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56 South 33rd Avenue, #234 | St. Cloud, Minnesota 56301 320-259-1082 | 877-832-7267 | Fax: 763-201-7945 |

letter from

the publisher

Heather J. Lahren | PUBLISHER Lynn Gottwalt | TRAFFIC MANAGER Mackenzie Lahren | PROJECT COORDINATOR John Lundberg | VP OF SALES Independent Linda Hurst | SALES CONSULTANT Independent Eric Beuning | SALES CONSULTANT Independent Chris Reber | WEB DESIGNER/PROGRAMMER Ashley Pipenhagen | JUNIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Carinna K. Hard Bullemer | ART DIRECTOR HARD AT WORK Design, inc. | CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Heather Lahren, Kathleen Somers, Lynn Gottwalt, and Mackenzie Lahren | ITINERARIES Inc. Britt Aamodt We make every effort to be as accurate as possible, but assume no responsibility for errors or omissions found in this magazine or any other corporate publications produced by ITINERARIES Inc. Proud Members of: Tour Minnesota Association (TMA) & American Bus Association (ABA) POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ITINERARIES Inc. 56 South 33rd Avenue #234, St. Cloud, MN 56301 PHOTO CREDITS

40 Mile Point Lighthouse, Adams House, AJ’s Copper Garden Art Gallery, Albert Lea CVB, Amana Colonies, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Bay City, Bayfield Cof C & VB, Big Top Chautauqua, Carinna Bullemer, Chik-Wauk Museum & Nature Center, Cloud County Tourism, Duluth, Eagan CVB, Emporia CVB, Fairmont CVB, Fargo-Moorhead CVB, Fitzgerald Theater, Fort Larned National Historic Site, Green Bay, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum, Homewood Railroad Platform & Park, Jeffrey Sward, La Crosse Symphony, Lake Superior, Mall of America, Marshfield CVB, Merriam Visitors Bureau, Minnesota Historical Society, Mount Moriah Cemetery, National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, Oakley Area Tourism, Odyssey Resorts, Owatonna Area CVB, Ponca State Park, Post Office Oak - Council Grove, Rittenhouse Inn, Rolling Hills Zoo, Silver Bay, Sinclair, St. Cloud Area CVB, Superior National Forest, The Forks, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Visit Nebraska (cover), Wabasha Street Caves, Warroad Chamber/CVB, Washington Cty Historical Association, Worthington CVB

Dear Planner, Taking your group out and turning them into today’s modern explorers will make memories your groups will share for years to come. As Britt says in her article on page 12, “With historic drivable trails, your motorcoach becomes a time machine.” The historic trails of the Midwest are older than many people realize. Migrating animals carved out the trails as an easy way to food and water. This opened the way for the early settlers. The Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803-1806 was perhaps the most important in the history of American exploration. Whether you jump on a byway or historic trail like Lewis and Clark or the Pony Express, your groups will love these old adventures in a modern day style. We have some new additions at Itineraries Midwest we would like to share with you. We’d like to welcome our two new Independent Sales Representatives, John Lundberg and Linda Hurst. Both have years of sales experience and we are very excited to have such talent joining our team. As they get out and explore what’s going on in our great Midwest, we hope to share some new itinerary ideas with you, our readers. So gear up your ‘time machines’ and hit those trails. You never know what new adventure awaits you! illinois - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 14 Best Regards, Heather J. Lahren, CEO - Publisher iowa - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 16 kansas

table of contents


spring/summer 2014













12 Become a Modern-Day Explorer Historic Drivable Trails



Coming Fall 2014 !





The Archway – Bringing History to Life


Lake Superior…the Trip of Your Dreams


north dakota



south dakota



tour highlight calendar of events

wisconsin - - - - - - - - - - - 47 central canada


on the cover Experiencing Local Food and Culture No other cultural activity brings people together as frequently as eating. Grab your groups and experience the array of local ingredients across the midwest at a variety of festivals, venues and just along the way.

The Archway in Kearney, Nebraska – Over 1.4 million visitors have experienced the journey of a nation through the eyes of those who lived it! The Archway, spanning 310 feet across Interstate 80, presents 170 years of American history in about an hour, featuring film, fiber optics, computer graphics, life-size dioramas, re-enactors, classic cars and more. Read ITINERARIES Midwest Online. Ads hotlinked to websites.


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henever I take a road trip west, my thoughts turn to the early settlers. What was it like for these early pioneers to give up so much to travel across wild country in pursuit of – what? Dreams, a better life, a fresh start? What would motivate someone to endure so much? And what kind of sacrifices did these people make? What must it have been like for these hearty folks so long ago? Who were these people who carved their way west, opening and expanding America? Do you ever wonder about that too? Wouldn’t it be magnificent if a team from Walt Disney created a place where your group could experience “being there?” A museum that could actually make you feel as though you have stepped back into history and are viewing special events firsthand? You might watch those early pioneers and get a better sense of what it was really like. Oh, wait a minute! Disney did just that, and you can find that

place at The Archway near Kearney, Nebraska. Dedicated to the strength of the pioneer spirit on July 4, 2000, the museum was originally known as the Great Platte River Road Archway. Today, with the name officially shortened to The Archway, the museum brings America’s westward migration to life through re-enactments, sound, light graphics, and dioramas. From the Oregon Trail to today’s interstate system, this is an exciting, one-of-a-kind experience described by President Bill Clinton as the most beautiful museum he’s ever seen. The first and only museum to straddle an interstate highway, the $60 million log bridge arches over busy I-80 for more than 300 feet as a symbol of transportation and communication that bound our country together. The Archway was designed to represent a bridge connecting the past to the present and on to the future. The structure looks a bit like a covered bridge, but the stainless steel exterior is

treated in yellow, orange and red to resemble a Nebraska sunset. Impressive as that first impression is, the more memorable part of your visit begins inside. Under a giant log arch in the two-story lobby, begin your assent on Nebraska’s longest escalator. Modern day pioneers are spared the rigors of a stair climb as they rise to The Archway’s multi-media experience. A moving video display of prairie life prepares your group to be transported back to the first white man exploration of Nebraska. Fort Kearny, a former military outpost and vital stop for traveling pioneers, was one of the most historic places on earth from the standpoint of the evolution of transportation and communication. It was also the halfway point between Boston and San Francisco on the Lincoln Highway. Visitors begin their exploration of the two-floor exhibit within a makeshift Fort Kearny, the gathering point for pioneers before continuing

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their journeys into the uncharted west. (Kearney, NE took its name from the fort with an incorrect spelling, which the U.S. Post Office Department refused to correct). The tour ends at a fake rail-car diner, part of an exhibit about the Lincoln Highway, the country’s first transcontinental highway. Everyone wears headsets to hear re-enactments of pioneer scenes, with the soundtrack automatically changing as guests move throughout the museum. It’s a nice touch that, combined with the high dollar mannequins having so much detail, makes you feel like you are actually in the story. Without the headsets all you would hear is animal sounds and train noises. There are displays for each time period, and ten rooms to visit. Go at your own pace, but plan at least 45 minutes to visit all ten rooms. Some of the highlights include a buffalo stampede, panning for gold, and the transcontinental railroad. You can actually walk under a RR truss while a train goes overhead. Is it real or not? Hear the story of the golden spike from people who were actually there. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Telling the history of pioneers who traveled across the prairies to find a new life in the west begins at the Fort Kearny replica. This is where the Mormon Pioneer Trail, Oregon Trail and California Trail all converged before heading west. Exhibits take you through different time periods. You’ll learn about the Mormon Handcart expedition and see a broken wagon scene, loaded with all the family’s earthly possessions only to have to discard them to lighten the load. You’ll actually get to see a Pony Express exchange and feel the thrill of just two minutes to switch mail and rider to another horse. Another scene depicts the first telegraph from Washington D.C. to California. It was a declaration of war. Witness the creation of the first transcontinental road, the Lincoln Highway, and view today’s modern transportation system as you clock the speed of interstate traffic below The Archway. There’s a drive-in movie exhibit, a 1950s café, an authentic 1914 Ford Model T car, a 1927 Oldsmobile, and a 1961 Cadillac convertible. So much detail exists in the displays, “you could see it ten times and still see something different each time,” says Jace Robinson, marketing coordinator. Unlike most museums, nothing is roped off so people can actually touch and experience. In fact, you will be listening to birds chirp on a sunny day when suddenly a breeze comes up and a thunderstorm rolls in. Pretty cool! The Archway’s greatest national exposure to date was in the Jack Nicholson movie About Schmidt. The destination is also listed in the book 1000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die. Tour groups need reservations, but you will be treated right. There is a handsome discount for groups, plenty of free parking, and staff will bring the headsets out to the motorcoach. A brief orientation, including where the restrooms are found, is always appreciated. There is a food court, options of catering and a very nice gift shop that features Nebraska-made products, lotions, jellies, and more. Groups are sure to find something perfect to commemorate their visit. Jace will set it all up for you, just give him a call at 877-511-2724.


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tour highlight

Lake Superior…the Trip of Your Dreams Prepare yourself for a world-class touring experience that is truly Superior.


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ou may make it around all of Lake Superior or you may choose to do only pieces of this distinct 1,300-mile Circle Tour by highway, around the world’s largest and most famous freshwater lake. Enjoy the natural beauty of the water with its 2,726 miles of shoreline, cliffs and beaches. In some places you can’t even see to the other side. Lake Superior’s changing moods and awesome power will thrill and fascinate your group. For years it’s been a great leisure trip for families, now tour operators and group travel planners are discovering the trip around magnificent Lake Superior, and groups love it!


Superior and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. This intimate 900-seat, all-canvas, state-of-the-art tent theater presents a fifty-plus night summer season of concerts, plays and Tent Show Radio—a weekly one-hour program with live performances from the Big Top stage. The sound is superb and on clear nights you can see the Milky Way and sometimes even the Northern Lights! If you want to get out on that big water, the ferry trip from Bayfield to Madeline Island provides a nice view of some of the Apostle Islands and the surrounding sea, a favorite sailing area.

Explore the many waterfalls along the tour, such as the mysterious Devil’s Kettle in Grand Marais, MN. A real geological anomaly, the Devil’s Kettle has stumped just about everyone who has ever researched where the water goes when it splits into two streams. Maybe your group can solve the mystery? Take in a performance at Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua, nestled at the base of Mt. Ashwabay, just south of Bayfield, WI and overlooking Lake

This is just a dabbling of things for your groups to do! This beautiful international journey around Lake Superior will be touched by both Canadian and American cultures, maritime, native and fur-trading history. Its uniqueness and color is unsurpassed, particularly during the fall months when the air is clean and fresh and the foliage and forest colors are unbelievable in their rich yellows, oranges and reds. You will come home feeling refreshed from this journey.


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LAKE SUPERIOR Odyssey Resorts

Silver Bay

Superior National Forest

Minnesota 1


Our prime location in Minnesota’s Superior North Shore region, plus our wonderful amenities make the AmericInn Lodge & Suites your best lodging choice while in the Silver Bay area. Located on scenic Route 61 with Lake Superior in view and just minutes from the Superior National Forest and the cascading 60 ft. High Falls of the Baptism River in Tettegouche State Park. A variety of room types are available, including rooms and suites that offer whirlpools, fireplaces, balconies and spectacular Lake Superior views. All rooms have microwaves, refrigerators & coffee makers. The hotel also features two spacious meeting rooms for business meetings and social gatherings. The AmericInn offers spacious accommodations perfect for relaxing after a long day of enjoying all that the Silver Bay area has to offer.

Lake Superior



As your coach travels along scenic Highway 61, look out your window…it’s springtime and the wildflowers are beginning to appear. Taking your groups to Lutsen is full of wonders at every turn! There is a mystique about Lutsen that lures visitors back year after year and in all seasons. The North Shore has what no other place can offer - an inland sea, a mountain backdrop, an unspoiled wilderness and a feeling all its own. A tour around Lake Superior or along the North Shore would not be complete without taking a ride on the Lutsen Mountain

Tram, rising 1,000 feet over Lake Superior to the top of Moose Mountains and dropping you off at the Summit Chalet. Come inside to relax and enjoy the northwoods ambiance, order lunch, snacks and beverages and take a seat on the Chalet’s expansive deck, a wonderful place to soak in the sun and fresh mountain air. The panoramic views of Lake Superior’s coastline are spectacular! Your group can spend a night (or two) at the Lutsen Resort. From simple to luxurious, they have a variety of lakeside accommodations. Their professional outdoor educators can provide customized Continued on Page 8


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tour highlight

Continued from Page 7: Lutsen Mountains

Odyssey Resorts

experiences for your group. The spacious beach in front of the lodge is a great spot for a barbecue or a place to gather around a campfire for some relaxed group time together. Contact Melissa Dressely: 218-406-1319 /



Explore Lodge to Lodge Adventure Tours with Odyssey Resorts. Experience 120 awe-inspiring miles along one of our country’s most magnificent All American Byways, Lake Superior’s Scenic North Shore. Travel through pristine forests, along a rugged coastline and view majestic mountainsides, alongside the largest of the Great Lakes. There are four beautiful resorts to choose from. Choose an Odyssey resort for your group lodging and enjoy complimentary activities at the other three as you explore. Resorts and their



restaurants include: Larsmont Cottages Ledge with Rock Grille (20 miles from Duluth), Grand Superior Lodge with Splashing Rock Restaurant (Two Harbors, MN), Caribou Highlands Lodge with Moguls Grille & Taproom (Lutsen, MN) and East Bay Suites (Grand Marais, MN). Each resort offers special group menus, a personal step-on welcome; group lodging rates, driver discounts, and many exciting activities. Contact Rachel Nelson: 218-728-8060 /


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Bayfield is the type of small town travelers dream about - picturesque and charming, with modern amenities and plenty to do. The city is the gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, home to both the largest collection of lighthouses in the United States and the world-famous sea caves which drew hundreds of thousands of visitors last winter when they became ice caves for a few brief weeks. When in Bayfield, you have a broad range of activities to pursue. Embark on an Apostle Islands lighthouse cruise. Delve into the area’s rich history on a lively walking tour or at the award-winning museums. Kayak the water-sculpted sea caves. Or visit the apple orchards, berry farms and wineries that dot the Bayfield Peninsula. The authentic small town feel is palpable upon arrival. You will find a candy store where they make chocolates, pastries and other treats right before your eyes. When autumn rolls around, there’s still a pie-making contest at the annual Apple Festival celebration. And should you stop someone on the street to ask directions to the local diner, there’s a good chance they’ll just walk you right over. With a population of 487, Bayfield is Wisconsin’s smallest city, but it’s got a lot to offer. There are a few things you won’t find

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

though. You won’t find a single fast-food restaurant or national chain, long lines or even a stoplight. But maybe that’s why the Chicago Tribune dubbed Bayfield the “Best Little Town in the Midwest.” And because of a community genuinely committed to sustainability, visitors are able to experience and savor this rare, unspoiled landscape. Bayfield has been designated as an eco-municipality and boasts the greatest number of Travel Green certified businesses of any city in Wisconsin. The natural beauty and peaceful setting provides inspiration for local artists and performers. You’ll find visual art on display in numerous galleries, working studios and shops. For live music, Big Top Chautauqua offers fresh-air performances by acclaimed

international and regional musicians under a 950-person capacity blue and white canvas tent. Hailed as the “Carnegie Hall of Tent Shows,” Big Top Chautauqua was chosen as “Best Outdoor Venue” by the Minnesota Star Tribune. Home to 14 orchards, berry farms and two wineries, Bayfield is the “Berry Capital of Wisconsin.” Tour the “Fruit Loop” that rings the city, pick your own seasonal produce and chat with the farmers. In summertime, choose from blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, juneberries and blackberries. In autumn, pick your own apples and hunt for the perfect pumpkins and squash to complete your fall feast. Other local products are available too, including fresh jams, pies and maple syrup. Contact the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce: 715-779-3335 /

Big Top Chautauqua

Rittenhouse Inn

For more information on this Lake Superior Tour Highlight please contact the advertisers directly and log onto Itineraries Midwest Online Itinerary Library,

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Become a Modern-Day Explorer

Historic Drivable Trails BY BRITT AAMODT


f you’re like me, when you drive down a new road, your mind floods with images and stories. How old is that building? Who used to live here? What was it like here a hundred years ago? With historic drivable trails, your motorcoach becomes a time machine. Creating an itinerary around historic trails and roads allows the tour group to become modern-day adventurers. You can leave the everyday behind and dive into the nitty-gritty of the life of a fur trapper in the 1700s or the Amish of the 2010s. As a tour operator, you’re always looking for a way to tie together the towns and cities and landmarks in a thematic itinerary. A drivable tour is the perfect solution because each destination tells a different part of a story that reveals itself with every mile.

The Romance of the Road Whether we realize it or not, so many of our roads have decided where we live, how we live and what we do for fun. In the 1950s, Eisenhower built the interstates that allowed city workers to build dream homes in the suburbs. But roads have been deciding our destiny since the founding of the country. M-25 through Bay City in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a time traveler’s dream. A designated Historic Heritage Route, it will take you back to an era of the lumber barons, ship builders and hardworking farmhands who settled the picturesque country along the bay. Spend a day in the Center Avenue neighborhood. More than 250 architectural beauties have been preserved, which provide a window on the Main Street of the 1800s. If your group really wants to plunge into the past, try Mackinac Island. Automobiles are prohibited. So your group will get around town like residents a century ago: by foot, horse and buggy, or bicycle. The slower pace will give them an excuse to pop into interesting shops and investigate historic buildings and museums— and maybe even try a horseback ride.

Westward Expansion The Historic National Road is better known as the “Road that Built the Nation.” Originally, it began in the hilly mining town of Cumberland, Maryland, and stretched to Vandalia, Illinois. In the years after the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition, the National Road was responsible for opening the west to settlement. Today, the National Road unwinds over 167 miles, with detours into several interesting facets of Americana. You can seek out sites important to the young lawyer Abraham Lincoln. You can learn about Southern Illinois’ oil boom of the 1930s through the parks and buildings erected with oil money, and the museums that preserve the history. You can drive across one of the original 18th-century stone arch bridges and pause for a photo op at a giant bottle of ketchup. Many towns located along historic trails offer special events and foods that tie into the road and its history. You can hunt up road fests, mill the booths at fairs or find a quiet old building that has been converted into a restaurant oozing with ambience.

Get Your Kicks Route 66 is possibly the most recognized historic road in the United States. Everyone knows the song, but not everyone knows that it stretches from Chicago to Los Angeles. A sign posted at the

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intersection of Adams and Michigan in Chicago alerts your group: “Route 66 begins here.” Motorcycles were made for the open road and you can find out about the most American of motorcycles, the Harley-Davidson, at its museum in Milwaukee. Route 66 is all about road culture. You’ll find well-preserved motor inns built for roadweary travelers and old Mobil stations with red gas pumps. The road was built in 1926 and was one of the main escape routes of Dust Bowl refugees seeking work in California. That history deserves its own itinerary. There’s so much to see you’ll want to plan ahead so you don’t miss the hard-to-find treasures, like a rare stretch of the brick-paved 2-lane road from 1926. Located nearby are antique stores and shops that specialize in Route 66 souvenirs. You won’t want to miss the diners and drive-ins. They’re full of kitsch and good food, and they’ve even been featured on the Travel Channel.

The Road Less Traveled So many of these historic roads have shaped our local culture and foods. The Iron Range Loop in Northeastern Minnesota spans a 100-mile strip of land, only about 6 miles wide, that has been completely altered by the hand of man. Like the Calumet region of Michigan, the Iron Range owes its existence to mining. Your tour can include the

first underground iron mine in Minnesota, complete with an elevator ride miles underground and an ore cart ride to the mining site. You can see how mining works on today’s Range with a guided tour of an open pit mine and a visit to a taconite plant, where low-grade ore is turned into pellets before being shipped east. But some of the most interesting history you can find is off the beaten path. At the turn of the 20th century, some 42 different ethnic groups flooded onto the Range to work the mines. Their culture lives on in the local bakeries, where you can pick up Cornish pasties (which miners used to take with them into the mines), walnut potica, apple strudel and Finnish bread. Stop in a local restaurant for walleye fished out of Minnesota lakes and porketta, a seasoned pork roast only made on the Range. And polka is still played on the Range.

Where There’s a Desire, There’s a Destination Whatever your interest, you can find an historic drivable trail that can take you there. Your group can immerse themselves in Amish culture. They can travel paved roads that were once rutted dirt roads traveled by ox carts. Special itineraries can be built around famous native sons. Grant’s Trail is devoted to Civil War general and U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant. Michigan’s Western Upper Peninsula Heritage Trail tells the story of automotive pioneer Henry Ford. Also, many of these roads are jumping off points for recreational activities. They sweep along the Great Lakes, beside the Mississippi and near national parks and resort areas. Opportunities abound for pleasure cruises, bike rides, rafting, vintage train excursions and cultural events that change with the season. Along these historic highways, you and your group can find all the stories that have made America great. The routes are wellmaintained and well marked, perfect for the group traveler. They also bridge the distance between urban pleasures and natural settings. The speed limit's always the same, but a road worth taking is worth taking slowly.

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explore illinois trails… Historic National Road Also known as “The Road That Built the Nation,” this trail was created in 1806 by legislation signed by President Thomas Jefferson. Sometimes called “The Cumberland Road” and “The Old Pike,” it was the only road completely built with federal funds. Originally winding from Cumberland, Maryland to Vandalia, Illinois, the National Road opened Illinois to settlement. Today, the Illinois National Road stretches 164 miles from Marshall to East St. Louis. Visitors can see where Lincoln’s political career began, marvel at a giant catsup bottle, and enjoy the food, festivals, and fun that make this a relaxed journey through Americana.

Historic Route 66


Rockford ○


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Lincoln Highway Mural Trail








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○ Bloomington

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t La Salle

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Champaign 36 150

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Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail at LaSalle Explore the fabled canal route by boat, connecting Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River by way of the Illinois River. Once used by Native Americans and early explorers, today the trail meanders through four state parks with landscapes ranging from towering bluffs to rolling hills. See the architectural grandeur and hear family stories at the Hegeler Carus Mansion. Walk through an amazing “10-room” garden and cottage house with stories to tell at the Weber House & Gardens. Tour includes a snack and lunch at Lock 16.


The Ronald Reagan Trail



iscover interpretive murals along the Illinois Lincoln Highway. Throughout the 179-mile route, you’ll find 35 murals and interpretive gazebos that help tell the story of “America’s First Coast-to-Coast Road.” Many of the murals contain hidden items – see if your group can find them! Entertainment and adventure can be found around every corner, including galleries, shopping, farmers’ markets, museums and more! See the new exhibit at the Joliet Area Historical Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center. The exhibit offers striking graphics and vintage photos complimented by stories that convey the Lincoln Highway’s impact on America and its increasingly mobile society. Recapture the adventure. Reconnect with the landscape. Rediscover the threads of history woven together along the way. Take the time to discover each community’s unique culture and special offerings.

St. Charles


spotlight illinois

Mt. Carroll

The Illinois portion of Route 66 covers over 300 miles, from Chicago to East St. Louis. Route 66 is the “Mother Road,” the most famous of any American road, as one can tell by the many songs, movies and TV shows that have celebrated the virtues of this historic route. It slips between the skyscrapers of Chicago and its suburbs, meanders through the meadows, spans cliffs, and runs through the towns of President Abraham Lincoln. Some attractions along IL Route 66 include Chicago’s skyscrapers, Pizzeria Uno – home of the deep-dish pizza, the Route 66 Museum in Joliet and the Gemini Giant Muffler Man, a true symbol of Route 66.

Belleville 64 64


Illinois: Mile after Magnificent Mile.

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Travel the Ronald Reagan Trail, a collection of highways that connect villages and cities that were of importance to the former president. Get a glimpse of what made a common man into a great president. Born in Tampico, folks can visit the quaint apartment where he was born, now restored and decorated to its original 1900s style. In Dixon, explore his Boyhood Home and Visitors Center. Eureka is Reagan’s college alma mater. Its Peace Garden contains a bust of President Reagan and a portion of the Berlin Wall.

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Read ITINERARIES Midwest Online. Ads hotlinked to websites.

Mile after Magnificent Mile. directory

All Aboard! A Tour of the Chicago Southland Rail System

attractions Chicago Entertainment Cruises. . . . 866-391-8439

This sample itinerary is best in the spring and summer months, but can be customized for any time of year 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Start your day at the Pullman Historic Society Visitors Center and learn the history of the Pullman Palace Car Company and the neighborhood known as Pullman. From the “World’s Most Perfect Town” in 1906, to near demolition in the mid-20th century, to a neighborhood revitalized in the present day, Pullman has seen it all. A self-guided walking tour of the Pullman District will take you to the historic Greenstone Church. From there you will travel through the Market Square, and finally to the grand Hotel Florence. 12 – 2:00 pm For lunch your group will have fun dining at Choo Choo Johnny’s Eatery. A model train chugs along the restaurant walls and guests seated along the counter track will have special food delivery via model train. 2 – 4:00 pm Explore Frankfort’s Historic Downtown. The boutiques and stores offer unique selections and personal service you won’t find at the mall. Enjoy a cup of coffee while showing off your purchases at Kup A Joe Café.

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4 – 5:30 pm All aboard for a train viewing at the Homewood Railroad Platform & Park. The handicap-accessible viewing platform gives an elevated view of the three types of tracks that cross Homewood. The platform also plays a live audio feed from the switchyard. Near the railroad park are a series of 11 murals by artist Richard Haas who uses forced perspective to create three-dimensional images of downtown buildings. 5:30 pm Head to nearby Flossmoor for dinner at the Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery. For rail fans, Flossmoor Station is like a railroad museum that serves great food and craft beer. Located in the historic downtown district, they serve a diverse heartland-style menu with award-winning beers. On the restaurant’s patio sits a fully restored IC caboose that serves gelato and soft serve frozen yogurt seasonally. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator or Chicago Southland CVB at 888-895-3211.

401 E Illinois Street, Suite 310 – Chicago, IL Planning with Entertainment Cruises in Chicago is an effortless process - we have ready-made lunch and dinner cruises onboard the elegant Odyssey, festive Spirit of Chicago and contemporary Mystic Blue that are perfect for your upcoming event.

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . 888-895-8233 2304 173rd Street – Lansing, IL Experience true Midwestern hospitality on your next motorcoach tour. The Chicago Southland CVB is the official, state designated, nationally accredited destination marketing organization (DMO) for Chicago’s 62 south and southwest suburbs. Discover the Chicago Southland Advantage!

Visit Litchfield . . . . . . . . . . . . 866-733-5833 120 East Ryder St – Litchfield, IL 217-324-8147 Litchfield boasts a 1,400-acre public recreational lake, a historically preserved downtown area with many points of interest, Route 66 icons, antique shopping, a broad range of dining options, hotels, nearby golf courses and wineries.

Illinois Bureau of Tourism . . . . . . . . 800-2CONNECT



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explore iowa trails… Iowa’s Great River Road Moving riverscapes and storybook towns are what you’ll find along the Iowa Great River Road. From Lansing to Keokuk, traveling groups along this road will discover natural beauty and fascinating communities. See the remnants of one of North America’s oldest civilizations at Effigy Mounds National Monument. See historic 1800s river towns like Marquette and McGregor. Learn about the natural history of the Mississippi River region at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque. Visit museums, shops and restaurants in Davenport and Bettendorf in the Quad Cities area. At the George M. Verity Riverboat Museum in Keokuk, you’ll take a trip back to a time when steamboats ruled the river.

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Lewis & Clark Trail signs along Interstate 29 mark Iowa’s leg of the trail as it follows the Missouri River from Council Bluffs to Sioux City. Visit the Western Historic Trails Center for interpretations of the Lewis & Clark, Mormon Pioneer, Oregon, and California trails. Also in the area is Horseshoe Casino & Bluffs Run Greyhound Park. Enjoy casino games plus live greyhound racing and simulcast thoroughbred horse races.

spotlight iowa

Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail

Amana Colonies Trail


his circular route follows U.S. 6, U.S. 151 and Iowa 220 through the Amana Colonies. It is marked with rectangular brown signs with the name of the route in white text. The trail offers scenic views of Lily Lake (a wonderful habitat for a variety of birds), the Mill Race (a 7-mile canal that provides hydroelectric power to the area) and the surrounding countryside. Today’s Amana is a major tourist attraction known for its restaurants, craft shops, wine shops, and even a brewery called Millstream. Visit the recently restored Amana Depot, which was once a stop for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. This picturesque railroad depot in a quaint village is full of antique and specialty shops, great food, and wonderful history. *Note: Bicycles are available for rent at the Amana Colonies CVB

Iowa: Life Changing

Explore the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail and see the route that 70,000 Mormons traveled from 1846 to 1869 to escape religious persecution. There are a number of ways to enjoy this historic trail, including autotouring, visiting interpretive sites, hiking, biking or horseback riding along trail segments, and visiting museums and interpretive centers. Depending on which segment you would like to explore, some or all of these activities may be available. Actual wagon wheel ruts, emigrant camps and other places of interest along the trail can be visited.

The White Pole Road Designated in 1910, the original White Pole Road followed along the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad from Des Moines to Council Bluffs. Poles along the route were painted white and drivers were encouraged to travel the “Great White Way.” Today's re-created section of the White Pole Road links Dexter, Stuart, Menlo, Casey, and Adair. Follow more than 700 painted white poles to explore heritage sites such as the location of a Bonnie & Clyde shootout and the site of the first Jesse James Gang robbery of a moving train.

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Life Changing

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directory accommodations AmericInn of Ames . . . . . . . 515-233-1005 2507 SE 16th Street - Ames, IA 50010 Conveniently located near all the attractions and excitement in the area. Every guest is welcomed with a smile, great service, an inviting indoor pool, free hot home-style breakfast & a quiet night’s sleep! A perfect fit for any tour!

AmericInn of Spencer . . . . 712-262-7525 AJ’s Copper Garden Art Gallery

Iowa City, Coralville and Amana… A Little Bit of Iowa History This sample itinerary can be customized for any time of year.

day one 9 – 10:00 am The Amana Colonies have been a treasure on the Iowa Prairie for over 150 years, welcoming groups to an experience that’s as unique as you are. Located just minutes from I-80, the seven villages of the Amana Colonies offer you the opportunity to step back from today’s busy pace, to relish in the comfort of locally crafted foods, furniture, art and more. 10 – 12:00 pm Visit the Heritage Society for an unusual group tour of the Amana Colonies. Choose from a few unique history tours. All tours can be customized to your group’s needs. The Amana Colonies Barn Tour Experience explores the unique history of agriculture through the architecture of barns. Take the bus tour to different communal barns and see the largest modern continual farm in the state of Iowa. 12 – 1:00 pm Amazing metal sculptures at AJ’s Copper Garden Art Gallery will bring out the smiles as you stroll through a beautiful water garden and gallery filled with one-of-a-kind garden frogs, dragonflies & much more. 1 – 2:00 pm Your group can experience lunch on their own at one of the local eateries. Amana is world famous for American and German food served "family style.” 2 – 4:00 pm Pay a visit to the Ackerman Winery/Heritage Wine, Cheese & Jelly Haus—the oldest winery owned and operated by one family in the state of Iowa. Take a walkthrough tour of their cellar and observe where the wines are produced, aged and bottled. Step up to the

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sample bar and choose from over 24 varieties of wines. 4 – 4:30 pm Head to Coralville and check in to the Country Inn & Suites for a great stay in a great location, near such attractions as the Iowa Museum of Natural History and Kinnick Stadium. All accommodations are completely furnished and have complete amenities your group will love. Evening For your evening entertainment, why not catch a show at the Riverside Theatre? Showcasing classic plays, new plays, musicals, a monologue festival, and more.

day two

1005 13th Street SW - Spencer, IA 51301 Count on us to be your best lodging choice in the Iowa Great Lakes area. With unmatched service and amenities that include free hot home-style breakfast, indoor pool and WiFi. Visit Arts on Grand, retail, golf, Clay County Fair and more!

Country Inn & Suites . . . . . 515-233-3935 2605 SE 16th Street - Ames, IA 50010 Situated by Interstate 35, our location puts you within easy reach of Jack Trice Stadium, Reiman Gardens, Iowa Arboretum, Adventureland theme park, White Oak Vineyards and much more. Enjoy our indoor pool, WiFi, daily Manager’s Cocktail Reception and complimentary hot breakfast.

Country Inn & Suites . . . . . . 319-545-8464 2571 Heartland Place - Coralville, IA 52241 Just off I-80/I-380 an ideal location for experiencing the Amana Colonies, Englert Civic Theatre, Coral Ridge Mall, Wilson’s Orchard, Iowa City Community Theatre, and the University of Iowa. Enjoy complimentary hot breakfast, free Wi-Fi and indoor pool.

Country Inn & Suites . . . . . . 641-236-9600

8 – 8:30 am Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before heading to West Branch and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum. 9 – 11:00 am The Hoover Library & Museum enables visitors to experience the many sides of our nation’s only Iowa-born president. The permanent galleries begin with Hoover's boyhood in Iowa and continue on to New York where he spent his final years. In the Hoover Library, learn about President Hoover's life and career using manuscripts, photographs and oral histories.

1710 West Street South - Grinnell, IA 50112 Grinnell has been named one of the Top Ten Coolest Small Towns in America! Come see all there is to do! Just minutes off I-80 we pride ourselves on warm hospitality. Enjoy complimentary hot breakfast, free Wi-Fi and indoor pool.

For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator or Lori Reese with Hospitality Investors at 763-263-6366 or

149 W. Broadway – Council Bluffs, IA 51503 Allow the Council Bluffs Convention and Visitors Bureau to make planning your next group tour a little easier! Designing itineraries, suggesting dining options, organizing entertainment, and coordinating lodging are just a few of the services offered through the CVB.

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Council Bluffs CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-228-6878 ext 130



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explore kansas trails… Flint Hills Nature Trail Connecting Osawatomie on the east to Herington on the west, this 117-mile rail-trail meanders through a vast countryside of fluttering grasses and endless horizons known as the Flint Hills. Though less than four percent of the original tallgrass habitat remains, that fraction still provides a valuable place for visitors to lose themselves in nature. Hear bobwhite quail and wild turkeys, or steal a glimpse of prairie chickens and bobcats. Peruse the wildflowers and native prairie grasses, or track a thunderstorm gathering in the distance. Enjoy this historic trail that pays homage to the country’s historic westward expansion.

Fort Leavenworth-Fort Scott Military Road

spotlight kansas

Post Office Oak - Council Grove

Santa Fe National Historic Trail f all the states the trail passes through, Kansas contains the greatest total miles of the historic Santa Fe Trail. It was in Kansas that travelers had to choose which of the two main routes they would take the rest of the way to Santa Fe: the longer Mountain Route, or the shorter, more treacherous, Cimarron Route. A must-stop on your journey along the Kansas portion of the trail is the Fort Larned National Historic Site. It is here that you will discover a complete and authentic army post from the 1860s. The sandstone-constructed buildings were used to shelter troops who were known as the Guardians of the Santa Fe Trail during the Indian Wars era.


165 miles east of Larned, along the Santa Fe Trail, is Council Grove. Stand on the site of the Council Oak, where the first treaty was signed establishing the right-of-way for passage on the trail.

Kansas: As Big As You Think

Also known as the Frontier Military Historic Byway, this road stretches 167 miles north/south from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Scott and then onward to the Oklahoma border. You’ll find various landmarks along the Military Trail including the National Agricultural Center & Hall of Fame, Louisburg Cider Mill, Marais des Cygnes Massacre Park, Mine Creek Civil War Battlefield Site, and Big Brutus—the second-largest electric coal shovel in the world. Hear legends of the road that was originally used by the Army to transport troops and supplies, and watch history unfold!

Glacial Hills Scenic Byway This stunning region of Kansas gets its name from the rolling hills and valleys carved by ancient glaciers, and includes one of the most famous routes of the Pony Express as well as Fort Leavenworth—the oldest Army post in continuous existence west of the Missouri River. As you drive down this 63-mile byway, be sure to stop in Atchison to visit the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum. Tour the restored home where this famous aviatrix was born and view family heirlooms, displays, and photographs.

Prairie Spirit Trail This 51-mile trail of hard-packed limestone runs north/south between Ottawa and Iola, winding through small towns, scenic prairie and occasional wildlife. The only rail-trail in the Kansas State Park System, Prairie Spirit Trail is a unique, relatively flat route through three counties in eastern Kansas. Hikers and bikers are invited to check out the many attractions along the trail, including the Old Depot Museum, the Santa Fe Depot, Anderson County Museum, historic Anderson County Courthouse, and many more.

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As Big As You Think

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Land of Oz


Whole Wall Mural

Liberal Convention & Visitors Bureau

Cloud County

William Allen White House

Convention & Tourism Come visit the world’s longest sculpted brick mural in Concordia, Kansas! Our step-on guides will challenge you to a fun game of “I Spy” on the Whole Wall Mural, an amazing mural carved out of 6,400 extra-large bricks. Learn why over 250,000 orphaned or abandoned children were sent out from New York City to new homes across the U.S. at the National Orphan Train Museum. Imagine yourself performing in the theater known as the “Exquisite Gem of the Prairie,” the Brown Grand Theatre. Discover amazing art and history in the halls of the Nazareth Convent. A former WWII German POW Camp, one of the largest collections of old toys, and other fun quirky spots can be found at Concordia. We offer free itinerary set-up, step-on guide service, welcome bags and a special treat at the end of the day.

As the official “Founding City of Veterans Day,” Emporia is also home to a beautiful zoo—botanically lush with floral displays spring through fall. Your step-on guide takes you around town telling of the area’s history, ghost stories, military and political tidbits. Learn about one of Kansas’ most famous people with a guided tour of the state historic site: the William Allen White House. End with a visit to the Granada District and enjoy tours and refreshments. Free itinerary set-up and visitor packets are available. We’re right on your way and conveniently located on Interstate 35.

785-243-4303 / ---------------------------------

800-279-3730 / ---------------------------------

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Emporia Convention & Visitors Bureau

Conservatively Speaking: Liberal Has it All! Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Dorothy’s official hometown of Liberal, where you will find over 800 motel rooms, more than 35 restaurants and all the services travelers need. Liberal offers a wonderful setting for groups of all ages. Mid-America Air Museum will show you over 100 aircraft; Dorothy will give you a tour of her house and the Land of Oz; Baker Arts Center will provide a touch of the arts and culture; and the Pancake Day Hall of Fame will delight you with its history of the 64-year-old event. 800-542-3725 / ---------------------------------


Visitors Bureau

Merriam, Kansas…next door neighbors to Kansas City! Just minutes from all major metro favorites—including casinos, museums, attractions, restaurants and shopping—Merriam offers full or half-day itineraries Continued on Page 20




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As Big As You Think

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group’s getaway in Kansas City. Ask about our group hotel discounts and motor coach incentive program. 866-707-6534 / ---------------------------------

Oakley Area Tourism Rolling Hills Zoo

Monument Rocks

Continued from Page 19: Merriam

for groups of all ages. We invite you to visit the world-famous K.C. Strings Violin Shop, an inspiring place where stringed instruments are crafted, sold and played in symphonies across the globe. Go back in time to learn about soda jerks while you sip a handmade strawberry soda from the Georgetown Pharmacy’s Old Fashioned Soda Shop. Uncover your inner rock-star as your group takes the stage for a karaoke jam at GuitarLamp. View the baking and sample the sweetness of swirled dessert bread made at the famed Strawberry Hill Povitica (as seen on QVC). Contact the Merriam Visitors Bureau today to begin your



Oakley celebrates the birthplace of the legend, Buffalo Bill. The twice-life-size bronze sculpture of Buffalo Bill on his horse Brigham in pursuit of a buffalo commemorates the 1868 contest between William F. Cody and William Comstock, where Cody earned the title of “Buffalo Bill.” By the turn of the 20th century, with his Wild West Show, Buffalo Bill became one of the most recognized and famous persons in the entire world. The bronze is one of the largest of its kind anywhere in the world and is one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Art. At the apex of the Western Vistas Historic Byway, Oakley also hosts the Fick Fossil & History Museum, the Spirit of the American Doughboy statue, and Monument Rocks. 785-671-1000 / ---------------------------------

Rolling Hills Zoo Located in the heart of Kansas, Rolling Hills Zoo awes and inspires visitors with more than 300 animals representing over 100 different species exhibited in a park on 100 acres of Kansas prairie. One of the world’s premier collections of full mount animals, our Wildlife Museum proudly displays over 400 animals in full

directory attractions Rolling Hills Zoo Salina . . . . . 785-827-9488

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Cloud County Convention & Tourism Concordia . . . . . . . . 785-243-4303 Discover Oakley Oakley . . . . . 785-671-1000 Emporia Convention & Visitors Bureau Emporia

. . 800-279-3730

Liberal CVB Liberal . . . . . . . . . . . 800-LIBERAL Merriam Visitors Bureau Merriam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 866-707-6534

immersion naturalistic dioramas! Tour groups will find plenty of free, secure parking with drop-offs proximal to admission gates. Both escort and driver receive free admission. An on-site restaurant has meals available throughout the day. Meet & Greet service is offered with options for narrated tram tours and plenty of rest rooms. Groups will delight at the treasures and souvenirs available in our two gift shops. Rolling Hills offers personal assistance with your itinerary planning. Open year-round, seven days a week! 785-827-9488 / ---------------------------------


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explore michigan trails… Fort Wilkins State Historic Park / Foot Trail & Copper Harbor Lighthouse Fort Wilkins is a restored mid19th-century military outpost and lighthouse museum on the rugged shores of Lake Superior. Groups can experience what life was like for the fort's residents and the light-keepers at nearby Copper Harbor Lighthouse. Nineteen buildings survive, 12 of them original structures from the 1840s. Through the exhibits, visitors may explore the daily routine of military life in that era. Attractions include costumed interpreters, copper mining sites and the Copper Harbor Lighthouse.

Mackinac Island Leave the ordinary at home this summer and set sail for picturesque Mackinac Island. Limited to transportation of horse and buggy, bicycle, or foot, surrounded by water, it has escaped the vast changes of time. Explore Michigan's first state park and hike or bike along more than 70 miles of natural and paved trails. View the Straits of Mackinac majestically set between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. Arrive by ferryboat and embark on a Mackinac Island tour by horse-drawn carriage and step back in time at historic Fort Mackinac.

Travel back to great attractions that reveal secrets of the unique history and flavor of the city of Sault Ste Marie. Your group outing begins at Soo Locks Park, home to an Information Center hosting many exhibits detailing the history of the Soo Locks system. Visit the theater for a special film showing the construction of the locks system. Special outdoor viewing platforms allow you to get a bird’s eye view of freighters passing through. Continue on your way and hop aboard a “locks boat” for a two-hour narrated tour that actually takes you through the locks. Dinner cruises are available in the summer.

US-12 Heritage Trail The entire length of US-12 from New Buffalo on the Lake Michigan shore to the eastern terminus of US-12 in downtown Detroit was designated as a Historic Heritage Route. This is among the oldest road corridors east of the Mississippi River and accesses some of the most extensive and significant historic, cultural, scenic and recreational resources in Michigan. Beginning in downtown Detroit and extending south to the Indiana border, it was originally a network of centuries-old trails created by Native Americans. It is rich in colorful character, remarkable history and an ever-changing landscape.

spotlight michigan

St. Mary’s River Route

Center Avenue Heritage Route/Bay City Historic Route


ighway M-25 through Bay City was designated as a Historic Heritage Route. Travel this route and your groups will return to an era when lumbering, shipbuilding, agriculture and commerce flourished in the city by the bay. From its picturesque tree-lined streets, to majestic mansions, to a beautifully restored county building and business district, Bay City is a preservationist’s dream. The Center Avenue neighborhood features more than 250 structures in the National Historic Register District, many of them late 1800s mansions of lumber barons and shipping industrialists. Bay City welcomes visitors with many specialty shops and fine restaurants and pubs that thrive in renovated 19th-century buildings oozing with ambience. Watch tall ship schooners set sail, shop the largest antique mart in the state, or even attend a cutting edge film and music festival on historic Hell’s Half Mile in this magical, nautical place.

Pure Michigan

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Pure Michigan

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40 Mile Point Lighthouse Alpena Shipwreck Tour

Tour the Sunrise Side Coastal Highway This sample itinerary is best in the summer and fall.

Along US-23, also known as the Sunrise Side Coastal Highway, lies the city of Alpena, home of the Great Lakes’ only National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve. The entire route covers nearly 200 miles of an excellent roadway system that takes travelers by spectacular scenic views of Lake Huron. This itinerary will take you on a portion of it from Alpena, north to St. Ignace. 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Begin your adventure aboard the Alpena Shipwreck Tours’ 65-foot glass-bottomed boat: The Lady Michigan. The crystal clear waters and large “glass bottom” viewing wells allow your groups to dive into the wrecks – without getting wet. During the 2-hour cruise you’ll experience the magnificently preserved shipwrecks and the scenic shorelines of Thunder Bay. Learn the exciting tales of many famous ships and the history, legends and lore of Lake Huron. 12 – 1:30 pm Enjoy a delicious lunch at the Court Yard Ristorante, an area favorite!

1:30 – 3:00 pm Continue on US-23 to Rogers City and Presque Isle County’s Lighthouse Park to visit the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1896 to assist ships through the dangerous shoreline that had claimed a number of vessels. See what’s left of the Joseph S. Fay, one of 27 wooden ships that sank during a fierce storm in 1905. You can see about 150 feet of her sidewall resting on the beach. 3 – 4:00 pm Gaze out the window along this beautiful Sunrise Side Coastal Highway on your way to Cheboygan, and take in the amazing scenery along the way. 4 – 5:30 pm There are all kinds of unique attractions in Cheboygan. They’re the homeport for the Coast Guard Icebreaker Cutter Mackinaw. The World

MENOMINEE “Where the best of Michigan begins” hen we say that Menominee is “Where the Best of Michigan Begins” we mean every word of it. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a special place, and Menominee is where it starts.


From our wonderful neighborhoods to our historic downtown to our beautiful waterfront, Menominee is a town your group will love! The city of Menominee, MI is located at the mouth of the Menominee River where it empties into the Bay of Green Bay, part of northern Lake Michigan and only a one-hour drive north of Green Bay, WI. The Menominee River divides the state of Wisconsin from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with Marinette on the south side of the river while Menominee is on the north side. Groups can take full advantage of this by sharing in the best each state has to offer, simply by



crossing over the river.

Championship Wanigan Race takes place during the annual Waterways Festival in July and the Cheboygan Brewing Company welcomes visitors, featuring a taproom and a display of the history of brewing in the Cheboygan area. 5:30 – 6:00 pm Upon arriving in St. Ignace, check in to the Kewadin Shores Casino & Hotel. The casino includes a large gaming floor featuring slots and table games, an extensive entertainment area and an 81-room on-site hotel as well as a fine dining restaurant, a lounge, a sports bar and a deli. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator.

directory hot


And when it’s time to turn in for the night, choose the AmericInn Lodge & Suites Menominee. Located so your guest can enjoy nice peaceful lake views from their own private patio! Proud to provide the amenities groups want at the highest level possible, starting with quiet rooms. The Menominee hotel has a variety of room types, including suites with whirlpools and fireplaces that are perfect for group travelers. Wake up each morning with free, hot, home-style AmericInn Perk breakfast and stay connected with free, hotel-wide, high-speed Internet. For more information or to customize an itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator or Lori Reese with Hospitality Investors at 763-263-6366 or

accommodations AmericInn of Menominee . 906-863-8699 2330 10th Street - Menominee, MI 49858 Imagine after a day of tours relaxing on a bench looking out at the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan’s Green Bay. We offer lake view rooms, indoor pool, hot tub, free hot home-style breakfast, & WiFi, all perfectly located within the Lower U.P.!

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Experience Grand Rapids . 800-678-9859 171 Monroe Avenue NW - Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Grand Rapids makes it easy for your motorcoach group to share a memorable travel experience. The city offers a variety of arts and culture, fantastic restaurants, plenty of outdoor recreation, shopping and lodging.

Marquette County CVB

. . . 800-544-4321 337 W Washington Street - Marquette, MI 49855 We’re here to help you plan a trip for the memory books. We offer customized itinerary planning, step-on guides, reservation assistance, digital images, familiarization tours and more—all at no charge!


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explore minnesota trails… Great River Road National Scenic Byway Explore all or part of this byway as it follows the Mississippi River through several states. It is a network of roadways that offers a bounty of river experiences, from the pristine Mississippi headwaters in Itasca State Park, through the lush forests of the central lakes region and the metro bustle of the Twin Cities, to the awe-inspiring bluffs of Minnesota’s southeastern border. Visit an interpretive center or historic site to learn about the history and ecology of the state and the role of the mighty river. Stop to take a hike on a woodland trail, paddle down river in a steamboat, or catch breathtaking views from the Mississippi bluffs.

Hiawatha Apple Blossom Drive

Iron Range Loop Travel Highway 169 from Virginia to Tower, Highway 135 through Biwabik, back to Virginia. There's a beautiful mix of color on this circle drive, but plenty of other highlights as well: a tour of the Soudan Underground Mine, two major golf courses at Giants Ridge, and the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame at Eveleth where you can have your picture taken with the world’s largest hockey stick! Learn the history of the Iron Range at the Virginia Heritage Museum and visit Mineview in the Sky, providing breathtaking views from a 20-story overlook of one of the area's deepest mines.

North Shore Scenic Drive – MN State Hwy 61 Beginning in Duluth’s Canal Park, this scenic drive is a journey through an unspoiled wilderness that kisses the sweeping shoreline of the world’s largest freshwater lake. The breathtaking cliffs and beaches of Lake Superior’s beautiful North Shore are bordered by the Sawtooth Mountains and thousands of acres of pine, aspen and birch trees. Lighthouses recall the awesome power of the mighty lake, and dozens of trails allow visitors to experience the North Shore’s natural beauty up close. Friendly communities are home to cultural and historic museums and exhibits, as well as unique shopping, dining and lodging.

spotlight minnesota

Beginning at Hwy 61 in LaCrescent, this rolling farmland and bluff-top route travels high above the Mississippi River, offering dazzling views of the river valley below. Stop for a picnic at Great River Bluffs State Park, where short paths lead to scenic overlooks with panoramic views. Minnesota orchards have some of the most distinctive apple varieties in the country, thanks in large part to the University of Minnesota research center (responsible for introducing the popular honeycrisp apple, among others).

Gunflint Trail


he Gunflint Trail (a national scenic byway) begins in Grand Marais and winds 57 paved wilderness miles northwest near the border of Canada. There’s plenty of adventure and amazement all along the way. Wander the abundant hiking trails, cozy up in a lodge, glide across glacier-carved lakes and breathe deep in the pristine boreal forests. Learn the cultural and natural history of the land, lakes and people at Chik-Wauk Museum & Nature Center. Along the entire trail, you’ll find plenty of places to canoe, fish, and explore, and plenty of experienced outfitters to assist your group in whatever capacity they’re able. Spend some time in Grand Marais as well. Your group will enjoy an amazing arts culture, unmatched natural beauty, colorful restaurants, unique and quaint shops, and, of course, a body of water that demands your attention.

Explore Minnesota

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Explore Minnesota

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History & Entertainment on the Mississippi This sample itinerary is best on Fridays, June through September.

James J. Hill House

Fitzgerald Theater

TMA and YOU! Join Today.

day one 10 – 12:00 pm Begin your day in Saint Paul at the Minnesota History Museum. Take a trip back in time with the exhibit Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Travel back to the days of Gumby, Barbie, Slinky, Mr. Potato Head, Spirograph, and Mouse Trap! The names of these popular toys capture the joy and the sheer fun of being a kid. Experience the toys and their stories through three imagined living rooms that bring the decades back to life. 12 – 1:30 pm There are many group-friendly restaurants close by for your group to choose from. 1:30 – 4:30 pm Built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flourmill, Mill City Museum is located on the historic Mississippi Riverfront. Here, visitors of all ages learn about the intertwined histories of the flour industry, the river, and the city of Minneapolis. A step-on guide will take you on a 1.5-hour-long tour of the historic Minneapolis Riverfront District and allow for self-guided time in the museum's exhibits, the Flour Tower multimedia show, and the Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat movie. 4:30 – 6:15 pm Check into your hotel and freshen up for the evening’s dinner cruise on one of the country’s most famous “trails,” the Mississippi River!

7 – 9:00 pm The evening finds your group cruising up the mighty Mississippi River with Padelford Riverboats while taking in the beautiful scenery, and watching the sun set across the Minnesota sky. Enjoy a fabulous dinner and experience an evening everyone will remember. Come aboard!

day two 8 – 9:00 am Enjoy a relaxing breakfast at your hotel. 9 – 10:30 am The James J. Hill House is built of rugged stone, fine detail and ingenious mechanical systems. Recall the powerful presence of James J. Hill, builder of the Great Northern Railway. Guides will lead your group on a tour of this famous home, allowing you to imagine family and servant life in the Gilded Age mansion, and the setting of the public and private lives of the Hill family. 10:30 – 11:30 am Follow this up with a 60-minute tour of the entire length of Summit Avenue with a step-on guide. 11:30 am Lunch in Saint Paul before heading back home. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator.

stablished in 1974, the hot Tour Minnesota Association STOP is dedicated to the Minnesota tourism industry. TMA is a professional organization with members from both the public and private sectors, united to represent the very best that Minnesota has to offer.


As a Group Tour Director: Together, TMA and its members provide existing and beneficial services to tour groups and leisure travelers. Check out the website at for a list of members, including convention & visitors bureaus, that will help you with itineraries & accommodations. In addition, you will find a list of coach/tour companies for your transportation or guided tour needs. As a Member: TMA strives to satisfy the needs of its members through support, promotion, networking, partnerships and education. Membership will bring you into Minnesota’s very active travel trade industry. They also provide a voice for tourism to the legislature, encouraging vision and direction that will ensure the successful future of tourism in Minnesota. Visit for membership information.

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Explore Minnesota

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Here is a sample of tours:



Saint Paul Gangster Tour Our famous crook’s tour! Explore with us the sites of nightclubs, kidnappings, and gun battles associated with the 1930s gangsters like John Dillinger, Ma Barker and Babyface Nelson. See the sights where the gangsters lived it up as they planned and executed some of the most notorious crimes. (Available to groups of 25+) Historic Cave Tour This 40-minute guided walking tour of the Wabasha Street Caves will cover Mushrooms & Mining, Gangsters & Ghosts, Silica & Swing Dancing. Bring the family for a blast from the past. We make history fun! (Available to groups of 25+)

he Wabasha Street Caves are carved out of sandstone and date back to the 1840s. Throughout history the caves have been used for a number of different activities, including growing mushrooms, storage of food and belongings, music, and dancing.


In the 1920s, the caves were used as a restaurant and nightclub venue known as the Wabasha Street Speakeasy. The speakeasy is said to have been frequented by gangsters such as Ma Barker and John Dillinger. However, there is no evidence that these visits occurred; thus, these stories are considered legend. Legend or not, it is always fun to bring your group to Wabasha Street Caves.

Winter Lights Tour – December If the festive lights of the winter season are more your speed, then you’ll love our Winter Lights Tour. The familiar 2-hour deluxe motorcoach tour that shows off the biggest and brightest displays of holiday cheer in our chilly capital city. Your guide is a member of winter lore, who will lead you on your fun-filled tour. The Uff Dah!! Tour Set out to discover how and why immigrants from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland came to settle in Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Why did Ole & Lena settle here, and what is Lefse? (Available to groups of 25+) Mill City Mobs Tour This tour shows you the MiniApple when it was rotten to the core. Yes, there were gangsters in Saint Paul, but there were the rackets and mobsters in Minneapolis. (Available to groups of 25+) Rivers & Roots Tour Journey with us and learn about the formation of the Twin Cities around the Mississippi River. Have you ever wondered how Minneapolis and Saint Paul got their names? Why are there two cities? Why did the state capitol building end up in Saint Paul? (Available to groups of 25+) Caves & Graves Tour – October This tour is designed to give you a shiver and not a heart attack. Hear stories of haunted sites, historic murders, visit a haunted cave and learn about the history of a local Saint Paul cemetery. Keep an eye on your hosts however; your tour guide might be a mad nurse, a fortune teller, or even a vampire! Call Wabasha Street Caves to make your group reservation 651-292-1220. See you underground.




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The Great Minnesota GET TOGETHER!


August 21st through Labor Day, 2014

Minnesota Renaissance FESTIVAL

TRAVEL TOGETHER! Groups arriving at the fair by bus may use the University of MN Transitway to avoid traffic. Bus parking is free!


he Minnesota Renaissance Festival began its journey in September 1971 on a 22-acre field in Jonathan, MN. More than 25,000 people visited the two-weekend grand opening. That celebration has since relocated to Shakopee and has grown to be the largest Renaissance Festival in the United States! Experience 16th century food, fashion, shopping, entertainment, and more. Group rates available! 2014 Themed Weekends: • Aug 16-17 | Highland Fling • Aug 23-24 | Buccaneer Beer Fest • Aug 30-31, Sept 1 | Silk Road: Discover the Riches • Sept 6-7 | Passport to Adventure • Sept 13-14 | Wine, Chocolate & Romance • Sept 20-21 | Oktoberfest • Sept 26 | Festival Friday and Ladies Shopping Day • Sept 27-28 | Shamrocks & Shenanigans

PLAY TOGETHER! Their hospitality staff has a variety of resources to make your day at the fair even more fun. They can help you organize a fairgrounds scavenger hunt or a trivia contest, provide self-guided tour maps for the fair’s beautiful gardens and tree sculptures or help you plan your activities with a sample itinerary. They also provide daily entertainment and activity schedules so you won’t miss a thing! Most exhibit buildings are open 9 am - 9 pm. For early arrivals, there is plenty of activity in the livestock area as animals are groomed and readied for judging. EAT TOGETHER! Reward your group with Fairborne Bucks! Fairborne Bucks are the perfect way to treat members of your group to food and beverage options throughout the fairgrounds. Each of these dining vouchers has a value of $2.50 and may be used toward purchases at more than 35 concession locations. Vouchers are not redeemable for cash; however, change


will be given. Fairborne Bucks are STOP available for purchase only through the State Fair’s Group Hospitality Department. SHOP TOGETHER! Save big, buy Blue! The State Fair Blue Ribbon Bargain Book has 126 coupons worth over $500 in savings on food, merchandise and attractions at the fair. Pass the books around and let everyone clip their favorite coupons or give the books out as prizes or gifts! Books are available wherever pre-fair tickets are sold for only $4; during the fair the price is $5. JOIN IN TOGETHER! Free admission and a free t-shirt are available to everyone in your group if they lend a hand to the children at “Little Farm Hands!” Groups of 15-25 volunteers are needed in four-hour shifts to guide the kids through this hands-on exhibit that teaches the agricultural process from farm to market. “Day of Volunteers” sponsorship opportunities are also available with additional benefits. Detailed Daily Schedules available in August. Groups can also eat, shop & save together with more options available. Contact 651-632-2689 or email for details.

New in 2014: Bloomers & Tights 5K Race/Walk

Sunday, August 24th – 10 am Join Queen Elizabeth and her Royal Court in the race/walk through the festival grounds and woodlands and don’t forget to wear your bloomers and/or tights! Knight’s Challenge Obstacle Course

Only a true knight will be able to conquer this series of challenges. Compete against fellow knights-in-training to see who can complete the course the quickest! Plus: Princess Tea Party & Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday Celebration

As always, guests can enjoy Live Armored Jousting, 16 Stages of Live Entertainment, 250 Artisan Booths for endless shopping, food, drinks and more. The 44th Annual Minnesota Renaissance Festival, weekends and Labor Day. For more information: 952-445-7361 or

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Eagan – The Center of it All! This itinerary is best spring through fall. Conveniently located just south of Minneapolis/ Saint Paul, Eagan has become a group tour favorite. The city lies on the south bank of the Minnesota River, upstream from the confluence with the Mississippi River. Offering a variety of group-friendly restaurants, hotels and activities, Eagan is just what you’re looking for.

day one 1 – 3:00 pm Groups love to visit Landmark Center located in downtown St. Paul. Built in 1902, it was originally used as the federal courthouse and post office for the Upper Midwest. Landmark Center also houses Anita’s Café, the Landmarket Gift Shop, and five gallery spaces. General tours for groups of 10 or more typically begin at the Landmarket Gift Shop on the 1st floor and focus on the building's history, architecture, restoration, preservation, and famous and infamous personages. 3 – 4:00 pm Located just a few blocks from Landmark Center is the Cathedral of St. Paul. The Cathedral dominates the skyline and is situated on the highest point in downtown St. Paul. Each year, the Cathedral of St. Paul welcomes over 200,000 visitors. Tours are free of charge, though donations are gratefully received.



Cathedral of St. Paul

4 – 9:00 pm Head south to Eagan and enjoy dinner and check into your hotel.

day two 10 – 1:00 pm Today’s excitement begins with a visit to the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory & Como Zoo. Open all year long, they offer several classes and educational programs for groups. Take a step back in time and ride Cafesjian’s Carousel located in the 1.1 million dollar copper-roofed pavilion, just steps from the zoo entrance. 1 – 4:00 pm No visit to the Twin Cities would be complete without a visit to Mall of America. As one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, Mall of America features something for everyone! Enjoy more than 520 stores, 50 restaurants, attractions galore, and over

Marjorie McNeely Conservatory

300 free events annually. Plus there’s no sales tax on clothing or shoes! 4 – 9:00 pm Return to your Eagan hotel to freshen up before dinner and evening fun. Caponi Art Park is located on 60 acres of rolling wooded hills in Eagan. The Art Park’s most prominent features include miles of wooded walking trails, a one-of-a-kind sculpture garden, and Theater in the Woods – a large outdoor amphitheater nestled in the park’s hilly landscape and made intimate by a canopy of trees. Please contact Denise Olsen, Tourism Sales Director, at the Eagan Convention & Visitors Bureau for more itinerary planning ideas. The Eagan CVB offers gift bags, meet and greets, and a $250 rebate for first-time groups booking 20 or more rooms in Eagan. Call 651-675-5546 or email


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Dayton House

Discovering Worthington’s Roots

Pioneer Village

This itinerary is best in the spring, summer & fall months. Worthington’s location on Highway 90 makes for an easy stop for groups! Nobles County Seat and home to the Windsurfing Regatta and King Turkey Day. 1 – 2:00 pm Welcome to Worthington! Your first stop is the Pioneer Village. This village contains 40 restored buildings plus a museum of farm machinery reflecting the early years of Nobles County. 2 – 4:00 pm Tour the Dayton House, located at 1311 Fourth Avenue in Worthington. The house was built in 1890 as a residence for the George Draper Dayton family by respected Sioux Falls architect Wallace Dow. George Dayton was a banker and a real estate developer in Worthington before moving to Minneapolis shortly after 1900 to start Dayton’s Department Store. The Dayton house served as a family home for many years, and was later used as a nursing home. 4 – 5:00 pm Find America’s European roots at the Nobles County Historical Museum. The museum features many historical displays and archives, which preserve the early days of European settlement in Nobles County. 5 – 6:00 pm Get your group checked into the Travelodge Hotel and enjoy a hearty dinner at Hickory Lodge Bar & Grill, located in the hotel. 6 – 7:15 pm After dinner take a stroll down Worthington’s Peace Avenue of Flags. The presentation of flags was begun in the early 1970s by community supporters looking for a way to promote world peace, understanding, and brotherhood. Peace Avenue of Flags is an attempt to fly the flags representing the home country of the residents of Nobles County. There are currently over 60 countries represented. 7:15 – 9:15 pm Enjoy a performance at the War Memorial Auditorium/Performing Arts Center. Constructed in 1931, the renovated and newly restored building is one of the largest auditorium facilities in a wide region of Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa. Memorial Auditorium is a classic art-deco performance center owned and operated by the City of Worthington. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact the Worthington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-279-2919 or

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Gardens Munsinger and Clemens

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Mother Mary, Moonshine, and the Mississippi St. Mary’s Cathedral

A ST. CLOUD HISTORY TOUR St. Mary’s Cathedral We can thank Father Pierz for the German Catholic Heritage, which founded Stearns County. But did you know Saint Clodoald (better known as Cloud) is the patron saint of the Diocese of Saint Cloud (522 - c.560)? Located within St. Mary’s is the shrine to Saint Cloud. The church has recently been refurbished with the total project costing around $800,000. Meet Saint Cloud and tour the church that has always caught your eye as you drive down Division Street in St. Cloud. Lunch at Anton’s Restaurant Built in the 1920s by a gentleman named Cy Brick, Bricky’s was a speakeasy during prohibition. There have been many interesting stories shared about the actions of individuals during this time (and many, even more interesting stories NOT shared). We’re happy to share a bit of history about the moonshine era at Anton’s including the big copper still located in the front entrance. Interested in trying moonshine? We can arrange that, too! Stearns History Museum Stearns County is famous for a moonshine whiskey that was made during prohibition named “Minnesota 13.” Stearns County was a very wet county during Prohibition and nearly 100% of its residents were involved in the illicit liquor trade. Many a cautionary tale and history lesson can be experienced from this event. The Stearns History Museum is MN 13 headquarters. Listen to excerpts and



skits that portray the business of bootlegging. Here’s a little preview… In Sunday school catechism class, a teacher asked the children, “Who makes the sun shine?” and a child answered, “God.” The teacher then asked, “Who makes the moon shine?” and a child answered, “People from Stearns County!”

music of the birds, smell the perfume of the flowers, or have a seat on one of the many benches and relax along the Mississippi. This all-inclusive package is available at a great price! Contact Jean Robbins at the St. Cloud Area CVB for more information, 800-264-2940 ext. 129.

Munsinger and Clemens Gardens Each year the Clemens Gardens feature a brand new theme of fun, sun-loving flowers. This destination never grows old. Hear the



COMING SOON TO EAGAN: The Ultimate “Shopportunity!” ring your groups to the Twin Cities Premium Outlets® in Eagan, opening on August 14, 2014. They will feature over 100 stores, taking up approximately 409,000 square feet near the intersection of Highway 13 and Highway 77 (Cedar Avenue) in Eagan. Shoppers will enjoy savings of up to 65 percent at a variety of leading manufacturers of apparel, shoes, home goods, and more! Twin Cities Premium Outlets® features covered walkways for enjoyable year-round outdoor shopping! Other amenities include a centrally located dining pavilion with indoor and outdoor seating available, and a cozy two-sided fireplace. The outlet mall offers stroller and wheelchair rentals, complimentary WiFi and a full-service information desk where you can purchase a gift card, learn about the VIP Shopper Club or ask any questions you may have. Plus plenty of convenient parking for your motorcoach!


For more information, contact the Eagan Convention & Visitors Bureau 866-324-2620 (see ad on page 30).


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2014-15 Theater Season ANNOUNCED!


ioneer Place Theatre Company is excited to announce their 16th Professional Theatre Season with a wonderful line-up of productions to entertain you throughout the year! Groups welcome! Bleacher Bums Conceived By: Joe Mantegna Written By: The Organic Theatre Company

September 12-14, 18-21, 25-28 Pioneer Place will open its 16th season with the sports comedy, Bleacher Bums. In the bleachers at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, die hard Cubs fans root for their team. -----------------------Laughing All the Way V: The Miracle on Fifth Avenue By: Dan Barth, Raine Hokan, Jay Terry

November 28-30, December 4-7, 11-13, 18-21 The gang at KLAF television studio will once again have you rolling in the aisles and tapping your toes as the low-budget television station struggles to pull off their first-ever toy drive. -----------------------Same Time, Next Year Written By: Bernard Slade

February 6-8, 12-15, 19-22 Doris and George meet by chance at a romantic inn over dinner. Although both are married to others, they find themselves in the same bed the next morning questioning how this could have happened. -----------------------Steel Magnolias By: Robert Harling

March 13-15, 19-22, 26-29 The quintessential story of friendship and trust, Steel Magnolias serves up a southern slice of life that’s as warm and comforting as sweet potato pie! -----------------------Red, White, and Tuna By: Ed Howard, Joe Sears, Jaston Williams

April 24-26, 30, May 1-3, 7-10 The much anticipated third installment in the Tuna trilogy takes the audience through another satirical ride into the hearts and minds of the polyester-clad citizens of Texas’ third smallest town. Whether your group enjoys comedy or drama, there is a variety of each here for you at Pioneer Place on Fifth. Group season tickets are on sale now! Visit or call 320-203-0331 for more information. w w w. i t i n e r a r i e s m i d w e s t . c o m



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Explore the History of Fairmont This sample itinerary can be customized for any time of year. Fairmont is known as the “City of Lakes.” It is located in southern Minnesota off Highway 90. 1 – 2:00 pm Welcome to Fairmont! Begin your visit with a drive through the city with a step-on guide and make a stop at the Martin County Courthouse. This was originally a stockade to provide safety to the locals against Indian uprising and was called Fort Fairmont. The present courthouse was built in 1906 and is considered one of the top 10 most beautiful courthouses in Minnesota. Especially noteworthy are the upper level murals and artistic construction. 2:00 – 3:30 pm Next, venture to Heritage Acres. Heritage Acres is an agricultural interpretive center designed to tell the ongoing story of farming. They create a living rural experience for people of all ages to see, touch and explore. Located on forty acres of rich Martin County prairie overlooking Fairmont’s beautiful Lake Sisseton, you’re invited to discover the many reasons the Upper Midwest is called America’s Breadbasket. Providing food and fiber for the world family is an essential and vital industry, deserving of recognition & preservation. 3:30 – 4:30 pm Take a tour of one of Southern Minnesota’s greatest art venues, The Red Rock Center for the Arts. Explore this restored 1898 red stone building that was once a church and now houses a location for many local artists to display their work. Groups can also enjoy a wide variety of musical concerts featuring big band, swing, jazz, cultural, strings, piano, and more. Their beautiful hardwood floors are perfect for ballroom dancing. Call ahead to line up your group’s private entertainment and bring your dancin’ shoes! 4:30 – 5:00 pm Check into your hotel and relax a bit before the evening’s activities. 5 – 7:00 pm Built in 1867 on a hill overlooking Lake Sisseton, The Chubb House is the oldest surviving house in Fairmont. The house is of Greek revival architecture where square nails can be seen in places throughout the house. Your group will enjoy dinner relaxing around the warm and friendly fireplace. The backyard is suitable for picnics overlooking Lake Sisseton in the summer months. Food service will be arranged for your group. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator or the Fairmont Convention & Visitors Bureau: 800-657-3280,




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Southern Hub and Spoke!

A Mix of History and Excitement!

This sample itinerary is best in the summer months.

This sample itinerary is best during the spring and summer months, but can be customized for any time of the year.

Welcome to Albert Lea, fondly known as the “Land Between the Lakes.” But even if you travel here when the lakes are frozen, there is still plenty to see and do.

day one 1 – 2:30 pm Welcome to Albert Lea. Your group will tour Granicrete Minnesota. They have been featured on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, TLC’s: Flip that House, HGTV: Designed to Sell and more! Now your group will get the chance to see this product up close. This is an aurastone product line for plaster walls, counter tops, floors, showers and driveways. Their showroom and warehouse is impressive! The ability to see the textures, depth of colors and feel the product's finish is important in understanding this amazing product. 2:30 – 3:30 pm Take a private tour of Daisy Blue Naturals. This is a natural health and beauty products business that started in Albert Lea in the home kitchen of chemist, Jenna Thomas, in her quest to find better and natural options for personal care products. 3:30 – 4:15 pm Check into the AmericInn of Albert Lea. Featuring great guest rooms, fantastic pool/spa/rec room and expanded continental breakfast. 4:30 – 6:45 pm Imagine spending warm summer evenings cruising on one of the largest natural lakes between Minnetonka, Minnesota and the Gulf of Mexico. The Pelican Breeze II Tour and Dinner Boat, on Albert Lea Lake, is a 60-foot pontoon riverboat styled boat with 2 smoke stacks, a paddle wheel, wet bar, and can be enclosed for inclement weather. Enjoy historically narrated tours, specialty events or plan your own private outing. Full catering services and entertainment are available upon request.

Owatonna is positioned at the intersection of I-35 and US Highways 14 and 218, just one hour south of the Minneapolis/Saint Paul International Airport and 30 minutes north of I-90. Owatonna enjoys one of the most accessible locations in Minnesota. 9 – 9:45 am Known for its “healing waters,” Mineral Springs Park is the birthplace of Owatonna and where the legendary Princess Owatonna watches over the water. Drink from the healing natural springs. It's a great location for a morning stroll. 9:45 – 11:30 am Experience what life was like in Owatonna at the turn of the 20th century at the Village of Yesteryear. Presented by the Steele County Historical Society, this 15-structure site has become a landmark in the county and a historic treasure. Tour two log cabins, a railroad station with caboose, a general store/post office, fire station, the Dunnell mansion and the St. Wenceslaus Moravia Church and more! The buildings are furnished according to the time they were built, and are connected by a boardwalk. 11:30 – 12:30 pm Located immediately adjacent to the Village of Yesteryear is the Steele County History Center, illustrating history beyond the Village of Yesteryear circa 1920. Archives, artifacts, antiques and fascinating personal mementos will be shared through displays, tours, oral history, and publications. A small theater within the Center is used for groups to view documentaries, movies or to host presentations. Continued on Page 36


day two 8:30 – 9:30 am After your hotel breakfast, take a short drive to Austin. 9:30 – 11:30 am Now, even if you think you don’t like SPAM – your groups will love the SPAM Museum Tour! This fun packed museum features 16,500 square feet of tastefully presented SPAM®-filled history. You won’t have to fight for tickets because admission is free. Visit and you’ll be tickled pink by the SPAM® trivia and vintage SPAM® brand advertising. Plus numerous SPAM® displays including the World War II exhibit, SPAM® Game Show quiz, Monty Python tribute and more. There’s even a SPAM® store so you can stock up on priceless SPAM® collectibles on your way out. Now, doesn’t that sound like SPAM – I mean FUN? 11:30 – 1:00 pm Enjoy lunch at the Old Mill Restaurant in Austin. The food is wonderful and so is the view of the dam on the Cedar River, which flows past the restaurant. As you might have concluded, it used to be an actual mill and still holds much of that charm of days gone by. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group please contact your tour operator or the Albert Lea CVB at 800-345-8414 or w w w. i t i n e r a r i e s m i d w e s t . c o m



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Continued from Page 35: A Mix of History…

12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch downtown. 1:30 – 3:00 pm Treat yourself at Russell Stover Candies, Inc. The candy kitchen offers handmade Village of Yesteryear specialties, cookies, brittle, and caramel apples. Visit the ice cream parlor for delicious Blue Bell’s hand-dipped ice cream, floats, sundaes, and shakes. After you’ve satisfied your sweet tooth, make your way to Cabela’s World’s Foremost Outfitter or the Medford Outlet Center to indulge in some real Owatonna shopping. 3 – 4:00 pm Experience the amazing creatures of the reptile and amphibian world with the “Amazon Adventure” at the RAD Zoo. This zoo is home to 100 kinds of reptiles and amphibians from all over the world including snakes, turtles, lizards, crocodilians, toads, frogs, and salamanders. Following your tour is an opportunity for you to pet an alligator or snake! 4 – 6:30 pm Spend the afternoon enjoying the current art exhibit at the Owatonna Arts Center and the diverse group of works by local and regional artists. For over 35 years, the Owatonna Arts Center has been a cultural beacon serving community members by inviting them to explore, experience, and engage in unique and meaningful art experiences. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator or the Owatonna Area Chamber & CVB at 800-423-6466 or



Discover the History Along THE MINNESOTA RIVER VALLEY SCENIC BYWAY! Lac qui Parle Mission Explore exhibits and artifacts illuminating the history of this reconstructed 1835 mission, where the first Dakota dictionary, grammar and gospel were completed. A chapel built in the 1840s features artifacts and exhibits related to the Dakota and missionaries who worked with them. Birch Coulee Battlefield Guideposts pinpoint the U.S. and Dakota positions at the site of one of the hardest-fought battles in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. Visitors can tour the self-guided trails where markers explain the battle from Dakota and U.S. soldiers’ perspectives. Lower Sioux Agency Learn about the causes of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 through special programs and exhibits in the place where the war's first attack took place. Self-guided trails take visitors to the restored 1861 stone warehouse and the Redwood Ferry crossing. Continued on next page



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Fort Ridgely Built in 1853 as a police station to keep peace as settlers poured into the former Dakota lands, it withstood several attacks in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 and became a training ground for Civil War recruits – located within Fort Ridgely State Park. Harkin Store Step into an authentic general store, just as it was in the 1870s. Play a game of checkers by the stove, shop at the museum store, and enjoy views of the Minnesota River from the front porch. Programs are offered every Sunday, May through mid-October. Traverse des Sioux At this centuries-old Minnesota River crossing—the site of the 1851 U.S.-Dakota land treaty—you can walk trails and view exhibits featuring the treaty, Dakota culture and the fur trade. It is located adjacent to the Treaty Site History Center. W.W. Mayo House Take a tour of the 1859 home with knowledgeable guides and hear stories of the Mayo and Cosgrove families who lived here in this home before founding the Mayo Clinic and the Green Giant Company. To find out more, contact the Minnesota Historical Society at 888-601-3010 or online at

directory accommodations metro



Country Inn & Suites Shoreview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .651-784-6000 5995 Rice Creek Parkway – Shoreview, MN 55126 Easy access to Twin Cities attractions, such as U of M, Mall of America, National Sports Center, American Wings Air Museum, and minutes from downtown, count on us to be your best lodging choice in the area. Free hot breakfast, indoor pool and WiFi.

Just For Me: the Spa

. . . . . . . . . . .651-439-4662 110 South Greeley Street – Stillwater, MN 55082 / Your group will love an afternoon, evening or an entire day with a Just For Me Spa package. Our Spa packages are designed to guide your group on a journey of relaxation and rejuvenation. Use of our whirlpool, pool and sauna is complimentary with all treatments.

Lowell Inn

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .651-439-1100 102 2nd St N – Stillwater, MN 55082 / Established in 1927, the Lowell Inn offers fine dining for groups and thirty-five newly restored rooms in beautiful downtown Stillwater. We are uniquely qualified to make your groups experience with us perfect. We also can accommodate formal events and business meetings.

Water Street Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .651-439-6000 101 Water St S – Stillwater, MN 55082 / The Water Street Inn is a distinctive and romantic 41-room Historic Inn located on the St. Croix River in Downtown Stillwater. Our accommodations, restaurant, Irish pub and conference facilities graciously blend the ambiance of an era gone by with the comforts of modern amenities. We know how to make your groups experience memorable!


AmericInn Silver Bay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 877-254-1827 AmericInn Lodge & Suites & Event Center of Moorhead . . . 218-287-7100 600 30th Ave S – Moorhead, MN 56560 877-287-7100 Our two-story waterfall cascades into a tropical courtyard featuring an indoor 9-hole championship, miniature golf course, swimming pool, children’s pool, & whirlpool. We have a lounge, fitness center and free deluxe hot continental breakfast.

AmericInn of Grand Rapids

. . . .218-326-8999 1812 Pokegama Ave S – Grand Rapids, MN 55744 The birthplace of Judy Garland; drive the Wilderness National Scenic Byway, discover the history of the logging era at the Forest History Center. Enjoy the area’s 1,000 lakes or relax by our pool. Wake up to a free hot home-style breakfast.

AmericInn of Sartell . . . . . . . . . . . .320-259-0877 119 LeSauk Drive – Sartell, MN 56377 Stay at the hottest spot in the St. Cloud area, the AmericInn of Sartell. We’re on the border to everywhere. Experience a quiet night’s sleep with our soundguard guestrooms and wake up to our free enhanced continental breakfast.

Country Inn & Suites, Baxter . . .218-828-2161 15058 Dellwood Drive N – Baxter, MN 56425 / Enjoy being near state parks like White Sand Lake & Crow Wing, the Brainerd International Raceway and Paul Bunyan Land at This Old Pioneer Village, Plays, arts exhibits, concerts, museums or relax by our pool. Wake up to a free hot breakfast.

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directory continued Country Inn & Suites Duluth North . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .218-740-4500 4257 Haines Road – Hermantown, MN 55811 From boats, trains and carriage rides to arts, theatre, and historical tours, there’s nothing like a visit to Duluth. We’ll provide the comforts of home and free hot breakfast so you can experience the scenic wonders.

Country Inn Walker

. . . . . . . . . . . .218-547-1400 442 Walker Bay Blvd. – Walker, MN 56484 Minutes from downtown Walker’s unique shopping you will find something for everyone. Experience classic rock festivals, tour Forest Edge Winery or Leech Lake Brewery. Our warm décor, comfortable accommodations, complimentary breakfast and friendly staff are sure to make you feel right at home.

Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior. . 800-258-8736 5700 W Hwy 61, PO Box 9 – Lutsen, MN 55612 / Historic property, located on Lake Superior’s shore, a spectacular stop for any group. Great lakeside restaurant, pub, massage services and beautiful grounds. There is a large beach, with evening campfires and frequent guest programs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-292-4375 75 West 5th Street – Saint Paul, MN 55102 Landmark Center serves as a cultural center for music, dance, theatre, exhibitions and public forums, and hosts countless special events. Groups are always welcome!

Lift Bridge Brewing Co. . . . . . . . . 888-430-BEER 1900 Tower Drive West – Stillwater, MN 55082 Tap into a different experience. This Micro Brewery is open year round for you’re your group to experience a 45- 60 minute tour. Learn the history of this brewery and how it went from brewing beer a basement into a full fledge brewery. . . . 651-259-3444 345 West Kellogg Blvd – Saint Paul, MN 55102 Chief caretaker of Minnesota’s story and the History Center is home to the Society’s vast collections. Within our archives reside artifacts ranging from American Indian moccasins and artwork to furniture and photographs. Civil War-era flags and a wealth of genealogical information.

Minnesota Renaissance Festival 952-445-7361 1244 Canterbury Road South #306 – Shakopee, MN 55379

Mystic Lake Casino - Hotel

Barb Oswell (contact) / A Collection of Minnesota’s finest resorts. Outdoor beauty to indoor luxury. From the North Shore of Lake Superior to the banks of Leech Lake, the outdoors offers something for every group.

Northern Vineyards Winery

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .218-326-8501 2301 S Highway 169 – Grand Rapids, MN 55744-9501 /


Prior Lake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-496-7345 . . . . 651-430-1032 223 Main Street North – Stillwater, MN 55082 From the moment you enter our tasting room, feel the energy and enjoy the personal attention from our experienced tasting team. Have a glass or bottle of our award winning wine while relaxing on our deck overlooking the beautiful St. Croix River.

Saint Croix Vineyards . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-430-3310


6428 Manning Avenue North – Stillwater, MN 55082 / One of Minnesota's largest and well known wineries. Your group will taste our wines, take a stroll in our vineyards and tour our winery. Our international award winning wines range from the intense, oak-aged Frontenac to our refreshing La Crescent Dessert Wine.


St. Croix Boat and Packet . . . . . . 651-430-1234

Microtel Inn & Suites Mankato

. . . .507-388-2818

Microtel Inn & Suites Springfield . . .507-723-8200

BierCycle Adventures, LLC . . . . . 651-300-2202 222 Commercial Street – Stillwater, MN 55082 BierCycle Adventures is Stillwater’s own multi-person pedal bike! Experience this small historic town in a way you never have before.

Cooks of Crocus Hill

. . . . . . . . . . . 651-228-1333 877 Grand Avenue – Saint Paul, MN 55105 Engage, connect and explore with our culinary workshops! We’ve created an interactive experience that allows for creativity and takes the mystery out of Italy’s most famous eats. Cooks will prepare the salad & dessert and guests dig in & roll out a variety of homemade pastas or design their own flavor of pizza to share.

Foodies on Foot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 855-236-6343 Stillwater, MN / Experience the tastes of the Stillwater on one of our Guided Tours. Enjoy our MN rich culinary heritage through an exclusive adventure where your group will experience Stillwater’s distinctive food & warm hospitality...One bite at a time on foot!

Gondola Romantica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-439-1783 425 East Nelson Street – Stillwater, MN 55082 /


Lutsen Mountain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218-406-1319 Lutsen The highest peak in MN. Stunning views of Lake Superior. The 200-mile Superior hiking trail and some of the finest accommodations on the North Shore. Ski it in the winter, see it all from the gondola in the summer, plus so much more.

Millner Heritage Vineyard & Winery Kimball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320-398-2081


Wanda Gag House New Ulm. . . . . . . 507-359-2632

Minnesota Historical Society

Odyssey Resorts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218-728-8060

Sawmill Inn


Landmark Center

525 Main Street South – Stillwater, MN 55082 At St. Croix Boat & Packet we offer daily public lunch and dinner cruises, as well as private charter cruises. Our beautiful paddlewheel riverboats can accommodate groups of 25 to 675. Contact us today, we would be happy to assist you in planning a group tour.

Stillwater Trolley Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-430-0352 400 Nelson Street – Stillwater, MN 55082

Wabasha Street Caves . . . . . . . . . . . 651-292-1220 215 Wabasha Street South – Saint Paul, MN 55107 Down In History has exciting historic tours done by costumed characters. Historic Walking Cave Tours in Saint Paul and Stillwater. Motorcoach Gangster Tours, Irish Tours, Tacky Tours, Ghost & Graves Tours, & More! We make history fun!


Fond-du-Luth Casino . . . . . . . . . . . 218-720-5113 129 East Superior St – Duluth, MN 55802 / Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Duluth and offering guests a variety of gaming entertainment choices for adults 21 and older. It’s all provided in a clean, friendly and comfortable environment!

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers metro

Eagan Convention and Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . .651-675-5546 1501 Central Parkway – Eagan MN 55121 / Eagan makes planning your next group outing easy! Personal service includes custom and creative itineraries, FREE welcome bags and FREE Mall of America coupon books ($9.95 value) You’ll also enjoy our low 3% lodging tax. Ask how to qualify for our $250 cash rebate.

Stillwater & Oak Park Heights CVB . . . . . . . .651-351-1717 PO Box 2025 – Stillwater, MN 55082 Historic Stillwater, Minnesota is located along the banks of the scenic St. Croix River. Our many unique shops, restaurants, lodging establishments & attractions make a perfect group destination. Located within 30 min. of most major Twin Cities metro attractions.

Tour Minnesota Association . . . .952-406-8832 PO Box 11682 – Saint Paul, MN 55111 / TMA members provide exciting destinations and top quality services for tour groups. Our member organizations include Attractions, Lodging, Dining/Catering, CVB’s, Transportation and Tour Operations. Check out the website for a full list of members.


St. Cloud Area Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .320-251-4170 525 Hwy 10, Suite 1 – St. Cloud, MN 56304 800-264-2940 Among the many attractions are world-class gardens, history, granite, and great places to stay and eat. The St. Cloud CVB takes pride in helping you plan the perfect getaway. Creativity is key to the success of your group tour.

Little Falls CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320-616-4959 606 1st Street SE – Little Falls, MN 56345 Visit our historic attractions and museums, experience the town’s original murals and frescoes or take in the great outdoors. We’re happy to customize a tour for your group!

Warroad Area Chamber . . . . . . . . . 218-386-3543 311 State Avenue North – Warroad, MN 56763


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Explore Minnesota

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directory continued Albert Lea Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .507-373-2316 102 W Clark Street – Albert Lea, MN 56007 800-345-8414 Located 90 minutes from Minneapolis, where I-90 & I-35 intersect, featuring small town hospitality with big city amenities. Plus additional lakes and 38 city parks hosting various outdoor activities.

Explore Southern Minnesota Tourism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .888-868-7476 ext 162 115 East Hickory #403 – Mankato, MN 56001 You’ll be surprised…at what you’ll find in southern Minnesota! With many scenic byways, festivals, parks & trails, historic sites, caves, bluffs, waterfalls & so much more, it makes a perfect destination for any group.

Fairmont Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-657-3280 323 East Blue Earth, PO Box 976 – Fairmont, MN 56031 Fairmont the “City of Lakes” awaits your arrival. Located in southern Minnesota on Interstate 90 we have a range of lodging and dining options to fit your needs. Lakes, history, open spaces, discover Fairmont!

Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce

entertainment & theater

Rafters Restaurant Night Club & Event Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-342-1502


317 South Main Street – Stillwater, MN 55082 Take advantage of our beautiful view of the St. Croix River in our historic building for all your private parties and events. Our events team can help you plan the perfect event. Extensive menus and of course our 24 craft beers on tap and creative cocktails will leave an impression on you …and best of all: we do all the work!

History Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-292-4323 30 10th Street East – Saint Paul, MN 55101 /


Pioneer Place on Fifth. . . . . . . . . . 320-203-0331 St. Cloud, MN 56301 The intimate space means the audience is up close and personal with the performers. The statement of “not a bad seat in the house” certainly holds true for Pioneer Place. A Professional theater experience for your group without the hassle of metro traffic.

festivals & events metro

Minnesota Renaissance Festival

. . . . . . . . . . 952-445-7361 1244 Canterbury Road South #306 – Shakopee, MN 55379

Minnesota State Fair . . . . . . . . . . . 651-632-2689

. . . . . . . . .800-658-2548 205 3rd Street West – Northfield, MN 55057 Located just 30 minutes from the Twin Cities along the shores of the Cannon River. Whether you enjoy the arts, history or nature, you’ll find multiple outlets for education as well as opportunities for relaxation and live entertainment.

1265 Snelling Avenue North – Saint Paul, MN 55108 The great Minnesota Get-Together. Local, national and internationally-known entertainers, horse show and rodeo performances, Mighty Midway and Kidway rides, competitions, exhibits, attractions and concessions.


Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce

. . . . . . . . .507-451-7970 320 Hoffman Dr – Owatonna, MN 55060 800-423-6466 Located in south central MN, 45 minutes from Mpls/Saint Paul on I-35. Come “discover our faces & places” - filled with historical, recreational & cultural opportunities as well as nearly 700 guest rooms to accommodate any group.

Preston Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism

Wilder Pageant Walnut Grove. . . . . . . 888-859-3102

restaurants metro


Café Renaissance Waite Park . . . . . . 320-253-9300 Coyote Moon Grille

. . . . .320-258-4653 ext 113 480 55th Ave SE – St. Cloud, MN 56304 Overlooking the beautiful Territory Golf Course with a view second to none. Conveniently located on the East side of St. Cloud near the Paramount Theater, Munsinger Gardens, and other local attractions. Inclusive group pricing on lunch buffet and plated dinner menus. Private rooms available.

Fuji Sushi & Steakhouse Waite Park. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320-252-3838

Mr. Twisty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320-310-0314 5821 Ridgewood Road – St. Cloud, MN 56303 St. Cloud’s coolest hot spot! Serving up delectable ice cream creations, this walk-up shop is reminiscent of the ones you rode your bike to as a kid. The treats, low prices and friendly atmosphere keep guests coming back.

Nick’s Third Floor at D.B. Searle’s St. Cloud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320-253-0655


Pub 500 Mankato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 507-625-6500 Veigel’s Kaiserhoff New Ulm


Cherokee Tavern Saint Paul. . . . . . . . 651-457-2729 . . . . . . . .507-765-2100

PO Box 657 – Preston, MN 55965 Preston is a vibrant community in the heart of bluff country, known as “Minnesota’s Trout Capital”, and home to the Forestville Mystery Cave. Preston welcomes groups offering a variety of entertaining, educational, and recreational activities.

Willmar Lakes Area CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-845-8747 ext 79 2104 Highway 12 East – Willmar, MN 56201 Visit the Willmar Lakes Area. Only 2 hours west of Minneapolis/Saint Paul. 360 lakes, 36 parks, 81 holes of golf – and that’s just on the drive in! Let our staff help put together a getaway for your group.

Worthington Area CVB

. . . . . . . . . . .507-372-2919 1121 Third Ave – Worthington, MN 56187 Worthington is a friendly community in the Southwest corner of MN. Bring your group here for some fantastic tours, including the Pioneer Village, Historic Dayton House, and War Memorial Auditorium.

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The Dock Café

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-430-3770 425 Nelson Street East – Stillwater, MN 55082 Your group will love our scenic views of the St. Croix River Valley during their dinning experience. With our wonderful food and professional service, your event is sure to be a success.

. . . . . . 507-359-2071


Northland Visions

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 612-872-0390 1113 E Franklin Avenue – Minneapolis, MN 55404 Specializing in Native American art from the Woodlands and Plains tribes. Sculptures, paintings, beadwork, jewelry, native foods, original native and traditional art, gifts of the northlands, offering unique, all Minnesota gifts.

Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter

. . . . . 651-439-7128 8390 Lofton Avenue North – Stillwater, MN 55082

Grand Banquet Hall and Catering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-430-3770 301 2nd Street South – Stillwater, MN 55082 Our services and menu are available for locations throughout Stillwater and the surrounding area to accommodate all of your group needs. Or you may want to enjoy our ballroom with beautiful stained glass décor, with space for over 300 guests and a generous dance floor and antiqued bar.

tour operators metro

Foodies on Foot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 855-236-6343 Stillwater, MN /

Valley Tours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-439-6110 101 Pine Street West #4 – Stillwater, MN 55082 / Let us help you show your group the best sightseeing tours of quaint Stillwater and other rivertowns. Visit Victorian homes, historic sites and attractions. Tours include professional guides in Victorian dress, lodging, dining, riverboat cruises, etc. We make arrangements for bus groups, senior citizens, corporations, churches, etc.



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explore missouri trails… Grant’s Trail Only 8 miles from the famed Gateway Arch in St. Louis, this 8-mile pathway has a lengthy list of unique sights including Grant’s Farm, named for the 18th president Ulysses S. Grant, who farmed in the area in the 1850s and hand-built the four-room log cabin called “Hardscrabble” that now sits on the property. Today, Grant’s Farm is an animal park featuring bison, elephants, camels, peacocks and more than 100 other species, including its most iconic residents, the Budweiser Clydesdales. White Haven, another home owned by Grant, can be found on the other side of the trail across from Grant’s Farm. Bikes can be rented locally at Big Shark Bicycle Co.

Independence, MO – “Queen City of the Trails”

spotlight missouri

From 1840 to 1850, the town of Independence was the spot where the adventure of starting over became a reality. Each spring Independence became a rendezvous point for those ready to take the nearly six-month journey to the unsettled lands of California and Oregon. Start your exploration of Independence at the National Frontier Trails Museum. Uncover real wagon ruts across the street at the Bingham-Waggoner Estate. Tour Independence Square, the 1827 Log Courthouse, the 1859 Jail & Marshal’s Home, and numerous Civil War markers along the way.

Birthplace of Route 66 fficially recognized as the birthplace of Route 66, it was in Springfield in 1926 that officials first proposed the name of the new Chicago-to-Los Angeles highway. In 1938, Route 66 became the first completely paved transcontinental highway in America—the “Mother Road” —stretching from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Coast.


Traces of the Mother Road are still visible in downtown Springfield. The red booths and gleaming chrome in mom-and-pop diners, the stone cottages of tourist courts and the many service stations along this route saw America fall in love with the automobile. Guests are encouraged to take a moment and enjoy the interesting shops and creative eateries that surround the historic downtown area. Here you will enjoy a variety of delicious cuisines, flea markets, novelty stores, boutiques and nightclubs.

Missouri: Close to home. Far from ordinary.

The Pony Express National Historic Trail Nearly 1,900 miles of historic trail, this was the primary “road” used by young riders on swift horses to carry the U.S. Mail between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California—often in ten days or less with good weather. Auto Tour Route driving directions and maps provide modern-day travelers with directions along highways that approximate the historic route during the eighteen months that it operated from 1860 to 1861. Take a special guided tour of the Pony Express National Museum in St. Joseph. Experience the many exciting, educational, state-of-the-art exhibits conveying the need, creation, operation, and termination of the Pony Express.

The Trail of Tears The Trail of Tears traveled through the Springfield area via what is known today as the Old Wire Road. The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail auto tour route is along Interstate 44 westward. It is commemorative of the forced removal of five Indian tribal nations from the east to Oklahoma, in the winter of 1838-1839. Established in 1987, the park offers picnic sites, hiking and horse trails, opportunities to fish in both the Mississippi River and Lake Boutin, and majestic views of the Mississippi River and beyond.

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Close to home. Far from ordinary.

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The Main Street OF THE MIDWEST



oute 66 consists of 2,448 miles of highway and is sometimes called the Main Street of the Midwestern United States. For many during the Dust Bowl era, Route 66 became their exodus, as immortalized in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and his reference to “The Mother Road.” Route 66 crosses eight states and Missouri accounts for 347 of the total miles.


The famed route brought traffic, commerce, and notoriety to Joplin. Bobby Troup wrote the song “Route 66” and even named Joplin in one of his verses. In the 1930s, Schifferdecker Park allowed overnight visitors to stay in campers and motor homes. West Seventh Street businesses were also proposed from the influx of daily traffic. Dixie Lee’s Dine & Dance, Dutch’s Top Hat, Dana’s Bo Peep, Keller’s Barbecues, and Koronado Kourts were available for the 66 highway travelers. Between 1975 and 1977, Interstates 44 and 55 became the primary route of travel and much of Route 66 was bypassed. By January 1981, the final section of Route 66 in Missouri was bypassed and the recognizable 66 shields were taken down.

Art, Nature, and History in Joplin This sample itinerary is best during the spring and summer months. 10 – 12:00 pm Begin your Joplin visit at the Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center. Hike or walk the three miles of nature trails along the banks of Shoal Creek, across from the historic Redings Mill Bridge's scenic shoals and above the treetops on a chert bluff. Your group will see the last and largest remaining chert glades, a globally unique habitat found only in this area. Southwest Missouri is the only place in the world where chert bedrock, 40 feet deep, forms these glades. 12 – 1:00 pm Your group has probably worked up an appetite. Have lunch at the Mohaska Farmhouse Pizza & Bakery. Their ingredients, supplied by local farms, make the flavor of their foods stand out. 1 – 3:00 pm Spend some time in the sun at the biggest mini-golf course in the area at Route 66 Carousel Park. They have two 18-hole courses that are unique and fun with bright blue waterfalls, large African wildlife and secluded tree-covered courses. Be a kid again and ride the Ferris wheel and the carousel, too! 3 – 4:30 pm Pay a visit to the Spiva Center for the Arts. Over the past 60 years, the center has grown into a leading cultural institution for the entire region; it's a work of art in its own right. Shop their gift store, offering

fine art and handmade items! Beautiful, fun, useful, eclectic...Your source for the unique and exceptional! 4:30 pm Check into one of the many Joplin hotels. 5:30 – 7:00 pm Have dinner and relax at Stone Creek Bar & Grille. Enjoy an evening meal in their atrium setting. Have Certified Angus Beef, or for lighter fare, try the fresh buffet with salads, baked potatoes and desserts. The lounge includes a full menu and large-screen TVs. 7 – 8:00 pm Take a walking or driving tour of the Murphysburg Residential Historic District. Joplin's wealthiest and most influential citizens built these homes during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the last 10 years, residents of the district have restored the structures to their former glory. 8:00 pm End your evening with a glorious sunset at Grand Falls. Located on Shoal Creek, this is one of Missouri's most scenic destinations. The largest continuously flowing natural waterfall in Missouri, Grand Falls plunges 25 feet to a solid ledge before flowing southward. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, contact your tour operator or the Joplin CVB at or 800-657-2534.

But the old route would not die. As Route 66 historian Joe Sonderman wrote, “Nostalgia buffs and roadside rebels continued to seek out the tourist traps, motels, and gas stations that still held on for life on 66. They clung to the memories of their childhood vacations.” It is that nostalgia that pulls thousands of motorists from around the world to drive the famous roadway annually.

directory convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Joplin CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-657-2534 602 South Main Street – Joplin, MO 64801 / Joplin, located near the crossroads of I-44 and Hwy 71, is perfect for your group destination. Call for your group tour services and custom itinerary planning.

St. Joseph CVB . . . . . . . . . . . 800-785-0360 109 South 4th Street – St. Joseph, MO 64501 Recently named America’s “Top Ten Western City” by True West Magazine, we are a city abounding in 19th century charm and timeless beauty.

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explore nebraska trails… Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail Tracing the 1,300-mile path forged by the Pioneer Company, this historic trail was followed by more than 70,000 Mormons seeking religious freedom from 1846 to 1869. Along the way, the pioneers built bridges, located ferry crossings over rivers, and left behind markers to guide those that would follow. Sites include the Murdock Site (Alda), Sand Hill Ruts (Sutherland), Ancient Bluff Ruins (Broadwater), and Omaha’s Winter Quarters Complex, which features the Mormon Pioneer Memorial Bridge, Florence Mill, Florence Park, Mormon Pioneer Cemetery, and Cutler’s Park.

Outlaw Trail Scenic Byway

spotlight nebraska

What once took pioneers, outlaws, cowboys, and Indians weeks to traverse, is now a fun-filled adventure packed with breathtaking scenery, exciting tales, and a wide variety of activities. This 231-mile stretch of Nebraska Highway 12 invites you to explore the natural beauty of the area state parks and view wildlife in their natural habitats. Hit the waters of one of the state’s largest lakes, or perhaps spend the afternoon touring a local farm. Take in the rich Native American heritage of the area at attractions such as the Ponca Fort near the town of Verdel. Ponca State Park

Oregon Trail

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail


rom May 1804 to September 1806, 31 men, one woman, and a baby traveled 3,700 miles from the plains of the Midwest to the Pacific Coast. Known as the Corps of Discovery, the team opened a window into the west and made U.S. history with the Lewis and Clark Expedition. There are many sites along the Nebraska portion of the trail including Niobrara State Park, Ponca State Park, Indian Cave State Park, Missouri National Recreation River, and Fort Atkinson State Historical Park.

Indian Cave State Park

Pony Express

Thomas Jefferson gave the men of the expedition strict instructions to observe and record everything, from the languages of the Indians to the dates when plants flower. The Trail Headquarters & Visitor Center in Omaha offers programs, exhibits and special events year round that provide information on the history, culture, science, and people of this treacherous journey. Fort Atkinson State Historical Park

Nebraska: Possibilities…endless

Courthouse Rock in Bridgeport, Nebraska is a massive pillar of Brule clay and Gering sandstone that acted as one of the guiding landmarks for fur traders and emigrants along the Oregon Trail. A smaller rock formation, known as the Jail House or Jail Rock, lies to the east. In November of 1841, Rufus B. Sage recorded, “Occupying a perfectly level site in an open prairie, it stands as the proud palace of solitude.” Thirty miles west along the trail is Scotts Bluff National Monument, offering interpretive programs year-round including “Music at the Monument” Sundays in June.

In 1860, the Pony Express could deliver a letter from Missouri to California in ten days—unprecedented at the time. Today, visitors can explore segments of the trail via a narrated auto tour, hiking, biking, or horseback riding. Rock Creek Station in Fairbury, Nebraska once served as a relay station for the Pony Express. The Visitor Center overlooks some 350 acres of prairie hilltops, timber-studded creek bottoms, rugged ravines, and a 1600-foot stretch of wagon wheel ruts. Rock Creek Trail Days, the first weekend of June, includes living history demonstrations, covered wagon rides, cowboy shootouts, and plenty more!

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HISTORIC Washington County



ocated in eastern Nebraska, Washington County is brimming with history. It is home to Lewis & Clark’s first council with the Otoe and Missouria native tribes and is considered the doorway to the west. The Washington County Historical Association provides a wealth of exciting and educational attractions for your next group tour.


Fort Atkinson State Historical Park This reconstructed 1820s log fort is one of the premier historical sites in Nebraska and sits on 157 acres atop “Council Bluff,” the site of the first meeting between the 1804 Lewis & Clark Expedition and the Otoe-Missouria. The park is open daily from May through October, offering guided tours. Living history reenactments take place the first weekend of the month from 10am to 5pm, both Saturday and Sunday.

Historic Places in 2006 due to its significant architecture, which combines elements of Queen Anne style with Colonial Revival style. Everything in the home is the same as the day it was built, with the exception of a few modernizations (electricity, running water, a sewer system, and a furnace). The Frahm House is open in the summer for tours, teas, luncheons, and special events. Tractors Tall & Small Event August 9th, 2014 This annual antique tractor show is located in

and around the Washington County Museum. View displays of antique tractors, machinery, vintage motorcycles and trucks, as well as toy farm tractors and related collections inside the museum. Other points of interest include: a woodworkers’ display and sale, corn shelling with vintage shellers, food booths, and a wedding dress display. Free trolley rides are available throughout the day to Fort Atkinson and the Frahm house. Washington County Museum This is the oldest county museum in Nebraska, housing artifacts from prehistoric times, Native American garments and equipment, and relics from nearby Fort Atkinson. Early farm tools, school and household items, as well as fine china brought from “the old country” depict how the pioneers lived in the 1800s. A display of Thomas Edison items and early telephone equipment moves the visitor into the 20th century. Contact the Washington County Historical Association and get more info about custom tours for your groups: 402-468-5740 or

Historic Frahm House Located at 15th and Madison Streets in Fort Calhoun, the Frahm House is a site worth visiting again and again. It was built in 1905 by Fred Frahm for his bride Sarah Beales and was added to the National Register of

directory convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Washington County Historical Society. . . . . . . . . 402-468-5740 102 North Fort – Calhoun, NE 68023 The Washington County Historical Museum, the oldest county museum in Nebraska, houses artifacts from prehistoric time, Native American dress and equipment and relics from nearby Ft. Atkinson. (Museum Hours: Closed Sunday & Monday, Open Thursday-Friday 9 to 5, Saturday 12 to 4. Frahm House: By appointment.)

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explore north dakota trails… Chan SanSan Scenic Backway Over 12,000 years ago, glacial melt formed the James River Valley. When travelers descend into the valley, they can see the panoramic view of a winding river surrounded by tallgrass prairie and wildflowers. This area is rich in Native American history, earthen mounds and scenic beauty. Visitors have multiple opportunities for recreation and wildlife viewing along the backway. Points of interest include: Heinrich-Martin Dam, the Double Pony Truss Bridge, LaMoure County Summer Musical Theatre and the LaMoure County Courthouse. The Toy Farmer Museum, housed in a restored barn, offers a display of many collectibles, including Lowell Davis’ sculptured barns and farming scenes. Begin your journey on Hwy 46 through Adrian, Dickey, Grand Rapids and LaMoure to the intersection of the County Line Road in Jamestown.

spotlight north dakota

Killdeer Mountain Four Bears Scenic Byway

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Scenic Loops elcome to the area of the country that changed Teddy Roosevelt’s life! Today, groups can view a natural setting much like the one that greeted Roosevelt over a century ago. The 36-mile scenic loop drive in the South Unit and the 14-mile drive in the North Unit provide easy access to popular vistas and wildlife viewing. You will always see buffalo herds and prairie dog towns, and you may catch a glimpse of wild horses, mule deer, elk, and maybe even a coyote. Explore significant historic sites within the park such as Theodore Roosevelt’s Maltese Cross and Elkhorn Ranches. Also read the story of the park’s founding in 1947.


“I do not believe that any man can adequately appreciate the world of to-day unless he has some knowledge of...[and] some feeling for...the history of the world of the past.” - Theodore Roosevelt

North Dakota: Legendary

From the Killdeer Mountains to the deeply entrenched Little Missouri River Breaks and Badlands, this byway provides a unique and enchanting landscape in one of the most scenic areas of western North Dakota. The rich culture and history of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara tribes, paired with the recreational opportunities of Little Missouri State Park, provide visitors an enthralling adventure. Groups can take in the view at Crow Flies High Butte Overlook. This butte offers stunning views of Lake Sakakawea and the Four Bears Bridge. Interpretive signage highlights the life of Chief Crow Flies High plus rich local history. The Four Bears Museum offers a cultural, as well as historic, overview of these tribes. The museum is on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation about 4 miles west of New Town on ND Hwy 23.

The Sakakawea Trail Most of this drive is on Rte 200A and Rte 200 and starts just south of the 178-mile-long Lake Sakakawea. Venture a bit west on this historic drive on Rte 17 to Fort Mandan, where the explorers Lewis and Clark wintered. It was during the winter of 1804-1805, while staying at Fort Mandan, that the explorers added Toussaint Charbonneau and his wife Sakakawea to their team as translators. Return to Washburn and head west on Rte 200A to the Arroda Lakes. A few miles to the west is the Knife River Indian Villages and National Historic Site. Over the next 40 miles, travel through the towns of Hazen and Beulah on your way to Lake Ilo National Wildlife Refuge, where many waterfowl make their nests while on their semiannual migrations. The scenery along this drive is truly great and is full of early American history.

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Discovering Fargo-Moorhead This sample itinerary can be customized for any time of the year. Whether you are staying for the week, or just stopping over night, Fargo-Moorhead offers unlimited options for groups of all sizes.

day one 9 – 12:00 pm Start your adventure at the Historical & Cultural Society of Clay County in Moorhead. Relive the journey of the Viking ship “Hjemkomst” (yem-komst) as it sailed from Minnesota to Norway. Learn about the voyage, including the storm 500 miles from New York that caused a crack in the hull nearly 14 feet long that almost led the crew to head back to North America. See how the crew lived during the 72-day voyage. While you are there, walk through the Norwegian Stave Church, a replica of the Hopperstad Stave Church in Vik, Norway. 12 – 3:00 pm Continue your adventure to Fargo for a walking/ driving tour of historic downtown. Downtown Fargo-Moorhead offers a variety of shops & dining options. Forbes magazine contributor Joel Kotkin says, “No joke: It couldn’t get much better in Fargo.” 3 – 4:30 pm The Fargo-Moorhead area has many hotels that know how to make your groups feel welcome. 4:30 – 6:00 pm Feel like a kid again and take a ride on the restored antique carousel at the Red River Zoo. The zoo includes exotic and native animals and plants, specializing in rare and endangered species. 6 – 7:30 pm From simple to elegant, Fargo-Moorhead is a

virtual smorgasbord of dining options. With more than 350 restaurants, there's no end to the culinary variety your group can choose for dinner tonight. Enjoy! 7:30 pm Complete your day with an international or first-run film at the Historic Fargo Theatre. Here you will enjoy some of your favorite hits as the screen continues to blend gems from the past – from silent films to contemporary classics.

Area history first hand. Explore fifteen fascinating acres of historic buildings, including a sod house, church, courthouse and country store. Specialty museums house antique cars, airplanes, farm equipment and other memorabilia. Make arrangements for your group’s lunch. 1 – 3:30 pm Travel northwest to Cooperstown. The new Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site actually consists of two sites telling the story of the Cold War years in North Dakota.

day two

For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator or the Fargo-Moorhead CVB, 800-235-7654.

9 – 1:00 pm Travel to Bonanzaville, located in West Fargo. It is a wonderful way to experience Fargo & Red River

directory convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . 800-235-7654 2001 44th Street South – Fargo, ND 58103 The Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau is eager to assist with your tour planning. Whether you are looking for a group-friendly restaurant, accessibility to the interstate, motorcoach parking or full continental breakfast, your tour experience is our priority.

w w w. i t i n e r a r i e s m i d w e s t . c o m



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explore south dakota trails… Badlands National Park Drive Taking a half-day trip through the historic Badlands National Park will expose groups to stunning landscapes that are often compared to a moonscape. With more than 244,000 acres, the Badlands National Park showcases jagged buttes, canyons, spires and mixed-grass prairie. The rugged Badlands terrain also contains one of the richest fossil beds. Visitors can travel the Highway 240 Loop Road for a 60-minute drive and visit the Ben Reifel Visitor Center to watch the award-winning park video, tour exhibits and browse the gift shop.

Native American Scenic Byway

spotlight south dakota

The South Dakota portion of this byway begins in Chamberlain and snakes its way along the Missouri River, through the Lower Brule and Crow Creek Sioux reservations, passing by numerous memorial markers, monuments, museums, and sites. It continues toward Fort Pierre and passes Fisher's Lilly Park, the historic site where Lewis and Clark met with the Teton Sioux. Travel north through the Eagle Butte and Cheyenne River Sioux reservations, where visitors can see the Sakakawea and Sitting Bull monuments.

Mammoth Site of Hot Springs Adams House

Historic Deadwood


he discovery of gold in the Black Hills in 1874 set off one of the last great gold rushes in the country. Practically overnight, the tiny gold camp of Deadwood boomed into a town that played by its own rules, attracting outlaws, gamblers and gunslingers along with the gold seekers. The entire town is now a Registered National Historic Landmark, but don’t let that fool you. Behind all the historic facades is plenty of modern-day fun. The famous and infamous have left their marks here. Men, like Wild Bill Hickok and Seth Bullock, and women, like Calamity Jane and Poker Alice, made this town legendary. Groups can ponder the truth at the foot of Wild Bill’s grave in Mount Moriah Cemetery, tour the Adams House, pan for gold in the Broken Boot Mine, or take a walking tour into the past that puts the Wild West into perspective.

South Dakota: Great Faces. Great Places.

While this is not a “trail” per se, it is a true historical view from untraveled times. Imagine the sudden collapse of a 60-foot deep karst sinkhole. Bubbling from the bottom, a warm spring percolates through the layers of limestone, now creating a large steep-sided pond. Animals—Ice Age mammoth, camel, and giant short-faced bear—ventured down to the water below, but were unable to gain a foothold to escape. The sinkhole was a deathtrap. Active for about 350-700 years, the hole slowly filled with layers of drying silt and sediments. The mud, which had aided in trapping the mammoths and other animals, now entombed and preserved the remains. Previous visitors have said it best: “The Mammoth Site is as close to being a true time machine as you’ll find.”

Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway Named for the famous South Dakota conservationist, Governor, and U.S. Senator, this byway features historic Mount Rushmore and the rugged beauty of the Black Hills. Areas of interest include: Custer State Park, a 73,000acre wildlife preserve; the Needles Highway, passing among straight stone spires; the Crazy Horse Monument, a mountain-sized monument celebrating the life of one of the greatest Native American leaders; Harney Peak, the highest peak east of the Rocky Mountains; and Jewel Cave National Monument, featuring the second largest cave in the United States.

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explore wisconsin trails… Apostle Islands The Apostle Islands are a result of the glaciers that once covered North America. It is said that fur traders were the first explorers to settle in the area, building a village from the money they brought in. The Apostle Islands Tour Service offers the Grand Tour, taking your group on a narrated, informative 55-mile scenic cruise. Enjoy extraordinary natural scenery, beautiful historic Raspberry and Devils Island Lighthouses, extensive sea caves, and marine wildlife. Learn the rich history of centuries of human interaction with Wisconsin’s “Crown Jewels” on majestic Lake Superior.

Ice Age Trail

Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive Enjoy the beauty, history and geology of southeast Wisconsin. This 115-mile drive traverses six Wisconsin counties, beginning near Elkhart Lake down to the southern end at Whitewater Lake. Explore and enjoy the many natural areas and geological landmarks on and near the drive. Visit the historical site of Old World Wisconsin. This open-air museum exhibits the lifestyles and challenges of 19thcentury European immigrants. Interpreters are authentically attired in period clothing, teams of oxen and horses till the fields, butter is churned by hand, and a blacksmith pounds the anvil. These are glimpses of Wisconsin, as it became a melting pot of European cultures.

Packers Heritage Trail The Packers Heritage Trail was designed as a self-guided walking tour that weaves two compelling stories. One is about the rich, colorful and improbable history of the Green Bay Packers. The other is about the people of Green Bay and how their undying devotion to their beloved football team lives on. Explorers will see Lambeau’s Birthplace Home, the Birthplace of the Packers, and the church where Lombardi attended daily Mass. The trailhead is at the Neville Public Museum. Twenty-one of the 22 commemorative plaques are located within a two-mile radius of downtown Green Bay.

spotlight wisconsin

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a thousand-mile footpath that runs only through Wisconsin. The path follows what would have been the edge of the glaciers some twelve thousand years ago with a terminus in St. Croix Falls in the west, a trail that winds throughout several areas of the state and another terminus at Potawatomi State Park near Sturgeon Bay. Whether the walk is long or short, you will see gorgeous landscapes carved by the glaciers. You’ll experience nature as never before and you’ll meet some friendly people in interesting towns along the way. The trail is a must-see Wisconsin wonder.

Wisconsin Great River Road


he Wisconsin Great River Road connects your groups with 33 historic river towns. Each of these beautiful communities has its own story to tell. Because of the close proximity to the Mississippi River and the steep bluff faces, most of the main streets in these towns stretch directly along this River Road, displaying the oldest and most beautiful architecture. Historical markers, museums and visitor centers tell the story of the people who lived and worked along the Mississippi. These were some of the first places settled by Europeans in the New World. Your group will learn about the Native Americans who inhabited the Upper Mississippi River Valley for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans, see the numerous mounds built by the Hopewell, discover the Oneota culture and learn about the Black Hawk War. Throughout your journey, you’ll feel like you’re taking a step back in time.

Travel Wisconsin

La Crosse Symphony

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Travel Wisconsin

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Everything’s Coming Up Cranberries! This itinerary is best the first part of October, based on harvest times. Round Barn

11 – 12:00 pm Arrive at Pittsville High School in the heart of central Wisconsin’s Cranberry Country and enjoy lunch. 12 – 1:30 pm Take the Cranberry Tour! Step-on guides will be FFA Students who are part of the only Cranberry Science Class taught in the nation, and they will give this all-inclusive tour. The tour includes producing beds with the tourists who are given the opportunity to pick fresh fruit from the vine, as well as observing the harvesting, testing, cleaning and freezing of the berries. 1:30 – 2:45 pm Stop at Amish Country Quilt Shop in Granton. Look through all the beautiful quilts, rugs and wall hangings made by hand. 2:45 – 4:00 pm Travel the short distance to the World’s Largest Round Barn, the impressive focal point of the Marshfield Fairgrounds. Built in 1916 to house purebred animals, it is 150 feet in diameter and 70 feet high. The building of this architectural arena was accomplished without benefit of scaffolding. They simply started at the bottom

and worked up and in. 4 – 5:00 pm Tour Jurustic Park in Marshfield. This is a display of many extinct creatures that inhabited the large McMillan Marsh near Marshfield during the Iron Age. Also showcased at Jurustic Park is the studio and shop of Nancy Wynia, where she makes hot glass beads fashioned into jewelry. 5 – 6:30 pm Arrive at Baymont Inn & Suites in Marshfield to check into your rooms and enjoy a welcome reception with cranberry wine, juice, cheese, and crackers, provided by the Marshfield CVB. 6:30 pm Enjoy a delicious dinner at The Vintage House tonight. Be sure to ask about the building’s long and interesting history, including the likes of notorious gangsters Al Capone and Johnny Dillinger. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator or Lori Reese with Hospitality Investors at 763-263-6366 or

directory accommodations Baymont Inn & Suites . . . . . . . . 715-384-5240 2107 N Central Avenue - Marshfield, WI 54449 Enjoy some fun in Marshfield! Cranberry Tours, Amish Tours, Cheese Factory Tours, & Farm Tours. Visit Jurustic Park, Marshfield Motor Speedway and Wildwood Zoo, then relax in our indoor pool and wake up to a free hot breakfast.

The Inn on Madeline Island . . 800-822-6315 PO Box 93 - La Pointe, WI 54850 / Lakeside and Marina Point Condominiums, Parkside Townhouses, along with the new Lightkeeper’s Lodge are perfect spots for large groups. The Pub Restaurant offers exceptional lake-side dining in the spacious dining room, cozy lounge or beachfront patio.


tour operators Apostle Island Cruises

. . . . . . . 800-323-7619 PO Box 691 (City Dock) - Bayfield, WI 54814 Enjoy sightseeing, history and highlights of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands on board one of the Apostle Island Cruises. Located in the downtown harbor, they offer a variety of guided tour cruises that combine spectacular views with interesting insights.

Big Top Chautauqua . . . . . . . . . . 715-373-0788 Country Inn & Suites . . . . . . . . . 920-884-2000 2308 Lineville Road - Green Bay, WI 54313 Easy access to Lambeau Field, Oneida Casino, the NEW Zoo, the historic Meyer Theatre and Bay Beach Amusement Park. Choose our hotel in north Green Bay, and enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, an indoor pool & free hot breakfast buffet.

Old Rittenhouse Inn . . . . . . . . . . 888-611-4667 PO Box 584 - Bayfield, WI 54814 Bayfield’s first Country Inn, offering 20 guest rooms in two Victorian homes and a private cottage with fireplaces, whirlpool tubs and spectacular Lake Superior views. Its top rated Landmark Restaurant showcases regional and seasonal cuisine. Convenient location near downtown.



PO Box 455 - Washburn, WI 54891 / A 900-seat, all-canvas, state-of-the-art tent theater, producing and presenting a fifty-plus night summer season of concerts, plays, lectures, and a highly acclaimed professional local troupe which performs original multi-media musicals. Plus a weekly one hour Tent Show Radio program.

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Bayfield Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-447-4094 PO Box 138 - Bayfield, WI 54814 / With a wide variety of lodging options, peaceful and beautiful scenery and outstanding art galleries and shopping, Bayfield is the ideal place for groups of any size. Bayfield welcomes motorcoach tours and can provide a step-on guide who will show visitors the beauty of Bayfield.

Bayfield Heritage Tours

. . . . . . 715-779-0299 PO Box 250779 - Milwaukee, WI 53225 Bayfield Heritage Tours offers group friendly guided walks featuring Bayfield History, Maritime Tales, Ghost Walks, Architect Tours, Step-on guides, private tours & self-guided walks and costumed programs. Located in historic Bayfield, the gateway to the Apostle Islands.

Good Earth Outfitters, LLC . . . . 715-742-3910 22670 Siskiwit Bay Pkwy - Cornucopia, WI 54827 Providing Sea Cave Boat Tours, Sand Island Sightseeing Tours and Water Taxi Services in and around the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior. Based out of Cornucopia, WI the western access to the Apostle Islands.


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explore central canada trails… FortWhyte Alive's A Prairie Legacy: The Bison and its People This tour is unique, offering an authentic wildlife experience without leaving the city. Bring your groups and discover how bison influenced the history of Manitoba and the lives of Aboriginals, Métis, voyageurs and pioneers as you are immersed in a way of life from the prairie past. Your heart will leap when you catch your first up-close glance of a bison as your guide leads you through the aspen forest out onto the prairie. Come and connect with Canada’s prairie grasslands. Explore the aspen forest, marshes, open prairie and their inhabitants. Travel in the way of the Prairie Ancestors.

The name "Transcona" was chosen to commemorate the Grand Trunk Railway, to which the town owes its existence. This early Canadian railway line was incorporated in 1852–53 to connect the key cities of the Province of Canada (the area now known as Ontario and Quebec) with the American seacoast city of Portland, Maine. Today, a visit to Transcona is a trip back in time to the glory of the railroad. Giant murals beautify downtown and a locally constructed steam locomotive is on display in Kiwanis Park. Groups can visit the Transcona Historical Museum and browse through archives and images, as well as 3,500 archaeological and First Nations artifacts from throughout Manitoba. Nicknamed “The Park City,” the area is known for its abundance of green space, including Kilcona Park, Buhler Recreation Park and Transcona Trail. While visiting, be sure to shop till you drop at Kildonan Place shopping mall.

The Trans Canada Trail This is one of the world’s longest networks of trails. When completed, the trail will stretch nearly 24,000 kilometers (over 14,000 miles) from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic oceans, linking 1,000 communities and all Canadians. Millions of Canadians and international visitors are using the trail to walk, hike, cycle, horseback ride, and canoe. The Trans Canada Trail offers countless opportunities to explore Canada’s diverse landscapes and rich history. It’s made up of nearly 500 individual trails, each with unique and varied features. This contributes to the diversity and grandeur of Canada’s national trail. For day trips or multi-day adventures, the trail offers countless opportunities to explore and discover.

spotlight central canada

Transcona Railway

The Forks


he Forks is located in Downtown Winnipeg at the confluence of the Red River and the Assiniboine River. Since colonization it has been a meeting place for European fur traders, Métis, buffalo hunters, Scottish settlers, riverboat workers, railway pioneers and tens of thousands of immigrants. In 1974 it was designated a National Historic Site due to its status as a cultural landscape that had borne witness to six thousand years of human activity. Both the Red and the Assiniboine Rivers have historically been major transportation corridors in western Canada. Winter, spring, summer or fall, The Forks is a must for groups, featuring a stunning array of dining experiences, incomparable shopping, a constantly changing slate of entertainment and events, and many unique attractions that encompass the site’s natural, historic and man-made features.

directory convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Tourism Thunder Bay. . . . . 800-667-8386

Canada: Keep Canada: Keep Exploring Exploring

PO Box 800 – Thunder Bay, ON P7C 5K4 Located just minutes north of the Minnesota/Ontario border, Thunder Bay offers numerous attractions, exceptional accommodations and sensational shopping and culinary delights. Contact us for marketing tools or any of your group tour planning needs.

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Cruisin’ Broadway Kickoff –Fargo, ND

Taste of Chicago –Chicago, IL

Annual Back to the ‘50s Weekend –Saint Paul, MN

calendar of events 2014 [ april – may – june – july ] C O N TA C T A R E A C V B S F O R C O M P L E T E C A L E N D A R S .



• Chicago Cubs Opening Day April 4, Chicago 773-404-2827 • 25th Annual Central Illinois Auto Show April 4-6, Peoria 309-673-8900 • 2014 Spring Festival – An Arts & Crafts Affair April 11-13, Villa Park 630-941-9292 • Sculptures on the Avenue April 12, Effingham 217-342-5310 • 16th Annual Eberfest April 23-28, Champaign 217-356-9063 • Makanda Spring Fest May 3-4, Makanda 618-457-7739 • Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival May 3-4, Towanda 309-728-2811 • Cinco de Mayo May 4, Sycamore 815-895-3456 • Cache River Nature Festival May 10, Cypress 618-634-2231 • Red, White & BBQ 2014 May 23-25, Westmont 630-829-9378 • 53rd Annual International Carillon Festival June 1-7, Springfield 217-753-6219 • German Valley Days June 6-8, German Valley 815-362-3671 • Superman Celebration June 12-15, Metropolis 800-248-4373 • Music Under the Stars June 15-July 20, Freeport 815-990-1739 • Alton/Godfrey Fireworks on the Mississippi July 3, Alton 618-465-6676 • 8 Miles of Ag-tiques July 4-6, Orangeville 815-789-4570 • Taste of Chicago July 9-13, Chicago 312-744-3370 • 23rd Annual Civil War Days July 12-13, Wauconda 847-968-3400 • 86th Annual Lake County Fair July 23-27, Grayslake 847-680-7200



• Mission Creek Festival April 1-6, Iowa City 319-354-5830 • Annual Arts & Crafts Show April 13, Coralville 563-652-4529 • Julien Dubuque International Film Festival April 24-27, Dubuque 815-281-0699 • Riverbank Art Fair April 26-27, Iowa City 319-335-3393 • Orange City Tulip Festival May 15-17, Orange City 712-707-4510 • Nelson Pioneer Farm Memories & Mayflowers May 25, Oskaloosa 641-672-2989 • Heritage Days May 25-26, Long Grove 563-328-3283 • Memorial Day Parade & Program May 26, Whittemore 888-816-0568


• 48th Annual Cherokee PRCA Rodeo May 29-31, Cherokee 712-225-6414 • Washington 175th Anniversary Celebration June 1-8, Washington 319-653-3272 • Summer Farm Toy Show June 6-7, Dyersville 563-875-2727 • Iowa Arts Festival June 6-8, Iowa City 319-337-7944 • 39th Glenn Miller Festival June 12-15, Clarinda 712-542-2461 • Bonaparte’s Civil War Experience June 14, Bonaparte 319-592-3400 • 2nd Annual Lawler Irish Festival June 20-22, Lawler 563-238-2402 • Fourth of July Celebration July 2-6, Clear Lake 641-357-2159 • Mississippi Valley Blues Festival July 3-5, Davenport 563-322-5837 • Boone County Fair July 17-20, Boone 515-432-5899 • Old Roundhouse Trail Days July 18-19, Elma 641-393-2203 • National Balloon Classic July 25-August 2, Indianola 515-961-841



• 6th Annual Tulip Time April 4-20, Topeka 785-291-2617 • Spring Fling April 5, Kansas City 913-387-3400 • Kite Festival April 6-27, Overland Park 913-685-3604 • 133rd Messiah Festival of the Arts April 11-20, Lindsborg 785-227-3380 • Cinco de Mayo May 3, Hutchinson 620-664-0549 • 25th Annual Kansas Sampler Festival May 3-4, Wamego 620-585-2374 • Millfest! May 3-4, Lindsborg 785-227-3595 • Barber County Wildflower Tour May 10, Medicine Lodge 620-886-3417 • Wichita Riverfest May 30-June 7, Wichita 877-394-3378 • Good Ol’ Days June 7, Fort Scott 620-223-0310 • Swing Into Summer Fest June 13-14, Stockton 785-425-6703 • Lavender Harvest Festival June 14-15, Bennington 785-488-3371 • Father’s Day Car Show June 15, Salina 785-827-9488 • Midsummer Festival & Kubb Tournament June 21, Lindsborg 888-227-2227 • Wheat Stock X June 21, Topeka 785-368-2438 • Wild West Festival July 3-6, Hays 785-623-4476 • Highlights in History July 4-5, Fort Scott 620-223-0310 • Sunflower State Games Adventure Race July 12, Milford 785-307-1901 • 98th Annual Crawford County Fair July 30, Girard 620-724-4092

• 69th Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo July 30- Aug 2, Abilene 785-263-4570

michigan michigan • Museum of Archaeology Feb 12-April 13, Ann Arbor 734-764-0395 • Butterflies Are Blooming March 3-April 30, Grand Rapids 616-957-1580 • Into Wings Arts & Crafts Show April 5-6, Kalamazoo 269-349-1185 • National Trout Festival April 23-27, Kalkaska 231-258-9103 • 25th Annual WPBO Spring Fling April 26-28, Paradise 906-492-3596 • Keweenaw Migratory Bird Festival May 1-31, Copper Harbor 906-289-4588 • Spring into the Past May 3-4, Lowell 616-897-6430 • Tulip Festival ‘14 May 3-10, Holland 800-822-2770 • Lake Orion Flower Fair & Home & Garden Marketplace May 9-10, Lake Orion 248-693-9742 • World Expo of Beer 2014 May 16-17, Frankenmuth 888-805-1504 • Mayfaire Renaissance Festival May 31-June 1, Marshall 269-382-6120 • Taste of Traverse City Festival June 6-8, Traverse City 231-714-4646 • Mackinac Island Lilac Festival June 6-15, Mackinac Island 906-847-3783 • Promenade Tecumseh Historic Home Tour & Art In The Park June 7-8, Tecumseh 517-424-6003 • Waterfront Wine Festival June 28, Harbor Springs 231-526-7999 • Thunder Bay Maritime Festival July 4, Alpena 989-356-8805 • Legends of Saginaw Sail July 4-6, Bay City 989-895-7193 • Michigan ElvisFest July 11-12, Ypsilanti 734-277-4547 • Underground Railroad Days July 12-13, Vandalia 269-445-7358 • 16th Annual Charlevoix Garden Walk July 16, Charlevoix 231-547-2119

minnesotaminnesota • Minneapolis/Saint Paul International Film Festival April 3-19, Minneapolis 612-331-7563 • New Vintage Days at WineHaven Winery April 5-6, Chisago City 651-257-1017 • Bluff Country Studio Art Tour April 25-27, Winona 507-452-0735 • 5th Annual Taste of Nations April 26, Austin 507-437-4583 • Dulcimer Day in Duluth Folk Music Festival May 3, Duluth 218-525-5098 • Spring Arts & Crafts Festival May 10, Brainerd 218-454-6926

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• Detroit Lakes Festival of Birds May 15-18, Detroit Lakes 800-542-3992 • Cannon River Fur Trade Rendezvous May 23-26, Cannon Falls 763-213-7572 • Rhubarb Festival May 24, Hastings 651-437-7055 • Stillwater Rivertown Art Festival May 31- June 1, Stillwater 651-439-4001 • Tater Daze Festival June 12-15, Brooklyn Park 763-493-8013 • Chocolate, Shakespeare & Champagne June 14, Winona 507-454-2723 • Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest 2014 June 19-23, Cottage Grove 651-260-1881 • Annual Back to the ‘50s Weekend June 20-22, Saint Paul 651-641-1992 • International Festival July 11-12, Worthington 800-279-2919 • Tour of Gardens July 12, Winona 507-452-0735 • Grand Marais Art Festival July 12-13, Grand Marais 218-387-2737 • Corn Capital Days July 23-27, Olivia 877-375-2676 • Redwood County Fair July 23-27, Redwood Falls 507-637-2828 • Owatonna Festival of Arts July 26-27, Owatonna 507-451-0533



• Kansas City Broadway Series Presents War Horse April 1-6, Kansas City 816-421-7500 • 46th Annual Dogwood-Azalea Festival April 10-13, Charleston 573-683-6509 • Spring Into Dance 2014 April 10-13, Cape Girardeau 573-651-2265 • Garden Expo & Kite Flying April 12, O’Fallon 636-379-5574 • Earth Day at Wallace State Park April 26, Pittsburg 417-852-4291 • Sikeston In Bloom May 3, Sikeston 573-380-3801 • Silver Dollar City’s Bluegrass & BBQ Festival May 8-June 1, Branson 800-475-9370 • Pioneer Village Rendezvous May 9-11, Rosebud 573-764-3719 • Pierce City Arts Festival May 17, Pierce City 417-489-3041 • Master Gardener’s Garden Walk May 17-18, Ste. Genevieve 800-373-7007 • La Veillee June 7, Ste. Genevieve 573-883-3686 • Mid-Missouri Beer Festival June 7, Mexico 573-721-5389 • Forever Plaid at Maples Repertory Theatre June 18-July 12, Macon 660-385-2924 • 20th Annual Old Time Music Ozark Heritage Festival June 20-21, West Plains 417-293-2325 • Parkville July 4th Celebration July 2-5, Parkville 816-505-2227 • Booms & Blooms Festival at Powell Gardens July 3, Kingsville 816-697-2600 • Laura’s Memories July 5, 11-12, 18-19, Mansfield 417-924-3383 • Bat Night at St. Francois State Park July 12, Bonne Terre 573-358-2173

nebraska nebraska • Nebraska Prairie Chicken Festival April 4-6, Burwell 308-346-4697 • Custer County Spring Bus Tour April 10 & 12, Broken Bow 308-872-2203 • Prairie Loft SpringFest April 19, Hastings 402-463-0565 • Ramsey Lewis & John Pizzarelli: The Nat King Cole Tribute April 23, Lincoln 402-472-4747 • Arbor Day Celebration April 25-27, Nebraska City 402-873-6654 • Toast Nebraska, Premier Wine Experience May 3-4, Ashland 402-944-2523 • Nebraska Renaissance Faire May 3-4 & 10-11, Papillion 402-331-5500 • La Vista Daze 2014: Swing into Summer May 22-25, La Vista 402-331-4343 • Victorian Festival May 24-26, Superior 402-879-3419 • Helicopter Day & Indoor Airshow May 31, Ashland 402-944-3100

• Willa Cather Spring Festival June 5-7, Red Cloud 402-746-2653 • Omaha Beer Fest June 6-7, Omaha 402-850-6776 • Great American Comedy Festival June 11-14, Norfolk 877-371-1020 • Garden Tours Jun 23, Henderson 402-723-5793 • Old Settlers Days June 27-29, Fairmont 402-759-4910 • Western and Wildlife Art Show at Fort Robinson State Park July 2-4, Crawford 308-665-1870 • Oregon Trail Days July 10-12, Gering 888-444-1867 • Camp Creek Threshers Antique Machinery & Threshing Show July 19-20 Waverly 402-489-1680 • Kites & Castles July 26, Ogallala 308-284-8804

north dakota north dakota • Shrine Circus April 1, Jamestown 701-252-8088 • The Spring Big One Art & Craft Fair April 11-12, Minot 701-837-6059 • Prime Steel Car Show April 12-13, Grand Forks 218-779-5377 • FM Ballet Presents Alice in Wonderland April 26, Fargo 701-234-9440 • Friday Night Races May 2-30, Grand Forks 701-780-0999 • Red River Festival May 14, Wahpeton 701-642-8709 • Four Bears Pow-Wow May 22-25, New Town 800-435-5663 • Sky Fest Over Fort Stevenson May 24-26, Garrison 701-337-5576 • 60th Annual Birdwalk Weekend Celebration May 30-June 1, Medora 701-623-4884 • Ribfest June 4-7, Fargo 701-241-9100 • Cruisin’ Broadway Kickoff June 5, Fargo-Moorhead 701-364-9867 • Wild West Shootout June 7 & 21, Jamestown 701-251-9145 • Lostwood Birding Festival June 20, Kenmare 701-848-2722 • Roughrider Days Fair & Expo June 23-July 4, Dickinson 701-483-7721 • Mandan Rodeo Days Celebration July 2-4, Mandan 701-751-2983 • White Cloud’s Birthday Celebration/Tatanka Festival July 4-6, Jamestown 701-252-8648 • NDGS Public Fossil Dig: Whiskey Creek July 14-20, Medora 800-435-5663 • North Dakota State Fair July 18-26, Minot 701-857-7620 • Capitol Shakespeare Presents Macbeth July 23-27, Bismarck 800-435-5663

south dakota south dakota • The Big Grape – Wine Tasting April 11, Sioux Falls 605-322-8900 • Spring Fling Home & Garden Show April 12, Hot Springs 605-745-4140 • James Valley Model Railroad Open House April 19, Aberdeen 605-226-2139 • Red Green “How to do Everything” Tour April 23, Mitchell 605-995-8430 • Black Hills Fiber Arts Fair April 25-26, Rapid City 605-791-0711 • South Dakota Birding Festival May 2-4, Pickstown 605-487-7603 • Historic Prairie Village Opening Day May 11, Madison 605-256-3644 • 125th Birthday Card Hunt Kickoff May 17-Sept 1, Canton 605-987-2263 • Legends in Light Laser Light Show at Crazy Horse Memorial May 23-Oct 13, Crazy Horse 605-673-2185 • Walk the Fort May 25, Pickstown 605-487-7046 • Music in the Garden June 5-August 14, Wessington Springs 605-539-1169 • Fort Sisseton Historic Festival June 6-8, Lake City 605-448-5474 • Siouxland Renaissance Festival June 7-8, Sioux Falls 866-489-9241 • Art & Wine Festival at Main Street Square June 14-15, Rapid City 605-716-7979

• Sculpture in the Hills June 28-29, Hill City 605-515-0643 • Faulkton’s Wild West Days July 3-6, Faulkton 605-598-6515 • Parrot Program July 12, Canton 605-987-2263 • 44th Annual Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo July 17-20, Mitchell 605-770-4919 • Dakota Irish Fair July 26, Sioux Falls 605-373-9154

wisconsin wisconsin calendar • 26th Annual Tomah Antique Toy Farm Show April 5, Tomah 608-372-6907 • Spring Gift & Craft Show April 5-6, Onalaska 608-781-9566 • Dairy State Cheese & Beer Festival April 12, Kenosha 262-654-6200 • Central Wisconsin Concertina Festival April 25-27, Merrill 715-536-9405 • Wisconsin Dells Polka Fest & Expo April 25-27, Wisconsin Dells 773-889-6811 • International Migratory Bird Day Festival May 3, River Falls 715-425-2533 • Fair on the Square May 10, Baraboo 608-448-3490 • Lost Falls Campground Rendezvous May 16, Black River Falls 715-284-7133 • Maribel Cave Tours May 18, Maribel 920-683-4189 • ChocolateFest May 22-26, Burlington 414-254-4813 • Green Bay Botanicial Garden – Garden Fair May 30-June 1, Green Bay 920-490-9457 • Walk in the Woods Art Fair June 7, St. Germain 715-477-2205 • Greek Festival June 13-15, Racine 262-632-5682 • Taste of Wisconsin June 14, Beaver Dam 920-887-8879 • Freedom Fest June 28, Janesville 608-756-4175 • Watermelon Days Craft Fest July 4-5, Eagle River 715-675-6201 • Northern Wisconsin State Fair July 9-13, Chippewa Falls 715-723-2861 • Heritage Hill – Laura Ingalls Wilder Day July 12-13, Green Bay 920-448-5150 • Festa Italiana July 18-20, Milwaukee 414-223-2808

central canada central canada • A Walk Through History Tour April 1-30, Winnipeg 204-360-7905 • Winnipeg Comedy Festival April 7-13, Winnipeg 204-284-9477 • Manitoba Maple Syrup Festival April 12, McCreary 204-835-2529 • Winnipeg Wine Festival April 27-May 3, Winnipeg 855-985-5000 • 36th ACT Provincial Drama Festival May 2-4, Pinawa 204-753-2911 • Passport to Unity May 2-4, Sault Ste. Marie 705-759-0909 • Wonderland Theme Garden May 15-Oct 30, Grand Marais 204-754-3385 • Dorion’s Canyon Country Birding Festival May 24-25, Dorion 807-857-2265 • Thunder Bay Kite Festival May 25, Thunder Bay 807-625-2487 • Manitoba Summer Fair June 4-8, Brandon 204-726-3590 • River City Dragon Boat Festival June 6-7, Winnipeg 204-788-4547 • Manitoba Highland Gathering June 21, Selkirk 204-794-6587 • Canada Day Picnic in the Park July 1, Winnipeg 204-697-1495 • Rotaryfest Community Day Summer Festival & Art Show July 19, Sault Ste. Marie 705-949-9067 • Norseman Floatplane Festival July 25-26, Red Lake 807-727-9996 • Manitoba Sunflower Festival July 25-27, Altona 204-324-9005 • Medieval Festival July 26, Cooks Creek 204-444-2478


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Itineraries Midwest Spring/Summer 2014  

Historic Trails…Become a Modern-Day Explorer Imagine your motorcoach is a covered wagon as you explore the trails paved by early settlers of...

Itineraries Midwest Spring/Summer 2014  

Historic Trails…Become a Modern-Day Explorer Imagine your motorcoach is a covered wagon as you explore the trails paved by early settlers of...