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New Mississippi River Itinerary Announced

June 9, 2017 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Bloomington, Minnesota Convention & Visitors Bureau and Lyric Hotel & Spa in Cleveland, Mississippi partnered with Brand USA’s consultant, Sean Bayliss, to create a new Mississippi River fly-drive itinerary called Rhythms of the River.  This new itinerary starts with visitors flying into MSP International Airport and then follows the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico in New Orleans, Louisiana, experiencing the rich and diverse music culture of the United States, including the history and cuisine all along the Mighty Mississippi.

The Rhythms of the River itinerary has the option of starting in Minnesota, where the Mississippi begins, to celebrate the lives and music of Bob Dylan and Prince. The tour then travels through Wisconsin to Dubuque, Iowa and on to Hannibal and St. Louis, Missouri. No music tour would be complete without a visit to Nashville, Tennessee, so the itinerary moves away from the Mississippi briefly, then winds back to Memphis, Tennessee and on to the Lyric Hotel & Spa in Cleveland, Mississippi in the Mississippi Delta.  The final days of the road trip take visitors to Natchez, Mississippi and finally ends in New Orleans, Louisiana.  A second option is starting in Chicago, Illinois, and traveling to Springfield, Illinois. Both options continue on from St. Louis, Missouri.

Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau is excited to work with receptive operators on this itinerary.  Since Paisley Park opened to the public for tours and group experiences, many music fans have made the pilgrimage to Chanhassen, Minnesota to see the sanctuary which was Prince’s backdrop for his creative genius.  Paisley Park is where daily tours take visitors through Prince’s recording studio and residence, replete with his iconic outfits, awards and other memorabilia.  Travel into Minneapolis to First Avenue where Prince performed regularly, experimenting with new sounds; in 1983, the album version of the song Purple Rain was recorded there, and it was the backdrop for his movie of the same name.  Join a Paisley Park After Dark event on Saturday night, when a live DJ hosts a dance party in the NPG Music Club where Prince previously hosted spontaneous performance events that lasted for hours. Visit live music venues, like the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis, where Prince would often slip in quietly to check out the talent, sitting at his favorite table.

Minnesota is also the home town of Bob Dylan, so be sure to check out the huge brilliantly colored Bob Dylan mural at 5th and Hennepin in downtown Minneapolis, painted by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra. Titled “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” the piece features three photo-realistic images of Dylan; one as a young troubadour early in his career, a second from years later, and finally, a third more current image of the singer wearing what has become his trademark white hat. Extend your stay in Minnesota to follow a Bob Dylan tour along Highway 61.  Visit Dylan’s birthplace in Duluth, Minnesota and his boyhood home in Hibbing, and then visit the University of Minnesota campus and The Armory Arts & Music Center, both a part of Duluth’s Bob Dylan Way.

With Bloomington hotels being centrally located to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), Mall of America, First Avenue in Minneapolis and Paisley Park in Chanhassen, it is the perfect headquarters for visitors who want the full Prince experience. Paisley Park is about 17 mi/25 km west of Mall of America and Bloomington hotels and is accessible only by car.  Easy access by METRO light rail allows for travel from Bloomington to Minneapolis and Saint Paul to music venues, restaurants and murals for both Prince and Bob Dylan.  Visit Bloomington Convention & Visitor Bureau’s website at for more information about staying in Bloomington; contact Pamela Joy, Media and Tour Account Manager, at with any questions about the itinerary.

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