When it comes to picturesque landscapes, historic charm, and a slice of quintessential Americana, the Midwest offers an abundance of hidden gems. You’ll find many wonderful river towns nestled along the central portion of the country’s winding waterways, but here are five Midwest Mississippi River towns you should definitely visit.
Red Wing, Minnesota
Location: Red Wing is nestled on the western banks of the Mississippi River in southeastern Minnesota.
Highlights: This town is famous for its Red Wing Shoes and beautiful pottery. Outdoor enthusiasts will love hiking in the Barn Bluff area for panoramic river views, and the historic Sheldon Theatre offers cultural performances. Check for more information here.
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Location: Located in western Wisconsin, La Crosse sits on the Mississippi River’s eastern shore.
Highlights: This town offers stunning river views and plenty of outdoor activities, including hiking in the nearby bluffs. The Riverside International Friendship Gardens is a serene spot for a leisurely stroll. You can find out more here.
Location: Galena is tucked away in the northwest corner of Illinois, near the borders of Wisconsin and Iowa.
Highlights: Galena’s Main Street is a picturesque throwback to the 19th century, with well-preserved storefronts and charming boutiques. Ulysses S. Grant’s home is also a popular attraction for history aficionados. Discover more about this river town on its website.
Location: Dubuque is perched on the eastern banks of the Mississippi River in northeastern Iowa.
Highlights: This town is known for its Victorian architecture, including the historic Shot Tower and Fenelon Place Elevator. The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium is a must-visit for history buffs and nature enthusiasts. Find out more here.
Location: Hannibal is situated in the northeastern part of Missouri, along the western banks of the Mississippi River.
Highlights: Known as the hometown of Mark Twain, Hannibal is a literary pilgrimage site. Visitors can explore the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum, take a riverboat cruise, and walk along the charming streets that inspired Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Learn more here.
As you plan your next Midwest adventure, consider exploring these five charming towns along the Mississippi River. Whether you’re drawn to history, natural beauty, or simply a relaxed pace of life, each of these destinations has something special to offer. Take the time to immerse yourself in the heartland’s unique culture and experience the beauty of the Mississippi River as it winds its way through these delightful Midwest towns.
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