People reading GRR panels at Headwaters

Interpretive Centers

Network of Great River Road Interpretive Centers

The ten-state Mississippi River Parkway Commission has given special recognition to a growing network of over 90 regional museums, parks, historic sites, nature centers, and attractions along the Great River Road in all ten states. Each of these All-American Road centers shares a fascinating aspect of Mississippi River storytelling. Minnesota is proud to be home to thirteen Great River Road Interpretive Centers. Whether planning to visit one or explore them all, check out the website links below to confirm current hours and site features.

Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center

36750 Main Park Drive
Park Rapids, MN 56470

Named for the “Father of Itasca State Park,” the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center features exhibits telling the story of the park, its history, environment and opportunities for outdoor recreation. The large high-ceilinged building features traditional and interactive exhibit galleries, an information desk, a small film area and a gift shop.

Forest History Center

2609 County Road 76
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Learn how Minnesota forests played a significant role in the building of America at the Forest History Center. The center features exhibits on forests and how people have interacted with them since earliest recorded history. Visit a 1934 Minnesota Forest Service cabin and climb the metal fire tower for a chat with “the tower guy” and a view that can’t be beat.


Itasca County Historical Society

201 North Pokegama Avenue
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

The Itasca County Historical Society, most specifically “The River Room” exhibit, tells the stories of a town and area shaped over time by the Mississippi River and with a continued connection to the river. Learn about Itasca County’s rich and vibrant past through compelling displays at the Itasca County Historical Society’s museum in downtown Grand Rapids.

Charles Lindbergh House & Museum

1620 Lindbergh Drive S
Little Falls, MN 56345

Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 flight from New York to Paris launched an aviation revolution, reducing Transatlantic travel from days to hours. Tour his boyhood home, now a National Historic Landmark, and explore interactive exhibits at the visitor center, including a “Spirit of St. Louis” flight simulator.

Oliver Kelley Farm

15788 Kelley Farm Rd NW
Elk River, MN 55330

Home to the founder of the first successful national farming organization, the Oliver H. Kelley farm steps visitors back in time to the mid-19th century. Pitch in and discover for yourself what it was like to farm 40 acres with horses and oxen or give domestic crafts such as making straw hats or soap a try. The site features a 189-acre living history farm with restored building, demonstration gardens and a visitor center.

Mill City Museum

704 S 2nd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Known as the flour milling capital of the world from 1880 to 1930, Minneapolis grew up around its mills. The landmark Washburn “A” Mill closed in 1965 and was nearly destroyed by fire in 1991. Its ruins were incorporated into the Mill City Museum which tells the story of flour milling in Minneapolis. Discover exhibits and multimedia presentations as well as rooftop views of the Mississippi River and the surrounding city set in a stunning piece of history.

Historic Fort Snelling

200 Tower Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55111

Relive the early days of Minnesota and learn the crucial role played by a frontier post with a visit to Historic Fort Snelling. Visitors can tour the fort and learn its many stories from historical reenactors and inspect the fort’s historic buildings including the circa 1820 Round Tower, the oldest surviving building in Minnesota. 

Minnesota History Center

345 Kellogg Blvd W
Saint Paul, MN 55102

Inside its spectacular multi-storied modern building, visitors to the Minnesota History Center will discover an interactive museum with changing and on-going exhibits from a collection of over two million items as well as the Minnesota Historical Society’s research library and extensive archives.

Science Museum of Minnesota

120 Kellogg Boulevard W
Saint Paul, MN 55102

Located inside the fun and educational Science Museum of Minnesota, the Mississippi River Gallery showcases the interaction between the Mississippi River and the lives of the people who depend on it for their life and livelihood. Hop aboard the Charles E. Towboat, a Mississippi River towboat, or challenge yourself with the River Pilot Simulator.

Mississippi River Visitor Center

120 Kellogg Boulevard W
Saint Paul, MN 55102

In downtown St. Paul, just off the lobby of the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Mississippi River Visitor Center serves as a gateway to adventure along the great river of America. Operated by the National Park Service, the visitor center offers a variety of activities to learn about the segment of the river encompassed within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area including videos, interactive exhibits, a Junior Ranger program, and scheduled ranger programs.

National Eagle Center

50 Pembroke Avenue
Wabasha, MN 55981

Overlooking the Mississippi River, the National Eagle Center offers a landmark interpretive center to learn more about our national bird. Climb into an eagle’s nest, test your strength against an eagle’s, and learn how they soar. Meet live bald and golden eagle “ambassadors” in daily programs and at special events, and learn all about eagle biology, ecology, and cultural connections on two floors of interactive exhibits.

Minnesota Marine Art Museum

800 Riverview Drive
Winona, MN 55987

The Minnesota Marine Art Museum is a nonprofit art museum that engages visitors in meaningful visual art experiences through education and exhibitions that explore the ongoing and historic human relationship with water. Located in Winona, Minnesota, the purpose-built museum is located on the banks of the Mississippi River and boasts six galleries, an educational and events space, and a destination retail shop on its seven acre riverside campus.

Winona Cty History Center

Winona County History Center

160 Johnson St
Winona, MN 55987

Located in historic downtown Winona in a 1915 castellated Romanesque National Guard armory, the Winona County History Center offer exhibits that examine life in Winona from the roles of laborer to lumber baron. In addition, the museum houses a superb collection of Native Americana. Explore a cave or riverboat pilot house or check out “Main Street” with carriages and wagons, shops, and even the robbery-proof Security State Bank from the days of Bonnie and Clyde.

Visit to learn more about Interpretive Centers in all ten states.