States traversed: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana
US Route 61 is the Mississippi River's best friend. It runs from just north of Minneapolis, south to New Orleans, and it follows the Mississippi River for almost the entire way. The only deviation from the Mississippi River occurs as US Route 61 cuts across the eastern lobe of Iowa, rather than continuing to hug the river's roundabout course. The northern end is at Interstate 35, at a point in Minnesota just north of the town of Forest Lake and US Route 8. US Route 61 heads through St. Paul, and then hugs the west side of the Mississippi River until La Crosse, Wisconsin, home of a bridge carrying US Route 61 into southwest Wisconsin. At Dubuque, Iowa, US Route 61 crosses back to the west side of the river, so it can cut down the eastern lobe of Iowa. At Davenport, Iowa, US Route 61 resumes hugging the west side of the Mississippi River. At Memphis, Tennessee, US Route 61 crosses the river again to start hugging the east bank of the river, down the western edge of the state of Mississippi. US Route 61 continues through Baton Rouge along the northeastern bank of the Mississippi River, finally reaching its end at US Route 90 in New Orleans, Louisiana.