The Great River Road & Routes of Southern Illinois

The Great River Road & Routes of Southern Illinois

Brand New Autumn Adventure for 2019!


Brand New Autumn Adventure for 2019!



Made in the USA

Located on the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri River, the National Maintenance and Repair Shipyard provides marine and rail repair services, engine rebuilding and new barge construction. Take a guided tour to learn about the company’s four dry docks that service over 150 ships each year. Continue your tour to the engine shop – get up close to the large propeller blades, keels and engines stored in the yard. Step back in time to more than 75 years at the Wood River Refinery History Museum. Enjoy a presentation by a refinery employee to learn about the history of the refinery, today’s production process, and how their industry makes a difference. Since 1983, all of the Mississippi Mud Pottery has been made by skilled loving hands right in their studio with a stunning view of the Mississippi River. Enjoy artist demonstrations and browe their unique handmade pottery.  The National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center is the only facility in the world at which corn ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, advanced biofuels, and specialty chemical research is conducted simultaneously. We’ll take a guided tour of the plant to learn how they bridge the gap between traditional research and commercial application.  Take a tour of the production and retail facility at the Goshen Coffee Company and see a demonstration of their custom built fluid bed roaster - a unique process that few roasters use.  Learn how this small, family-owned company roasts nearly 97,000 pounds of coffee every year.  We’ll take a tour of the Old Herald Brewery & Distillery, the former site of the Collinsville Herald newspaper which has been transformed into a full service production brewery, craft distillery and restaurant. 


Stunning Mississippi River Views

Experience the rolling waters of the Mighty Mississippi River coupled with magnificent limestone bluffs during a scenic drive on the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway, recognized in national magazines as one of the most scenic drives in the Midwest. Soar over the Mississippi Bluffs on the brand-new Grafton Sky Tour to Aerie’s Resort and Winery. The Sky Tour is the only combination lift in the Midwest and the second fixed-grip chondola in North America. At the top, enjoy breathtaking views overlooking the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Explore the resort gift shops and stores.  We will do some wine and beer tasting on the expansive deck and beer garden.


Other Fall Sights and Delights

We will stop at the Rader Family Farm, a 4th family farm, which harvests more than crops, they harvest memories.  Lunch is included and you will have a choice between their signature Slop-the-Hog Sandwich (brat in a bun topped with pulled pork BBQ and coleslaw) or a Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich.  Lunch also includes a bag of chips, coleslaw, bottle of water and a fresh homemade pumpkin donut.  YUM!  Our visit includes taking a tram pulled by a John Deere tractor where you will learn about this working farm, the family who works it, and then pick your own pumpkin to take home with you.  You will have time to visit the gift shop and try the Apple Blaster!  With more than 600 psi of pressure, the apple blasters will shoot the apples at targets up to 200 meters away.  Take a tour of the 1920 Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House which links us to the earliest days of the Illinois Territory.  This two-story brick home, constructed in the Federal style, was built with native material by skilled local craftsmen and features original millwork.  We will take a guided tour with a docent dressed in period costumes and enjoy a demonstration in the kitchen.  Before returning to Wisconsin, we will stop in LaSalle and enjoy an included lunch at the Lock 16 Cafe.  Then we will step back into 1848 by taking a mule pulled canal boat ride with a storyteller. The two friendly mules will guide us along the historic Illinois &Michigan Canal to the Little Vermillion Aqueduct. 


Comedy Entertainment

The Best Western Premier in Alton has the Die Laughing Dinner Show right on the property.  You will be seeing “All in the Mafia Family.”  Edith unknowingly invites the Mafia Family to her home.  All the heads of the family are in attendance:  Don Ravioli, Don Stiletto,Don Al Fredo, Don Spumoni and the Godfather, Don Curly Own.  Archie realizes he has to do a job for the Godfather or he may be sleeping with the fishes.  This is an interactive comedy experience, so you might be a star in the show.

Day 1

- Depart for Southern Illinois
- Arrive at Rader Family Farm for an included lunch, tram tour, pick your own pumpkin, and try the apple blaster
- Arrive at the Best Western Premier Hotel in Alton for a 3 night stay
- Dinner and "All in the Mafia Family" Comedy Show
Comedy Show

L, D

Day 2

- Guided Tour of the National Maintenance and Repair Shipyard
- Presentation by a refinery employee at the Wood River Refinery History Museum
- Artist demonstration, stunning views of the Mississippi, and time to browse the unique handmade pottery at Mississippi Mud Pottery
- Drive the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway
- Soar over the Mississippi Bluffs on the BRAND NEW Grafton Sky Tour
- Wine & Beer Tasting at Aerie’s Resort & Winery
- Dinner at Pere Marquette State Park Lodge

B, D

Day 3

- Photo stop at the Robert Wadlow Statue, the "Gentle Giant"
- Guided Tour of the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center
- Take a tour of the production and retail facility at Goshen?Coffee Company and see their custom built fluid bed roaster
- Take a tour of the 1820 Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House
- Visit the Old Herald Brewery & Distillery
- Italian Dinner at Tony’s Restaurant

B, D

Day 4

- Lunch at the Lock 16 Cafe in LaSalle, IL
- Take a mule pulled canal boat ride with storyteller
- Return to Wisconsin

B, L

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Hotel Accommodations:  Day One - Three - Best Western Premier, Alton, IL


PER PERSON RATES:  Double Occupancy  $739, Single Occupancy $769, or Triple Occupancy $719




Local Pickups are scheduled in Milwaukee and Madison.  A pickup in Janesville, Rockford, Waukesha, Delafield, Oconomowoc or Johnson Creek may be added.  Please call to check availability.


Final Payment Due:  9/22/2019


Driver and Tour Director gratuities are not included and are at the passengers discretion.  Shows are subject to change without notice. 


Cover photo is the NEW Grafton Sky Tour

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Badger Bus Tours MKE Badger Bus Tours Office - West Allis
6759 W. Greenfield Ave West Allis, WI 53214
College Ave NE P&R College Ave NE Park & Ride
JCPenney East Towne Mall JCPenney East Towne Mall, Madison, WI
Near Firestone
From Price Book Now Call Back Telephone Favorites

Keyword Search

Availability Search


Badger Bus Tours Brochure
High Rollers Casino Tours Brochures