Channel your inner Rhett or Scarlett on Great American Steamboat Company’s newly refurbished American Queen. Life aboard is genteel, but don’t miss exploring the many charming towns along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. Namely:
Red Wing, Minnesota: Known for the salt-glazed pottery made here since 1865, not to mention the Red Wing Shoe Museum (315 Main St.; 651/388-6233). Don’t miss the size-638 work boot.
Helena, Arkansas: Bubba’s Blues Corner (105 Cherry St.; 870/338-3501), near the Biscuit Row historic district, stocks hard-to-find vinyl.