Day 1-2: London to Chicago
Your holiday begins in Chicago, a world-class destination offering remarkable architecture, endless shopping, and world renowned museums. Be sure to enjoy the miles of sandy beaches along the edge of Lake Michigan, sample the tastes of Michelin-starred cuisine, and browse the works of art that begin in the museums and spill into city squares and lakeside parks. Stay 2 nights at the Doubletree by Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile (or similar).
Day 3: Chicago to Galena (approx. 164 miles)
Collect your Alamo rental car in Chicago and begin you journey of Illinois’ Great River Road Country as you head to the charming town of Galena. Surrounded by landscape of rolling hills and lush landscapes, discover a town brimming with antiquated history combined with award-winning wineries. Be sure to take a guided trolley tour of Galena’s historic district, and head out to the hills and sample the fine wines of the Galena Cellars Vineyard. Stay 1 night at the Best Western Designer Inn & Suites (or similar).
Day 4: Galena to Quincy, via the Quad Cities (approx. 232 miles)
Drive south along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway, bypassing the quaint riverfront town of Savanna and on to Fulton, home to one of only 12 authentic Dutch windmills in the US. Continue on to Moline, one of the Quad Cities that straddles the Mississippi River on the Illinois and Iowa state border, famous for being the location of the John Deere world headquarters. We suggest visiting the John Deere Pavilion while in Moline to learn about John Deere, the man who changed agriculture and farming. Why also take the opportunity to hop on the paddlewheel boat, Celebration Belle for a buffet lunch before travelling on to Nauvoo, a National Historic Landmark community that was one of the largest towns on the frontier in the 1840s. Then it’s time to drive to Quincy for your overnight stay at the Hampton Inn Quincy (or similar).
Day 5: Quincy to Alton
Today, take time to visit the East End Historic District in Quincy in the morning, where you will find a wonderful collection of elegant homes dating back to the 1850s. Afterwards, continue on south along the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway, a 33-mile stretch of roadway considered as one of the most scenic in the Midwest Mississippi, past the town on Grafton as you head towards Alton for the remainder of your trip. Stay 2 nights at Beall Mansion B&B (or similar).
Day 6: Alton
Today explore the two great rivers – the Mississippi and the Missouri – that meet in Alton. Begin your journey at the Audubon Centre at Riverlands. For the best views of the entire area and also the two rivers, visit the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower, a 180-foot tower with viewing platforms at different heights for unobstructed views of the rivers and land below.).
Day 7: Alton to London, via St. Louis International Airport (approx. 22 miles)
Your Great Rivers Adventure comes to an end today as you take the short drive across the border into Missouri as you head to St. Louis International Airport to drop off your rental car and board your return flight to London.(read more...)