An Ohio River cruise is a great way to explore the scenic beauty, historic landmarks, and charming towns of the American Midwest and South. The French called the serene blue depths of the Ohio River "la belle riviere," the beautiful river. Thomas Jefferson agreed, describing it as "the most beautiful river on earth" and citing "its current gentle, waters clear, and bosom smooth and unbroken by rocks and rapids..." Explore this waterway yourself aboard a river cruise. The 981-mile-long river passes through or borders six states on its way into Cairo, IL, where it joins the mighty Mississippi. In the late 1700s, the westward-flowing waterway became the main route for pioneers and settlers heading west from Pennsylvania, and numerous cities like Cincinnati and Pittsburgh cropped up along the riverbanks. Often, cruises spend time on the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers, taking you past the famous Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Visit historic Louisville, KY, where the river is at its widest and deepest, and float along calm waters past farmlands, waterfront parks, railroad tracks and bluffs on your way to sites like the Floodwall Mural of Portsmouth, OH, or historic Cape Girardeau, MO, once a French trading post.
Here are some of the top destinations and attractions that you might see on an Ohio River cruise:
Pittsburgh is a vibrant city in Pennsylvania that is known for its stunning skyline, iconic bridges, and local cuisine. Highlights of a visit to Pittsburgh might include a stroll through the historic Strip District, a visit to the famous Andy Warhol Museum, and a scenic drive along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.
Louisville is a historic city in Kentucky that is known for its deep bourbon roots, including the famous Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, the Kentucky Derby Museum, and the local cuisine. Other highlights of a visit to Louisville might include a visit to the historic Churchill Downs, a stroll through the historic Old Louisville neighborhood, and a hike through the nearby Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest.
Cincinnati is a vibrant city in Ohio that is known for its local culture, stunning architecture, and historic landmarks such as the Cincinnati Music Hall, the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, and the local cuisine. Other highlights of a visit to Cincinnati might include a visit to the famous Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, a stroll through the historic Over-the-Rhine district, and a scenic drive along the Ohio River Scenic Byway.
Paducah is a charming town in Kentucky that is known for its historic landmarks, including the Paducah Riverfront, the National Quilt Museum, and the local cuisine. Other highlights of a visit to Paducah might include a stroll through the historic Lower Town Arts District, a visit to the nearby Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, and a hike along the nearby trails.
Marietta is a quaint town in Ohio that is known for its stunning architecture, including the famous Castle Historic House Museum, the Campus Martius Museum, and the local cuisine. Other highlights of a visit to Marietta might include a stroll through the historic downtown, a visit to the local wineries, and a hike along the nearby trails.
These are just a few of the many destinations and attractions that you might see on an Ohio River cruise. Whether you're interested in history, culture, or natural beauty, the Ohio River offers a diverse range of experiences and sights to explore.
These river cruises are especially good values, because your stateroom, onboard meals and some sightseeing are included in a single upfront rate.
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