Best of the River is focused on the best attractions, accommodations,  food & drink, and trails & tours along the Great River Road from northern Minnesota down to the Gulf of Mexico.

Best Preserve 

1.Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge (Onalaska, WI)

You can walk the trails through the prairie and out to an overlook.  At the overlook you are looking at the Mississippi River where you could see bald eagles or waterfowl.

2.Pere Marquette State Park (Grafton, IL)

Pere Marquette State Park is a nature lover’s paradise. Enjoy the spectacular views of the Illinois River and its backwaters from several points atop the bluffs.

3.John M Olin Nature Preserve (Godfrey, IL)

This 294-acre preserve has been dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve and will forever be protected. It is a unique property that has been the site of many studies.

4.Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MN)

In the middle of a bustling urban setting, this 72 mile river park offers quiet stretches for fishing, boating and canoeing, birdwatching, bicycling, and hiking.

5.Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary (Saint Paul, MN)

featuring 450 million-year-old limestone and sandstone bluffs, wetlands, bird watching, Native American history, and views of the downtown skyline and Mississippi River

See results for Best of the River 2019

In 2019, thousands submitted their Best of The River choices in categories ranging from best cultural trail, best monument, best public art, best river boat tour, best brewery and more.