The long awaited day of departure has fnally arrived and we anxiously
board our Knoxville Tours motorcoach traveling through
Tennessee to the beautiful Bluegrass State of Kentucky. Upon
arrival in Louisville, we will enjoy a delicious buffet luncheon at
Churchill Downs Cafe. After lunch we will take a 30 minute walking
tour of Chuchill Downs Racetrack. “The Greatest Race,” a 360°
18-minute media experience that will make your heart race and emotions soar. Enjoy two foors of family-friendly interactive exhibits
including their resident Thoroughbred and Miniature horse. After our visit
to the Kentucky Derby Museum we will check into our hotel to freshen
up and relax before our dinner cruise aboard The Belle of Louisville on
the mighty Ohio River. The Belle is a National Historic Landmark and the
oldest authentic river steamboat in the world.
We depart Louisville this morning traveling to New Harmony, Indiana,
a historic town on the Wabash River in southwestern Indiana. We will
discover a distinctive rural village, where the simple wooden structures of
the Harmonists blend with modern architectural masterpieces on quiet treelined
streets. We will enjoy a guided tour of New Harmony before enjoying
a delicious luncheon at the Red Geranium Restaurant. It’s a short two hour
drive to St. Louis our next ovenight stop. We will be amazed at the 630
foot Gateway Arch that beckons millions of visitors to St Louis each year.
After checking into our hotel, we will enjoy a delicious dinner and cruise
on the Mississippi River with magnifcent views of the breathtaking St.
Louis skyline by night.
What a way to start the day—a four minute narrated enclosed tram ride to
the Top of the Gateway Arch with unparalled views of the city from the Observation
Deck. Next, we travel north to Hannibal, Missouri, also located on
the mighty Mississippi. More than 140 years ago Mark Twain transformed
this sleepy river town into an American icon. We will tour the authentically
restored Boyhood Home of Mark Twain and experience the inspiration for
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. We
will also visit the Becky Thatcher House—the home of Laura Hawkins who
was immortalized as Becky Thatcher, Tom’s sweetheart, in The Adventures
of Tom Sawyer. We will enjoy an evening dinner and cruise aboard the
Mark Twain, an authentic Mississippi River paddlewheeler.
Our travels continue to the north today along the Mississippi River Val- ley. We go behind the scenes for a John Deere Factory tour (must be 13 &
over). Our guide takes us through the manufacturing process, explaining
how all the pieces come together to create a massive green machine. Next,
we visit the John Deere Pavilion, an impressive showcase of vintage and
modern-day farm equipment. We have a chance to see where agriculture,
construction, and forestry are heading in America and around the world.
We continue along the Great River Road to LeClaire, Iowa for a two night
stay. LeClaire, Iowa is the birthplace of Buffalo Bill. A two-story former
fabrication shop is the home base for the American Pickers Show on the
History Channel. It now houses some antique picks and a new merchandise
store. This evening we enjoy a special feast at the Machine Shed Restaurant,
a unique restaurant with great home cooked food that is operated as if it
were run by a bunch of farmers.
This morning we depart for an all day cruise on the Mississippi River
from LeClaire onboard the Celebration Belle! A paddle wheeler from
bygone days will take us leisurely up the river as we enjoy live entertainment
and delicious food. Sit back, relax, and watch the unfolding panorama
as the largest luxury excursion vessel on the upper Mississippi
River sails past wild and remote islands, high bluffs, and picturesque
19th century towns. Enjoy entertainment throughout the day. Take a
spin on the dance foor or just relax on one of the observation decks
enjoying the weather and scenic views. Enjoy three meals (breakfast
buffet, luncheon buffet and the famous “prime rib dinner buffet”) while
on this cruise. Our driver and motorcoach will meet us in Dubuque and
return us to LeClaire for our last night.
We depart LeClaire today traveling east along Interstate 80 through
the state of Illinois before entering Indiana. After lunch we continue
through Indiana to the quaint little town of Wabash, for overnight at
the Charley Creek Inn. Located in the heart of downtown Wabash, the
Inn is a historic boutique hotel standing as a proud symbol of the 1920s.
After a two year restoration, the Charley Creek Inn is the perfect place
to rediscover history. Dinner is included this evening at the Inn. Wabash
is notable as being the frst electrically lighted city in the world, which
was inaugurated on March 31, 1880.
After breakfast at the Inn, we depart Wabash for Knoxville as we refect
on the good times we have shared on the greatest river adventure of all.
Now we realize how Mark Twain came to love the Mighty Mississippi