Moon River . . . .

I was saddened to learn of the recent death of crooner Andy Williams, who made the song Moon River famous.  This event however brought about an idea for this travel blog.  First, I learned that a river inlet in Savannah, Georgia named Moon River was so named in honor of Johnny Mercer, who along with Henry Mancini composed this award-winning song in 1961.  

I thought,  “Why not write about rivers and their relationship to tourism?”  When you think of it;  interior waterways have helped tourism move along in many directions.  pun intended

Saloon of the Steamboat Princess, Photo by Persac 1861, wikimedia
When thinking of tourism and rivers, the first that comes to mind is the mighty Mississippi, and although the river is used heavily for commercial transporation, how can we not think of River Boats that traversed its waterways for more than 200 hundred years.  The first ‘steamboat’ called the New Orleans, traveled down the Mississippi arriving at its ‘namesake city’ in January 1812.

It wasn’t until the 1820-1830’s, when a new attraction rippled along on river boats.  It was at this time when the inception of Gambling Boats  took place when many states passed laws against gambling, and since no one state had jurisdiction over the Mississippi, the boats became a popular form of tourism.  Today, places like Natchez, along the Mississippi shoreline are dotted with casinos, and for many a major tourist draw.

Bear Mountain Bridge across the Hudson River, Wikimedia
Another popular river is the Hudson, a 315 mile watercourse that flows from the north and southward past Albany, New York, eventually forming a boundary between  the states’s of New York and New Jersey.  Long before being named for Henry Hudson, who explored it in 1609, it was known as Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk and Muhheakantuck (river that flows two ways).  Along with its history though is its tourism affiliation, being named as one of America’s Heritage Rivers, and sometimes referred to as “America’s Rhine” perhaps due to the natural beauty of the Hudson Valley.  If your travels find you along the Hudson River, why not check out this little inn for a good night’s sleep. . .

Rivers have spawned commerce, poetry, scenic vistas, sports and outdoor enthusiasts and even number one hit songs like Moon River.  Fact is, here’s a little trivia for you:  “Rivers have generated more songs than any other habitat,” according to

How many ‘river songs’ can you name?   My short list includes “Proud Mary” . . . rollin’, just a rollin on the river; or, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, all about the River Kwai; and how about Ol’ Man River, and finally on my list, Whiskey River by Willie Nelson.

3 thoughts on “Moon River . . . .

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