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  1. #1

    Default Thanksgiving weekend drive...

    Howdy folks I am new here and think this sight is a great idea to find travel routes and to comment on my own experiences.

    I have a trip to map out for the TG weekend and need some advice...

    We want to explore the "Great River Road" from Memphis Tn to St. Louis, Mo.
    Looking on the internet I am not finding any definition of that scenic byway south of St. Louis. Some recommend even traveling on Rt. 55 in Mo. I am not looking for a highway... I am looking for some meandering and great scenery.
    We have traveled the GRR from Ft. Madison Iowa to St. Louis area, on the Eastern side of the river.... and enjoyed it. We totally enjoy taking side roads and love to travel off the beaten path. We travel in a Jeep Wrangler so... off the beaten path can be interesting! LOL We can even do some Geocaching as we travel.
    Do any of you fine folks have any recommendations?

    We will be enjoying Thanksgiving dinner at Picwic Landing in Tn. After that... we intend to drive to Memphis and pick up the GRR.
    Hope to find some great advice soon.
    Ralph & Peggy too!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default resources

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The GRR can be a little tricky to follow since it follows so many different numbered highways. This is one of the best maps I've found detailing the route (its a rather large pdf file) which comes from the Great River Road website - which I'd check out because it also has a Geocaching section!

    Another resource is the National Scenic Byways page, which has its own clickable map - although it appears the national scenic byway only covers one side at a time - and its mostly the east side of the river along the section you are talking about.

    And while not directly following the GRR, if you're looking to change things up - I'd take a look at this article which offers some more options along the path you're looking at.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The(?) Great River Road

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There is no single Great River Road. Rather, it is a collection of US, state and local highways on both sides or the river that wander along its banks and a bit inland past scenic, historic, and otherwise interesting sites. As such, it is a great road for a RoadTrip whose purpose is mainly to enjoy the road and the land. I have not explored that section of the road as much as I'd like but I do have a couple of recommendations. First on the list is the town of Ste. Genevieve, MO. This is an old French town with many of the historic first homes still intact and open for visits. There is also a real honest-to-god ice cream parlor, and a ferry across to the Illinois side of the river. Whether here or at one of a number of other crossings, be sure to take a couple of ferries on the Mississippi and try to get a feel for the sights, smells, sounds and rhythms of 'the Mighty'.

    Although I've not been there, Cairo, IL is also a town worth exploring if only for its position at the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and its history on the underground railroad. Similarly just north of St. Louis is another great river junction where the Mississippi and Missouri join and where Lewis and Clark set off on their Voyage of discovery. Besides the Museum of Westward Expansion under the Arch in St. Louis, there is a wonderful museum on the Illinois side just north of I-270 of IL-3 where the two explorers and their band actually set out.


  4. #4


    wow thanks guys... and speedy replies as well. :)
    I especially like the National Scenic Byways map! This one tends to be the most usable for me.
    We have in the past been to the Grafton and Alton areas and took the Grafton ferry... We actually got off the GRR on our trip south and tried to follow the river more closely and found ourselves in between two rivers... and only a ferry to get back to the mainland (Illinois) That was a neat place! I will plan on taking some ferrys and we do plan on looking around in the Cairo area as well.
    Thanks for such great info!
    BTW... do you have any info on Native American mounds or sites between Memphis and St Louis?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The only one I'm familiar with is Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville IL. This is just outside of STL.

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