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Designed by group travelers, is the premier online travel tool that gives you all the information you need to plan upper Midwest group travel stays. Enjoy peace of mind knowing you have the right contact names, numbers, maps, photos and little details that always make a difference. Bookmark today and come back often for new hotels to check out.

find these “group-friendly” hotels online now: IOWA


Suburban Extended Stay Hotel OKOBOJI

Arrowwood Resort & Convention Center MINNESOTA – Northern ALEXANDRIA

Hampton Inn DULUTH

Comfort Inn - West Comfort Suites Hampton Inn GRAND RAPIDS

Sawmill Inn


AmericInn Lodge & Suites SARTELL

AmericInn Lodge & Suites MINNESOTA – Twin Cities Metro BLOOMINGTON

Cambria Suites

Comfort Inn Airport Country Inn & Suites At Mall of America Country Inn & Suites West Courtyard by Marriott MPLS/Bloomington Crowne Plaza Bloomington Days Inn Bloomington West Embassy Suites Bloomington Embassy Suites Minneapolis Airport Extended Stay America Fairfield Inn by Marriott Hampton Inn Bloomington Hampton Inn & Suites Hilton Garden Inn Minneapolis/Bloomington Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington Hotel Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Holiday Inn Bloomington Airport I-35 Holiday Inn Express Minneapolis Airport/Mall Area Holiday Inn & Suites Minneapolis Airport Homewood Suites by Hilton Hyatt Place Minneapolis Airport-South La Quinta Inn Bloomington-Minneapolis La Quinta Inn & Suites Le Bourget Aero Suites Hotel Microtel Inn & Suites Minneapolis Airport Marriott Park Plaza

Quality Inn & Suites Ramada Mall of America Residence Inn Minneapolis/Bloomington Sheraton Bloomington Hotel-MPLS South Sofitel Minneapolis Staybridge Suites Super 8 Motel Travelodge ELK RIVER

Holiday Inn


St Paul Hotel SHAKOPEE

Americas Best Value Inn & Suites STILLWATER

Just for Me Spa


AmericInn Lodge & Suites WISCONSIN


Fanny Hill Victorian Inn

If you are a group-friendly hotel and want information to participate in, call the Itineraries Inc. office at 1-877-832-7267.

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 Eric Beuning | ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Independent Chris Reber | WEB DESIGNER/PROGRAMMER 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)

Dear Planner, Ten years ago, the road of my business career came to a fork. I had to decide between what was easy and what was best for my family and me. I love change, because change brings challenge; and without challenge there is no reward. That’s why I made the decision to start Itineraries Minnesota. It’s hard to believe that 10 years have gone by, but I am thankful for the gifts I’ve been given. It hasn’t been easy, but I have always known that this was the right road for me. This 10th anniversary issue of Itineraries focuses on beginnings. We invite you to discover the people, places and products that got their start in the Midwest. Take the Pony Express, follow the Yellow Brick Road, or take a raft down the Mighty Mississippi to the birthplaces of Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, Mark Twain, John Deere, Ernest Hemingway and plenty more. This issue also offers a sneak peak into the 2012 Itineraries CENTRAL CANADA Midwest Group Travel Show & FAM coming this October to Rapid City, South Dakota. The excitement is mounting—you don’t want to miss it! MINNESOTA

North dakota


POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ITINERARIES Inc. 56 South 33rd Avenue #234, St. Cloud, MN 56301

Best Regards, Heather J. Lahren, CEO - Publisher




Cover image: Chicago Botanic Garden by Robin Carlson, courtesy of Chicago’s North Shore Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. Other images: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, Albert Lea CVB, Austin CVB, Boys Town Nebraska,, Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Chicago’s North Shore CVB, Chicago Southland CVB, Emporia CVB, Enjoy Illinois, Fairmont CVB, Fox Hills Resort, Galleria De Paco, Glenn Miller Museum, Harley Davidson Museum, Hormel Nature Center, International Peace Garden, ITOW Museum, Joliet Historical Museum, Land of Oz – Liberal, Marquette Country, Milwaukee CVB, Minnesota History Center, Minnesota Renaissance Festival, Northfield Chamber, Oak Park Il, Owatonna Chamber & CVB, Ozark Timberfest, Padelford Packet Boat Company Inc, Rand McNally, Sault Ste Marie Chamber & CVB, Sioux Falls CVB, Stillwater CVB, Travel Iowa, Visit Missouri, Visit Rapid City, Wabasha Street Caves, Warroad Chamber & CVB, Waterloo CVB COPYRIGHT 2012

Coming Winter 2012!




table of contents summer/fall 2012 featuring

illinois iowa





8 Birthplaces & Beginnings Exploring the origins of people, places and things columns


special report

Look Who’s Ten!


destination highlight



minnesota missouri nebraska








north dakota



south dakota



ITOW Attracts the Greatest Generation


tour highlight

Illinois Route 66 Funventure Tour


calendar of events

upper peninsula, MI

Fresh Air Tours Festivals, geocaching, cruises, maple syruping, birding, state parks, wineries…the list goes on! The Midwest offers plenty of fresh air tours for all seasons. The upcoming issue of Itineraries will be chock-full of ways to get your groups outside, from relaxing excursions to adventures in the wilderness!


wisconsin - - - - - - - - - - - 46 central canada

Iowa State Fair



on the cover The city of Chicago was incorporated with the Latin words Urbs in Horto, meaning “city in a garden.” The Chicago Horticultural Society had these words in mind when they began design for the garden in 1965 and opened it in 1972. Today the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois is one of the country’s most visited public gardens and has become an unrivaled center for learning and scientific research. Enjoy a tranquil walk or a tram tour of these gorgeous exhibitions year round, offering peace and inspiration for 40 years. Read ITINERARIES Midwest Online. Ads hotlinked to websites.



10 BIR

t ir PY




y p p a y OOK WHO’S TEN!

a d h t Itineraries was first conceived as an idea to fill a need. When entrepreneur Heather Lahren was working for another publication, she noticed there wasn’t enough being done for the group market. Too many buses were driving across Minnesota to destinations in other states, stopping only for coffee and comfort breaks. Didn’t they know what Minnesota had to offer?

It wouldn’t be right to

dedicate an entire issue of Itineraries Midwest

to “Birthplaces, Origins

and Beginnings” and not make note of the

fact that Itineraries is celebrating its 10th

Upon taking a closer look, Lahren realized that many communities, being familiar with what they had, failed to communicate their attractions in a meaningful way to planners. Putting herself in the mind set of the planners, Lahren knew there was a better way. That disconnect got her thinking: What if there was something that planners could use that would really lay it all out for them? What if someone did enough of the legwork to spark fresh ideas for tour operators and help them fill those motorcoaches faster and more often? For Lahren, this was such an exciting prospect that she started developing the idea as she quietly shopped around for a business partner.

anniversary. Yes,

Itineraries Minnesota,

which later expanded

to Itineraries Midwest, is now 10 years old. My, how time flies

when you’re having

When her own employer sold his business in favor of retirement, Lahren knew it was time to make her move. Selecting a partner she submitted her resignation and leaped into a whole new life. It was just after the 9/11 disaster and the travel industry was reeling. But Lahren believed in her idea so strongly that the timing of it all was inconsequential.

fun! And fun is a key

ingredient for any

group event, so it is

essential for a company that helps those

planning. But how

did it all come to be?

Surely she could get a nice little pamphlet published in early spring of 2002. Little did she know her dreams were much bigger. The first issue of Itineraries Minnesota was a full color, high gloss magazine with 56 pages. It had to be. How else could you convey to planners important details such as how long to stay at a particular attraction? Is an hour enough? Should you plan for a full day? And what about the time it will take for a motorcoach to drive from one place to the next. Is there parking for your coach? Are there special perks for


groups? These and so many other details are regularly included in each issue.

That first issue was published in July of 2002. It wasn’t easy taking so many risks. There were plenty of challenges and some very dark times in the beginning. But always willing to help others, and being a glass-half-full type, Lahren believed she could make a contribution to the group travel market that would be appreciated. Taking a line from the inspiring movie Field of Dreams, Lahren’s mantra became “If you build it, they will come.” So she built it and indeed they did come.

Like any ten-year-old, a lot has changed for Itineraries and yet, so much has stayed the same. It is still dedicated to offering tour operators and planners a convenient guide to group travel in the upper Midwest and portions of Canada. It is still chock-full of detailed itineraries that can be used as is, or customized for individual group needs. And the full-color magazine still boasts some of the best covers ever. As for changes, there is the obvious name change to Itineraries Midwest. Lahren’s business partner has left to follow his own dreams, and the company has expanded to include new visions. There are other publications now, some serving leisure travel. There is an online product called Group Lodging that helps tour operators find group-friendly hotels in the upper Midwest and parts of Canada. And while the Group Travel Trade Show has always been part of the original vision, it too has evolved over time. (Be sure to join us in South Dakota, October 27th – 31st, for what seems to be shaping up to be the best trade show yet!) Today’s website is better and more user-friendly, so be sure to check it out at

Since those humble beginnings, Heather Lahren continues to hold that same strong motivation and enthusiasm. “I am convinced that the group tour market is only going to get better,” she says. With 10,000 Americans turning age 65 every day between now and 2030, she must be right.

destination highlight


Attracts the Greatest Generation


But immediately, the war changed everything.� ~ Doris Shea Strand



f you’re going to be anywhere near Minnesota this fall, you might want to consider bringing your group to the Greatest Generation exhibit hosted in Perham, MN. Our Lives, Our Stories: America’s Greatest Generation opens September 1, 2012 at the ITOW museum (In Their Own Words). This traveling exhibit is a perfect fit for the ITOW Veterans Museum, the only museum in the country entirely dedicated to telling the stories of America’s veterans in their own words. The exhibition explores the life arc of the World War II generation, also told in their own words. People born between 1910, and into the 1920s, were decisively shaped by the Great Depression and World War II. Major turning points in their lives also included Pearl Harbor, the rising awareness of civil rights, and the growth of a media-driven consumer culture. These are the people who ushered in the “baby boom” and shaped the postwar economic boom. Perhaps no other generation has experienced anything like that. Today we all live with the legacy from what is fondly dubbed “America’s Greatest Generation.”

Exactly who were the young men and women ages 18 to 30 when America entered World War II? No doubt their generation’s identity is clearly linked to that war, but the focus of Our Lives, Our Stories is really to understand this group of amazing people through the telling of their own stories. It is through their memories that we begin to understand who truly helped shape the world we live in today. “But immediately, the war changed everything. It didn’t make any difference if you had a family or whatever. The men were off to war and the gals just filled in the blanks.” ~ Doris Shea Strand Not so much a history of significant events, the exhibition explores how a varied group

of individuals experienced those events.

whatever comes your way.”

“Greatest generation? I’m inclined to say it was history that was great, and that drew us into it and maybe elevated us somehow while we were involved in it. But we then went back to being ordinary people. It was a hell of a big war, I’ll agree on that. But ordinary people fought it.” ~ Samuel L. Hynes (Flew more than a hundred missions over the Pacific as a Marine Corp pilot during World War II)

The exhibition reminds us how that generation was shaped by so many events and experiences. For instance, a shared national culture supported by radio, magazines, movies and newsreels gave rise to kids all over the country idolizing the same movie stars, or the same baseball heroes. They popularized the same songs and danced the same dances. From birth into the 1960s, the exhibition follows their lives. In addition to reminders of what life was like then (some interactive exhibits as well as audio), there will be docentguided tours and special programs during the exhibit.

Can you imagine what it must have been like to be a senior in high school, have your life plans stirring, and then suddenly have everything change in such a big way? “And right away it struck you…That takes care of ‘what are we going to do after getting out of high school?’ We know where we’re going now!” ~ Earl Nolte In seeking to offer a more complete understanding of this select group, Our Lives, Our Stories deals with more than just memories of the war. Remembering the Depression in Cleveland, Ohio, Virginia Cloth recalls: “At one time, out of the entire family, my mother was the only one working, and she supported the entire family on ten dollars a week. But it was a happy time and I’m sure the adults were worried and concerned at the time, but as a child, you accept

Your group will be moved and delighted by experiencing this spectacular collection. Adults enter for $4, $2 for students, and veterans are always free. Groups of 10 or more are charged $3 per person and drivers and group leaders are free. Plan at least one hour for the Our Lives exhibition, and if you want to include the Veterans Museum, plan another 45 minutes. ITOW is honored to be the only Minnesota stop for this traveling exhibit, which runs through October 20th. Make special arrangements for your group by calling 218-346-7678 or visit Your group will be talking for years about what an amazing experience they had!

Our Lives, Our Stories: America’s Greatest Generation has been made possible by NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Originally developed by the Minnesota Historical Society in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the exhibition was adapted and is toured by Mid-America Arts Alliance through NEH on the Road.



Birthplaces and Beginnings



very story, business, good idea and person has a beginning. Even magazines have beginnings. Hey, did we mention Itineraries Midwest is celebrating its birthday? Okay, okay we already did, but the occasion of our birthday has gotten us thinking. Our celebratory brainstorming has turned up a whole busload of great Midwest destinations centered around the idea of beginnings and birthplaces. Even better for tour operators, they’re all within reach of a tank of gas or two and accessible by our favorite mode of getting from A to Awesome: the motorcoach.

BIRTHDAY DESTINATIONS If you’ve got an interest in history, you’ve probably got an interest in people too. Because history, when it comes down to it, is told through the stories of important, sometimes notorious, yet always compelling people. Given the size of our region, you can bet that a lot of interesting people have taken their first baby steps in places like Oak Park, Illinois (Ernest Hemingway), Clarinda, Iowa (Glenn Miller) and Webster, South Dakota (Tom Brokaw). The best part about historic homes, museums and events spotlighting famous local sons and daughters is that a lot of times the whole town or even several towns get into the act. You can follow the journey of young Bob Dylan from his birthplace in the picturesque port town of Duluth through his formative years in the iron-mining town of Hibbing. Then travel a few hours south to cosmopolitan Minneapolis, where the budding artist

earned his folk singing chops in the thriving music community. You can even find restaurants that serve Dylan-themed food items and drinks. If Minnesota gets that ramped up over Dylan, just imagine how excited Missouri gets when Mark Twain’s birthday rolls around. Twain was born in Missouri and many of his most famous stories derived from rascally characters he met during his Missouri boyhood. You and your group can take in Mark Twain’s birthplace, his childhood home, festivals dedicated to his celebrated characters—Tom Sawyer, anyone?—and riverboat excursions that bring to life one of America’s most colorful writers. A trip to Missouri may not turn you into a Twain scholar, but streets, buildings and places will take on a whole new meaning when told through the words and remembrances of the cigar-smoking humorist. Other famous Midwesterners immortalized with their very own museum, historic landmark and proud city eager to cater to your motorcoach group: Lawrence Welk, Amelia Earhart, Buster Keaton, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry S. Truman, Walter P. Chrysler, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. (Is it just me or are there are a lot of presidents in that list?)

BIRTHPLACES If you’ve ever seen the Mississippi River pour into the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll be surprised at its comparatively tiny and tranquil origins in Lake Itasca, Minnesota. You can be sure Lake Itasca State Park makes the most of its famous river, too. It welcomes

Pony Express -St. Joseph, MO

Ernest Hemingway -Oak Par

k, IL

Headwaters of the Mississippi -Lake Itasca, MN

Boyhood Home of Ronald Reagan Mill City Museum -Minneapolis, MN

visitors by the tens of thousands with its natural beauty, convenient accommodations and opportunities to explore the history and myth of North America’s greatest river with short hikes, presentations, guided tours and local flavors. Birthplaces can locate anywhere, which is a good thing for tour groups looking to change up an itinerary between well-traveled scenic byways and roads less taken. You can jostle through an exciting downtown to learn about the birth of Chicago blues, or the rebirth of the city after a blaze nearly destroyed the city and spurred innovations in architecture—notably the skyscraper— that would serve as a model for cities from coast to coast. But big cities aren’t the only destinations in a “birthplace-andbeginnings” itinerary. You’ll get a chance to discover far and away locations that know how to attract a crowd and are pros at group hospitality. Iowa has more than cornfields, but the cornfields in Dyersville are particularly attractive because they were the site of the 1989 movie Field of Dreams. Shoeless Joe has hung up his cap and glove, but your group members can still hit a fly ball or race across home plate. Or, if baseball’s not their idea of relaxation, they can take a breather on the bleachers or wander the picture-perfect farm.

THE BEGINNING’S THE THING Famous foods have gotten their start in the Midwest. General Mills™ cereals? Minnesota. In fact, you can learn about grain milling at Mill City Museum, touted as the best-smelling museum

in the world. Every heard of booyah? It’s a vegetable and meat soup that began its culinary life in Wisconsin. Fairs and fundraisers still cook up pots of it in big steaming kettles. SPAM™ has its own museum and legions of fans who come from miles around for SPAM™ memorabilia and lore. The Pony Express has run out of history books and into legend. What’s great about the Pony Express, the westward journey of covered wagons, the building of the Transcontinental Railway and the Lewis and Clark expedition is that they all pass through the Midwest—yeah!—and they provide the tour operator with more places and things to do than you can possibly fit in a single itinerary. Not only can you visit the start of the Pony Express in St. Joseph, Missouri, but you can pick up the trail again in Marysville, Kansas where the riders stabled their horses and fueled up for the next leg. These sites offer more than barns and echoes of yesteryear. Many popular destinations bring history to life before your eyes with costumed interpreters and innovative programming. And lucky for you, at the end of the day, you can leave the past behind and enjoy top-notch dining and the comforts of a hotel specializing in the needs of group tours. There are so many places and people and things that had their beginnings in the Midwest, it’s hard to choose where to start. Or where to end. But like any great itinerary, you begin the adventure as soon as you board the motorcoach and end it with a scrapbook of memories that will last a lifetime.


tour highlight


FUNVENTURE TOUR The beginning of the Mother Road... The 1920s were a booming time for the United States. With the introduction of the automobile in 1908, new businesses were springing up all over and Americans were beginning to develop a taste for travel. In 1917, only 2 percent of the nation’s roads were paved—not very accommodating for tourists. Trail organizations were developed to address the lack of a standard highway system. In 1921, an amendment to the Federal Aid Road Act was passed requiring the designation of U.S. highways in order to improve travel conditions. This soon lead to the biggest highway of them all: Route 66. Cyrus Avery—considered by many as “The Father of Route 66”—proposed a major east-to-west route from Chicago to Los Angeles, boosting the economy of every state it passed through. On November 11, 1926 a bill

was signed in Washington creating the American Highway System, which included U.S. Highway 66—the “Main Street of America.” Today, the 2,400-mile route winds from Jackson Boulevard and Michigan Avenue in Chicago to Los Angeles, through the most scenic and treasured portions of America. Groups looking for fascinating, highly accessible, high-value nostalgia need look no farther than Illinois Route 66. In many places, Route 66 is just a stone’s throw from Interstate 55, the main road between Chicago and St. Louis.

Hop off the interstate and onto Illinois Route 66 and see what the fun is all about.


Where the Mother Road Begins... This sample itinerary can be customized for any time of year.

DAY ONE Noon Begin your experience with lunch at Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket in Willowbrook. This icon of the Mother Road offers down-home cooking and classic Route 66 soda pop, which is produced in nearby Wilmington, IL. 1 – 3:00 pm Travel about 25 minutes to the Joliet Area Historical Museum. This “must stop” for Route 66 tourists celebrates the themes and experiences of the people who settled the Joliet area, and includes a Route 66 themed welcome center and exhibit. 3 – 3:30 pm It must be time for some ice cream. We have the perfect spot at the Rich & Creamy on Broadway in Joliet. This shop is typical of the ice cream stores that dotted Route 66 in its heyday and has been restored to its retro appearance. Bring the group to see “The Blues Brothers” dance atop the tower wrapped in neon lights. 3:30 – 4:30 pm Travel to the City of Pontiac. 4:30 – 6:00 pm Spend some time sampling their wide variety of fun activities. Beautiful city parks, three historic swinging bridges, a collection of 19 outdoor murals, and two entertaining and educational museums are just the highlights of a long list designed to appeal to all age groups. 6:00 pm Spend the night in Pontiac. They will ensure your group has a great time. For groups of 30 or more who stay overnight in Pontiac, the tourism office will make arrangements for special, live, musical revue entertainment. The venue for the performance will, in most cases, be the historic Chautauqua Park pavilion.

DAY TWO 8 – 8:45 am After a delicious Route 66 style breakfast

in Pontiac, it’s time to travel to the Miller Park & Zoo in Bloomington. 8:45 – 10:30 am This pleasant city park features a restored 1906 pavilion, lake, war memorials, and a preserved steam locomotive, coal car, and caboose from the Nickel Plate Railroad. The zoo has an indoor tropical rainforest that houses exotic birds and an outdoor exhibit with lions, red wolves, snow leopards, and more. 10:30 – 11:40 am Head back down this fabulous road to Springfield, you’re in for a treat! 11:40 – 1:00 pm Ok who doesn’t love a corn dog? Have lunch with the people who invented that county fair staple, the corn dog on a stick, at the Cozy Dog Drive-In in Springfield. Introduced as a “cozy dog,” the family has been serving them up since 1946. In addition to its delicious burgers, dogs, fries and other treats, the restaurant features a small Route 66 gift shop and display cases full of “66” memorabilia. 1 – 2:30 pm Combine your stop with a visit to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. This impressive 200,000 square-foot complex includes an archive, library, and museum. It features interactive exhibits, lifelike statues of Lincoln’s life, innovative theatre presentations, a complete room devoted to historic political buttons, a sprawling gift shop and much more. 2:30 – 3:30 pm Arrive in Collinsville to see the Cahokia Mounds featuring the largest pre-Columbian settlement north of Mexico. It is a prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site and preserves the largest prehistoric earthwork in the Americas. All these are just a sampling of places to stop and experience. There are so many more can’t-miss, historically significant attractions that will provide your group with unique, memorable glimpses into the glory days of The Mother Road.

For more information please contact any of the following tourism professionals:

Chicago Southland CVB . . . . . . 1-888-895-3211 Chicago North Shore CVB. . . . . 1-847-763-0011 Willowbrook–Tour Illinois . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-800-747-7800 ext 100 Joliet CVB. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-815-723-9045 Pontiac Tourism. . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-800-835-2055 Bloomington-Normal CVB. . . . . 1-800-433-8226 Springfield CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-800-545-7300 Collinsville Chamber. . . . . . . . . 1-618-344-2884


tour illinois beginnings… Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site | COLLINSVILLE This is the largest prehistoric Indian city north of Mexico, dominated by the hundredfoot-tall Monks Mound—the largest prehistoric earthen mound in the Americas. On the National Register of Historic Places and designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this is a site to experience. Take a tour, see the film and life size village, and join in on annual events that focus on Native American culture. Your group will enjoy the Cahokia Mounds Museum Gift Shop with a wonderful assortment of souvenirs and handcrafted Native American items including paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculptures, textiles and jewelry.

Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home | DIXON

spotlight illinois

Visitors said they were transported back in time when they walked in the door of the home where the 40th U.S. president and his family lived in the early 1920s. Fully restored with furnishings of the period, the site features knowledgeable tour guides sharing stories about the house and the family. See the room that young Ronald shared with his brother Neil, discover the secret hiding place for his pennies, and so much more. Stroll the grounds and explore the Visitor Center and shop for treasures in the gift shop.


John Deere Historic Site


ring your group to where it all began back in 1836. Experience the history of farming on the prairie with a visit to John Deere’s original home where he created his first self-scouring steel plow. After meeting many farmers who were discouraged by their efforts to cultivate the sticky Midwestern soil, he was sure he had the answer, and using a discarded saw blade, he forged that plow. His “self-polishing” plow grew in popularity, and as it did, so did the company that bears his name. In addition to his residence, the site also features a replica of his blacksmith shop with a working blacksmith. The archeological dig area that unearthed some of Deere’s actual equipment has been preserved in an exhibit hall where visitors can see how the dig was performed and listen in as John and Demarius Deere talk of daily events, and what life on the prairie was all about. Be sure to visit the gift shop. Custom ironwork can be done on request, plus a selection of clothing, hats, and other John Deere Historic Site merchandise.

Illinois: Mile after Magnificent Mile.

U.S. Grant Home | GALENA Fully restored to 1868 with many original furnishings, lies the home of our 18th president. While Grant’s years in Galena were not many, they were seminal. Learn about Ulysses S. Grant’s ascension from ordinary clerk in his father’s leather goods store to Commander of Union Forces during the Civil War to president of the United States. See Grant’s boot, his cigar, and his bow tie and witness a mock-up of the leather goods store in which Grant got his start. Take the Trolley Tour of Homes with Galena Trolley Tours and see the highlights of Galena’s Historic District! Ernest Hemingway Birthplace | OAK PARK Tours begin at the Hemingway Museum, and include the Hemingway Birthplace Home. The museum is host to permanent and temporary exhibits that explore the author’s life. Kiosks fashioned from historic doors hold rare photos and artifacts, including Hemingway’s childhood diary and famous letter from nurse Agnes von Kurowsky—later portrayed in A Farewell to Arms, terminating their engagement. Special exhibits highlight Hemingway’s love of nature and the arts, along with his involvement in both World Wars and the movies.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library | SPRINGFIELD The museum was designed with exacting historical detail to encourage an experience for all visitors. The amazingly well preserved artifacts tell the entire life story of our nation’s 16th president. The Presidential Library & Museum brings together the world’s largest collection of documentary material related to his life. Unlike any other in the U.S., it features hi-tech exhibits, interactive displays, and multimedia programs, as well as a reproduction of the White House as it looked in 1861. The holographic and special effects theatres will entertain, educate and mesmerize your group with ghostly images, live actors and high action.

Read ITINERARIES Midwest Online. Ads hotlinked to websites.

Mile after Magnificent Mile.

Chicago’s North Shore: Where History and Culture Meet This itinerary is best during spring and summer months. 9 – 11:30 am Begin your day at the Charles Gates Dawes House, home of former United States Vice President, World War I Brigadier General, and Nobel Laureate Charles Gates Dawes. The Dawes House was built in 1895 on the shores of Lake Michigan. Designed in the French chateau style by architect Henry Edwards-Ficken of New York, the three-and-a-half story mansion has twenty-five rooms, six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and eleven fireplaces. Each room of the house has its own “treasure bag” of objects that the family might have left behind from the 1920s. The Evanston History Center resides in the home. 11:30 – 1:00 pm Enjoy a group lunch at one of the numerous dining opportunities in the area. Chicago’s North Shore has a restaurant to suit every taste. 1 – 2:30 pm Continue north on Sheridan Road as it winds its way north along the shores of Lake Michigan. Take a moment to stop and view the Grosse Point Lighthouse, built by the United States Government in 1873 as the lead lighthouse marking the approach to Chicago after several shipwrecks demonstrated its need. In 1999, Grosse Point Lighthouse was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service—the first lighthouse on the

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

Great Lakes to carry that status. 2:30 – 3:30 pm Further along Sheridan Road, the gleaming, nearly 200-foot high dome of the Bahá’í House of Worship comes into full view. Over 30 years of construction have resulted in this striking landmark, which overlooks Lake Michigan and is one of the most visited sites on all of Chicago’s North Shore. Surrounded by nine formal gardens and fountains, it is one of seven Bahá’í temples in the world, and the only one in the Western Hemisphere. 3:30 – 5:00 pm As you continue your travels north on Sheridan Road, your tour day ends at the Chicago Botanic Garden, where you can experience 23 beautiful gardens and three natural habitats set on 385 acres of lush, rolling hills and tranquil lakes. Visitors can take walking guided tours of the garden or take the popular tram tour. The trams wind through the far reaches of the garden and give you hidden views of select gardens. It’s relaxing to traverse many far-reaching points of the garden in the comfort and convenience of the tram.

Chicago Botanic Garden

For information and booking, contact Chicago’s North Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau at 847763-0011 or visit

I T I N E R A R I E S M I D W E S T S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 2


Mile after Magnificent Mile.

Read ITINERARIES Midwest Online. Ads hotlinked to websites.

Secrets of the Southland This sample itinerary is best during the spring and summer months, but can be customized for any time of year. wines and food. If seafood is more your style, try Tin Fish in Tinley Park where fresh seafood and simple preparations are served in a 1940s Atlantic shore-style seafood house.

day two

Pickwick Society Tea Room

day one 10 – 12:00 pm Start off by checking into one of the Chicago Southland’s many wonderful and affordable hotels. With over 60 hotels in the Chicago Southland, you will find the amenities, comfort, and service every traveler is looking for and within your budget too. Make your way to beautiful and historic downtown Frankfort. A variety of small boutique shops along tree-lined streets offer personal service and selections you won’t find at the local mall. 12 – 1:00 pm Stop off at the Pickwick Society Tea Room to try one of their many varieties of tea served with a light lunch.

Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park

1 – 3:00 pm Next, travel north to Tinley Park where a variety of small shops and restaurants line Oak Park Avenue. Also on display from May through September, “Benches on the Avenue” is an art display of highly themed and colorful benches that bring to life the chosen theme of the season. 3 – 5:00 pm If you haven’t shopped until you dropped yet, head north to the Orland Square Mall and the surrounding shopping plazas for over 200 stores. 5 – 7:00 pm For dinner, try nearby Cooper’s Hawk Winery with its deep collection of hand-crafted award-winning

8:00 am – 2:00 pm Start your day on one of the 36 golf courses in the Chicago Southland. From municipal courses to courses that hosted PGA events, there is a golf course that will challenge you in the Chicago Southland. 2 – 4:00 pm After recovering from a long day on the links, find a bit of peace and tranquility among the wild prairie swales around Governors State University in the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park. Some 27 monumental statues from masters of contemporary sculpture are scattered throughout the pristine landscape. From the awe-inspiring sculpture “Paul” to “Yes! For Lady Day” which gently swings in the breeze, the collection is a treasure of the Chicago Southland. 5 – 8:00 pm For an exciting evening of racing, head over to Balmoral Park Race Track in Crete, Illinois, a Premier Harness Racing Facility. Have dinner in the cheerful ambiance that prevails throughout the Balmoral Club Dining Room that overlooks the spectacular 1-mile track. For more information about this itinerary or the Chicago Southland, contact Kristy Stevens, CTIS, Group Tour Sales Executive, at (708) 895-8200 or

directory convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Chicago’s North Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau . 866-369-0011 8001 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 715 – Skokie, IL We offer personal and customized service to help you plan your North Shore visit. We can assist in planning any aspect of your group trip, from lodging to attractions and dining to step-on-guide services! Call to book your group today!

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!

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


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tour iowa beginnings… Camp Algona POW Museum ALGONA Camp Algona housed up to 10,000 German prisoners of war from 1944 to 1946, many of whom were put to work on farms owned by Americans who were fighting overseas. A museum now commemorates the camp’s history and features a nativity scene built by the POWs. A 70-foot linear display tells the story of this camp and its effect on the military and civilians in Algona. See the weapons exhibit, World War II uniforms and artifacts, and displays of paintings and woodcarvings.

Surf Ballroom and Museum CLEAR LAKE Take a guided tour of the historic ballroom— well known throughout the country and the world—where big bands played and Buddy Holly gave his last concert. See their wide variety of Big Band-era and Rock ‘n’ Roll mementos; and the famous cloud machine, which still operates. The ballroom was dedicated in 2009 by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum as part of their landmark series of sites. Check the schedule and stay for a show!

Field of Dreams Movie Site DYERSVILLE Is this Heaven? No, it’s Iowa. See what Hollywood meant when they filmed Field of Dreams here. Field of Dreams, released in 1989, is a movie that has inspired millions. Welcome to this home, this farm, this baseball field, and this little piece of heaven on earth. Welcome to this place where reality mixes with fantasy and dreams can come true. Enjoy the surroundings. Bat a few balls, play a little catch, run the bases or sit and dream on the bleachers. “Go the distance.” KEOSAUQUA Take a step back in time. You’ll find no stoplights, no fast food and no large chain stores. You will find lots of charm and a quiet way of life. They have several original historic structures dating back to the 1800s. Many have been restored and are home to antique stores, B&B’s, and restaurants. Dine in a restored 1878 gristmill on the banks of the Des Moines River or stop at “Old World” to dine in the home of a local Amish family. Unique dinner/luncheon theater presentations are available and are held in a restored 1853 woolen mill.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum | WEST BRANCH Nestled in a prairie landscape, the Library and Museum tells the extraordinary story of an orphan boy who lived the American dream, becoming a multi-millionaire engineer, a worldwide humanitarian, and the 31st president of the United States. The park grounds feature his Birthplace Cottage, a blacksmith shop, schoolhouse, Friends Meetinghouse, gravesite of President and Mrs. Hoover, and an 81-acre tallgrass prairie.

Buffalo Bill Museum | LeCLAIRE This museum offers historic displays featuring LeClaire’s Famous Sons: “Buffalo Bill” Cody and James Ryan, inventor of the flight data recorder (black box) and other commonly used safety devices, plus a Civil War and riverboat display. Items in the gift shop include geodes (Iowa’s state rock), marbles, and hats galore, including: Union soldier’s, Confederate soldier’s, coonskin hats, cowboy hats, and feather headdresses. Learn how faded memories of the past come to life while exploring the historic sites of the Buffalo Bill Museum.

spotlight iowa

Villages of Van Buren


Glenn Miller Birthplace Home and Museum


et’s dance! Swing to the Big Band sounds of Glenn Miller as Clarinda honors its famous bandleader with an annual festival the second weekend each June. Visitors and entertainers from around the world come to celebrate the music and memory of Alton Glenn Miller, and your group can join the fun!

Glenn Miller

Tour the Glenn Miller Birthplace Home adjacent to the new Birthplace Museum, a work in progress, with Phase I completed in 2010. Groups will love the museum featuring exhibits, artifacts, music archives, theatre, library and a gift shop. Hear the success story of Miller, who became the leader of the number one Big Band in the U.S. See the world-famous Café Rouge bandstands used by Miller’s civilian band and learn about his military service and disappearance over the English Channel in World War II.

Iowa: Life Changing

Life Changing

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Bring Your Tour to Life: Discover Waterloo This sample itinerary is good anytime of the year!

Galleria De Paco

Waterloo is one of the Iowa’s foremost historic towns, with John Deere, the Five Sullivan Brothers, and Dan Gable featured as some of the most recognizable names in Iowa history. 10 – 11:30 am Begin your tour of Waterloo at the John Deere Tractor Assembly Plant and take a free trolley ride through the factory to see first-hand how the large green tractors are manufactured. Tours are offered Monday-Friday. 11:30 am – 1:00 pm Next, travel a short distance to the world-famous Galleria De Paco, and enjoy a tour and meal below the breathtaking Sistine Chapel ceiling. The artist,


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directory attractions

Paco Rosic, created this masterpiece with 5,200 cans of Krylon spray paint as he worked on scaffolding for four months. 1 – 4:00 pm A few blocks away is the Grout Museum District, where you can “Touch, See, and Feel” the history. Then on to the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum, which honors Waterloo’s military heroes – The Fighting Sullivans, five brothers who perished on the same ship during WWII. This museum features interactive exhibits, displays and oral histories for all conflicts from the Civil War to present day. 4 – 5:00 pm Finally, enter a world of discovery at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame / Dan Gable Museum. The museum honors Waterloo native Dan Gable, 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist, and preserves the history of mankind’s oldest sport through historic artifacts, exhibits and a library. The Hall of Fame completes the tribute to some of the most memorable wrestlers in American history. For more information or to customize this itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator or Lonnie Elmore at the Waterloo Convention and Visitors Bureau, 800-728-8431 or

Mississippi Explorer Cruises

. . . . . . 877-647-7397 Ext 1 60 South Front Street – Lansing, IA 52151 Charter cruises are customized to your groups needs. Port of departure, times, routes, and length of trip…you decide! However, we will assist you in putting a marketable and entertaining package together! Our company employs a “hands on” approach and we’ll be there on the boat with you!

National Farm Toy Museum . . 877-457-2727 1110 16th Avenue Court SE – Dyersville, IA 52040 The National Farm Toy Museum features thousands of toys and exhibits between its two floors. Tractors, implements, trucks, miniature farm dioramas, toy manufacturing information, and pedal tractors are on display around the museum!

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Waterloo Convention Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-728-8431 500 Jefferson Street – Waterloo, IA 50701 / Visit the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum, Galleria De Paco, John Deere Tractor Assembly Plant, and Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo. Plus, family attractions include Lost Island Water Park, Phelps Youth Pavilion and Bluedorn Science Imaginarium.


tour kansas beginnings… Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum | ABILENE Plan a trip and learn about the 5-star General and 34th president of the United States: Dwight David Eisenhower. Five distinct buildings make up the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, housed on 22 acres. Included are the Boyhood Home, Museum featuring five galleries, research Library, Visitors Center with gift shop and introduction film, and the Place of Meditation—the president’s final resting place. “The proudest thing I can claim is that I am from Abilene.” Dwight D. Eisenhower, 6/22/1945.

County Historical Society Museum, Santa Fe Depot & Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum | ATCHINSON A city of adventurers…Begin your visit with the displays of the Lewis & Clark expedition. Housed in the restored Santa Fe Depot, the museum also features exhibits on the city’s rich history, including a special display on another great adventurer, aviator Amelia Earhart. In addition, your group can tour the home where she was born, a Victorian mansion on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River. Take home a souvenir from their gift shop.

Walter Chrysler’s boyhood home was built in 1889 and is easily identifiable by the white painted wooden fence surrounding it. The home is furnished with items reflective of that period. The museum behind the home displays many personal belongings of Chrysler’s including a shotgun, jewelry, oil paintings and photos. Also on exhibit is a 1924 Chrysler automobile. The Walter P. Chrysler Boyhood Home & Museum is dedicated to preserving the history and memory of one of the greatest carmakers of the 20th century.

C.W. Parker Carousel Museum | LEAVENWORTH Tour the museum and take a ride on an original wooden 1913 C. W. Parker Carousel made here in Leavenworth. This particular carousel is unique in that the animals are hand carved and each is one-of-a-kind, and is the only Parker Carousel created with 2 hand-carved rabbits as major features. Visit the gift shop, workshop area, see an aluminum 1950s Paul Parker Carousel and a static display of a primitive Flying Horse Carousel, thought to be the oldest carousel in America dating back to 1850-1860. Voted as one of the “8 Wonders of KS Customs” in 2009!

Pony Express Home Station No. 1 | MARYSVILLE This 1859 stone barn was used to stable the ponies during the 18 months of the Pony Express (1860-1861) and is the first “home station” west of St. Joseph (a station where riders as well as horses changed). See the Pony Express statue and LifeTiles murals in the park, depicting a galloping Pony Express rider and an old steam engine morphing into a modern diesel locomotive. Referred to as “movies for the wall,” as the viewer walks along, the images appear to move!

spotlight kansas

Walter P. Chrysler Boyhood Home & Museum | ELLIS


Land of Oz


ust when you thought that the dream of the Land of Oz was out of your reach, there appears before you the Land of Oz in Liberal! This facility consists of 5,000 square feet of animated entertainment. There are good and bad witches, the Munchkins, talking trees, winged monkeys, and of course, Dorothy, the Scarecrow and Tin Man as well as the loveable Cowardly Lion. Oh, of course, Toto is there too! Stroll along the Yellow Brick Road with Dorothy, Auntie Em or Uncle Henry as your tour guide. Ask all the questions you want and learn even more about the wonderful world of Oz. When you get to the end of the Road you will find Oz memorabilia on display, including the original model of Dorothy’s house used in the 1939 filming of the movie The Wizard of Oz. The Munchkin room is a delight in little dresses and shoes, with many pictorial accounts of the Munchkins and their careers. When you think of Liberal you really must think of the wonderful memories of the movie and the music that have lived on for years.

Kansas: As Big As You Think

As Big As You Think

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Discover Kansas If your groups are looking for new and exciting vacation adventures, then Kansas is the place you want to be! History buffs can explore the state’s legendary cowboy towns or visit Kansas’ countless museums. Outdoor lovers will be ecstatic to know Kansas is still home on the range to the American bison. And for nature lovers, Kansas is home to the largest remaining stand of tallgrass prairie in North America, providing a glimpse of what the continent looked like 200 years ago! Read on to discover all Kansas has to offer for your group tours of any type!

Cloud County Convention and Tourism – Concordia

Colby Convention and Visitors Bureau

Come spend a day with us in Concordia! A visit to the National Orphan Train Museum will amaze and touch your heart like no other museum. Imagine yourself performing in the theatre known as the “Exquisite Gem of the Prairie,” the Brown Grand Theatre. Enjoy stunning stained glass and art at the Nazareth Convent. Letters from Martha Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as well as memorabilia from WWII POW Camp Concordia, are a few of the over 100,000 artifacts to be seen at the Cloud County Museum. Ask us about our other fun attractions, free step-on guide, visitor packets, and group-friendly hotels.

Colby is truly the Oasis on the Plains and they welcome you to explore the 8 Wonders of Thomas County: The wonders begin with Colby’s Prairie Museum of Art and History, featuring the Kuska Collection with over 28,000 artifacts from around the world and occupying 24 acres, which includes the Cooper Barn (the largest barn in Kansas). Also listed among the highlights are: Thomas County Courthouse, Northwest Research & Experiment Center, Fike Park, Houston House (a classic 1906 Victorian Home), new Colby Aquatic Park and Colby City Hall. This art-deco sand-colored building was built in the 1920s and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Experience the wonders for yourself!

785-243-4303 /

800-611-8835 /

Emporia Convention and Visitors Bureau

William Allen White House Historic Site

As official Founding City of Veterans Day, Emporia is also home to a beautiful zoo—the David Traylor


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As Big As You Think

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Continued from Page 18: Discover Kansas

Zoo—botanically lush with floral displays spring through fall. Your step-on guide takes you around town telling of our history, ghost stories, military and political tidbits. Learn about one of Kansas’s 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! 800-279-3730 /

Liberal Convention and 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 your group needs. Liberal offers a wonderful setting for groups of all ages. The 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 arts and culture; and the Pancake Day Hall of Fame will delight you with the history of this 64year-old event. The Liberal CVB is here to assist you! 800-542-3725 /

Yellow Brick Road -Liberal

Merriam Convention and Visitors Bureau Merriam, Kansas—Kansas City’s next-door neigh-

bors! Located just 10 minutes from Kansas City’s vibrant downtown and nearby all metro attractions, Merriam offers big-city amenities with small-town hospitality and friendly visitor service. If unique group venues are on your itinerary, please visit K.C. Strings Violin Shop—an inspiring place where stringed instruments are crafted, sold and played in symphonies across the globe. Sip on a homemade strawberry soda from Georgetown Pharmacy’s Old Fashioned Soda Shop or rock out in the eclectic GuitarLamp loft in downtown Merriam. We’d be delighted to help you plan your next Kansas City group getaway! 866-707-6534 /

directory convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Cloud County Convention & Tourism Concordia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 785-243-4303

Colby CVB Colby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-611-8835

Emporia CVB Emporia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-279-3730

Liberal CVB Liberal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-542-3725

Merriam Visitors Bureau Merriam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 866-707-6534

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tour minnesota beginnings… Bob Dylan | HIBBING Bring your group along the trail that leads from Robert Zimmerman to Bob Dylan, from the singer’s birthplace in Duluth to his childhood home in Hibbing. Experience Dylan Days in Hibbing, held annually in May, where artists, musicians, writers and fans from across the globe gather for this grassroots festival celebrating the city’s most famous son. The four-day festival includes the return of the famous Dylan Days singer-songwriter contest, plus the ever-popular Bobby Zimmerman Bus Tour, taking in many of the venues and places of interest. Source of the Mississippi River | ITASCA STATE PARK Itasca State Park, established in 1891, is Minnesota’s oldest state park. Totaling more than 32,000 acres, including more than 100 lakes, your group can walk across the mighty Mississippi where it starts its journey 2,552 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. In 1832, Anishinabe guide Ozawindib, led explorer Henry Rowe Schoolcraft to the source of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca. Visit the Itasca Indian Cemetery, Wegmann’s Cabin, and spend a night at the historic Douglas Lodge.

spotlight minnesota

Mill City Museum | MPLS


Built in 1880 on the Mississippi Riverfront and declared the world’s largest flourmill, this National Historic Landmark was nearly destroyed by fire in 1991. After removing the rubble, the Minnesota Historical Society constructed a museum and education center within the ruins, now the Mill City Museum. It features an eight-story glass façade overlooking the Mississippi River, with graphics of the milling machines on the glass façade. A museum interpreter will take you on a tour, highlighting the lives of the people who worked there, and learn about the intertwined histories of the flour industry, the river, and the city of Minneapolis.

Birthplace of Minnesota

Sinclair Lewis Boyhood Home | SAUK CENTRE


tillwater is referred to as the “Birthplace of Minnesota,” established in 1848. Minnesota became a territory in 1849 and a state in 1858. Begin your visit with a historic narrated trolley tour that transports your group back in time as you learn about the colorful history of this lumber boomtown gone bust. Begin along the St. Croix Riverfront, once bustling with saw mills, trains and riverboats. You’ll see the historic lift bridge, mansions of the wealthy lumber barons, the city’s parks, overlooks, and historic sites and hear tales of ties to the rich and famous who frequented the town as well as the lumberjacks who worked the world’s largest pine forests. Groups keep returning to this charming, historic river town with its incredible scenery and warm hospitality. Tour specialty stores, restaurants and shops filled with antiques, and take advantage of the beautiful views of the St. Croix River and the many riverfront festivals held each year.

Explore Minnesota

Sauk Centre is home to the original “Main Street” as written by their very own Sinclair Lewis—the first American to win the Nobel Prize for literature. Tour his boyhood home, with many rooms containing items known to belong to the Lewis family themselves. See the free interpretive museum and stroll along Main Street with its unique stores. Tour guides can tell you much about the house, Lewis’ family and his boyhood. Born in Sauk Centre in 1885, and using his hometown as the inspiration for Main Street, the satirical novel of small-town life brought him worldwide fame. On its publication in 1920, the book irritated citizens of Sauk Centre, who easily recognized the real-life models for many of his characters.

Spam | AUSTIN Few experiences in life are as meaningful and meaty-filled as those your group will have at the magnificent SPAM® Museum. Referred to by some meat historians as Porkopolis or M.O.M.A. (Museum Of MeatThemed Awesomeness), the fun-packed museum features 16,500 sq. ft. of tastefully presented SPAM®-filled history. You’ll be tickled pink by SPAM® trivia and vintage SPAM® brand advertising, plus numerous displays including the World War II exhibit, SPAM® Game Show quiz, Monty Python tribute and more. There’s even a SPAM® store to stock up on priceless collectibles. Load the bus and bring your group to experience this life-altering pure pork bliss for yourself.

Explore Minnesota

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A Little “History” in and Around Eagan This sample itinerary can be customized for anytime of the year. The Eagan Convention & Visitors Bureau prides itself on providing personal services, which include greetings, goodies and greenbacks. Too good to be true? Think again! When you book your next overnight group tour - it's our way of making your tour to Eagan as EASY as possible for you! 9 – 11:00 am Put on your walking shoes and take a 90-minute guided walk through historic downtown Mendota. View original landmarks in one of the oldest towns in the state, see historical photographs and hear how the town evolved from its beginning as an early 19thcentury fur trading center. After the tour, light refreshments will be served at the home of Sibley’s clerk, Hypolite Dupuis. 11 – 2:00 pm Next you’ll reminisce at the Minnesota History Center as you explore the fascinating exhibit – “The U.S.Dakota War of 1862,” a new exhibit at the Minnesota History Center. This exhibit will offer groups the opportunity to view documents, images and artifacts relating to the war. The final exhibit will incorporate multiple points of view on the war, its causes and its aftermath.

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Minnesota History Center

Enjoy lunch at the Café Minnesota – located in the Minnesota History Center. 2 – 4:00 pm Discover an 1820’s Military outpost once the focus of a small settlement but now at the center of Minnesota’s Twin Cities metropolitan area. Fort Snelling was not only at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, but it was also the confluence of peoples. The histories of the people of Minnesota intersect at the fort, and guests can explore these diverse stories within its walls. Or, you could step back in time see what life was like for people who lived in the Minnesota River Valley 150 years ago. The Landing – Minnesota River Heritage Park, formerly Historic Murphy’s Landing, was established in 1969. This 88-acre living history museum depicts life in the Lower Minnesota River Valley from the 1840s–1890s with authentic

Padelford Riverboat

19th-century buildings, demonstrations and a scenic river trail and overlook 4 – 7:00 pm Head back to your Eagan hotel to rest before your evening begins. Don’t forget to ask about the cash Rebate with 20 or more rooms booked in Eagan! 7 – 9:00 pm Cruise up the mighty Mississippi River on a Padelford Riverboat while taking in the beautiful scenery, gentle breeze and watching the sun set across the Minnesota sky. Enjoy a fabulous dinner and share an evening everyone will remember. Come aboard! For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group please contact your tour operator or Denise Olsen at the Eagan CVB, 651-675-5542 or

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Explore Minnesota

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Group Hospitality at THE MINNESOTA STATE FAIR he Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest and best-attended expositions in the world, attracting nearly 1.8 million visitors annually. In addition to being a showcase for Minnesota’s finest agriculture, art and industry, the fair features hundreds of entertainment options including music all around the fairgrounds, educational exhibits, hands-on experiences, more than 60 carnival rides, thousands of competitions, 11 nights of Grandstand shows, and more than 450 different foods.


Our hospitality staff has a variety of resources to make your day at the fair even more fun! We 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. We also provide daily entertainment and activity schedules so you won’t miss a thing! Most exhibit buildings are open from 9 am to 9 pm. For early arrivals, there is plenty of activity in the livestock area as animals are groomed and readied for judging. From 6 am to midnight, there’s always something different to see all 12 days of the Great Minnesota Get-Together! Morning is the best time to… • schedule a breakfast and welcome session for your group at the Blue Ribbon Picnic Area. • learn about renewable energy and sustainability at the award-winning Eco Experience. • experience the Miracle of Birth Center where lambs, calves and piglets are born. Mid-day is the best time to… • catch one of more than 75 acts on seven free entertainment stages. • check out nearly 70 rides from around the globe at Mighty Midway and Kidway. • browse through the shops at Heritage Square or the International Bazaar. Afternoon is the best time to… • meet Princess Kay and see the famous butterhead sculptures. • choose a snack from the menu of 350 foods, including more than 50 foods on-a-stick. • stroll through Minnesota’s largest juried art show in the Fine Arts Center. Evening is the best time to… • go to extremes on Adventure Park’s rides. • see big-name entertainers at the newly-restored 1909 Grandstand. • watch the nightly fireworks spectacular.



Life as it was... Pioneers & Gangsters This itinerary works best on weekdays throughout the year.

day one 10 – 12:00 pm Immerse yourself in the many lively exhibits, multimedia theaters and characters from the past at the Minnesota History Center, the finest building constructed in Minnesota since the State Capitol. Opened on June 30th of 2012, is the U.S. – Dakota War of 1862 exhibit. Your group can examine the evidence, hear heart-wrenching stories and learn about the broken treaties and promises that led to this disastrous chapter in Minnesota history. 12 – 1:00 pm Stop for lunch at Café Minnesota, where history repeats. Delight in daily chef-prepared cuisine and the sensational sauté station—all in a unique museum café. 1 – 3:00 pm Saint Paul’s original Gangster Tour will give you an up-close look at Saint Paul’s gangster past. A nefarious gangster hood, or his smart-mouthed moll, will guide you on this two-hour bus tour. Explore the sites of nightclubs, kidnappings and gun battles associated with 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 ever perpetrated in the upper Midwest. Your guide takes you past the most infamous gangster hideouts and the famous nightclubs where many gangsters spent time socializing with the public. 3 – 4:30 pm From the home of the first territorial governor to the home of the state’s first governor, our next stop is the Sibley House, where you’ll discover life in the 1800s. 4:30 – 5:30 pm Head back to Wabasha Street Caves and explore

For more information call 651-632-2689 or email


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Explore Minnesota

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the tradition continues... The 42nd Annual Minnesota Renaissance Festival t is hard to escape the smell of tasty delicacies, with more than 100 food booths throughout the village. A group trip to this festival would not be complete without trying a famous turkey leg. Rotisserie smoked turkey legs have become a staple to most patrons who visit the festival. However, it’s not on the menu for everyone. The festival also offers a variety of customary Renaissance foods, for instance, scotch eggs, spinach pie, and bangers & mash.


In addition to traditional Renaissance festivities, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival elaborated on the events that occur at most renaissance festivals to include themed weekends that focus on different aspects of the Renaissance era. These weekends have changed over the years to bring new and fresh events to the festival. The 2012 Minnesota Renaissance Festival will include new events such as: Artisan Appreciation (August 18-19, 25-26) Patrons are able to support their favorite shops and get rewarded! Spend $250 total throughout the many artisan booths and receive one free admission ticket. Fairy House Competition (September 1-3) All are invited to create their own unique fairy house and share it with festival patrons. Oktoberfest (September 22-23) Indulge in German culture and check out all the German artisans, clans, restaurants, musicians, dancers and more! Ladies Shopping Day (September 28) Receive a discount ticket that includes admission, free glass of wine, gift bag and discounts at certain specialty shops. Paint Pub No experience necessary for this painting class! The Paint Pub offers step-by-step instructions to help patrons create a one-of-a-kind Renaissance painting! Held Sundays at 11 am. Photo Tour Take a “behind the scenes” tour of the Festival with the pros from the Minneapolis Photo Center!



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their historic sand caves. This walking tour tells the story of how the caves have been used throughout the past 150 years. 6 – 10:30 pm “Put on a happy face” and head to Chanhassen Dinner Theatres for dinner and an unforgettable performance of Bye Bye Birdie. The food is wonderful! 10:30 pm Travel back to your hotel for a good night’s rest.

day two 9 – 10:00 am Enjoy a hot breakfast at your hotel. 10 – 11:00 am From life at the fort to the life of luxury, the Alexander Ramsey House is a Victorian home that must be

Groups are welcome and the bus parking is the best! The 42nd Annual Minnesota Renaissance Festival runs August 18-September 30 (weekends, Labor Day and Friday, September 28th) For more information visit or call 952-445-7361 to book your group!

seen to be believed. Considered the birth site of party politics in Minnesota, this Saint Paul home has housed three generations of the Ramsey family. All itineraries may be customized especially for your group. Let Wabasha Street Caves help produce the perfect Twin Cities experience, 651-292-1220.


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Explore Minnesota

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Industry and Beauty in the North Woods This sample itinerary can be customized for any time of the year.

day one 4:00 pm Warroad, MN is the only American Port on beautiful Lake of the Woods, home to trophy fishing, excellent hunting, and great outdoor activities. Warroad’s Point Park marks the beginning of the Pine to Prairie Birding Trail.

writers, genealogies, old photographs, and much more. 3:30 pm Spend the rest of your time exploring the beautiful north woods of Minnesota, taking in the fresh air in this relaxing setting. For more information on this sample itinerary contact your tour operator or the Warroad CVB 800-328-4455 or visit

Check into your hotel, or one of the many resorts in the area that would really give your group the up-north experience. Dine at a local diner or supper club, there are many wonderful choices for groups.

day two 8 – 9:00 am Enjoy breakfast with a view, no matter the season, it’s always sure to please. 9 – 10:30 am Tour HEATMOR™, their mission is to honestly manufacture a quality product at a fair price, see how they make the best outdoor furnaces in the industry. Tours available Monday through Friday. Just call ahead for an appointment. 10:30 – 12:00 pm Experience the rich history of Marvin Windows and Doors at the Wm. S. Marvin Training and Visitor Center, the world’s largest manufacturer of made-toorder wood windows and doors. Their museum and gift shop are open to the public with free admission. The exhibits include a combination of artifacts and interactive presentations that will wow visitors of all ages. 12 – 1:00 pm Grab some famous walleye cheeks (or a burger) for lunch at one of the local hot spots. 1 – 2:00 pm Here is a little reminder of days gone by. Visit The Shed; a Classic and Muscle Car Collection displayed in a 24,000 square foot building, with approximately 70 cars available for your viewing enjoyment. Hours vary, so please call ahead to make arrangements. 2 – 3:30 pm Visit the Warroad Heritage Center and Museum and enjoy a variety of historic items that have shaped this area. Beginning with Indian artifacts from the Warroad area, the local commercial fishing industry, the Northwest Angle, early pioneers, Christian Brothers Hockey Stick factory, and sports. Plus, works by area

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ST. CLOUD’S “Eye Candy” aint Cloud, Minnesota’s coolest hot spot in town is Mr. Twisty. Serving up delectable ice cream creations all summer long, this walk-up shop is reminiscent of the ones you rode your bike to as a kid. The low prices and friendly atmosphere are what keep guests coming back again and again. Not to mention the one-of-a-kind soft serve used in their banana splits, parfaits, sundaes, cones, shakes, and twisters!



What makes Mr. Twisty so unique?


• Italian Ice: This dairy-free dessert comes in hundreds of flavors; a different one highlighted each week, and a refreshing cure to those hot summer days. • Eye Candy: You heard right! Each of Mr. Twisty’s signature cones is adorned with two little sugary eyeballs for that extra touch of character. Eat them right away or save them for later. • Hot Food Options: Hungry for more? The shop also serves popcorn, hotdogs, pulled-pork sandwiches and the ever-popular “walking taco”- a small bag of Doritos™ topped with your favorite taco fixings. Open mid-March through mid-October (weather permitting). Groups of 15 or more, please call ahead to maximize your visit: 320-310-0314.

Experience St.Cloud’s “Shopping & Theatre” Perfect for a girlfriend get-away weekend. 9 – 10:30 am Welcome to The Grande Depot. Housed in a beautifully restored 1912 Soo Line Depot, it offers two upscale retail choices for discerning consumers. Accentric offers extensive stylish home décor, gourmet foods, exclusive culinary, children’s gifts and much more. Cork & Cask offers central Minnesota’s most unique selection of fine wine and spirits. FREE samples of wine and food products on Saturdays. 10:30 – 12:00 pm Next stop is Crafts Direct, the get inspired, create and decorate store! Offering a huge selection of arts and crafts supplies – it’s the largest craft store in the state! See their website for project ideas, current sales flyer, and calendar of craft classes. 12 – 2:00 pm Time for some serious shopping in downtown and your first stop is Herbergers! It’s always a fun stop when visiting St. Cloud! Do a little browsing before and after the show today. Your reward for a short walk down St. Germain Street is a stop at the specialty shop called Northern Brights featuring unique handbags, jewelry, gifts, art and fashions! You’ll find many other shopping treasures along your way plus lunch at Mexican Village – fun, food and fabulous margaritas! Including FREE chips and salsa. 2 – 4:00 pm See a matinee at the Paramount Theater for one of Great Theatre’s productions. Saturday or Sunday matinees are perfect for mid-afternoon fun. Grab a glass of wine or a soda and sit back to watch the show. 4 – 6:00 Resume shopping before heading over to Café Renaissance for an elegant dinner. Enjoy their unique pan-Mediterranean cuisine featuring dishes from the south of Italy, France, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Morocco, and the Eastern & middle-Eastern Mediterranean. When


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you’re ready to turn in, the AmericInn of Sartell is a great choice for groups to relax and unwind around their pool. For more information or to customize this itinerary for your group, contact the St. Cloud Convention & Visitors Bureau / Jean Robbins at 1-800-264-2940, ext 129 or


Check out these upcoming GREAT Theatre productions…


A Christmas Carol Nov 24 – Dec 9, 2012 at the Paramount Theatre The classic story returns to the Paramount stage to celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens. Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells December 7-16, 2012 at the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater - Saint John’s University Junie B. Jones is having a tough Christmas, when this first grader draws her enemy’s name at the Secret Santa gift party. Annie January 11-20, 2013 Leapin’ lizards! Join us in January for one of the world’s best-beloved musicals. Follow this spunky orphan on her journey to find her parents and meet some eccentric characters along the way! Charlotte’s Web March 1-10, 2013 E.B. White’s classic story of a pig named Wilbur comes to life in this new musical. You’ll fall in love with this touching story and, of course, a wise barn spider named Charlotte.


Explore Minnesota

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Hormel Nature Center Haw k

AUSTIN: The Birthplace of SPAM™ 75 years ago, the idea for infamous SPAM™ was born in Austin, MN. The brainchild of Jay C. Hormel, this “miracle meat” now comes in over nine flavors; including Jalapeno SPAM™, which was rolled out for the 75th Anniversary. SPAM™town USA is home to Hormel Foods Corporation and the SPAM™ Museum, featuring 16,500 square feet of SPAM™ enjoyment. You will learn how SPAM™ got its name, and take the SPAM™ Exam to put your SPAM™ knowledge to the test. The museum is great for groups of all ages with its interactive games, history and unique perspective regarding this revered product. Plan for time in the SPAM™ Shop and find over 400 SPAM™ related items for your purchasing pleasure!



natural anti-cancer agents that are nontoxic and highly effective. Before leaving town, stop by the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center to enjoy wildlife viewing at their 507-acre center featuring an Interpretive Building, which enables visitors to see the textures of furs, antlers, bones and fungi and includes living displays that feature snakes, salamanders, toads and an indoor beehive.

For more information contact the Austin CVB at 800-444-5713 or visit

To discover even more about the Hormel family, stop by the Hormel Historic Home for a

fresh pastry and cup of coffee before touring the home of George and Lillian Hormel, restored to turn-of-the-century charm. You will delight in seeing how the Hormel family lived day to day, and be entertained with family stories. At the Mower County Historical Society, your step back in time continues. Artifacts and other historical items are displayed in the Hormel Museum, an original building constructed in the 1890’s by Geo. A. Hormel & Co. Don’t miss out on the other buildings and attractions at the Historical Society, including The Milwaukee Junction Museum and depot, which depicts early railroading with a steam locomotive, caboose and various other railroad cars. While you are in Austin, take advantage of visiting The Hormel Institute, where some of the world’s leading scientists are making major contributions to the identification of

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“City of Lakes” Martin County Courthouse

This itinerary is best in the summer, but can be customized for any time of the year. 2 – 3:15 pm Get an overview of the town and a closer look at Fairmont’s chain of five lakes and scenic city parks by taking the City of Lakes tour. Highlights include a historic mansion, agriculture interpretive center, and a glimpse at one of the top 10 most beautiful courthouses in Minnesota! It was built on the site of Old Fort Fairmount in 1862, at the time of the Dakota (Sioux) Uprising. 3:15 – 4:15 pm Take a step back in time at the Pioneer Museum, with a wide variety of displays including war items, guns, vehicles, coins, and trinkets. Your group will be amazed at the history this county has! 4:15 – 6:30 pm Tour the historic Fairmont Opera House and Red Rock Center for the Arts. Enjoy the rich

history and pride these two buildings have brought to the community. With both buildings on the brink of destruction see what a magnificent group of dedicated and hardworking community members can do to save and restore such important pieces of history. 6:30 – 8:00 pm Enjoy an old fashioned outdoor BBQ at the Fairmont Chain of Lakes Yacht Club. Located on the shores of Hall Lake, it’s a perfect venue to enjoy the beautiful view and tranquility of the Fairmont lakes. If indoor dining is preferred, choose from one of Fairmont’s fine restaurants. 8 – 9:15 pm End the night with a relaxing sunset pontoon ride. Cruise the chain of five lakes taking in the picturesque view and reflecting on a day filled with history, food, and fun! 9:15 pm Head back to one of Fairmont’s group friendly hotels to relax after a big day taking in the town. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group please contact your tour operator or the Fairmont CVB 800-657-3280,


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The Steele County FREE Fair! This sample itinerary is best in August – as the Fair is held annually.

day one

day two

10:00 am Discover Owatonna and Steele County history at the NEW Steele County History Center. Check out their latest exhibit Electrifying Minnesota. Imagine what it was like, for the first time to have electricity available at the flick of a switch! 11:30 am Marvel at the architecture of the National Farmer’s Bank, designed by world-renowned architect

8:00 am Enjoy continental breakfast at your hotel before heading for a full day of fun at the Steele County Free Fair! 10:00 am Take in the sights and sounds of the animals on display at Leisure Lane at the Steele County Free Fair. 11:00 am Enjoy lunch at the Aurora Lutheran Church Food Stand – enjoy a sit down home cooked meal and homemade pies like the church ladies used to make. 12:00 pm Wander through the SCFF on your own to see the Exotic Petting Zoo, Lumberjack Show, Niagara Cave Mining Company, Puppet Shows, Livestock Hall of Fame, Muckle Fair Museum, Wandering Goosman, and much more! 1:30 pm Experience life in Owatonna at the turn of the 20th Century at the Village of Yesteryear and see the pioneer village and reenactments of times past. Tours offered daily at 1:30 pm – free during the Steele County Free Fair. 3:30 pm Sit down and relax and enjoy the live entertainment

Louis Sullivan. The bank building is famous for its Prairie School architecture. Relax and enjoy the historic buildings, coffee shops, boutiques and restaurants downtown. For treats of the chocolate sort stop by Costa’s Café & Chocolate Shop featuring delicious hand-made/hand-dipped candies. 2:00 pm Visit the State School Orphanage Museum to learn the story of Minnesota’s orphans from 1886-1945. Explore and tour the grounds of the West Hills Campus and stop at Cottage 11. Highlights include the Root Cellar, Children’s Cemetery, Audio Kiosks, gift shop; and, of course, the opportunity to walk through an original cottage from the orphanage era and learn the story of the boys who lived there. 3:30 pm Enjoy an afternoon treat with Blue Bell Ice Cream at Russell Stover’s Candies and pick up gifts for your friends and family! 4:00 pm Shop until you drop! Stop at Cabela’s World’s Foremost Outfitters and pick up everything you need for your outdoor adventures and home décor! The newly remodeled store includes animal displays, a fresh water aquarium, and fudge shoppe! 5:00 pm Visit the Medford Outlet Center to get the latest deals on your summer & fall fashions. Shop at great stores like GAP, Old Navy, Bath & Body Works, Nike Clearance Store, Country Goods and many more stores at outlet prices. 6:30 pm Head back to one of their group friendly lodging properties to freshen up for dinner and Extreme Bull Riding at the Steele County Free Fair!

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on stage in Fair Square. 4:00 pm Catch the Pig Races or a Camel Ride before making your way to the Midway for one last show of the day! 5:30 pm Take in a rare sight before heading home; see the Wheel Walker up high walking on the ferris wheel. For more itineraries and activities in Owatonna, contact the Tourism Department at 800-423-6466 or go to

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We welcome you to Albert Lea! This sample itinerary is best summer and fall, but may be customized for any time of the year. 9 – 11:30 am Begin your day with a tour of Albert Lea Lake, offering beautiful scenery and wildlife. Enjoy brunch while the Captain and First Mate of the Pelican Breeze II take you aboard this 60-foot riverboat replica, guiding you past the pelicans, ducks, birds, and historic sites. 11:30 – 1:00 pm You can have lunch at one of Albert Lea’s fine eateries, or have a catered lunch at the historic Freeborn County Museum, which houses the “Minnesota Rock & Country Hall of Fame” plus Eddie Cochran and Happy Days Marion Ross memorabilia. Walk through the Village and see why this museum is rated one of the finest in Minnesota.


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1:30 – 3:30 pm We have many tours that you can choose from. A few options would be the Bent Tree Wind Farm, where your group would view how the wind turbines are built and produce energy, or the Lou Rich Factory, Daisy Blues Naturals, Granicrete Minnesota, and the Mayo Clinic Health System. 3:30 – 5:00 pm Downtown Albert Lea has something for everyone. Shopping enthusiasts will love our unique specialty, craft, gift and antique shops in the Historic Downtown.

5:30 – 7:00 pm Dinner can be exquisite, casual, ethnic, or homemade depending on your tastes. The Albert Lea CVB can help you choose. Weekly events are offered for your enjoyment. Bay Side Water Ski shows, ACT Theater Performances, farmers market, swimming at our aquatic park, canoeing, kayaking, and over 40 parks for group fun time including a state park that offers Sunday morning services. Let us customize a visit just for you and your group. Please call the Albert Lea CVB at 800-345-8414. Come see why we love being nestled between the Lakes.


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directory accommodations metro

Holiday Inn MPLS NW Elk River . . 763-656-4400 9200 Quaday Avenue NE – Otsego, MN 55330 / Minnesota’s favorite water park resort! Stay, Play, Shop and Experience local history all within a 5-mile radius! On the banks of the Mississippi River you’ll find local hospitality at its best beckoning you and your group. Four story waterslides, lazy river, and separate zero depth entry pool; fun for absolutely all ages!

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

Stillwater Trolley Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-430-0352

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.

400 Nelson Street – Stillwater, MN 55082

Sawmill Inn

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


Microtel Inn & Suites Mankato

Lexington Inn & Suites

. . . . . . . . .651-275-1401 2000 Washington Avenue – Stillwater, MN 55082

Mystic Lake Prior Lake . . . . 800-262-7799 ext 665 northern

Alexandria Hampton Inn & Suites

. . . . . . . . . . 800-Hampton 2705 S Broadway – Alexandria, MN 56308 320-763-3360 Opened 2008. Free Hot Breakfast, Indoor Pool and Whirlpool, Fitness Center, Business Center, Suite Shop, Free Wired/wireless internet, Microwave & Refrigerator in all rooms, meeting room on site 10-50 people.

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 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.

Comfort Suites Canal Park

. . . . .218-727-1378 408 Canal Park Drive – Duluth, MN 55802 The Comfort Suites Canal Park is located on beautiful Lake Superior in Historic Canal Park. Enjoy dining, museums, shopping, and the boardwalk within walking distance. We will make your group tour successful and memorable.

5734 Sturgeon Lake Road – Welch, MN 55089 / Offers groups some of the best gaming, accommodations, food service and nationally known entertainment in the casino industry. Featuring over 2,400 slots, 40 blackjack tables and a 550-seat high stakes bingo hall, all in a Caribbean themed casino.

. . . .507-388-2818

Just For Me: the Spa

. . . . . . . . . . .651-439-4662 110 South Greeley Street – Stillwater, MN 55082 /

Treasure Island Resort & Casino . . . . . . . . . 800-222-7077 ext 2716/2952

Twin City Model Railroad Museum Microtel Inn & Suites

Springfield . .507-723-8200

Saint Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-647-9628

Wabasha Street Caves . . . . . . . . . . . 651-292-1220

attractions metro

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres

. . . 800-355-6273 501 West 78th Street – Chanhassen, MN 55317

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

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

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!


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.


Minnesota Historical Society

. . . 651-259-3444 345 W 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.

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

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers metro

Minnesota Renaissance Festival

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

Mystic Lake Casino - Hotel Prior Lake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-496-7345

Northland Visions

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 612-872-0390 1113 E Franklin Avenue – Minneapolis, MN 55404

Padelford Packet Boat Company Saint Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-227-1100

Paradise Charter Cruises . . . . . . . . 888-559-8058 PO Box 563 – Excelsior, MN 55331

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

Burnsville CVB

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .952-895-4690 12600 Nicolett Avenue Suite 100 – Burnsville, MN 55337 Discover vibrant Burnsville where everything under the sun is right under your nose. Enjoy a variety of affordable, comfortable and uncomplicated lodging options. Explore Minnesota’s signature venues and regional attractions, unique shops, diverse dining, fine arts and much more.

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.

6428 Manning Avenue North – Stillwater, MN 55082 /

Saint Paul Convention . . . . . . . . . . .651-265-4906 & Visitors Authority 800-627-6101 ext 4906

Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior. . 800-258-8736

Science Museum of Minnesota . . 800-221-9444

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.

120 West Kellogg Blvd – Saint Paul, MN 55102 / One-of-a-kind exhibits, larger-than-life Omnitheater films, and a priceless collection of nearly two million artifacts from around the globe. It’s no wonder that the Science Museum is the Upper Midwest’s must-see, must-do museum.

175 West Kellogg Blvd, Suite 502 – Saint Paul, MN 55102 A classic group tour destination. In addition to offering a variety of group-friendly activities, we provide unparalleled service for tour operators and group leaders. Take advantage of our group services such as itinerary planning and meet & greet programs.

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directory continued Stillwater & Oak Park Heights CVB . . . . . . . .651-351-1717

Fairmont Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-657-3280

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.

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!


International Falls/ Rainy Lake CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-325-5766 301 2nd Avenue – International Falls, MN 56649

Nisswa Area Chamber of Commerce

. . . . . . . . . 218-963-2620 25532 Main Street – Nisswa, MN 56488

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.

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


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.

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.


Cherokee Tavern Saint Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-457-2729

The Dock Café

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-430-3770 425 Nelson Street East – Stillwater, MN 55082

El Burrito Mercado Restaurant Saint Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-227-2192

Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter

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


entertainment & theater metro

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. . . 952-934-1547

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.

Warroad Area Chamber . . . . . . . . . 218-386-3543

501 W 78th St – Chanhassen, MN 55317 800-355-6273 Since 1968 Chanhassen Dinner Theatres have been recognized for quality theatre entertainment & fine dining. The nation’s largest professional dinner theatre is AAA Magazine recommended, “Any Twin Cities visit should include an evening at Chanhassen!”

311 State Ave North – Warroad, MN 56763

History Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-292-4323

Mankato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 507-625-6500

30 10th Street East – Saint Paul, MN 55101 /

Veigel’s Kaiserhoff

Thief River Falls CVB

. . . . . . . . . . . 218-686-9785 PO Box 176 – Thief River Falls, MN 56701


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.

Austin CVB

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .507-437-4563 104 11th Ave NW Ste D – Austin, MN 55912 800-444-5713 SPAM Town, USA. Southern Minnesota Tourism at its best! Home of Fortune 500 Company Hormel Food Corporation. Tourists will be delighted with the SPAM Museum, Historic Hormel Home, Paramount Theatre, & other exciting attractions.

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.



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Pub 500

New Ulm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 507-359-2071

Minnesota Centennial Showboat Saint Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 612-625-4001


shopping metro

GREAT Theatre

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320-258-ARTS 919 W Saint Germain Street – St Cloud, MN 56301 The premiere community theater in Central Minnesota. GREAT has produced over 100 shows since 1998, including 5 World Premiere productions. Provides School Performances.

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.

festivals & events metro

Minnesota Renaissance Festival

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

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

tour operators metro

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

Valley Tours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-439-6110 101 Pine Street West #4 – Stillwater, MN 55082


tour missouri beginnings… Daniel Boone Home and Boonesfield Village | DEFIANCE Journey back to another time and relive the adventures, dangers, and joyous events of the famous longhunter, Daniel Boone. Visit the 200-year-old, Georgian-style home where he lived his remaining years and discover the man behind the legend. The Boonefield Village is a collection of over a dozen 19th-century buildings representing life in the 1800s. Tour the schoolhouse, the Old Peace Chapel, the gristmill and the general mercantile, to name a few. They always enjoy having groups come and visit and offer a variety of guided tour options.

Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum | HANNIBAL Discover how a young boy (Samuel Clemens) growing up in the small village of Hannibal, became one of the world’s most beloved authors. Explore Clemens’ Hannibal and experience the amazing stories he created through the power of imagination. The properties include six historic buildings, including Mark Twain's Boyhood Home & Garden (where the REAL adventures of Tom Sawyer took place) and Huckleberry Finn’s House—where Huck Finn (Tom Blankenship) grew up. See two interactive museums whose collections include 15 original Norman Rockwell paintings and a wealth of Twain artifacts. The Boyhood Home is designated a National Historic Landmark. JEFFERSON CITY In 2004 the Missouri State Penitentiary was decommissioned after 168 years of operation. At the time of its closure the penitentiary was the oldest continually operating prison west of the Mississippi River. Beginning in 2009, the Jefferson City CVB reopened the doors to tours and now offers hardhat tours, entering through the same building the inmates did. Hear the history and tour many of the cells including those that were home to infamous inmates such as heavyweight Sonny Liston, James Earl Ray, Pretty Boy Floyd, the Young Brothers gang and more.

Pony Express National Museum | ST JOSEPH Your group can revisit the historic ride—made on April 3, 1860—when a lone rider, the first of his kind, left Pikes Peak Stables in St. Joseph, marking the start of the Pony Express. Brave riders, carrying saddlebags filled with our nation’s hopes and dreams, traveled more than 2,000 miles west to California. Today, the stables house a modern, interactive and educational tribute to the history and legend of the Pony Express. Experience exciting and state-of-the-art exhibits chronicling the Pony Express. Groups are sure to be captivated by the stories and images of an era long passed. A 60-foot diorama depicts the diverse terrain over which the riders traveled.

Fantastic Caverns | SPRINGFIELD An ideal destination in the Ozarks all year long, visitors stay warm & dry and relax in comfort by boarding the Jeep-drawn tram for America’s only ride-through cave. The roomy passageways feature thousands of cave formations that include stalactites and stalagmites, tiny soda straws, cave pearls, massive columns and flowstones. All unique, and all created by water one drop at a time. Step back through the ages to a day when no human footsteps were heard here. Home to a variety of animals such as the grotto salamander, the cave crayfish and the rare, blind Ozarks cavefish— a reclusive little creature no longer than a finger—all found dwelling in Fantastic Caverns.

spotlight missouri

Missouri State Penitentiary


Harry S. Truman


istorians, authors, world leaders and citizens recognize Harry S. Truman across the country as one of the greatest American presidents ever. During your group’s visit, you can learn about the life behind this incredible man. A failed farmer and haberdasher with a memorable military career and a hometown boy with middleAmerica ideas and ethics, Harry Truman was Independence. And Independence is Harry Truman. Walk through his neighborhood, stop in at the soda fountain on historic Independence Square where he had his first job, and see the sites where this international leader met his wife, went to school, and had an occasional glass of whiskey. Don’t miss the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum, Truman Home and the little known, but very surprising, Truman Courtroom & Office. In addition, explore the Truman Walking Trail. Beginning at the Truman Home Ticket Center, the 2.7-mile trail includes 43 plaques embedded in the sidewalks through the Truman District and neighborhood. A brochure is available at key sites.

Missouri: Close to home. Far from ordinary.

tour nebraska beginnings… Harold Lloyd Home | BURCHARD The Harold Lloyd home is now a museum. Harold started out to become a stage actor in 1905 in Omaha, and then began a movie career, soon moving to Hollywood and the rest was histrionics. This internationally renowned actor, best known for his silent film Safety Last, made almost 200 films between 1915 and 1919, most of which were comedies associated with thrills and daredevil acrobatics. Your group can view one of his silent films while visiting the home, currently open only by appointment.

Henry Fonda at the Stuhr Musuem | GRAND ISLAND

spotlight nebraska

Henry Fonda was born in this house in 1905. While the Fonda family returned to Omaha before Henry’s first birthday, Henry’s connection with Grand Island continued when his birth cottage was moved to the Stuhr Museum in 1966 when he donated $10,000 as well as provided photographs and information to assist in the restoration efforts. The green, one-story frame is furnished as it might have been when the Fonda family lived there. He returned to Nebraska frequently to visit family and friends and stopped at the Stuhr Museum in 1978 to see the completed restoration.


Boy’s Town


n 1917, a young Irish priest named Father Edward J. Flanagan grew discouraged in his work with homeless men in Omaha, Nebraska. He shifted his attention and borrowed $90 to pay rent on a boarding house that became Father Flanagan’s Home for Boys. Flanagan welcomed all boys, regardless of their race or religion. By the Spring, 100 boys were living there. In the coming years he purchased Overlook Farm and moved his Boys’ Home there. In time, the home became known as the Village of Boys Town. By the 1930s, hundreds of boys lived at the Village, which grew to include a school, dormitories and administration buildings. The boys elected their own government, and in 1936, the community became an official village in the state of Nebraska. Begin your tour at the Visitors Center, where a step-on guide will greet you. From there, take a driving tour through the village and see where the children live, play, work, go to school and pray. The first stop will be at the Hall of History. Other attractions include Dowd Chapel and the Father Flanagan Shrine, Chambers Chapel, the Garden of the Bible, the historic Father Flanagan House, the Rose Garden, the Gift Shop and Leon Myers Stamp Center. Depending on the time of day, your group can enjoy a hearty breakfast or relax with a delightful lunch.

Nebraska: Possibilities…endless

State Capital | LINCOLN The skyline is dominated by this 400-foot tall State Capitol, designed by famed architect Bertram Goodhue and constructed from the same Indiana Limestone used to build the Chrysler Building in New York City. It took 10 years to build and was later declared the Fourth Architectural Wonder of the World by the American Institute of Architects. To this day, the Capitol is home to the Nebraska Unicameral, the only one-house, nonpartisan governing body in the United States. See the interior of this jewel, telling Nebraska’s history through carvings, mosaics, paintings, sculptures, inscriptions and inlaid wood. Johnny Carson Gallery | NORFOLK Bring your group to the Elkhorn Valley Museum & Research Center to browse through the Gallery of items that Johnny himself chose to exhibit in his hometown of Norfolk, Nebraska. This is a showcase of Johnny's formative years, his 30 years on the Tonight Show, and the six Emmys he received. Although born in Iowa, Johnny considered Norfolk to be his hometown, to which he moved at the age of eight. He started his showbiz career by performing his magic act for many local organizations. Visit the gift shop for Johnny Carson videos, books and postcards.

Cabela’s First Store | SIDNEY Come see where it all started at Cabela’s store in Sidney. A business that started in Dick Cabela’s kitchen is now the world’s most foremost outfitter. In addition to offering quality outdoor merchandise and top of the line clothing, the 85,000 sq. ft. showroom is an educational and entertainment attraction featuring a décor of museum-quality animal displays and trophy animals interacting in realistic re-creations of their natural habitats.

tour north dakota beginnings… Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site COOPERSTOWN This historic site consists of two sites telling the story of the Cold War years in North Dakota. Explore the Oscar-Zero Missile Alert Facility, the November-33 Launch Facility, the last remnants of the 321st Missile Wing, and a cluster of intercontinental ballistic missile launch sites. Visitors to Oscar-Zero will take a guided tour down the elevator shaft to the underground Launch Control Center. At November-33 groups will see the topside of a launch facility, including the massive launch closure door, which once protected a missile, an imposing security fence and the electronic security system that served the underground equipment buildings.

Roger Maris Museum | FARGO A permanent shrine to a reluctant hero. New York Yankee outfielder Roger Maris, of Fargo, is best known for hitting sixty-one home runs in 1961. His “61 in '61” set a new major league baseball record, breaking Babe Ruth's previous mark of 60 hit in 1927. Groups can see many of these artifacts, plus items from every year and every aspect of Roger’s athletic career, from high school to the pros. The displays will change semi-annually, and everything is authentic.

FORT MANDAN “We commence building our cabins.” - William Clark, November 3, 1804 That simple journal entry marked the construction of Fort Mandan, the Corps of Discovery’s winter home from 1804-1805. Through the winter, Lewis & Clark interviewed members of the nearby Mandan-Hidatsa villages to plan the next phase of their journey to the Pacific Ocean. They also had the good fortune of meeting a remarkable young woman named Sacagawea. Today, see the newly remodeled Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center with state-of-the-art interactive exhibits and a new collection of artifacts. Step back in time and visit the reconstructed Fort Mandan!

Louis L’Amour at Frontier Village | JAMESTOWN Take a step back in time at this re-created prairie town of 24 buildings. Original buildings from the frontier villages of North Dakota have been moved to this site and filled with antiques and artifacts that bring the world of the prairie pioneers to life. See the Louis L’Amour Writer’s Shack, tucked at the end of the boardwalk, celebrating Jamestown's most famous son, featuring a complete collection of L’Amour’s works, and staffed by volunteers who are knowledgeable about the writer. Visit shops selling handmade goods and souvenirs, an outdoor amphitheater with live entertainment, stagecoach and pony rides and a live buffalo herd.

Scandinavian Heritage Park | MINOT Tour Scandinavian Heritage Park, where groups will find remembrances and replicas from each of the five Scandinavian Countries: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. See a real grass roof Stabbur and a Stave Church, which is a full-size replica of the original church built around 1250 (now in Bygdoy Park in Oslo). A fully functional Finnish sauna, an original windmill built by a Danish immigrant, and a 27-foot tall Swedish Dala Horse are also found in this 14-acre park.

spotlight north dakota

Lewis and Clark


International Peace Garden


evoted to world peace and situated along the world’s longest unfortified border, lies a 2,339-acre botanical garden. Your groups will love the reflecting pools and dazzling colorful floral displays of over 150,000 flowers that splash across the Formal Garden’s terraced walkways. In the distance, the 120-foot concrete Peace Tower and Peace Chapel can be seen at the end of the Formal Garden. The American and Canadian flags are the only floral designs that remain the same each year. Presented to the garden by the Japanese Government are seven “peace poles” on which, “May peace prevail” is written in twenty-eight different languages. Steel girders recovered from the World Trade Center lie here at the garden’s 9/11 Memorial. The new Interpretive Center and Conservatory house a retail space and library dedicated to prairie horticulture. Visitors will also be able to surf the web in the new cafe, complete with wireless internet.

North Dakota: Legendary

tour south dakota beginnings… Mount Rushmore National Monument | KEYSTONE Experience a fully narrated tour of Mount Rushmore, including Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park and much more. Working with Travel SD, you can customize your trip depending on your group’s needs. Mount Rushmore represents not only the past, but also a promise for the future. It is a place surrounded by American history, where the names of Gutzon Borglum and Crazy Horse are still heard; where the buffalo once again run free in Custer State Park and the vision of the Keystone miners still casts a dim shadow on long deserted claims. Whether a life-long destination or a stop on your vacation itinerary, your group’s visit to Mount Rushmore will be one they will tuck in their memory books forever.

National Historic Landmark | DEADWOOD When an entire town is declared a National Historic Landmark it says a lot about the richness of its history and heritage. Deadwood is where men and women came looking for fortunes and ended up creating Wild West legends. Come trace the path where the likes of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Potato Creek Johnny used to roam, right up to their final resting places next to each other in Mount Moriah Cemetery. Learn about the gold rush, the Wild West, and how Deadwood went from a lawless gold camp to modern-day gaming town.

spotlight south dakota

Black Hills Mining Museum | LEAD


Wall Drug


he origin of America’s favorite roadside attraction! Druggist Ted Hustead and his wife Dorothy gave Wall Drug its start during the Depression years by offering free ice water—via road signs—to thirsty tourists who were in the area to see Mount Rushmore. From their beginning in 1931 to today, Wall Drug has evolved into a 76,000 square foot wonderland of FREE attractions and a shopping emporium of 26 stores that motorcoach groups love to visit! This American experience includes the Western Mall, Western Art Gallery, and a restaurant that seats 520 guests. The restaurant features hot roast beef sandwiches, buffalo burgers, 5-cent coffee, and homemade donuts and rolls, some of which have been filmed for the National Food Network. Wall Drug still offers free ice water and still advertises with roadside signs. In fact, the signs themselves have become something of an attraction and a symbol of the unabashed “over-the-topness” that has made Wall Drug what it is today.

South Dakota: Great Faces. Great Places.

Go back to the days of gold mining history. Come enjoy a variety of exhibits and activities at the Black Hills Mining Museum. The museum’s experienced guides will help your group discover the century-old mining heritage of Lead and the northern Black Hills. Tours last under an hour and lead visitors through a simulated gold mine that explores both historic and modern-day mines. Picture yourself in the shoes of the old miners of the Black Hills, join the guides for a gold panning adventure, learn about gold panning and discover gold for yourself.

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site | PHILLIP There were 150 U.S. Minuteman missiles and 15 Launch Control Facilities standing guard as silent sentinels, preserving peace during the Cold War in the western part of the state. Two of these sites, the Delta-01 Launch Control Facility and the Delta-09 Launch Facility, have been preserved to provide visitors with a unique Cold War history lesson. The contact station is the starting point for all ranger-led tours and also includes exhibits and artifacts as well as a brief orientation video that places the Minuteman Missile system in the historic context of the Cold War.

Redlin Art Center | WATERTOWN Terry Redlin’s interest in outdoor themes can be traced to his childhood in Watertown, now home to the Redlin Art Center. A representative will greet your group, offer a question and answer session, and highlight the paintings that feature local places. Also visit the Conservation Park, a 30-acre wildlife refuge with walking trails, gazebos, and numerous waterways. The Redlin Gift Shop, Home Collection, and Cabin are open for the shoppers in your group.

Great Faces. Great Legendary Places.

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A Day in the Heart of America This sample itinerary is best spring through fall, but can be customized for any time of year. 9:30 – 10:30 am Begin your day in Sioux Falls with a tour of the Pettigrew Home & Museum. The museum is the home of South Dakota’s first senator, R.F. Pettigrew. One of Pettigrew’s passions was his collecting. He was a world traveler and amateur archaeologist. His holdings led him to build his own museum on the rear of his home that opened to the public in 1925. See artifacts such as stone tools, projectile points, Native American clothing, guns and items related to the settlement of Sioux Falls. Group reservations are preferred. 10:30 – 11:30 am Just a few blocks away, your group can continue the tour at the Old Courthouse Museum. These two

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museums make up the “Siouxland Heritage Museums.” Restored in 1893, this quartzite building features three floors of permanent and rotating exhibits. Interior features include slate stairs, granite pillars, stained glass windows, and tiled fireplaces. Perhaps one of the most striking features of the building are the 16 large murals on the walls of the hallways painted between 1915 and 1917, depicting early life in the Dakotas. 11:30 – 1:30 pm Tour the city’s namesake: The Falls of the Big Sioux River at Falls Park. Known to the Lakota Sioux as “Laughing Waters,” the Big Sioux River winds throughout the city, culminating in the center of Sioux Falls. Enjoy the views of the beautiful triple waterfall from three different lookout platforms. Be sure to stop in the Visitor Information Center, which has a 5-story observation tower and gift shop. Then drop in to the Overlook Cafe to enjoy delicious food and relax outside on the deck overlooking the Falls. 1:30 – 3:30 pm After lunch, spend time at Prairie Star Gallery in Downtown Sioux Falls. Features include an extensive collection of Plains Indian art and handcrafted reproductions. Learn about Indian customs, culture, and traditions from a knowledgeable staff while melodic flutes and softly beating drums play in

the background. The downtown also features Sculpturewalk, an exciting exhibit of sculptures from around the world. 3:30 pm Complete your day in a quaint farm setting, tucked away near a 100-year-old barn, shelter belt, grape vines and animals to greet you, or remind you of a simpler time. Enjoy wine tasting in a country setting at Strawbale Winery. The winery also customizes onsite meal outings upon request. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator or the Sioux Falls CVB at 800-333-2072 or visit

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Great Faces. Great Places.

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ourSD is a new concept for you to start your South Dakota American journey. Planning your trip, whether as individuals, families or by motorcoach, is only a click away at, where your South Dakota American journey begins. The TourSD itineraries will take you along relaxing highways rich in local culture and history, with beautiful rolling prairies, pristine lakes, and west to the Mighty Mo (Missouri River). Get up close and personal with South Dakota’s culture and history at the many museums, where you can learn about this great state’s historic past. Whether it’s outdoor recreation, theatre, Native American culture, or small town festivals – you’re in the right place.

Let your journey begin!

directory accommodations Best Western Ramkota Hotel . 605-336-0650 3200 West Maple Street – Sioux Falls, SD 57107 Best Western Ramkota Hotels are ready to welcome bus tours throughout the year. Our staff at each Best Western Ramkota Hotel sincerely enjoys hosting travelers from homes far away to give them a taste of Dakota hospitality.

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Great Lakes of South Dakota Tourism Ass’n / Tour SD . . . . 888-386-4617 Great Lakes of South Dakota Tourism Association represents culture, history and fabulous outdoor adventures in Central South Dakota. Immerse yourself in our regional uniqueness. Contact us for exciting itineraries, which we will custom fit to your group.

Rapid City CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-487-3223 444 Mt Rushmore Road N – Rapid City, SD 57701 Discover More in Rapid City and the Black Hills of South Dakota. With 4,300 rooms, 100 restaurants and great group-friendly attractions, including Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse, Rapid City is your perfect Black Hills hub.

Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . 605-336-1620 200 N Phillips Avenue Suite 102 . . . . . 800-333-2072 Sioux Falls, SD 57104 / Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s largest city is located at the junction of I-90 and I-29 and offers abundant shopping, local flavor restaurants, vibrant downtown, accommodating hotels and historic Falls Park! Need Assistance? Tour itineraries, step-on-guides--we’ve got it!


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The Origin of our Land’s Greatest Monuments This sample itinerary is best spring through fall.

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Great Faces. Great Legendary Places.

6:00 – 10:00 am Grab a group of early risers and head to Mount Rushmore National Memorial Monument just before sunrise and you won’t be disappointed. The morning sun highlights the granite giving you a truly unique look at the mountain and postcard-perfect pictures. After watching the sun come up, sit down for a hot breakfast and morning latte with a spectacular presidential view, plus stop at the Visitor Center, gift shop and concessions stands. 10:00 am – 1:00 pm Enjoy the scenic ride to Crazy Horse Memorial, just a few miles from Mount Rushmore. This ongoing mountain carving is the world’s largest and a majestic tribute to all Native American tribes across the country. The visitor complex includes a welcome center, the Indian Museum of North America, the Native American Educational & Cultural Center, the sculptor’s log home studio, indoor and outdoor galleries, museum gift shop and expansive viewing veranda. Enjoy lunch at the Laughing Water Restaurant. 1 – 4:00 pm After lunch, take your group underground for a look at the beauty below the surfaces. Jewel Cave National Monument is approximately 20 miles west of Crazy Horse and is the world’s second longest cave. Located about 30 miles

from Jewel Cave you’ll find the world’s fourth longest cave, Wind Cave National Park. Both caves have daily tours. 4 – 8:00 pm Whether looking for that perfect gift, unique piece of art, fashion and a fun souvenir, you’ll find what you’re looking for in one of the hundreds of shops in Rapid City. Browse the local stores and art galleries and take home a piece of Rapid City. Your group will be greeted by the City of Presidents, a series of life-size bronze statues of our nation’s past presidents along the city’s streets and sidewalks. Finally, enjoy dinner at one of Rapid City’s quaint restaurants; they truly have something wonderful for all appetites. 8:00 pm End your evening relaxing at the Comfort Suites Hotel. There is no need to pack and unpack your bags each day while visiting the beautiful Black Hills and Badlands. This is the perfect location for any group or motor coach tour to “hub and spoke.” Their staff will be focused on providing quality round-the-clock support to you and your tour group. For more information on this sample itinerary contact your tour operator or the Rapid City CVB 800-487-3223 or visit

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tour u.p. beginnings… Copper Harbor Lighthouse COPPER HARBOR The Copper Harbor Light is on mainland state-park property, but because there is no public access road, you can only get to it by water via a state chartered ferry. Your group can board the 22 passenger Spirit of America for a narrated cruise to one of Lake Superior’s oldest lighthouses. After the 15-minute boat ride, step ashore for a tour of the authentically furnished 1866 light keeper’s house. The structure adjoins the 42-foot lighthouse tower, capped in copper. Paths lead through the surrounding grounds to an abandoned copper mine shaft, past anchors, propellers, and other maritime artifacts recovered from shipwrecks. NOTE: First lit in 1849, the Whitefish Point Light shares honors with Copper Harbor for being the first lights on Lake Superior. It stands guard over the entrance to Whitefish Bay.

spotlight upper peninsula

Ghost Towns of the Keweenaw Peninsula NEAR ROCKLAND Visit the world famous “Copper Country.” From 1843 to the 1920s, the U.P. was the only place on earth where pure, workable native copper was found in commercial quantities. The copper found on Lake Superior came out of the ground so free of adulterants that it could be formed into pots and pans without refining or processing. One of the first sites ever mined for this copper is the very picturesque ghost town of Old Victoria. This is where the famous Ontonagon Boulder was discovered and is now resting in the National Museum of Natural Science at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. See the hand-hewn log cabins, built nearly 100 years ago as housing for the miners at the Victoria Copper Mine.

Shrine of Bishop Baraga L’ANSE On the stretch between L’Anse and Baraga, is a giant copper figure standing astride a silvery cloud rising some 60 feet above the bluff overlooking Keweenaw Bay. This heroic statue pays tribute to the Snowshoe Priest who became the first Bishop of the Upper Peninsula and the Apostle of the Great Lakes. Frederick Baraga left his home in Slovenia in 1830 for the Catholic missions of the Upper Great Lakes. His intention was to minister to the native peoples of the region. In the process he founded five missions along the south shore of Lake Superior and created a legend. See this shrine, commanding a breathtaking panoramic view of virgin hardwoods, scenic coastline and the oldest mountains, geologically, in the world. Holding a cross (7 feet high) and snowshoes (26 feet long) the statue is a lovely spot to rest and stretch your legs. There is a picnic area, restaurant, and gift shop on the site where you will find several fine books about Baraga and the early days of these Keweenaw Bay communities.

Sault Ste Marie s the first “city” in the Great Lakes region, Sault Ste Marie is “the place where Michigan was born.” It lies on the northeastern end of the Upper Peninsula, on the Canadian border and separated from its twin city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario by the St. Marys River. This surprisingly diverse waterfront community offers a wealth of things to see and do, with year round recreational activities, historical sites, the world-famous Soo Locks, spectacular lighthouses, forests and waters. Shipping traffic in the Great Lakes system bypasses the rapids via the American Soo Locks, the world’s busiest canal in terms of tonnage passing through it, while smaller recreational and tour boats use the Canadian Sault Ste. Marie Canal. Visit the city's downtown, perched atop an island, and enjoy excellent shopping and dining experiences. People come from around the world to view shipping traffic pass through these locks. Your groups will love this beautiful city that has long been a tourist attraction because of these famous Locks, its history and its attractions.


Upper Peninsula, MI: 5-Star Wilderness®

Soo Locks

Tahquamenon Falls | PARADISE Groups can nearly be heard saying “Ahhh” while taking in the beautiful and largest waterfall between the Rocky Mountains and Niagara Falls at Tahquamenon Falls State Park. The Upper Falls have a drop of nearly 50 feet and are more than 200 feet across. Four miles downstream are the Lower Falls, a series of five smaller falls cascading around an island. The park encompasses close to 52,000 acres stretching over 13 miles. Visit the restaurant and gift shop, located at the Upper Falls. Originally a logging camp, there is a large deck with a fireplace and places to sit and relax, plus picnic tables scattered near the trail entrance.

5-Star Legendary Wilderness®

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Home, Home on the Iron Range A Heritage Tour of Marquette Country This itinerary may be customized for any time of the year.

Marquette County sits on the south shore of Lake Superior. With over 1,083 square miles of land, Marquette County is larger than the state of Rhode Island and includes 55 miles of Lake Superior shoreline. Follow this itinerary during your next visit to Marquette, Michigan and discover the heritage of the Upper Peninsula. 10:00 am – Noon Take a historic sightseeing tour with a step-on guide that will include a visit to Marquette’s Historic Home & Harbor District, Presque Isle Park and over 7 miles of scenic shoreline. 12 – 1:00 pm Enjoy a group lunch at Upfront & Company, with an atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else in Marquette plus group dining rates. 1 – 3:00 pm Tour the Michigan Iron Industry Museum in Negaunee Township—the first iron forge in the Lake Superior region. They offer exhibits, audiovisual programs, and outdoor interpretive paths depicting the large-scale capital that made Michigan an industrial leader. The museum resides on the scenic Carp River where an iron forge was built in 1848. 3 – 6:00 pm Travel to bustling downtown Marquette for shopping and sightseeing. View impressive 19th-century buildings constructed from locally quarried sandstone and designed by the Midwest’s finest architects. Try a Dutch treat sundae or ice cream cone at Donker’s Candy and Gifts. 6:00 pm Indulge in a delicious Italian dinner at Casa Calabria, located in the heart of Marquette. It’s been voted Best Restaurant, Best Service, Best Steak, Best Italian Restaurant and Best Atmosphere for the past 6 years in a row by Marquette residents. Come and discover why!

directory convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Marquette Country CVB

Marquette Lighthouse

. . 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!

For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator or the people at Marquette Country CVB, 1-800-544-4321 or

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tour wisconsin beginnings… Leinenkugel Brewing Company – Leinie’s Lodge CHIPPEWA FALLS Founded here in 1867 by Jacob Leinenkugel, a family man driven by an iron work ethic. Today, the fifth generation of Leinenkugels continues to brew the same family inspired recipes. Let the Lodge Guides introduce you to 145 years of craft beer brewing and Leinenkugel family history, including complimentary samples of their award-winning beers.

Ten Chimneys GENESEE DEPOT Ten Chimneys is the National Historic estate of 20th century Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. Guests are treated to one of the most inspirational house tours in the country. Docents lead small group tours focusing on the stories of their lives, their illustrious friends, and their amazing home. The personal decor and collections are intact since the 1930s and ‘40s and overflowing with memorabilia from Laurence Olivier, Carol Channing, Helen Hayes and more. Tours open May through mid-November.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum | PEPIN

spotlight wisconsin

Locals take great pride in the fact that Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in Pepin. The log cabin is a recreation of the home on the very land owned by Charles and Caroline Ingalls (Ma & Pa). The log cabin paints a charming and historically accurate picture of where Laura was born and what prairie pioneer life was like. In the museum, your groups will enjoy items relating to Laura and the era in which she lived, complete with a well-stocked gift shop.

Madeline Island Museum | LAPOINTE


Harley Davidson Museum


his is no ordinary museum. So naturally, this will be no ordinary group tour. Get ready to experience American history and culture like you’ve never seen it before. Harley-Davidson Motor Company was founded in Milwaukee more than 100 years ago, and has produced the most enduring and recognizable motorcycles in the world. Witness their history and see: - The oldest Harley-Davidson in existence – Serial #1 - A replica board track complete with race bikes banking on a corner (see above photo) - Elvis Presley’s motorcycle – a 1956 model KH - A movie sampling of Hollywood’s most memorable motorcycle moments - One-of-a-kind custom motorcycles In addition, HD offers specialized tours to help you build a visit that thrills your group. For example, how fun would it be to share the photos from the following tour with your family when you return home? The Essentials Package: Enjoy museum admission, a guided tour and a complimentary photo of the group posing on motorcycles in the Experience Gallery. Your group will also receive a commemorative hat/tee bundle with a special keychain to remember their visit.

Travel Wisconsin

Madeline Island, historically the spiritual home of the Ojibwe people, became an important fur-trading center for the French in the 17th century. Over the next 300 years the island saw the arrival of missionaries, loggers, fishermen, boat builders, miners and—by the early 20th century—summer tourists. The log museum building and new Casper Center Exhibit Hall capture the island’s long and colorful history. Choose a special gift as a souvenir of your visit, and take home a piece of Madeline Island history.

Frank Lloyd Wright and Taliesin | SPRING GREEN Born in Richland Center in 1867, he spent his youth in Madison, attended the University of Wisconsin, and made his home in Spring Green for most of his life. The term “Taliesin” refers to Wright’s personal residence as well as the other buildings of Wright’s design on the estate. Experience the beauty of the countryside that inspired his architectural philosophy. Select from many distinctive tours including Taliesin®, the Hillside Studio & Theater.

Washington House & Berner’s Ice Cream Parlor | TWO RIVERS Groups of all ages will enjoy the antique toy collection and the Victorian dollhouse. Stop in for a special treat at the “birthplace of the ice cream sundae.” This old-time non-alcoholic saloon features Berners’ Ice Cream Parlor, commemorating the invention of the ice cream sundae in 1881. Friendly costumed volunteers will greet your group, while giving the history of how the ice cream sundae came to be! Note: Seymour, WI is known as the birthplace of the hamburger in 1885!

Travel Legendary Wisconsin

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All Roads Lead to Mishicot! This sample itinerary is best during the spring and summer months but can be customized for any time of year.

day one 5:00 pm In Mishicot, Fox Hills Resort welcomes you with a step-on greeting and a complimentary welcome reception in the hotel lobby. Rest, relax and explore the wonderful things that Fox Hills Resort has to offer. 7:00 pm Enjoy a wonderful dinner buffet created just for your group, served in a private dining room. Or you can dine in their Willowview restaurant or Benchwarmers Sports Bar.

7 – 8:30 pm The Courthouse Pub in Manitowoc promises a delicious dinner before heading back to Fox Hills Resort to relax and enjoy your last evening. For more information on this sample itinerary contact your tour operator or Fox Hills Resort, Diane at 800-950-7615, Fox Hills Resort

day two 7 – 7:30 am Enjoy a hot breakfast in the Willowview restaurant before your adventure to Door County. 9:30 – 12:00 pm Explore scenic Door County. From quaint shops to amazing views, you will feel like you traveled to Maine! 12 – 1:30 pm Al Johnson’s authentic Swedish family restaurant has actual goats grazing the sod roof! It’s quite a sight, and it’s made this place one of the most famous restaurants in Door County. Inside, young ladies in Scandinavian garb dish out limpa bread and Swedish meatballs and a variety of Swedish fare. 1:30 – 5:00 pm Continue to explore and enjoy Door County. 5 – 7:00 pm Experience an authentic fish boil at the Viking Restaurant. They have been serving their fish boil since 1961 and they LOVE motorcoach groups! 7 – 9:00 pm Travel back to Fox Hills Resort to relax for the rest of your evening.

day three 8 – 9:00 am After breakfast, it’s off to Green Bay. 9 – 11:00 am What better place to start but Lambeau Field! On the tour, you’ll pass though a game-day suite, the player’s tunnel, sit in the bleachers and learn all about the incredible history of the Green Bay Packers. 11 – 12:00 pm The Packer Pro Shop is a football fan’s dream destination with 8,500 square feet of unique shopping, featuring thousands of products with exclusive team and field merchandise. 12 – 2:00 pm Enjoy lunch at Title Town Brewery offering a large lunch variety to choose from including handcrafted beers and root beer. 2 – 6:00 pm Spend the afternoon enjoying yourself at the Oneida Casino. Play slots, poker and bingo.

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

I T I N E R A R I E S M I D W E S T S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 2


Travel Wisconsin

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Potawatomi Bingo • Casino


or a day of entertainment, Potawatomi Bingo Casino has everything you would STOP want: table games, slots, bingo, poker, off-track betting. Take a break and stop for dinner at one of their five restaurants. Fuel up between games or dine before a great show; linger over dessert or grab a bite while watching your favorite sports team. Entertainment can be found in every corner of Potawatomi Bingo Casino. From the stunning Northern Lights Theater, which welcomes an array of national acts, to musical performances at Bar 360 and comedy shows at The Fire Pit’s side bar, there’s always a great show to check out. Here’s something to keep in mind: Potawatomi Bingo Casino recently broke ground on its $150 million, 20-story hotel, scheduled to open in the summer of 2014.


The Forest County Potawatomi have lived in Forest County, Wisconsin, since the late 1800s. To learn more about their heritage, visit the Potowatomi Cultural Center Library and Museum in Crandon, WI, where you can view historical photos, read stories, see videos and learn the language.




arrens Cranberry Festival is the world’s largest cranberry festival. There is something for everyone, including shopping, contests, a parade and much more.


This year marks the festival’s 40th year. Since the first festival in 1973, attendance has grown from 3,500 to over 110,000 each year! People from all over come to enjoy this event that boasts over 850 arts & crafts booths, 350 flea market booths and 100 farm market vendors. If all that shopping makes you hungry, head over to one of the 100 food vendors for some tasty treats. Your group can arrange to have a guided tour of a cranberry marsh on Friday or Saturday during the festival. See harvesting equipment, cranberry beds and purchase fresh cranberries, honey and wine to take home. Visit or call 608-378-4200 to plan your visit!

directory accommodations Fox Hills Resort

. . . 800-950-7615 ext 3621 250 West Church Street – Mishicot, WI 54228 Fox Hills Resort in Mishicot, Wisconsin features year round lodging, activities, meeting/banquet space, swimming pools, onsite Restaurant and Sports Bar with weekend entertainment, spa services and 45 holes of golf. Minutes from Green Bay.

attractions Potawatomi Bingo Casino

. . 414-847-7910 1721 West Canal Street – Milwaukee, WI 53233 / At Potawatomi Bingo Casino you’ll experience plenty of casino action 24/7! The casino offers 500 slot machines, nearly 100 table games, bingo and much more!

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Real Racine Racine . . . . . . . . . . . . 262-884-6400

events Warrens Cranberry Festival

. . 608-378-4200 Warren, WI / Warrens Cranberry Festival is the world’s largest cranberry festival. 2012 mark’s the Festival’s 40th year. With over three miles of shopping and over 1,300 booths, there is something for everyone at the Festival; shopping, contests, a parade and much more.


I T I N E R A R I E S M I D W E S T S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 2


tour central canada beginnings… Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre SAULT STE MARIE What better way to explore the history and adventure of flight and forest fire protection than with a visit to the Bushplane Centre? This waterfront hangar is the only facility in North America dedicated to the history of Bush Flying and Forest Fire management. Visit the original 48,000 sq ft hangar where water bombing was developed. Why should your group visit? There is something for everyone to enjoy here. Over 30 aircraft exhibits are on display along with a flight simulator, three theatres including a fire fighting adventure in 3-D, hands-on aviation, and ever-changing displays. Try your luck at their “Hangar Arcade” and much more. As one of only a few aviation museums that allow visitors to actually climb aboard the aircraft, take the pilot’s seat in a passenger plane’s cockpit and climb into the cargo holds of a real waterbomber. There’s no better way to learn—and have fun—than through these hands-on experiences!! There is ample parking available for motorcoaches with a great view of the historic St. Marys River. Don’t miss the gift shop, the perfect place to get a unique gift for that hard-tobuy-for person!

THUNDER BAY In September of 1980 a remarkable Canadian story came to an end on the shoulder of the highway just outside of Thunder Bay. Terry Fox was forced to end his Marathon of Hope as the cancer that had claimed his right leg had spread to his lungs. This remarkable young athlete had run almost halfway across Canada (starting in St. John’s, Newfoundland), a feat not attempted before on the scale that Fox had achieved. It was amazing that Fox, his left leg amputated, had run 42 km (26+ miles) each day of the run—the standard length of a modern marathon—every day since he started his run on the 12th of April, 1980. In 1981 the Ontario Government, collaborating with the City of Thunder Bay, built a ninefoot-high bronze statue memorial that serves as one of the historical tourist sites in the city. It’s set on a 45-ton granite base with a foundation of local amethyst, commanding a breathtaking view of Lake Superior.

Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum WINNIPEG Visit Winnipeg’s oldest building as well as a wide variety of historically significant artifacts located right in the heart of the city, just across the Esplanade Riel from the Forks. Built for the Grey Nuns between 1846 and 1851, the Red River Frame log building now serves to showcase the history and culture of Manitoba’s early Métis and French-Canadian settlers. Its unique exhibits reveal the hardships of daily life as well as the triumphs of the human spirit. The museum’s collection features a special exhibit dedicated to the province’s founding father, Louis Riel. One-of-a-kind items include locks of Louis Riel’s hair, his coffin, moccasins, suspenders and revolver. Riel’s grave is also located near the St. Boniface Museum. Reception services, a gift shop and guided tours for groups are available.

spotlight central canada

Terry Fox Monument


Canadian Museum for Human Rights


ocated at the historic Forks of Winnipeg and set for completion in 2014, this bold new project’s mission statement is to explore the history of human rights from around the world with special interest in Canada. Their Content Advisory Board has been traveling around the country collecting stories and perspectives from locals and using their feedback to incorporate into the exhibits. Though it is still under construction, the museum offers a number of activities for visitors, including group tours of the construction site and a glimpse into the building’s unique architecture. The design of directory the museum was inspired by the natural scenery and open spaces of Canada such as convention & visitors trees, ice, and northern lights as well as the bureaus and chambers culture of the First Nation people of Canada. A journey through the museum begins with Tourism Thunder Bay . . . . . . . . . .800-667-8386 PO Box 800 – Thunder Bay, ON P7C 5K4 a descent into the earth where visitors will explore the “roots” of the CMHR. The tour then leads through the Great Hall and a series Located just minutes north of the Minnesota/Ontario border, of vast spaces and ramps until culminating at Thunder Bay offers numerous attractions, exceptional accommodations and sensational shopping and culinary the Tower of Hope—a tall structure protruding delights. Contact us for marketing tools or any of your group from the top of the museum, providing visitors tour planning needs. with an amazing view of downtown Winnipeg.

Canada: Keep Exploring Exploring

Winnipeg Tour Connection . . . . .800-665-0204 Winnipeg, Manitoba / Winnipeg offers a variety of signature experiences, unique products and warm hospitality for your next travel group. We’ve made it easier than ever to plan your next trip with up-to-date planning features, specialized itineraries, images, video and promotional materials.

Dates to consider for your next itinerary…

Buffalo Roundup Arts Festival –Custer, SD

Indian Summer Festival –Milwaukee, WI

Jesse James Days –Northfield, MN

calendar of events [ september – october – november ]

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 .



september • Jersey County Victorian Festival Sept 1-3, Jerseyville 618-498-5590 • Trains, Planes & Automobiles Sept 6-8, Geneseo 309-944-2686 • Festival of the Vine Sept 7-9, Geneva 630-232-6060 • Lake Katherine Monarch Butterfly Festival Sept 16, Palos Heights 708-361-1873 • 11th Annual International Route 66 Mother Road Festival Sept 21-23, Springfield 317-236-6515 • Apple & Pork Festival Sept 29-30, Clinton 217-935-6066 october • Trolley Fall Colors Tour Oct 1-29, Utica 800-868-7625 • Southern Illinois Irish Festival Oct 5-7, Carbondale 618-549-3090 • Fort Obie Rendezvous & Living History Encampment Oct 12-14, Colona 309-375-6281 • Civil War Reenactment at Dollinger Family Farm Oct 20-21, Minooka 815-467-4698 • Sustainable Living Expo Oct 27, Golconda 618-993-5396 november • Patent Day Celebration Nov 4, DeKalb 815-756-7904 • Festival of Trees Nov 10-15, Danville 217-431-2424 • Glidden Homestead Annual Holiday Open House Nov 14, DeKalb 815-756-7904 • Julmarknad – Christmas Market Nov 23-25, Bishop Hill 309-927-3898



september • Ski Bellevue Waterski Show Sept 1, Bellevue 563-872-5686 • Wild Wild West Weekend Sept 7-8, Le Claire 563-289-5580 • Railroad Days Sept 15, Marquette 563-873-2186 • Coca-Cola Days Sept 21-22, Atlantic 712-243-3017

• Fall Festival at the Pella Historical Village Sept 28-29, Pella 641-628-2409 october • Les Miserables Oct 2-7, Des Moines 515-246-2340 • 22nd Annual L-Bird Convention & Fly-In Oct 11-13, Keokuk 800-383-3104 • The Haunted Hike Oct 12-31, Clear Lake 641-357-1695 • Sioux City Symphony: The Music of Paul McCartney Oct 20, Sioux City 712-277-2111 • BrewNost Oct 26, Cedar Rapids 319-362-8500 november • Fall Fiber & Clay Show Nov 3-4, Amana 319-622-3678 • Cabinet of Curiosities Nov 8, Ames 515-294-3342 • Festival of Trees Nov 9-12, Sheldon 712-324-2813 • Parade of Lights Nov 23, Fort Madison 319-372-5471



september • Fall Wild Flower Tour Sept 1, Canton 620-628-4455 • Mexican Fiesta Sept 7-8, Chanute 877-431-3350 • Kansas State Fair Sept 7-16, Hutchinson 800-362-3247 • 41st Annual Walnut Valley Festival & National Flatpicking Championships Sept 12-16, Winfield 620-221-3250 • 9th Annual Bald Eagle Rendezvous Sept 20-22, Lecompton 785-887-6520 october • Dalton Defenders Days Oct 5-6, Coffeyville 800-626-3357 • Lamplight on the Prairie Oct 12-13, Independence 800-882-3602 • Western Kansas Train Show Oct 20-21, Hays 417-838-5615 • Here To Stay: The Gershwin Experience Oct 28, Lawrence 785-864-2787 november • Uncorked Wine Tasting Event Nov 2, Ottawa 785-242-2085

• All Veterans Tribute Celebration Nov 4-11, Emporia 800-279-3730 • White Christmas Nov 9-Dec 23, Wichita 316-612-7696 • Bizarre Bazaar Nov 24, Lawrence 785-843-2787 • Annual Barnes Lighted Horse Parade Nov 24, Barnes 785-763-4310

minnesota minnesota september • Defeat of Jesse James Days Sept 5-9, Northfield 800-658-2548 • Duluth Lakewalk Festival Sept 7-8, Duluth 218-727-8549 • Elvis Cruise Sept 14, Taylors Falls 651-465-6315 • Roseville Wild Rice Festival Sept 15, Roseville 651-792-7104 • Mahkato Pow-wow Sept 21-23, Mankato 612-990-2518 • Boats & Bluegrass Festival Sept 27-29, Winona 507-452-0735 october • Fall Colors Fine Art & Jazz Festival Oct 1-2, Stillwater 651-351-1717 • Haunted Ship Tour Oct 4-31, Duluth 218-722-5573 • Oktoberfest Oct 5-6, 12-13, New Ulm 888-463-9856 • Moose Madness Oct 19-20, Grand Marais 888-922-5000 • Howl-O-Ween Oct 27, Columbus 651-464-3993 november • Gales of November Nov 2-3, Duluth 218-727-2497 • Norsefest Nov 8-10, Madison 320-598-7301 • Home for the Holidays Nov 8-10, Austin 507-433-4243 • Granite City Train Show Nov 10, St. Cloud 320-255-0033 • Winterer’s Gathering & Arctic Film Festival Nov 15-18, Grand Marais, 218-387-9762 • Christmas at the Folsom House Historic Site Nov 23-25, Taylors Falls 800-447-4958



september • Fort D Reenactment Sept 3, Cape Girardeau 800-777-0068 • Girlfriends’ Day Out Sept 8, Kimmswick 636-464-6464 • Santa Fe Trail Days Festival Sept 14-15, New Franklin 660-537-2263 • Lake of the Ozarks Air Show Sept 22, Camdenton 573-346-0300 • Plains Tribal Art: A Renewed Appreciation Sept 27, St. Louis 314-721-0072 october • Owl-O-Ween Oct 5, Winona 573-325-1381 • Historical Lantern Tours of Onondaga Cave Oct 6, Leasburg 573-245-6576 • Ozark Regional Timberfest Oct 12-13, Doniphan 573-996-2122 • Deutsch Country Days Oct 20-21, Marthasville 636-433-5669 • Mighty Marvels of Missouri Oct 26-27, Cape Girardeau 573-290-5218 november • Missouri State Museum Presents Missouri: The Cave State Nov 2, Jefferson City 573-751-4127 • Silver Dollar City’s “An Old Time Christmas” Nov 3-Dec 30, Branson 800-475-9370 • Dickens Performs A Christmas Carol Nov 15, Excelsior Springs 816-630-5500 • Holiday Fare Wine Trail Nov 17-18, Hermann 800-932-8687 • Candlelight Homes Tour Nov 30-Dec 2, Weston 816-640-2909

nebraska nebraska september • 1892 Agriculture Fair Sept 1-3, Grand Island 308-385-5316 • Miles of Memories Country Music Fest Sept 6-8, Hastings 903-467-9545 • Polish Festival 2012 Sept 9, Ashton 308-738-2196 • German Day – Oktoberfest Sept 14-15, Omaha 402-333-6615 • 44th Annual Apple-Jack Festival Sept 14-16, Nebraska City 402-873-6654 october • Oktoberfest and Cruisin’ Class Rod & Roll Show Oct 5-7, Sidney 308-254-2932 • The Big Grape Oct 13, Grand Island 308-381-3678 • 8th Annual October Czechfest Oct 14, York 402-362-6413 • Hot Air Balloon Festival Oct 19-21, Wakefield • Haunted Hallow at Happy Jack Peak & Chalk Mine Oct 19-21, 26-28, Scotia 308-245-3276 november • Cowboy Christmas Craft Show Nov 3-4, North Platte 308-530-4396 • Fantasy of Trees Nov 23-Dec 30, Grand Island 308-385-5316 • Christmas at Union Station Nov 23-December 31, Omaha 402-444-5071 • Holiday Tour of Homes Nov 24, Henderson 402-723-579

north dakota north dakota september • United Tribes International Pow-wow Sept 6-9, Bismarck 701-255-3285 • Pierce County Wind Harvest Festival Sept 7-8, Rugby 701-776-5846 • Wheels & Wings Air Show Sept 8, Valley City 701-328-9653 • 2012 Downtowners’ Street Fair Sept 14-15, Bismarck 701-223-1958 • Norsk Hostfest Sept 25-29, Minot 701-852-2368 october • Maddock Rural Renaissance Festival Oct 5-7, Maddock 701-438-2436 • FM Studio Crawl Oct 6-7, Fargo 701-298-3936

• 28th Annual Uffda Day Oct 7, Rutland 701-724-3673 • The Big One Art & Craft Fair Oct 20-21, Fargo 701-837-6059 november • Minot Big One Art & Craft Fair Nov 2-3, Minot 701-837-6059 • Badlands Art Show Nov 2-4, Dickinson 800-279-7391 • 2012 Christmas Open House Nov 20, Cavalier 701-265-4562 • Santa Parade Nov 24, Cavalier 701-265-8188 • Taste of North Dakota Holiday Open House Nov 29, Jamestown 800-807-1511 • Dickens Village Festival Nov 30-Dec 2, Garrison 800-799-4242

south dakota south dakota september • Ribs, Rods and Rock n’ Roll Sept 7-8, Vermillion 605-624-5571 • Grape Stomp & Harvest Festival Sept 8, Volga 605-627-5545 • German-Russian Schmeckfest Sept 14-16, Eureka 605-284-2332 • Heritage of the American West Performance Series Sept 20, Spearfish 605-642-9378 • 19th Annual Buffalo Roundup Arts Festival Sept 22-23, Custer 605-255-4515 october • Watertown Farm Toy & Doll Show Oct 14, Watertown 605-886-3589 • Heritage of the American West Performance Series Oct 18, Spearfish 605-642-9378 • Zoo Boo Oct 19-21, Sioux Falls 605-367-7003 • Autumn Festival: An Arts & Crafts Affair Oct 26-28, Sioux Falls 402-331-2889 november • Zonta Holiday Craft Show Nov 10-11, Pierre 605-280-0175 • Beaujolais Wine Festival Nov 17, Huron 605-352-3204 • Christmas at the Capitol Nov 21-Dec 26, Pierre 605-773-4010 • 1880 Train: Holiday Express Nov 23-24, Hill City 605-574-2222 • WJ Ranch Cowboy Christmas Nov 24-25, Yankton 605-661-8356

peninsula, upper upper peninsula, MI MI september • Michigan Brewers Guild Annual Fall Beer Festival Sept 8, Marquette 906-228-9475 • Michigan 16th Infantry Civil War Re-enactors Sept 8-9, Mackinac Island 231-436-4100 • Celtic Festival 2012 Sept 15, Hancock 800-562-7134 • Oktoberfest Sept 22, Curtis 906-586-3700 • Au Sable Day Sept 29, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore 906-387-3700 october • Great Waters Festival Oct 6-7, St. Ignace 800-338-6660 • Northern Michigan University Presents: 1776 Oct 10-13, Marquette 906-227-2553 • UPtoberfest Oct 13, Escanaba 906-420-0779 • Ghost Train Oct 20, Lake Linden 906-296-4121 • Samhain Weekend Oct 27-29, Mackinac Island 800-454-5227 november • Museum After Dark Nov 2, Marquette 906-226-3571 • 7th Annual Keweenaw Art Affair Nov 10, Houghton 906-482-8607 • Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Service Nov 10, Whitefish Point 800-635-1742 • Paradise Christmas Bazaar & Tree Lighting Nov 24, Paradise 906-492-3219

wisconsin wisconsin calendar september • Revolutionary War Encampment Sept 1-2, Saukville 262-377-9620 • Indian Summer Festival Sept 7-9, Milwaukee 414-604-1000 • Great Lakes Brew Fest Sept 15, Racine 262-636-9312 • Warrens Cranberry Festival Sept 28-30, Warrens 608-378-4200 • Oktoberfest Sept 28-Oct 6, La Crosse 608-784-3378 • Wade House 22nd Annual Civil War Weekend Sept 29-30, Greenbush 920-526-3271 october • Bayfield’s 51st Annual Apple Festival Oct 5-7, Bayfield 800-447-4094 • Cranberry Fest Oct 6-7, Eagle River 800-359-6315 • Kohler Food & Wine Experience Oct 18-21, Kohler 800-344-2838 • 2012 Gala: Pirates of the Museum Oct 20, Milwaukee 414-278-2728 • Scrooge the Musical Oct 25-Dec 23, Fort Atkinson 920-563-9505 november • Swissfest Nov 4, Monroe 608-325-3461 • Wisconsin Original Cheese Festival Nov 9-10, Madison 608-358-7837 • Milwaukee Holiday Parade Nov 17, Milwaukee 262-377-5935 • Christkindlmarkt Nov 23-24, Monroe 608-325-3461 • Wollersheim Winery Vintage Christmas Nov 24, Prairie du Sac 608-643-6515

central canada central canada september • ManyFest: All Together Downtown Sept 7-9, Winnipeg 204-958-4640 • Riverfest 2012 Sept 8, Thunder Bay 888-336-7386 • Annual Drilling Rig Exhibition Sept 15-16, Selkirk 905-776-0919 • War of 1812 Rendezvous & Fur Trade Sept 20-22, Sault Ste. Marie 705-759-5443 • Bushplane Days Sept 22-23, Sault Ste. Marie 877-287-4752 october • Boo at the Zoo Oct 18-28, Winnipeg 204-927-6001 • Haunted Fort Night Oct 19-21, 26-28, Thunder Bay 807-473-2344 • Rain: The Beatles Experience Oct 20, Winnipeg 855-985-5000 • Prairie Ripples Art Sale Oct 26-27, Portage la Prairie 204-239-8334 • Manito Ahbee Festival Oct 31-Nov 4, Winnipeg 204-956-1849 november • Santa Claus Parade Nov 17, Sudbury 705-671-2489 • Richard Wood – Fiddler Nov 17, Thompson 204-677-7910 • Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival Nov 21-25, Winnipeg 204-774-1375 • Festival of Trees Nov 30-Dec 2, Kenora 807-467-4427 Ozark Regional Timberfes t –Doniphan, MO

Join us in Rapid City, South Dakota October 28th – 30th for the

2012 ITINERARIES MIDWEST Group Travel Show & FAM. Tour Operators, Bank Club Directors and qualified Group Leaders will have time for… • Appointment Session • Open Market Place • Find Out What’s New and Plan Itineraries • Area FAM Tour Registration fees start at just $35 for a one day experience with no accommodations, to $175 for a full registration including transportation from the Twin Cities. Saturday, October 27th

Monday, October 29th

Tuesday, October 30th

Morning: Coach leaves Minneapolis Afternoon: Arrive in Sioux Falls, SD Stay overnight in Sioux Falls with evening activities

8 am: Breakfast at Comfort Suites / Rapid City 9 am – Noon: Speed-networking Noon: Lunch 1 – 3:00 pm: Speed-networking 3 – 5 pm: Trade Show 6 pm: Off-site location TBA in the Rapid City area

8 am: Breakfast 9 am: Check-out Area FAM – head towards Minneapolis, MN Overnight in Mitchell, SD

Sunday, October 28th Morning: FAM tour of Sioux Falls Afternoon/Evening: Arrive in Rapid City with evening reception to follow

Wednesday, October 31st Return to Minneapolis, MN

Call 877-832-7267 or visit

Itineraries Midwest Summer 2012  

Itineraries Midwest is a group travel magazine promoting group travel with an Itinerary format and unusual travel ideas from all over the mi...

Itineraries Midwest Summer 2012  

Itineraries Midwest is a group travel magazine promoting group travel with an Itinerary format and unusual travel ideas from all over the mi...