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BEGINS IN: MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

On the Road: Upper Mississippi River Reflections — Historic Towns, Trails and Tales

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Road Scholar
Program #14948RJ
7 Days | 6 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Oct 6 — Oct 12, 2013

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Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: All rooms are suites, with separate living and sleeping rooms. Conveniently located across the street from the Mall of America, the largest enclosed mall in the United States and the Light Rail Train to Downtown Minneapolis. Only 8 minutes (5 miles) from the airport with complimentary shuttle.

Contact info:
2261 Killebrew Drive
Bloomington, MN 55424 USA
phone: 952-854-0990
web: www.homewoodsuitesmallofamerica.com/

Room amenities: All rooms feature suites with separate living and sleeping areas. Each has a fully-equipped kitchen with full-size refrigerator, microwave, stove and dishwasher. Plus all the comforts of home - two TVs, complimentary high-speed internet and two phones with voice mail.

Facility amenities: Complimentary Hot Breakfast; Elevators; Business Center; Fitness Room; Indoor Swimming Pool; Coin Laundry; Complimentary Van Shuttles Within 5 Mile Radius Including Airport, Mall of America and Light Rail Station to Downtown Minneapolis; Luggage Hold; Baggage Storage; On-Site Convenience Store; Safety Deposit Box; Room Service; Onsite Dining - Chevy's Mexican Restaurant. Many other restaurants nearby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: seasonal rates
Contact the hotel directly for additional nights at the best rates. Mention Road Scholar group.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, October 06 - Program begins at 4:45 p.m. with important announ...
Program begins at 4:45 p.m. with important announcements, welcome dinner and orientation.

Afternoon: Independent Arrivals. Free shuttle service provided from the MSP airport to our hotel. Hotel rooms are ready by 3:00 p.m. Check in a the front desk for your hotel room key. Meeting room opens 4:45 p.m. to pick up materials and select a seat. Program begins at 5:00 p.m. in our hotel's meeting room with important announcements and program orientation.

Dinner: Dinner is served at 6:00, followed by introductions.

Evening:

Lodging: Homewood Suites by Hilton - Mall of America

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: This nearly new hotel features a north woods decorating theme and the property rests in a wooded setting inside the city of Onalaska. If you'd like to stretch your legs while enjoying the great outdoors, a new walking trail runs along the hotel.

Contact info:
3060 Kinney Coulee Rd. S.
Onalaska, WI 54650 USA
phone: 608-781-3060
web: www.stoneycreekinn.com/locations/rooms/index.cfm/LaCrosse?gclid=CM2LhIuopp4CFR6fnAod8GPV1w

Room amenities: We will enjoy upgraded deluxe rooms with a refrigerator and microwave, cable TV, coffee maker, hair dryer, iron and board. All rooms are nonsmoking. A unique north woods decorating theme is featured throughout the hotel.

Facility amenities: This hotel features an indoor/outdoor heated swim-through pool, whirlpool, dry sauna, expanded continental breakfast, fitness center, guest laundry and business center with high speed Internet. The hotel also offers a small gift shop and Lumber-Jacks Saloon. We are greeted with fresh cookies, and coffee is available 24 hours a day.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Two: Monday, October 07 - A fun day! Historic Wabasha, MN provides "nose-to...
A fun day! Historic Wabasha, MN provides "nose-to-beak" encounters with bald eagles at the National Eagle Center, followed by a personal behind-the-scenes visit at the Mississippi Research Center in LaCrosse, WI.

Breakfast: Breakfast in our hotel.

Morning: We follow the Mississippi by chartered coach, stopping at interesting small towns, including Wabasha, Minnesota - home of the new National Eagle Center and movie site of "Grumpy Old Men".

Lunch: Lunch is included.

Afternoon: We visit the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota and learn "nose-to-beak" about the American Bald Eagle. Then we cross the river into Wisconsin, to the Mississippi Research Center in La Crosse, WI, before continuing to our hotel in Onalaska, WI.

Dinner: Dinner is served in a popular local restaurant near our hotel.

Evening: Hotel check in.

Lodging: Stoney Creek Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Step into the lobby of this historic hotel to see why it hosted such notable guests as Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas and William Jennings Bryan, as well as serving as a presidential campaign headquarters for Ulysses S. Grant. The warm surroundings and historic charm will transport you back to the 1850s. The DeSoto House was named for Hernando DeSoto, the European discoverer of the Mississippi River. Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Galena, it is steps away from charming shops, restaurants and historic landmarks.

Contact info:
230 South Main Street
Galena, IL 61036 USA
phone: 815-777-0090
web: desotohouse.com/

Room amenities: Each guestroom is unique and historically restored with high ceilings and beautiful decor. Merging history with modern conveniences, each room offers a private bath and cable TV.

Facility amenities: This Galena legend was opened in 1855 and was historically rennovated in the late 1980s. Nestled in the heart of downtown Galena, the DeSoto House puts you in the midst of fine antique shops, restaurants, boutiques, historical points of interest and picturesque 1800's architecture.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Three: Tuesday, October 08 - Our first river day! A special half day narrated...
Our first river day! A special half day narrated river excursion exclusively for our group through locks and the National Wildlife Refuge. Then we travel through Iowa to our hotel night in Galena, Illinois.

Breakfast: Breakfast in our hotel.

Morning: Let's get a close look at the river! Today we board the "Mississippi Explorer". Our river pilot narrators serve as experts for many organizations, including the Smithsonian, and their river knowledge is extensive. Our half day cruise from Lansing, Iowa to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, provides an in-depth exploration of the Mississippi River's ecosystem, navigation, and history. Our day will include 'Locking thru' Lock and Dam #9 at Lynxville, Wisconsin, and bald eagle watching along the remote scenic bluffs of Effigy Mounds National Monument. The "Mississippi Explorer" is a 60-passenger boat, which can be closed and heated on chilly days. It has a toilet on board and benches with padded seats and backs -- or you can go outside for open bench seating if you prefer. This cruise is chartered exclusively for our Road Scholar group.

Lunch: We enjoy a box lunch during our river expedition.

Afternoon: Our coach travels the Great River Road through Iowa to our evening destination. AAA magazine declares this section of The Great River Road to have some of the "best vistas of the Mississippi River in America". We continue to Galena, IL for hotel check in, stopping for dinner along the route.

Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant.

Lodging: DeSoto House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: This new hotel (opened January, 2013) is located along the Mississippi River. It offer beautiful views of majestic landscapes, including the Marquette & Joliet Bridge, which stretches across the Mississippi from Marquette, Iowa to Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. This new facility is a result of creative small town planning and partnering. New city hall offices are housed on the ground floor, with guest rooms enjoying the views on floors 2-4. The top floor features a guest lounge with river views. The hotel chain's mission is "Big City Quality, Small Town Values".

Contact info:
100 North Street
Marquette,, IA 52158 USA
phone: 563-873-8900
web: www.staycobblestone.com/index.php?desktop=1

Room amenities: Microwave, mini-frig in every room, plus coffee service, free high-speed Internet, flat panel television, upgraded bedding, hair dryer, iron and board. This hotel is 100% nonsmoking.

Facility amenities: Guests have free access to a private upper level lounge, which features majestic Mississippi River views. The facility offers complimentary WiFi, 24-hour business center, fitness center, onsite beer and wine bar, onsite convenience store, free weekly newspaper, guest laundry, hot breakfast bar. This new hotel is 100% smoke free.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Four: Wednesday, October 09 - Our morning offers free time to visit sites of yo...
Our morning offers free time to visit sites of your choice in Galena or the Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque. We then travel to McGregor, Iowa, where we are guided through the Mississippi's backwaters on a special chartered excursion with a clammer on his pontoon boat.

Breakfast: Breakfast provided.

Morning: Free time this morning provides your choice - visit sites in Galena, Illinois; or take the shuttle (included) to the Mississippi River Musuem in Dubuque, Iowa.

Lunch: Box lunch on our motorcoach as we travel to our next state.

Afternoon: Back on the river! We hear the personal story of a local clammer, as he takes us into Mississippi backwaters on his large covered (open sides) pontoon boat. The boat seats up to 29 passengers in plastic deck chairs and has a small restroom with a chemical toilet on board. This river excursion is chartered exclusively for our Road Scholar group to gain a local personal story and river perspective, and to view backwaters not accessible by larger vessels. In contrast to a plush commercial cruise, this excursion offers a close up experience with the river and its backwaters ecology, and insights into local personal connections with the river.

Dinner: Catered dinner of Iowa local farm foods.

Evening: Evening in Marquette, Iowa along the Mississippi.

Lodging: Cobblestone Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: This nearly new hotel features a north woods decorating theme and the property rests in a wooded setting inside the city of Onalaska. If you'd like to stretch your legs while enjoying the great outdoors, a new walking trail runs along the hotel.

Contact info:
3060 Kinney Coulee Rd. S.
Onalaska, WI 54650 USA
phone: 608-781-3060
web: www.stoneycreekinn.com/locations/rooms/index.cfm/LaCrosse?gclid=CM2LhIuopp4CFR6fnAod8GPV1w

Room amenities: We will enjoy upgraded deluxe rooms with a refrigerator and microwave, cable TV, coffee maker, hair dryer, iron and board. All rooms are nonsmoking. A unique north woods decorating theme is featured throughout the hotel.

Facility amenities: This hotel features an indoor/outdoor heated swim-through pool, whirlpool, dry sauna, expanded continental breakfast, fitness center, guest laundry and business center with high speed Internet. The hotel also offers a small gift shop and Lumber-Jacks Saloon. We are greeted with fresh cookies, and coffee is available 24 hours a day.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Five: Thursday, October 10 - Enjoy a half day excursion on the type of riverbo...
Enjoy a half day excursion on the type of riverboat Mark Twain called a "floating palace", with live entertainment and river lore. We travel via motorcoach to Onalaska, Wisonsin for hotel check in.

Breakfast: Breakfast provided

Lunch: Lunch provided.

Afternoon: Our final river excursion is a large paddlewheel riverboat. Explore all four decks, visit with the captain in the pilot house, relax with a book, or enjoy live entertainment inside. Lunch is prepared and served on board.

Dinner: Dinner provided.

Evening: Onalaska hotel check in.

Lodging: Stoney Creek Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: All rooms are suites, with separate living and sleeping rooms. Conveniently located across the street from the Mall of America, the largest enclosed mall in the United States and the Light Rail Train to Downtown Minneapolis. Only 8 minutes (5 miles) from the airport with complimentary shuttle.

Contact info:
2261 Killebrew Drive
Bloomington, MN 55424 USA
phone: 952-854-0990
web: www.homewoodsuitesmallofamerica.com/

Room amenities: All rooms feature suites with separate living and sleeping areas. Each has a fully-equipped kitchen with full-size refrigerator, microwave, stove and dishwasher. Plus all the comforts of home - two TVs, complimentary high-speed internet and two phones with voice mail.

Facility amenities: Complimentary Hot Breakfast; Elevators; Business Center; Fitness Room; Indoor Swimming Pool; Coin Laundry; Complimentary Van Shuttles Within 5 Mile Radius Including Airport, Mall of America and Light Rail Station to Downtown Minneapolis; Luggage Hold; Baggage Storage; On-Site Convenience Store; Safety Deposit Box; Room Service; Onsite Dining - Chevy's Mexican Restaurant. Many other restaurants nearby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: seasonal rates
Contact the hotel directly for additional nights at the best rates. Mention Road Scholar group.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Six: Friday, October 11 - Explore interesting sites as our coach returns to...
Explore interesting sites as our coach returns towards the Twin Cities. We stop for lunch in charming Red Wing, MN; then travel down St Paul's Summit Ave of mansions and visit the Mill City Museum in downtown Minneapolis.

Breakfast: Breakfast provided in our hotel.

Morning: Our exploration of this area includes interesting stops of this region and final views of the river.

Lunch: Lunch provided in charming downtown Red Wing, Minnesota, which is home of Red Wing pottery and shoes.

Afternoon: As our coach returns us towards our program's starting point in the Twin Cities, we travel down St Paul's famous Summit Avenue of mansions and we visit the interesting Mill City Museum in downtown Minneapolis.

Dinner: Farewell dinner in local restaurant.

Evening: We return to our Twin Cities hotel for our final night and farewell dinner together.

Lodging: Homewood Suites by Hilton - Mall of America

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Seven: Saturday, October 12 - Program ends with breakfast at your own schedule ...
Program ends with breakfast at your own schedule in our hotel. You may schedule an early flight if you wish.

Breakfast: Breakfast in our hotel.

Morning: Our program ends following breakfast in our hotel.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
Downtown MinneapolisA complimentary shuttle from our hotel can take you to the light rail train station (located at the Mall of America) for an easy and inexpensive ride to downtown Minneapolis.
Historic Galena, IllinoisGalena has a charming downtown historic district, with interesting shops and fun restaurants, and is home to many restored examples of 1850's architecture. You may also choose to visit the Grant House during your hour of free time in Galena during our program ($5 Grant House entry fee).
Mall of AmericaA free shuttle is provided from our hotel to the nearby Mall of America to explore acquarium exhibits, an indoor amusement park, 14 movie theaters or shop at over 500 stores -- all under one roof.
Onalaska, WisconsinA new walking path runs adjacent to our Onalaska hotel to enjoy a walk in the autumn air. The hotel is located in a wooded area inside the city limits.

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
6 nights of accommodations
17 meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
9 Expert-led lectures
9 Field trips

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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