Seasoned to Perfection
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Lake Monroe at Sunset.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Lake Monroe, Indiana
A short distance from Bloomington is a delightful spot. Lake Monroe, the state’s largest lake at 10,750 acres, provides ample boat ramps, beaches, picnic areas, state operated camping facilities, the Fourwinds Resort & Marina, two private camping resorts and 24,000 acres that house state-owned forests encompassed on three sides by Hoosier National Forest.
September delivers exciting events including the Lotus World Music Festival (September 20-23), while Harvest Moon Weekend (September 29-30) features programs, crafts and activities celebrating autumn and the harvest season at Paynetown State Recreation Area.
For incredible, early morning or sunset views, be sure to climb the fire tower at Hickory Ridge or make a trip in town to sample the restaurant fare. If you’re there Saturday morning, the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market is a must.
There’s a variety of things to see and do at this interesting port along the Ohio River. Waterfront Park, located downtown and adjacent to the Louisville Wharf and Riverfront Plaza/Belvedere, provides boaters with at-your-own-risk dockage at the Wharf from June 1 to November 1. Boaters are urged to check that the channel is free of traffic upon approaching or leaving the area.
The complex is center stage for outdoor concerts and festivals, including the annual Birthday Bash for the Belle of Louisville, set for October 14. The Belle, built in 1914 and moored at the Wharf, is the oldest operating Mississippi-style sternwheeler steamboat in operation — so book your passage for back-in-time voyage (see xxxx on page xxxx for more information on this boat).
When taking in the downtown sights, the Brown Hotel (another Historic Hotels of America, built in 1923 at a cost of $4 million dollars) offers an amazing stop with its impressive English Renaissance architecture. Baseball aficionados will be mesmerized with a visit to the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.
The city boasts two annual happenings: The Kentucky Bluegrass Music Festival, one of Louisville’s oldest music events at the Water Tower (September 1-3) and the Jeffersontown Gaslight Festival, which kicks off with a motorcycle rally (September 9). This fifth largest festival in the region features a car show, live entertainment and more than 140 arts and crafts booths during its nine days.
St. Louis, Missouri
The Gateway City is a splendid Heartland getaway, with a downtown comprised of historical and in-the-now attractions. Alton Marina (adjacent to Riverfront Park) and the St. Louis Yacht Club afford easy accessibility for cruising this city along the mighty Mississippi.
St. Louis’ famed riverfront complex, Laclede’s Landing, is housed in century-old buildings and cobblestone streets dating back to the early days of explorers, traders and settlers. The Landing boasts an array of restaurants, shops, theaters and is a short distance from the city’s foremost landmark, the Gateway Arch. A thrilling, 630-foot ride to the top of the stainless-steel monument leads to an outrageous view of the city and Mississippi River. Make sure your sightseeing list also includes a horse-drawn carriage ride during the cool evening, the Museum of Westward Expansion or a stroll the St. Louis Riverfront Trail.
One of season’s biggest events, the Big Muddy Blues Festival, takes place Labor Day Weekend (September 1-2) and features legendary and local performers at Laclede’s Landing.
Additional cruising information is available at:
Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau
Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network
Grand Rivers Tourism Commission
Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau
St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission
Visit Bloomington (Lake Monroe)