illustration of a packed van on the highway and a road sign saying Go To A Road Trip

How to Celebrate the Reopening of the United States

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A New Discovery: Intertops Casino!

When the corona virus hit in full force, it caused state and local governments to close many businesses that were deemed to be “nonessential”.  This was a bitter pill to swallow for many business owners who thought that their business was certainly essential to them and to their customers!

One large set of businesses that had to temporarily close their doors was land-based casinos.  This led to one of the most momentous discoveries since Columbus allegedly discovered America: many gamers discovered the wide world of online casino gaming at Intertops Casino and other online casinos.

Many of the newest members of the Intertops Casino family had never played at an online casino before.  They discovered many reasons why devoted online casino gamers have long said that online gaming is the best game in town!  It is convenient, there are no travel and other ancillary costs, there are no drunk or rude players hanging around the casino floor, and there are hundreds of games literally at one’s fingertips so you can go from game to game without making your precious seat available to the next gamer who might occupy it for hours.

A Second Big Discovery: Real Vacations!

Even though so much that is great for travelers and vacationers has been closed, many gamers who are new to online casino gaming and even many who have played almost exclusively online for years are saying something along the lines of: “When things open up again, I’m going on a long road trip!”

In this article, we will talk about one such road trip.  There are many road trips people can take in the USA so one article about one road trip might not be enough to get the wanderlust juices flowing!  As such, we might return to this theme again!  For now, we will talk about The Great River Road.

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Following the Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is the most fabled of all American rivers largely because it cuts the United States in half from north to south, partly because it is navigable for almost its entire length and therefore was the great trade route of the American continent until the railroads were extended to the west coast, and partly because to the writings of Mark Twain.

The Great River Road goes north to south.  The formal route takes travelers on the east side of the river but there is also much to see and do on the west side as well.  So, for this road trip, it doesn’t really matter if you travel north to south or south to north.  We will take you from north to south.

The route covers about 3000 miles so it would be quite difficult to do in one fell swoop.  Some say that it takes close to 40 hours of driving time and that doesn’t take into account all the time you will spend outside of the car!

One of the great aspects of being "able” to take real vacations because you no longer spend long weekends in land-based casinos is that you can take a long road trip in sections, so to speak.

What Should I Look for on this Trip?

The Great River Road travels along the great Mississippi River!  There are wildlife refuges, state, county, and local parks, a simple intra-city hiking or walking trails.  In addition, you can look for museums, breweries, distilleries, wineries and shops or studios run by craftspeople and artisans selling anything from hand-woven clothing and blankets to Afghans and quilts.

You will sleep along the Great River Road so you can choose from motels to luxurious bed and breakfast accommodations.  You can plan your trip to coincide with concerts and shows along the way.  The Great River Road is a tourist attraction so there are many shows, fairs, carnivals, and the like along the way.

The Great River Road begins in Minnesota and then hugs the borders between Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

Of course, in this limited space, we can’t list everything you might want to see and do so we will choose a few highlights.

Museums in Minnesota

  1. In Bemidji, Minnesota, there is a nice science museum that dramatizes among its exhibits the headwaters of the grand Mississippi River.
  2. The Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, has memorabilia from her career and the Wizard of Oz.
  3. The Croft Mine Historical Park in Crosby is a fun place to learn about local history.
  4. There are many excellent museums in the Twin Cities area.
  5. If you stay on the Minnesota side of the river, you’ll reach Winona with another fine museum of local history.

Wisconsin

The biggest highlight for many travelers is the many towns along the river that are very long and narrow because the river is on one side and bluffs are on the other side.

Iowa

Effigy Mounds National Monument in Harper’s Ferry is a great historical experience and the kids will love the chance to run around a bit.

Illinois

This is one of the most under-rated states in the Union.  It is very large but mostly populated in small towns.  Chicago is on the other side of the state from the river so here you will come across many small towns that were settled in the late 18th century and the early 19th century and still have some flavor of the old day.

It is interesting since Chicago is so big and is nestled in the far northeastern corner of the state that the southern part of the state was settled decades before the northern part was settled.

Cairo, Illinois, at the southern tip of the state earned a bad reputation as a racist town owing to its southern mentality.  The town has outgrown that part of its history and the downtown area is well preserved and worth a stop.

Missouri

St. Louis is the biggest highlight here but many travelers like to explore the small parks that dot the river on the Missouri side of the river.  The river has gotten very wide by this time and many people simply marvel at its quiet meandering. 

About two hours north of St. Louis is Hannibal with Mark Twain’s boyhood home, a place of reverence for lovers of American literature.  Mark Twain is one of the few novelists from the 19th century whose writing is still readable to 21st century ears.

The many ox bows, small lakelets and islands that were formed as the river changed course slightly following the frequent floods are of particular interest.

Arkansas

The only place where rice is grown in the USA is on the Arkansas side of the river.

Louisiana

Travelling south, you will leave any semblance of northerners and enter the world of the ante-bellum south.  In Natchez, people who live in old 19th and 18th century plantation houses, very large houses, open their homes to visitors in the spring and in the fall.

The cuisine changes and the accents of the local people change as well as you head towards New Orleans.  The most famous Mississippi River song was written about this part of the river.

Have a Great Time

While you’re travelling along the great Mississippi River, or on any other road trip of your choice, you can always take a spin or two on a jackpot slot because Intertops Casino will always be at your fingertips on our excellent mobile gaming platform.

Join Intertops Casino Red NOW if you aren’t a member yet and see for yourself why a real vacation with Intertops Casino in your hip pocket is way better than spending a long weekend in a stuffy casino!

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