We took a little road trip from the top to the bottom of America,across the American landscape,between Lake Itasca and the Gulf of Mexico using the Mississippi River as a rough route guide.There may be no journey quite so quintessentially American as the Great River Road. Stretching more than 2,000 miles along the Mississippi River, this just may be the ultimate road trip. Many travelers begin their journey at the headwaters of America’s longest river at Lake Itasca, Minnesota. And from there road trippers make their way through the heartland, past bluffs and quaint farming communities, and travel south until they hit the Gulf of Mexico.
The Great River Road runs from the US-Canada border to the Gulf Coast and only sections of the Great River Road have been designated as National Scenic Byways. These sections includes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, part of Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. Along the way, you’ll visit major cities like St. Louis and New Orleans, experience important moments in American history like the Battle of Vicksburg, and get a taste to the music, food and unique flavor of life along the river.
From the headwaters in Lake Itasca, MN to where it flows into the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans, LA all 2000-odd miles (The Great River Road runs along both sides of the river at the points and includes portions in 10 states. Highlights include plantation homes in the Deep South, blues holy ground like the famed Crossroads in Mississippi, and barbeque in Memphis, classic river steamboats, attractions in New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis and the Twin Cities, and mile after mile of gorgeous scenery and river life.