Literally the road less traveled, but far more rewarding. America’s favorite backroad is rich in history and unique finds for any traveler. The Great River Road Historic Byway of the Mississippi River offers the classic American way to relax and connect to the countryside on a leisurely scenic drive. As one of the oldest, longest and most interesting scenic byways in North America, the Great River Road is a respite to millions of travelers seeking a getaway— from a leisurely day’s drive to an extended vacation. And there’s plenty of Great River Road to see. Nearly 3,000 miles long and running through ten states along the Mississippi River, the Great River Road is an enjoyable and accessible gateway to the gently-flowing backbone of this country.
Did you know…
Dating back to 1938, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, the concept of a transcontinental Great River Parkway along the Mississippi River was developed by the governors of the ten river states. Wishing to conserve precious resources – among them land, time and dollars – it was decided that rather than building a new continuous road, the existing network of rural roads and then-fledgling highways that meandered and crisscrossed the river would become the Great River Road. The green Pilot’s Wheel road sign that marked the route of the new byway decades ago still heralds the byway today.
Greenville has it’s own Interpretive Center of The Great River Road. The unique structure of this center is a replica of the steamboat that originally served as the Mississippi state exhibit at the 1984 New Orleans World’s Fair and harkens back to the great paddlewheelers that once plied the river.