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Archive for mississippi

Following the Mississippi

By Linda Tancs

You may have wondered whether you can drive along the course of the Mississippi River. Yes, there’s a road for that. The Great River Road National Scenic Byway follows the course of the Mississippi River for 3,000 miles from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, passing through 10 states. Its designation as a National Scenic Byway is in recognition of the route’s outstanding assets in the areas of culture, history, nature, recreation and scenic beauty. The different roads and highways comprising the byway are marked by a green pilot’s wheel logo to keep you on track. Watch for river-related attractions and interpretative centers. You can take in the whole route in 36 hours of straight driving, but why not stretch it out for four to 10 days and enjoy the ride.

Chasing the Trace

By Linda Tancs

The Old Natchez Trace is a travel corridor used by American Indians and others, representing over 10,000 years of history. Today it’s known as Natchez Trace Parkway, a 444-mile recreational road and scenic drive through Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. It’s so much more than a drive, though. It’s also a designated cycling route as well as a place for hiking, biking, horseback riding and camping. You’ll have the opportunity to see prehistoric mound sites, gorgeous waterfalls, imprints of Old Natchez at places like Sunken Trace and the hills of Mississippi at Jeff Busby Little Mountain. You’ll even find The Meriwether Lewis monument, marking the burial site of famed explorer Meriwether Lewis, near present-day Hohenwald, Tennessee.


To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Where the Blues Began

By Linda Tancs

Clarksdale, Mississippi, hails as the birthplace of the blues. That’s where you’ll find the Delta Blues Museum, the state’s oldest music museum. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the facility, which includes photographic exhibitions, musical instruments, recordings, sheet music, posters, costumes, folk art, paintings and other memorabilia. Among its many highlights are displays devoted to Muddy Waters and Big Mama Thornton as well as guitars played by B.B. King, John Lee Hooker and Big Joe Williams.

Sweet Devouring in Mississippi

By Linda Tancs

Eudora Welty was a writer of international acclaim whose novels and short stories earned numerous literary awards, including the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for her novel “The Optimist’s Daughter.” She spent the vast majority of her life at 1119 Pinehurst Street in Jackson, Mississippi, in a Tudor Revival-style house built by her parents in 1925. There she crafted many of her works of fiction, book reviews and essays. A National Historic Landmark since 2004, the Welty House welcomes thousands of visitors a year from all parts of Mississippi, every state in the nation and from an average of 23 foreign countries. One of the most intact literary homes in the country, her vast library underscores her description of reading as a “sweet devouring” and her devotion to the arts. Tours of the house and its gardens are by reservation only.

Unfinished Business in Natchez

By Linda Tancs

Located in Natchez, Mississippi, Longwood is an antebellum mansion built for wealthy planter Haller Nutt for himself, his wife and their eight children. As it was nearing completion, the Civil War began and the unfinished home was abandoned by its workmen, leaving the family to reside among the completed rooms in the basement. Now a popular tourist attraction, it is America’s largest octagonal house (at 30,000 square feet) and boasts a distinctive Byzantine onion-shaped dome. This listed home and national landmark is sometimes referred to as Nutt’s Folly, a reference to the mansion’s unfinished state because the fields and land owned by Nutt had been burned by Union soldiers during the Civil War.

A Time Capsule in Mississippi

By Linda Tancs

The USS Cairo was sunk by a Confederate torpedo on December 12, 1862, in the Yazoo River, 13 miles north of Vicksburg, Mississippi. One of seven ironclad gunboats named in honor of towns along the upper Mississippi and Ohio rivers, it bolstered Northern hopes of regaining control of the lower Mississippi River and splitting the Confederacy in two. After its sinking, it remained engulfed in sand and silt until it was located and identified in 1956 and raised on December 12, 1964. Restored for display in Vicksburg National Military Park, its treasure trove of artifacts includes weapons, munitions, naval stores and personal gear of the sailors who served on board. The gunboat and its artifacts can now be seen along the tour road at the USS Cairo Museum.

Biloxi is Back

By Linda Tancs

Biloxi, Mississippi is home to nine casinos.  “Is” is the key word.  Following the ravages of Katrina, Biloxi has replaced its floating casinos with on-shore, Vegas-worthy digs at Bayview and Beach.  Why not head over for the Seafood Festival at the Town Green on September 15th and 16th and give a few slot machines a spin while you’re there.  Just don’t lose your shirt.

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