Day 1: Today we travel north from Kansas on our way to see new and exciting sights in Minnesota and Wisconsin along the Lake Superior shoreline. Night in Des Moines, IA.
2: Continuing north this morning we arrive in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. This afternoon we tour with a local guide to see and hear about these sister cities that grew up on either side of the Mississippi River. Later, we have easy access to the Mall of America which is across the street from our hotel. Night in Bloomington.
3: Once again we head the motorcoach north as we travel to Duluth, one of the largest inland seaports in the world. Our first stop in Duluth is the Heritage and Arts Center where exhibits tell us the story of early Duluth. Next we visit the Great Lakes Aquarium which explores the marine life associated with Lake Superior. Our hotel is located on Canal Park which allows for leisurely strolls along the lake shore and easy viewing of vessels as they pass under the Aerial Lift Bridge. Tonight we enjoy a dinner cruise on Lake Superior. Next two nights in Duluth.
4: We start the day with a local guide showing us all that Duluth has to offer. By mid-morning we are traveling along the north shore of Lake Superior toward Beaver Bay and Split Rock Lighthouse where we take a guided tour of this magnificent lighthouse that sits on a 130’ cliff and is almost 200’ above the shoreline.
5: On leaving Duluth we enter the state of Wisconsin and travel along the Lake Superior shoreline to Bayfield. Once the main shipping point for regionally produced lumber and sandstone, Bayfield now relies on fruit crops, fishing and tourism. This morning a local guide gives us a tour of this most interesting town. In the afternoon we take a cruise among the Apostle Islands where time and the elements have left rose-colored cliffs which are shaped into twisted formations, caves and hollows. On leaving Bayfield we travel south to Hayward for the night.
6: Lake Superior is not the only body of water common to Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Mississippi River separates the two and provides many beautiful views as we travel beside its path. Best known for its shoe and pottery factories, the town of Red Wing sits high on the banks of the Mississippi River. Our visit today allows us to enjoy this quaint town and the views along the river. At noon we enjoy lunch at the historic St. James Hotel. We continue down the Great River Road to Wabasha, one of the oldest towns on the upper Mississippi River. One of the hidden gems of Wabasha is the National Eagle Center that is dedicated to educating the public about these magnificent raptors. Night in Wabasha.
7: A short drive this morning brings us to Winona, MN. Our first stop is at the Minnesota Marine Arts Museum which engages visitors in meaningful visual arts experiences that explore the ongoing and historic human relationship with water. Next we visit a factory which produces stained glass windows and does restoration of old windows. This afternoon we catch our last glimpses of the mighty Mississippi as we continue to Des Moines, IA, for night.
8: As we travel back to Kansas we have time to reflect on the beauty of Lake Superior and the Mississippi River.
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