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 Wildlife Refuge

1.Audubon Center at Riverlands (West Alton, MO)

Located in the 3,700-acre Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary on the banks of the Mississippi River near its confluence with the Missouri River.

2.Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge (Trempealeau, WI)

Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge is nestled along the eastern edge of the mighty Mississippi River. The scenic drive to the refuge entices traveler.

3.National Eagle Center (Wabasha, MN)

An educational interpretive center, home to live bald and golden eagles. “Connecting people to eagles in nature, history and cultures.” Open year round.

4.Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge (Brice Prairie, WI)

You can walk the trails through the prairie and out to an overlook where the stretch of Mississippi is called Lake Onalaska, you could see bald eagles or waterfowl.

5.Two River National Wildlife Refuge (Calhoun County, IL)

Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge serves as an important stopover for hundreds of thousands of ducks and geese each fall. Bald eagles are commonly found on the refuge.

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.