Best Mississippi River Experience (2009)

Dolly Steamboat at Canyon Lake

The Dolly Steamboat markets itself as the "Junior Grand Canyon Tour," and Teddy Roosevelt compared the area favorably to the Alps, but we prefer to think of Canyon Lake as a stand-in for the Mississippi — at least when you're aboard the Dolly Steamboat. This recently restored sightseeing boat cruises the lake like Tom Sawyer once did down south. Though the big-wheeled boat floats like something from Mark Twain's era, the rocky landscape in the deep valley of the lake is uniquely Western. As you cruise, the captain will tell you about the history of the Apache Trail, and point to the bighorn sheep, coyote, deer, bobcats, and mountain lions that are often visible from the decks. Coyotes and bobcats? Golly, Huck, that's mighty scary!


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