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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 Aug 17 — Aug 23, 2014

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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: 952-854-0900
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; Complimentary Parking during our entire program, 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: $119 + tax
Detailed instructions on how to book additional nights is included in the Information Packet you receive prior to the program. Early booking is highly recommended, as availability is limited and this popular hotel frequently sells out.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, August 17 - Program begins 4:45 p.m. with important announcem...
Program begins 4:45 p.m. with important announcements, program orientation and dinner.

Afternoon: Independent Arrivals. Free shuttle service provided from the MSP airport to our hotel. Hotel rooms are available for check in after 3:00 p.m. Check in at 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 very important program announcements and orientation.

Dinner: Dinner follows important program announcements and orientation.

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/index.cfm/LaCrosse

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 high speed Internet. The hotel also offers a small gift shop and bar. 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, August 18 - 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 storytelling in Onalaska, 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 for stories about the river and our Onalaska, Wisconsin hotel.

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: Three-Star Hotel

Description: Grand historic hotel, offering the area’s most elegant accommodations. After a $30+ million complete renovation, the Hotel Julien Dubuque is now a true landmark. The hotel’s contemporary elegance graces Dubuque's historic Old Main District and is within walking distance to downtown shops and restaurants.

Contact info:
200 Main Street
Dubuque, IA 52001 USA
phone: 800-798-7098
web: www.hoteljuliendubuque.com/index.php

Room amenities: Richly appointed rooms with dark wood furnishings, complimentary WIFI, desk and chair, Flat Panel HDTVs, hair dryer, iron/board, alarm clock radio, refrigerator with honor bar, coffee maker, spacious bathrooms feature walk-in showers or shower/tub.

Facility amenities: Experience the full service luxury of the Hotel Julien Dubuque, including Caroline's Restaurant, Riverboat Lounge, indoor pool and whirlpool, fitness center, shuttle service, business center, free parking, barber shop and day spa.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Three: Tuesday, August 19 - Our first river day! A special half day river ex...
Our first river day! A special half day river excursion exclusively for our group travels through locks and the National Wildlife Refuge, narrated by local experts and naturalist.

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 right up front 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 Dubuque, Iowa for hotel check in.

Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant.

Evening: Optional Evening Activity (no additional charge): Ride the "shortest and steepest cable car in the country" to the top of a river bluff for an evening view of the city of Dubuque.

Lodging: Hotel Julien Dubuque

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

Description: Grand historic hotel, offering the area’s most elegant accommodations. After a $30+ million complete renovation, the Hotel Julien Dubuque is now a true landmark. The hotel’s contemporary elegance graces Dubuque's historic Old Main District and is within walking distance to downtown shops and restaurants.

Contact info:
200 Main Street
Dubuque, IA 52001 USA
phone: 800-798-7098
web: www.hoteljuliendubuque.com/index.php

Room amenities: Richly appointed rooms with dark wood furnishings, complimentary WIFI, desk and chair, Flat Panel HDTVs, hair dryer, iron/board, alarm clock radio, refrigerator with honor bar, coffee maker, spacious bathrooms feature walk-in showers or shower/tub.

Facility amenities: Experience the full service luxury of the Hotel Julien Dubuque, including Caroline's Restaurant, Riverboat Lounge, indoor pool and whirlpool, fitness center, shuttle service, business center, free parking, barber shop and day spa.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Four: Wednesday, August 20 - Enjoy a seven-hour excursion on the type of river...
Enjoy a seven-hour excursion on the type of riverboat Mark Twain called a "floating palace", with live entertainment and river lore. Our morning's visit to charming Galena, IL offers an hour of free time to sites of your choice.

Breakfast: Breakfast provided.

Morning: We visit historical Galena, Illinois, a city filled with very interesting things to see and do.

Lunch: Lunch is prepared and served during our river cruise down the Mississippi.

Afternoon: What a day this is! We board a historical gingerbread "floating palace" riverboat for a 7-hour cruise from Dubuque to Le Claire, Iowa. This boat offers three deck levels, lounge or upright chairs, indoor or outdoor seating and full restrooms. During our voyage, we will enjoy captain narrations, live music, navigate through locks, and enjoy the scenery along this beautiful stretch of the river. You may even climb up to the pilot house to visit with our captain and try your hand at the wheel!

Dinner: Dinner is prepared and served on our Victorian riverboat.

Evening: Our coach meets us in Le Claire (near the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois) and brings us back to our Dubuque hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Julien Dubuque

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/index.cfm/LaCrosse

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 high speed Internet. The hotel also offers a small gift shop and bar. 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, August 21 - We're guided through the Mississippi's backwaters...
We're guided through the Mississippi's backwaters on a special chartered excursion with a clammer on his pontoon boat; plus, we experience an amazing bluff overlook of the river; and learn about the ancient mound builders of this region.

Breakfast: Breakfast provided

Morning: We visit the marvelous National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium; then with our bus, we scale to the top of Pikes Peak bluff in Iowa for a majestic view of the river and visit to an effigy (bear shaped) mound. Your Study Leader travels with you throughout the entire program, providing history and insights about every place we visit.

Lunch: Lunch provided.

Afternoon: Back on the river! We hear the personal story of a clammer, as he takes us into Mississippi backwaters on a large covered (open sides) pontoon boat. The boat seats 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: 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: 952-854-0900
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; Complimentary Parking during our entire program, 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: $119 + tax
Detailed instructions on how to book additional nights is included in the Information Packet you receive prior to the program. Early booking is highly recommended, as availability is limited and this popular hotel frequently sells out.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Six: Friday, August 22 - Explore interesting sites as our coach returns to...
Explore interesting sites as our coach returns towards the Twin Cities. Stop for lunch in charming Red Wing, MN, home of Red Wing pottery and shoes. 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, August 23 - Program ends with breakfast at your own schedule ...
Breakfast: Breakfast in our hotel.

Morning: Our program ends Saturday morning on your own schedule. Check out is 11:00 am. As a travel day, no activities are scheduled, but many free time activities are available to do on your own.

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
12 Expert-led lectures
11 Field trips

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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