As summer temperatures rise, it’s always a good idea to stay close to cool bodies of water. The following trips keep you close to some of the most beautiful rivers, lakes and streams in North America.
In Western Iowa, a pair of waterways give boaters and anglers opportunities for fun.
Ride and Fish the Rivers
Explore the Mississippi River from the port city of Davenport in eastern Iowa. Hop on a Channel Cat Water Taxi and ride the river to compelling sights along the banks. On the Illinois side of the river, board the elegant Celebration Belle and sail the Big Muddy in style on a four-hour lunch cruise. There’s also a Broadway and Movie Theme cruise as well as narrated voyages.
Experience the river by foot by crossing the pedestrian-friendly Davenport Skybridge. Fifty feet above downtown Davenport, and 575 feet in length, the cable-stayed footbridge’s 8,000 LED lights create an ever-changing, kaleidoscopic, multi-color light show. Pause at the south end’s observation deck for a panoramic view of the mighty Mississippi.
South of Davenport, the Skunk River is notoriously known for its excellent fishing. The shoreline of nearly every stretch and bend of the river is littered with fallen trees, creating excellent habitat for channel catfish, flathead catfish, freshwater drum and carp.
Choose from these Iowa RV parks:
|Interstate RV Park, Davenport||Crossroads RV Park, Mount Pleasant|
Go gaming and see the Great Lakes in the North Star State.
Go Golfing and Fishing in Hinckley
This getaway near Interstate 35 offers gaming and golf in a small-town setting. The Grand National Golf Club’s course has a championship layout with rolling hills, ponds and hardwood native trees. At the Grand Casino Hinckley, guests can enjoy machines, table gaming as well as top-notch entertainment. To the north, Banning State Park has excellent hiking, fishing and whitewater rafting along the Kettle River.
Choose from these Minnesota RV parks:
|Grand Hinckley RV Resort, Hinckley||Old Barn Resort, Preston|
Located between Omaha and Lincoln, Greenwood is the perfect base for the exploration of the Cornhusker State. In Omaha, visitors can experience wildlife at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, with a geodesic dome that’s home to the largest indoor desert in the world. Walk across the scenic Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, a graceful 3,000-foot walkway that stretches across the Missouri River and offers stunning views of the Omaha skyline.
In Lincoln, the University of Nebraska hosts the University of Nebraska State Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate with the world’s largest articulated mammoth as well as the jaw-dropping Mueller Planetarium. While in Greenwood, hunt for treasures in the massive Platte Valley Antique Mall.
Stay: Pine Grove RV Park, Greenwood
From the Black Hills to the Missouri River Basin, South Dakota packs plenty of adventures for travelers.
Beat it to the Black Hills
Hill City is a favorite destination and often referred to as the “Heart of the Black Hills.” From here, visitors travel just 12 miles to get to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the state’s most popular attraction. Allow yourself time to marvel at the 60-foot faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, whose likenesses were carved over a 14-year period starting in 1927.
Still seeking more presidential inspiration? Rapid City, just 23 miles northwest of Rushmore, goes by the nickname “City of Presidents.” Take a selfie with one of the life-size bronze statues of each president found throughout the town. Also in town, the Museum of Geology features mounted displays of mammals, marine reptiles and dinosaur skeletons discovered in the Black Hills area. If you prefer living giants, motor south to Custer State Park, home to a herd of an estimated 1,400 bison. Watch these majestic giants amble across rolling terrain, or simply get acquainted with the “begging burros” — wild donkeys that approach motorists in search of food.
Cast a Line in Spearfish
Ready to cool down? Northwest of Rapid City on Interstate 90, Spearfish is home to stunning scenery and great fishing. Check out Bridal Veil Falls, a 60-foot cascade on Spearfish Creek. Then put away the camera and pull on the waders for fly-fishing for trout in the current.
Choose from these South Dakota RV parks:
|Oasis Campground, Oacoma||Heartland RV Park & Cabins, Hermosa|
|Beaver Lake Campground, Custer||Rapid City RV Park and Campground, Rapid City|
|Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort, Hill City||Rushmore Shadows Resort, Rapid City|
|South Dakota Dept Of Game, Fish & Parks, Pierre||Chris’ Camp & RV Park, Spearfish|
|New Frontier Campground & RV Park, Presho|
Do the Dells and Explore Lake Superior in the Badger State.
Slip and Slide in the Wisconsin Dells
Dubbed the “Waterpark Capital of the World,” Wisconsin Dells has more indoor and outdoor water parks per capita than anywhere else on Earth. Speed down the Scorpion’s Tail and Black Anaconda at Noah’s Ark, the largest water park in America, with three miles of waterslides. The Wilderness Resort is the size of 12 football fields, with four indoor and four outdoor waterparks.
Visit the San Francisco of the Midwest
The town of Superior sits right next to the Minnesota border. Cross into Minnesota and explore Duluth. With steep hillsides and excellent views of Lake Superior, Duluth has been compared to the home of the Golden Gate Bridge out west. Its vibrant cultural scene also reminds visitors of Frisco (Duluth was, after all, the home of Bob Dylan). From Duluth, embark on the North Shore All-American Scenic Drive, which follows the coast of Lake Superior and passes spectacular scenery that includes eight state parks and the Split Rock Lighthouse, built in 1910.
See Madison, Milwaukee and More
Lake Koshkonong is a great family getaway, with 10,595 acres for boating and jet skiing and a healthy population of musky, panfish, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. To the northwest, Madison is the state capital and home to vibrant art and cultural scenes; stroll Tenny Park, a lush urban oasis near the Yahara River. To the northeast, Milwaukee is home to the NBA world champion Milwaukee Bucks, Major League Baseball’s Brewers and a stone’s throw from Green Bay, home of the Packers.
Choose from these Wisconsin RV parks:
|Milton KOA, Milton||Sherwood Forest Camping & RV Park, Wisconsin Dells|
|Mont du Lac Resort, Superior|