Sun, July 30: Fly to Minneapolis, Minnesota and check into the Radisson Blu Mall of America hotel. Stay one night, with time to shop or sightsee around the city on your own.
Mon, July 31: Minneapolis/Red Wing. Spend the day exploring nearby Minneapolis and St. Paul at your leisure. The Twin Cities are located on bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, and feature a number of historic buildings. Consider a premium shore excursion, a city tour of St. Paul. Embark on the American Queen in Red Wing, Minnesota.
Tue, Aug 1: Scenic River Cruising. During a day of river cruising you can relax in a rocking chair on the deck with a book from the Mark Twain Gallery onboard, or enjoy a sing-along in the lounge. A Riverlorian is onboard each voyage to impart the history and lore of the river. Guest historians often come onboard to offer insights on the culture and heritage of the area you’re cruising. Don’t forget to set aside some time for a little pampering. The American Queen Spa by Pevonia will have you feeling like royalty!
Wed, Aug 2: Dubuque, Iowa. Dubuque is Iowa’s oldest city and is among the oldest settlements west of the Mississippi River. The first permanent settler of the area was French-Canadian fur trader Julien Dubuque who arrived in 1785. Dubuque’s location to the Mississippi and its abundant land and resources attracted large numbers of immigrants, particularly Irish and Germans, from overcrowded cities on the east coast. Dubuque is filled with historic sites, architectural Historic Districts with well-preserved buildings and homes, history and art museums, the great Mississippi River, and a revitalized main street that invites guests with Dubuque’s claim-to-fame as an “All-American City.”
On the included Hop-on Hop-off tour, visit Dubuque’s Museum of Art. The Fenelon Place Elevator, a funicular railway that sits on the bluffs of Dubuque and claims to be the shortest and steepest railroad in the world. Stop at The Hotel Julien, which became known as one of the finest hotels in the Midwest and Al Capone’s hiding-out spot in Dubuque. Then visit the oldest and most “grand” of more than 16 legitimate theaters in the community, the Grand Opera House. At St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, see 101 original Tiffany stained glass windows. At The Old Jail Museum see a rare example of Egyptian Revivalist architecture.
A premium shore excursion is offered to the nearby quaint town of Galena, including the home of Ulysses S. Grant.
Thu, Aug 3: Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. As the oldest community on the Upper Mississippi, Prairie du Chien has been a traditional gathering place for centuries. The native people of the area met on the prairie in friendship to exchange goods. In the late 17th century, French fur traders used the prairie as a site of spring and fall rendezvous. It was during these years that the land received its name, which translates as “Prairie of the Dog” in French. When the British took over the fur trade, Prairie du Chien became of greater importance for whoever controlled the prairie, controlled the entire Upper Mississippi watershed. Discover the rich history lining the streets of this historical city as you explore the treasures Prairie du Chien has to offer! Included shore excursions on the Hop-on Hop-off Steamcoach include Villa Louis Residence and Grounds, The Fur Trade Museum, Fort Crawford Military Hospital, and Valley Fish & Cheese.
Fri, Aug 4: La Crosse, Wisconsin. This gem of Victorian and Art Deco architecture with an inviting Riverwalk is your gateway to local culture. Board a deluxe Hop On-Hop Off Steamcoach at the dock and enjoy a narrated tour of charming downtown La Crosse. Enjoy views from the Victorian-style Hixon House, a home from the late 1850s. Other stops include the Chapels of St. Rose and the Riverside Museum with exhibitions from the War Eagle, a steamboat that wrecked on the Black River in 1870. Learn about the impact of La Crosse’s river growth, and enjoy an appreciation for the diverse cultures that share the earth at the Riverside International Friendship Garden. If classic cars peak your interest, stop by the Dahl Auto Museum.
Sat, Aug 5: Winona, Minnesota. The city of Winona is referred to as the “Island City” by locals because of the large sand bar on which it was built. Evidence suggests that the land’s history reaches back as early as 9500 B.C., while present-day Winona was founded as the small village of Keoxa in 1851. Nestled between the covered limestone river bluffs of the Mississippi River, this quaint port is full of culture and small town Americana. Enjoy stunning views of the rolling bluffs as they plummet to the mighty Mississippi below in this beautiful and historic city, filled with incredible museums, galleries, and parks. Included Hop-on Hop-off tour includes the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Winona County History Center, Watkins Museum and Store, and the Polish Cultural Institute and Museum.
Sun, Aug 6: Red Wing, Minnesota. Home to a variety of shops, including arts, antiques, pottery and one-of-a kind boutiques, Red Wing ranks as one of Minnesota’s leading manufacturing cities. Historically, the city is known as home to products that include shoes, pottery and linseed oil; today it also produces safety and robotic products. The Hop-on Hop-off tour includes the Visitor Center and Art Association. Discover Minnesota’s favorite destination for antiques, gift shop, eateries and Red Wing pottery at the Pottery Place District. Visit Stoney Ends Harps, which have made handcrafted folk lever harps for 25 years. At the Historic West End, you will find the Native American, Military and Sheldon Performing Arts Theatre. Do some fantastic shopping at Main & Bush Shopping Center, or grab a bite, relax or shop at the luxurious historic St. James Hotel. Don’t miss the spectacular view of bluffs of Minnesota and Wisconsin that await you at Memorial Park.
Mon, Aug 7: Disembark in Red Wing and transfer to the Minneapolis Airport for your return flight to Indianapolis.
Steamboat American Queen
Travel in luxury on the largest and only authentic overnight paddlewheel steamboat in America. Highlights: opulent staterooms • in-stateroom gourmet coffeemakers • three restaurants • complimentary wine and beer at dinner • 24/hour room service • Mark Twain Gallery (library) • entertainment in the two-deck tall Grand Saloon • daily historical lectures • complimentary shore excursions • bicycles in port • optional shore excursions (fees apply).
Radisson Blu at Mall of America, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Hotel)
Indulgent amenities and conveniently connected by a skyway to the largest indoor entertainment and shopping mall in the U.S., this hotel is the recipient of TripAdvisor’s 2016 Certificate of Excellence. Highlights: modern guestroom • in-room mini-refrigerators and coffee makers • complimentary high-speed and Wi-Fi Internet access • restaurant • bar/lounge • 24-hour room service • fitness center • indoor saltwater pool • spa • hair salon • kids’ club.