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47-84°F
8-29°C

1 May-30 Sep

Great River Road & Great Lakes Self Guided Motorcycle Tour

The mighty Mississippi River, Lake Superior, Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, Harley-Davidson Museum – take a ride of superlatives with Orange & Black – four of the biggest and best in America all in one motorcycle tour! One of the joys of riding in the USA is the amazing variety of landscapes and cultures. The Mississippi and Great Lakes were essential to the development of the USA, the main trade routes that opened up the country to trappers, miners and farmers. And you won’t be surprised that the early European settlers in these parts were mainly Scandinavian and pretty tough, as were the native Americans. And they still are. River and lake communities grew as trade developed, many have contracted since the advent of rail and flight transport, giving you a real insight into the pioneering spirit that built America.

 

And as a visitor, the scenery is everything you expect – BIG! The Mississippi here has over 1000 miles to flow to the sea, yet in places is literally miles wide; Lake Superior is so vast it has its own tides; Lake Michigan ferry crossings are longer than UK crossings to France or Ireland. Just get on your Harley and ride …..

 

Total mileage c.2000

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PRINT DETAILS

  • Route 66

    Route 66
  • Apostle Islands, Lake Superior

    Apostle Islands, Lake Superior
  • Munising

    Munising
  • Tahquamenon Falls

    Tahquamenon Falls
  • Chicago - Adams Street Route 66 start, Art Institute, Willis Tower, the blues!

    Chicago - Adams Street Route 66 start, Art Institute, Willis Tower, the blues!
  • Mississippi River

    Mississippi River
  • Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes

    Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes
  • Lake Michigan

    Lake Michigan
  • Harley-Davidson® Museum

    Harley-Davidson® Museum
Expand all
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Day 1 Arrive Chicago
Day 1	Arrive Chicago

Welcome to the windy city! On arrival at O’Hare Airport, take the CTA or a taxi to your downtown hotel, where your authorized Harley-Davidson® rental motorcycle will be waiting for you. Go out and explore Chicago with all it has to offer. Your hotel is close to Chicago's famous blues clubs, Navy Pier, Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), fine dining restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. Perhaps go to the starting point of Historic Route 66 at East Adams St and South Michigan Ave.

Day 2 Chicago – Davenport, IA 225 miles
Day 2	Chicago – Davenport, IA

There’s a lot to see in Chicago, so why not spend a day exploring. Here’s just a few ideas: Take the river and lake cruise, visit the museums and galleries, picnic in Grant Park, check out a couple of music bars, eat one of Chicago’s famous pizzas or steaks.

Day 3 Davenport, IA – Prairie du Chien, WI 170 miles
Day 3	Davenport, IA – Prairie du Chien, WI

After breakfast, you’re off! First stop, Adams St, the start of Route 66. The adventure has begun and before you know it you are riding down Historic Route. You follow the Pontiac Trail, as Route 66 used to be known here, through the corn belt of Illinois, to the small town of Dwight, a nice little lunch stop. Then you head west across miles of open farmland to Rock Island (yes, that one!) and the port of Davenport on the Mississippi.

Day 4 Prairie du Chien – Red Wing 150 miles
Day 4	Prairie du Chien – Red Wing

Today you start riding the Great river Road. Here the Mississippi flows between hills for much of the way, making for some winding roads through woodlands, and spectacular views and river crossings. You can ride either bank of the river. Make time to stop at Galena, once one of the most important cities in Illinois, and a major river city. It was also home to Ulysses S. Grant, Civil War General and president. In his time, the population of 14,000 was over three times the current population. The town is now considered one of the top ten charming small towns in America, and a perfect tourist stopover, so take some time to have a wander around. And how about a detour to the American National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa!

Day 5 Red Wing - Ashland 220 miles
Day 5	Red Wing - Ashland

A relaxing ride today. As you continue northwest, the river broadens out and Highway 61 follows the eastern river bank. There are only 4 bridges on today’s ride, so make sure you plan your route! Great riding with sweeping roads, small river ports and more great river views. Red Wing – named after a Sioux chief – is best known for Red Wing pottery, has some notable local buildings, and perhaps typifies the struggles of small-town America today.

Day 6 Ashland – Copper Harbor 200 miles
Day 6	Ashland – Copper Harbor

Leaving the mighty Mississippi behind, you head due north. Not many towns around here, but there is Spooner, with its canoe museum(!). This afternoon you ride past more lakes than you’ve probably seen in your whole life. Your day ends at historic Ashland on the shore of Lake Superior. You won’t yet get to appreciate the scale of the Lake, as Ashland lies in pretty, Chequamegon Bay, sheltered by the Apostle Islands.

Day 7 Copper Harbor - Munising 200 miles
Day 7	Copper Harbor - Munising

Today you will get to appreciate the scale of Lake Superior as you ride north all day along the Keweenaw Peninsula to a point that is about midway across the lake. This is copper country, with the purest copper seams in the World (97%), and the area is littered with active and defunct mines, and unusual rock formations. And don’t forget to stop at the restored Fort Wilkins before arriving in Copper Harbor. The views across the lake in the evening light from your waterfront motel can be spectacular.

Day 8 Munising – St Ignace 165 miles
Day 8	Munising – St Ignace

Your first main stop today is L’Anse at the end of Keweenaw Bay. Take a dip in the lake at Waterfront Park or Second Sand Beach or try a short walk on Little Mountain for a view over the town. You then follow the road to Big Bay sandwiched between Lake Superior, the tiny (relatively) Lake Independence and the Huron mountains and on to Marquette, where you can relax on one of the local sandy beaches. Our day’s ride ends in Munising on the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. If time allows, take a boat trip to see spectacular rock formations along with some interesting, historic and beautiful lighthouses. And if you fancy a break, why not spend an extra night here?

Day 9 St Ignace – Bay City 235 miles
Day 9	St Ignace – Bay City

Your day starts with a morning ride to Taquamenon Falls State Park. After lunch, ride down to the north shore of Lake Michigan and a final, short ride to St Ignace, on the Straits of Mackinac, dividing Lakes Michigan and Huron. To the east is Mackinac Island, often referred to as ‘The Bermuda of the Great Lakes’. The island has no motorized traffic, just horse power – as in horses and carts and gigs and trolleys. The architecture is magnificent and the Grand Hotel was made famous by the movie ‘Somewhere in Time’. Ride the rooster-tail ferry across to the island.

Day 10 Bay City – Traverse City 155 miles
Day 10	Bay City – Traverse City

You ride down the west coast of Lake Huron to Alpena and then continue on the coast road to Bay City. A lovely relaxing ride.

Day 11 Traverse City – Milwaukee 165 miles
Day 11	Traverse City – Milwaukee

Head west across the peninsula on some quiet backroads to Traverse City. Then comes the highlight of today’s ride: the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, considered one of the 10 great wonders of the USA, and almost unknown! A real surprise.

Day 12 Milwaukee free day
Day 12	Milwaukee

Ride south along the shoreline to Ludington or Muskegon and take the ferry across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee. We’ll book premier lounge seating to make your crossing more comfortable (if you didn’t realise how big the Great Lakes are, you will now). And suddenly, you’re ‘home’!

Day 13 Milwaukee – Chicago and depart Chicago 80 miles
Day 13	Milwaukee – Chicago and depart Chicago

The day is yours to enjoy the Milwaukee, with its old downtown area, iconic art gallery, and of course the Harley-Davidson Museum, and hopefully there’s time to see the Motor Company headquarters at Juneau Rd.

  • Our Tour Price Includes
    • Harley-Davidson® authorized rental motorcycle (current year model, dealer owned, under 20k miles with factory warranty)
    • Standard motorcycle insurance cover including CDW and State minimum liability cover
    • Emergency roadside assistance
    • Personal hardcopy tourbook including maps
    • Accommodation in 2-4* hotels
    • Some breakfasts
    • Hotel to dealership transfers
    • Bike locks
    • Unlimited mileage
    • All taxes and any one way fees
    • Helmets (if requested). We strongly recommend you bring your own
    • Luggage storage at dealership
    • SatNav included in selected models
    • GBP pricing – we take the currency risk
    • Guaranteed financial and legal protection, for your peace of mind from our Travel Trust Association membership and ATOL Bond
  • Pre-bookable Options
    ‘Try before you Fly’ Harley-Davidson® 2 hour Orientation Ride Flights (we are an ATOL bonded, UK company) Specialist Travel insurance for motorcyclists (EU residents only) Optional CDW & SLI motorcycle insurances Excursions/activities Pre and post tour accommodation Pre and post tour motorcycle hire UK airport hotels and parking US Airport to hotel transfer Trike
  • Our Tour Price Does Not Include
    • Meals except where specified (allow c. £30/person/day)
    • Riding gear
    • Additional activities
    • Personal expenses, souvenirs, tips
    • National Park Fees
    • Fuel and oil on tour (allow c. £15/motorcycle/day)
    • Hotel parking fees
    • Airport to Hotel transfer

Our Main Motorcycle Models

  • Electra Glide Ultra Limited
  • Road Glide Ultra
  • Electra Glide® Ultra Classic®
  • Road King®
  • Street Glide®/Street Glide®Special
  • Heritage Softail® Classic
  • Fat Boy®/Fat Boy® Lo
  • Dyna® Switchback ™
  • Sportster®1200 Custom
  • Tri Glide Ultra Classic
  • Bring Your Own

  • Other models may be available upon request

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