.cityoffulton.us/chamber/fultondirectory/attractions/de-immigrantwindmill.html Admission: Free Approximate tour time: 1 hour Distance from Savanna: 18.4 m (29.6 km); approximately 25 minutes
Enjoy a buffet lunch and cruise aboard Nauvoo the paddlewheel boat, Celebration Belle. Quincy
Celebration River Cruises Springfield (Closed November-March, Closed Sunday-Monday) Grafton Moline Alton Tel: 800-297-0034 St. Louis www.celebrationbelle.com Approximate tour time: 1 hour 30 minutes Schedule varies throughout the year; advance reservations required Note: If choosing this luncheon option, the morning schedule should be shortened to allow sufficient time to arrive at the Celebration Belle before departure.
Or enjoy lunch at:
speaking town in Illinois until the early 20th century. With over 60 restored historical sites, a visit to Nauvoo is a journey to another time. Distance from Moline: 106 m (171 km); approximately 2 hours 50 minutes
Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse Moline Tel: 309-736-0100 johnnysitaliansteakhouse.com/moline Lagomarcino’s Soda Fountain (soups, sandwiches and nostalgic ice cream treats) Moline Tel: 309-764-1814 www.lagomarcinos.com/sodafountain-deli
Suggested accommodations: Nauvoo Villas & Condos Nauvoo Tel: 800-453-6717 www.nauvoovillas.com De Immigrant Windmill
John Deere Harvester Works East Moline Tel: 800-765-9588 www.deere.com/en/connect-with-johndeere/visit-john-deere/factory-tours Admission: Free Approximate tour time: 1 hour 30 minutes; tours must be reserved a minimum of 48 hours in advance
Lagomarcino’s Soda Fountain
Visit the John Deere Pavilion, an interactive showcase of farming and excavating equipment. John Deere equipment has been used on farms across the U.S. and throughout the world since the mid-1800s. In the simulator, experience what it is like to drive one of these enormous machines.
Continue driving along the Great River Road west and then south to Nauvoo, a historic community that was one of the largest towns on the frontier in the 1840s. Nauvoo was the center of the Mormon Church at that time and later became the largest German-
Famous for its Midwestern buffet, Hotel Nauvoo has been serving up local favorites for over 175 years. Stop in for a taste of Illinois made wine at nearby Baxter’s Vineyards & Winery – Illinois’ oldest winery. Hotel Nauvoo Nauvoo Tel: 217-453-2211 www.hotelnauvoo.com/?pg=Dining Baxter’s Vineyards & Winery Nauvoo Tel: 217-453-2528 www.nauvoowinery.com
John Deere Pavilion Moline Tel: 309-765-1000 www.johndeereattractions.com Admission: Free Approximate tour time: 40 minutes
John Deere Pavilion GreatRiverRoad-Illinois.com 7
Historic Nauvoo Visitors’ Center Nauvoo Tel: 217-577-2603 www.historicnauvoo.net/blank Admission: Free Approximate tour time: 2 hours Joseph Smith Historic Sites Nauvoo Tel: 217-453-2246 www.historicnauvoo.net/joseph-smithhistoric-sites Admission: Free
Baxter’s Vineyards & Winery 8
St. Louis Tom Simpson Photography
Nauvoo Historic District
After breakfast, enjoy a wagon ride through the restored town with stops at some of the historic shops such as the blacksmith, baker, and more.
Continue driving south through the picturesque countryside along the Mississippi River. Stop for lunch in Quincy which boasts over 3,000 historic homes and buildings. The Pier Quincy Tel: 217-221-0020 www.thepierrestaurant.com Distance from Nauvoo: 47.1 m (75.8 km); approximately 1 hour 15 minutes
OR Hannibal Drive to Hannibal, Missouri, home of Mark Twain, for lunch and an afternoon of sightseeing including the Mark Twain Boyhood Home, Mark Twain Cave and Mark Twain Riverboat. www.visithannibal.com Distance from Nauvoo: 75 m (121 km); approximately 1 hour 45 minutes
Pere Marquette State Park
Fast Eddie’s Bon Air
Continue south from Quincy through the rich agricultural land to the town of Grafton at the northern end of the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway. This 33-mile (53 km) stretch of roadway, from Grafton south to Alton winds between the Mississippi River and towering bluffs. Journey through Pere Marquette State Park for panoramic views of the Illinois River. Be sure to stop by the visitor’s center to see a
bald eagle nest. Grafton is also a great place for chocolate or ice cream, or fresh fruit from a local produce stand (in summer season). Distance from Quincy: 98.5 m (159 km); approximately 2 hours 10 minutes Pere Marquette State Park Grafton Tel: 618-786-3323 www.dnr.illinois.gov/parks/pages/ peremarquette.aspx Enjoy the stunning beauty as the road continues to Alton. Distance from Grafton: 15 m (24.2 km); approximately 25 minutes For those choosing to visit Hannibal, follow the same route as above south from Hannibal to Grafton Distance from Hannibal: 92 m (148 km); approximately 1 hour 53 minutes
Suggested accommodations: Best Western Premier Alton Tel: 618-462-1220 www.bestwestern.com/en_US/book/ hotel-details.14211.html Hampton Inn & Suites Alton Tel: 618-433-8999 hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/ illinois/hampton-inn-and-suites-st-louisalton-STLAIHX/index.html
Experience “the best bar in the world” at the legendary Fast Eddie’s Bon Air, known for its live music, delicious and inexpensive burgers, shrimp, steak and pork kabobs. Fast Eddie’s Bon Air Alton Tel: 618-462-5532 www.fasteddiesbonair.com OR
Villa Kathrine in Quincy
Gentelin’s on Broadway Alton Tel: 618-465-6080 www.gentelinsonbroadway.com GreatRiverRoad-Illinois.com 9
Bluffs near Alton
Today explore the two great rivers—the Mississippi and the Missouri—that meet in Alton and experience the Melvin Price Locks & Dam 26. One of the largest locks on the river, it is a central traffic point for barges transporting soybeans, corn, grain and other goods up and down the Mississippi River. Mid-November through March keep
a look out for bald eagles that nest throughout the area. Melvin Price Locks & Dam 26 Alton Tel: 618-462-6979 www.meetingoftherivers.org Admission: Free Approximate tour time: 1 hour
My Just Desserts
Dine at My Just Desserts, a favorite of locals and visitors alike for its home cooking and 150 pie recipes. My Just Desserts Alton Tel: 618-462-5881 www.myjustdesserts.org
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site 10
Lewis and Clark State Historic Site and Interpretive Center Hartford Tel: 618-251-5811 www.campdubois.com Admission: Free Approximate tour time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Getting from Alton
Driving distance from Alton to St. Louis Lambert International Airport (nearest airport): 23.6 m (38 km); approximately 25 minutes
Lewis and Clark State Historic Site and Interpretive Center
For the best views of the entire area and also the two rivers, visit the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower, a 180foot tower with viewing platforms at different heights for unobstructed views of the rivers and land below. Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower Hartford Tel: 618-251-9101 www.confluencetower.com Approximate tour time: 30 minutes Distance from Alton: 7 m (11 km); approximately 15 minutes Continue on to the nearby Lewis and Clark State Historic Site and Interpretive Center. The interpretive center houses displays and exhibits illustrating the May 1804 Corps of Discovery Expedition, lead by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, that departed from a nearby location. The site also includes a replica of their keelboat. Outside, visit the recreated Camp River Dubois depicting the winter camp where expedition members prepared for their travels.
Drive south of Alton to Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cahokia Mounds was the largest prehistoric civilization north of Mexico and was inhabited from AD 700 to 1400. It was home to nearly 20,000 Native Americans who lived in houses arranged around open plazas and farmed vast agricultural fields. There are over 100 mounds at the site.
Melvin Price Locks & Dam
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site and UNESCO World Heritage Site Collinsville Tel: 618-346-5160 www.cahokiamounds.org Admission: Free Approximate tour time: 1 hour 30 minutes including introductory film Distance from Alton: 25 m (40 km); approximately 40 minutes
Tara Point in Grafton
Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower GreatRiverRoad-Illinois.com 11
Great River Road in Illinois Events Galena President Grantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Birthday Celebration Weekend
Great Galena Balloon Race
Galena Country Fair
Nouveau Wine Weekend
Fulton Dutch Days
Fulton Fall Festival
Moline Blossoms at Butterworth
Row the Miss Regatta October tworiversymca.org/programs activities/rowing/row-the-miss-regatta
Rock Island Ya Maka My Weekend - Reggae Fest
Nauvoo Grape Festival
Silvis John Deere Classic PGA Tournament
Blossoms at Butterworth
U. S. Grant Home State Historic Site
Great Galena Balloon Rally
John Deere Classic PGA Tournament
Fulton Dutch Days
Quincy Great River Eagle Days
Midsummer Arts Faire
Great River Grape Escape
Early Tin Dusters Car Show
Peach Festival at Pere Marquette Lodge
Pere Marquette Rendezvous
Alton Alton Audubon Eagle Ice Festival January visitalton.com/feature-stories/detail/6/ alton-audubon-eagle-festival
Hartford Lewis & Clark Point of Departure
Collinsville Cahokia Mounds • Archeology Day
Cahokia Mounds • American Indian Educational Days September cahokiamounds.org/events Cahokia Mounds • Native American Holiday Market
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