Day 1: Louisville, KY
Departure 5:00 PM
Enjoy Louisville at your leisure. You will board the American Queen this afternoon to begin your journey.
Day 2: Brandenburg, KY
Once in Brandenburg and Meade County, enjoy the stunning scenery of a city perfectly situated along the Ohio River. The quiet community features two golf ranges, countless outdoor activities, and hunting and fishing abound. The relaxing nature of Brandenburg has pasted its name onto tourist’s maps as a quiet, rejuvenating vacation destination. While visiting, discover Brandenburg’s rich history winding throughout the Civil War and pay a visit to historic Fort Knox to uncover stories from the past!
General George Patton Museum of Leadership
Join us as we begin a journey through the scenic rolling hills, manicured farm lands, and unique river topography of Brandenburg, Kentucky towards Fort Knox.
Upon arrival, our personal motorcoach will come to a halt at the United States Army’s Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armory; a fascinating museum focusing on the inspirational leadership of historic American heroes. The museum’s original intent was to honor and memorialize one of World War II’s greatest war generals, George S. Patton, and has grown through the years to include leaders of all generations.
As an expert guide chauffeurs us through each exhibit, enjoy displays of Civil War equipment, weapons, and memorabilia as well as present day army artifacts. Experience a sense of pride in the men and women who has served this country as you hear stories of true heroism and bravery and then trace the life of General Patton as we see a number of his personal effects, dating back to his childhood!
Don’t miss out on this exclusive tour highlighting the heroes throughout American history!
Day 3: Owensboro, KY
As Kentucky’s fourth-largest city, Owensboro is a hidden gem nestled on a scenic bend of the Ohio River. The city has become an important cultural hub of western Kentucky, known for their signature barbequed mutton and burgoo, bluegrass music, and hospitality. Sports Illustrated Magazine noted Owensboro as the #1 sports town in the United States, as they recognize their numerous tournaments, sporting complexes, and various other sporting activities. The city offers countless attractions, assuring everyone will find something to suit their interests!
Western Kentucky Botanical Gardens
In 1993 a Master Gardener’s class in Daviess County, Kentucky dreamed of creating a botanical garden. Pursing this dream Dr. and Mrs. William Tyler donated approximately 8.5 acres to the City of Owensboro for the start of the garden. The gardens now hold ten themed-gardens and counting, including a Rose Garden, a Japanese Memorial Garden, Moonlight Children’s Garden, Daylily Garden, Iris Garden, Fruit and Berry Garden, Herb Garden, and much more! The foundation continues to work hard to extend the knowledge of horticultural to new generations.
St. Stephen Cathedral
St. Stephen Cathedral, established in 1839, was the first parish in the city of Owensboro. The present church was built in 1924 and remains the largest Catholic Church and parish in the city. Explore the stunning cathedral featuring beautiful stained glass windows and artifacts!
Owensboro Museum of Fine Art
Owensboro Museum of Fine Art expands and enhances the cultural environment of the region through a permanent collection of American, European and Asian fine and decorative arts dating from the 15th century to the present. Major traveling exhibitions, visual and performing arts, interpretive events and educational programs for children and adults occur throughout the year.
Owensboro-Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau
Stop at this visitor’s center to gather some information about Owensboro and surrounding counties. Here, get a brief history of the city and learn how it became the stunning and friendly community it is today. Discover local eateries, attractions, and shops!
International Bluegrass Music Museum
This interactive museum delves into the history of bluegrass in the state of Kentucky. The exhibits acts as a timeline, tracing the history of Bluegrass music from the early 1900s to the late 1950s when artists such as Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers gave the genre its name. The museum is fortunate to have an extensive, nearly complete collection of recorded bluegrass music from the earliest days of bluegrass through the era of 33 rpm. They also have vintage instruments from legendary performers, performance attire, early recordings, photographs, concert and festival memorabilia from many legendary Pioneers of Bluegrass and Hall of Fame members.
Day 4: Henderson, KY
Henderson was formed in the 1850’s as a railroad stop on the Mobile Railroad. It was then located in Southern Madison County and was known as Dayton. Sometime near the Civil War, the name was changed to Henderson Station. After the War, the name was shortened to Henderson. During the 1880’s era, Henderson had a large amount of growth, and by the turn of the century, it had more than 2,000 residents. Most of the town was built around the railroad, but a college caused growth, as well. Henderson is a progressive modern, small Southern town, but it also has its heritage and history deeply embedded within its borders and embraced by its citizens.
The Depot Community Center
Find visitor’s information and The Community Room, which exhibits the Kentucky tobacco industry, blues musician W.C. Handy and a working train set. The Depot is a replica of the original 1901 train depot and stands as an example of the city’s commitment to preserving the past, while embracing Henderson’s future. Explore the museum’s newest addition – the Veteran’s Exhibit, which commemorates America’s veterans through stories and interviews, photographs, plaques, and trinkets. Then explore one of the most popular exhibits, Nooks and Crannies, which highlights antique artifacts of all kinds that have their own place in history, all coming together to create a timeline of history.
Historic Henderson County Library
Home of the Rotunda Gallery and rotating art exhibits, photography and fine art featuring local and regional artists. This institution first opened its doors to the public on August 1, 1904, after years of hard work by the publisher of the Henderson Journal, Edward Jonas. Mr. Jonas first began his campaign to bring a library to Henderson over a game of golf with the well-known philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. Mr. Carnegie agreed to give the community the funding needed to build the library, if the community would purchase a suitable lot and would enact a tax that would cover the expenses related to running a library. It took Mr. Jonas until 1902 to get the backing of the local government, but soon things began to fall into place. Visitors may also notice the lettering on the outside of the building shows the word “Pvblic” rather than “Public,” suggesting that the people involved with the design of this building, more than likely would have known the Classic Roman alphabet used the symbol V for both U and V.
The center of a vibrant downtown shopping and business center, offering a variety of shops for everyone’s interest. Simon’s Shoes, is a full service fitting shoe store, which carries the largest selections of shoe sizes in the Midwest.
John James Audubon Museum
Located in the picturesque John James Audubon State Park, the staff will provide a guided tour of the Museum. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, guests can explore original oil and watercolor art by Audubon, as well all personal memorabilia in this world-class facility. Enjoy a “Birds of Prey” program presented by the park naturalist. After touring the Museum, explore the scenic grounds. On October 3, 1934, the Commonwealth of Kentucky dedicated the John James Audubon State Park, years later provided money to create the addition of a museum to the grounds. Today, the park is filled with beautiful and interesting stops for everyone. Bird watchers have some of the best views of native bird species from the wooded areas and benches of the park. Trails wrap around the park with incredible views of Kentucky and a nice walk can be enjoyed with the comfort of benches placed along the paths.
Audubon Mill Park
This scenic park, located right off of the Ohio River, offers the perfect opportunity for guests who wish to spend the day enjoying and exploring the beauty of Kentucky. The park offers a beautiful, paved trail perfect for a stroll down the river and has plenty of spots to take a rest on the benches or to relax and soak in the beauty of the outdoors. Guests may want to utilize this location to enjoy a lunch from a local eatery at one of the tables or pavilions for the perfect outdoor picnic. The park is used annually to hold a series of festivals, concerts, and events and is a frequent destination for Blue Grass and local artists to vocalize their talents to the community and visitors.
Day 5: Paducah, KY
Paducah embraces their harmonious history between the European settlers and the Padoucca Indians native to the area. The city is located at the confluence of the Ohio and the Tennessee Rivers and because of this, it is often called the Four-Rivers Area due to the proximity of the Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee, and Mississippi Rivers. This prime location has played a major role in Paducah’s history, as transportation was easily accessible – the economy was strong and travelers were frequent!
National Quilt Museum
25 years in the making- the National Quilt Museum supports quilters and aims to advance the art of quilting by displaying exceptional quilt and fiber art exhibits. This museum celebrates the work of today’s quilters and offers a variety of unique exhibits that change throughout the year. Forget what you think quilting is—the National Quilt Museum isn’t full of dated simple block quilting, but exhibits works of art with a quilt as a canvas. Be certain to stop by, this museum is a must see! Celebrating 25 years in 2016, The National Quilt Museum is the largest of its kind in the world. It is the portal to the contemporary quilt experience - exhibits and workshops by renowned quilters who are implementing creative approaches to fiber art. The 27,000-square-foot contemporary structure features three galleries highlighting a collection of contemporary quilts and changing thematic exhibitions that celebrate the talent and diversity of the global quilting community. Workshops taught by world-class fiber art instructors are offered year-round. The Museum Shop & Book Store offers Kentucky Crafted items and quilt-related instructional and collector books.
Lowertown Arts District
Paducah’s oldest neighborhood is famous for the award-winning Artist Relocation Program that prompted its colorful revitalization which continues today with the expansion of the Paducah School of Art & Design campus. The Arts District is populated with working artists, students and artists-in-residence who add to the City’s vibrant artistic landscape.
The Lloyd Tilghman House & Civil War Museum
Prepare to be amazed at the significant influence Paducah had on the outcome of the Civil War. Generals U.S. Grant, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and others made their astounding contributions to history here. Hear this untold story inside the 1852 Greek revival home of Confederate General Lloyd Tilghman. This historic Greek revival house was built in 1852 for Lloyd Tilghman, a new member of Paducah’s community at the time. After the house was completed, Tilghman did not purchase the property, instead, the builder, Robert Woolfolk became the sole owner of the house and grounds. Tilghman, his wife, their seven children, and five slaves resided in the home until 1861. It was then that Woolfolk and his family moved into the home. They family was pro-South and proudly flew a Confederate flag causing many uproars over the community and with the Federal Troops who located their headquarters just across the street from the home. Eventually Woolfolk and his family were banished from Paducah and the United States, forced to live in Canada on August 1, 1864.
The Paducah Railroad Museum
A project of the Paducah Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society showcases equipment and memorabilia from the romantic past of America’s railroads. New simulator gives the sensation of riding a locomotive cab. The original Freight House (Across the parking lot from the Museum) was built in 1925 by the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway. In 1996, the freight house was sold and the Museum moved to a building one-half block away. Here, learn the history of the railroad and those who used it, explore the authentic train models, and enjoy the memorabilia showcased for guests.
River Discovery Center
Celebrate Paducah’s maritime legacy and lore with interactive, water-filled exhibits, including a working model of a lock and dam. Captain a towboat, pleasure watercraft or Coast Guard buoy tender through various scenarios in the new pilothouse simulator. Take a turn behind the pilot wheel to experience river traffic at the Port of Paducah. In 1988 Mayor Gerry Montgomery and his committee pursued the development of a museum to showcase the Four Rivers Region maritime heritage. The River Heritage Center was planned in 1992 as the very beginning stages of the mayor’s dream. Years later the museum was located by Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and renamed the River Heritage Museum before finally receiving its’ current name, the River Discovery Center in 2008. Here explore artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays that share the history of marine life and the history of the river.
Day 6: Cape Girardeau, MO
Nestled along the western banks of the mighty Mississippi River, the city of Cape Girardeau, Missouri is found; a community rich in history and heritage. For more than 250 years, people have been drawn to Cape Girardeau and the river on which it lies. Stroll along the riverfront, where the passion that led Mark Twain to write so eloquently about Cape Girardeau in Life on the Mississippi, the inspiration that Gen. Ulysses S. Grant used to lead with firm conviction as he took command of the Union Army on the Mississippi in historic downtown, and the warmth and hospitality that community founder Louis Lorimier extended to Lewis and Clark while on the journey of a lifetime as they set forth on their Corps of Discovery to explore the Louisiana Purchase.
Mississippi River Tales Mural
Depicting Cape Girardeau’s rich history and heritage, the Mississippi River Tails Mural and the Missouri Wall of Fame highlight some of Missouri’s most notable citizens. The Mississippi River Tales Mural is the largest and most dramatic of Cape Girardeau's murals and is located on a portion of the downtown floodwall. Covering nearly 18,000 square feet, this 1,100-foot-long mural features 24 historically-themed panels that vividly portray Cape Girardeau's rich history and heritage; descriptive markers provide an explanation of each panel. The Missouri Wall of Fame Mural features 47 individuals who were born in Missouri or achieved fame while living in the state.
Red House Interpretive Center
Located just off Main Street in historic downtown Cape Girardeau. The center commemorates the life of the towns’ founder, Louis Lorimier, as well as the historic visit made here by Lewis and Clark in 1803. Explore this historic building and museum and learn about frontier life. The Center commemorates the life of community founder French-Canadian, Louis Lorimier, as well as the visit of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in November, 1803. The Interpretive Center houses an early 1800's exhibit that reflects the lives of the early settlers of the old Cape Girardeau district. In addition, a rendering of Lorimier's Trading Post displays authentic items that would have been sold at the turn of the 19th century. The gardens on the north side of the house show the types of garden you might have seen in 1803 with flowers, vegetables, cooking herbs, and medicinal herbs.
Old St. Vincent’s Church
Beautiful Renaissance architecture and ornate interior. The Renaissance architecture, referred to as English Gothic Revival style that this miraculous church is styled in, is not only beautiful but also extremely rare, as very few churches of this style exist in America today. Explore the many artifacts preserved in the church as you admire the arches and woodwork lining the interior of the chapel. Discover this fully restored beauty as it transports you back in time.
Hop off at the Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts to explore the Crisp Museum. The museum is dedicated to exhibiting significant historical and cultural objects of regional and national importance. Completed in 1883, the Glenn house is a fully restored historic museum in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It is a prime example of the Victorian period lifestyle including the architecture, furnishings, clothing, and décor. The Glenn House was built for David A. Glenn, who was an influential figure in the city’s history. He and his family occupied the home until 1915. Before they vacated the home, it was renovated in 1900 to the Queen Anne Style. The house is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Many of the furnishings and features of the home have been restored to their original beauty and have been kept authentic to the Victorian time interior.
Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts River Campus
The home to the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts. The Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts is composed of departments covering the history and science of art, music, music, theater, and dance. Visit the beautiful campus and explore the unique styles and subjects taught here. Walk around and discover impressive pieces of art, in many different styles, showcasing the talent and hard work of local students.
Crisp Museum’s Crossroads Gallery
Interactive kiosks and exhibits highlight the history of southeast Missouri, while the Old Bridge Overlook and Park provide a dramatic view of the impressive Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge. The Crisp Museum collects in three thematic areas: archaeology, history, and fine art. The Archaeology collection as several collections of prehistoric Native American artifacts, which illustrate aspects of the daily and ceremonial lives of the indigenous peoples who lived in southeastern Missouri from 13,500 B.C. to 1400 A.D., highlighting some very rare and exotic artifacts. The museum's historical collections cover a wide range of artifacts with strengths in the areas of military, firearms and their accessories, clothing, and hand tools.
Cape River Heritage Museum
Learn all about Cape Girardeau at the Cape River Heritage Museum…where history comes to life. Founded in 1981, this museum offers an ever-changing lineup of exhibits highlighting the heritage and culture of the region. Since its founding in 1981, the Cape River Heritage Museum has focused on local history while preserving a historic building at the corner of Frederick and Independence streets. Located in an old fire house, the museum offers events, tours, and exhibits on steamboats, education, commerce, the Missouri mule, the state flag, the Show-Me slogan, Native American culture, and fire and police memorabilia. Snap a picture of yourself in the model steamboat or in the cab of a tall-ladder fire truck from the 1950’s!
VisitCape Visitors Center
Stop by the visitor’s center to learn more about Cape Girardeau. Browse the gift shop or use the restrooms while discovering this river town.
Day 7: Scenic River Cruising
While cruising aboard the American Queen, don’t forget to set aside some time for a little pampering. Experience Pevonia spa treatments for optimum de-aging and unparalleled rejuvenation. Pevonia green skincare products and in-spa treatments unite the finest natural botanical and marine ingredients with advanced technology and delivery systems to ensure the products reach the deepest layers of the skin for maximum absorbency and truly phenomenal results.The American Queen Spa by Pevonia will have you feeling like royalty! From body wraps and deep-tissue massages to spa-quality skincare, you will feel totally revitalized from head to toe.
Day 8: Alton, IL
Arrival 8:00 AM
Enjoy nearby St. Louis at your leisure or consider a Post-Cruise Premium Shore Excursion with airport transfer.