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Summer spotlight: Mississippi’s River City of Vicksburg

Vicksburg
Photo courtesy of Visit Vicksburg

Resting along the Mississippi River, Vicksburg is an oasis of everything good about the Magnolia State.

Offering a host of historical attractions, some of the finest dining the state has to offer, opportunities to get out on the water, and a plethora of outdoor activities, Vicksburg has a little bit of something for everybody.

Museums

Vicksburg is the home of where history meets culture and the two intertwine with museums that could pique the interest of just about anybody.

“Vicksburg is home to a wide variety of museums for both tourists and locals alike,” Visit Vicksburg Executive Director Laura Beth Strickland said.

Vicksburg National Military Park

Home to the infamous battle of Vicksburg that gave Union forces a significant advantage during the American Civil War, the park allows visitors to go back in history and relive the 47-day siege that ended in the Confederate army’s surrender of the city in 1863.

The park includes 1,325 historic monuments and markers, 20 miles of historic trenches and earthworks, a 16-mile tour road, a 12.5-mile walking trail, two antebellum homes, 144 emplaced cannons, the restored gunboat USS Cairo which sunk in December 1862, and the Grant’s Canal site, where the Union Army attempted to build a canal to let their ships bypass Confederate artillery fire.

Vicksburg Military National Park
Vicksburg Military National Park
(Photo courtesy of Visit Vicksburg)
Civil War Museum

Located in the former Corner Drug Store on Washington Street, the museum features millions of Civil War artifacts that owner Charles Pendleton has acquired. History buffs are encouraged to go visit and learn more about the war that divided the nation.

Vicksburg Civil War Museum
Vicksburg Civil War Museum
(Photo courtesy of Visit Vicksburg)
Old Court House Museum

Still standing strong after more than a century and a half, the structure housing Vicksburg’s Old Court House Museum originally served as the courthouse for Warren County. The building has seen its fair share of history, too. Aside from holding numerous well-known trials and suffering a Union shelling during the American Civil War, the courthouse was where Confederate President Jefferson Davis began his political career.

Old Court House Museum
Old Court House Museum
(Photo courtesy of Visit Vicksburg)
Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum

Did you know that the first Coca-Cola was bottled in Vicksburg in 1894? The museum nestled downtown now houses a plethora of exhibits detailing the history of the family that first bottled the popular soda, the original bottling process, and many more Coca-Cola-related fun facts. Additionally, the rehabilitated candy store and office area allow visitors to purchase refreshing treats, such as Coke floats, as well as a variety of souvenirs.

Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum
Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum
(Photo courtesy of Visit Vicksburg)
The Old Depot Museum

Beyond the doors of the Old Vicksburg Depot lies numerous historical exhibits designed to educate and entertain. From the immersive diorama of the Siege of Vicksburg to original paintings depicting the trials of the war, this museum’s many features serve to satisfy both Civil War enthusiasts and casual visitors.

Old Depot Museum
Old Depot Museum
(Photo courtesy of Visit Vicksburg)
Catfish Row Museum

The Catfish Row Museum will introduce a cultural heritage experience that showcases the unique and diverse aspects of Vicksburg — from its music, history, and storytelling to its vibrant food heritage, worship, and visual arts. The museum brings the history of Vicksburg back to life through a broad cultural exploration of the events, places, stories, and vices that helped shape the Mississippi city.

Catfish Row Museum
Catfish Row Museum
(Photo courtesy of Visit Vicksburg)

More information about each museum, including hours of operation, can be found here.

Restaurants

One thing that rings true about any popular Mississippi city is that the dining scene is second to none, and that especially applies to Vicksburg.

“You can definitely eat your way through Vicksburg,” Strickland said. “I like to think of Vicksburg as a mix between Memphis and New Orleans. We have the barbecue and we have the cajun food. We have a little bit of everything.”

10 South Rooftop and Bar

Located in the heart of downtown Vicksburg, 10 South is a casual rooftop bar and grill overlooking the beautiful historic downtown with birdseye views of the Mississippi River, Yazoo Diversion Canal, and Centennial Lake. The area’s only “open air” grill with a full bar features fresh burgers, sandwiches, barbecue meats, seafood, and other Southern specialties. Live music is frequently played at this rooftop gem.

10 South Rooftop Bar and Grill
10 South Rooftop Bar and Grill
(Photo courtesy of Visit Vicksburg)
Key City Brewing Company

Less than one block over from 10 South lies the city’s very own brewery that serves up local beverages and specialty-made pizzas. Beyond the savory food and drink is the ambiance with local music, special events, and much more to give visitors a true taste of the city’s culture.

Key City Brewing Company
Key City Brewing Company
(Photo courtesy of Visit Vicksburg)
Beechwood

One of Vicksburg’s oldest restaurants serving the River City for 63 years and counting, Beechwood was established in 1956. The old-school spot features steaks and seafood and a family-friendly dining room. Beechwood houses a full bar that features various sporting events on several televisions and a projection screen.

Beechwood
Beechwood
(Photo courtesy of Visit Vicksburg)
The Historic Klondyke Trading Post

A uniquely Southern restaurant in a former two-bay gas station, Klondyke has been voted Vicksburg’s best hamburger, catfish, steak, and lunch on multiple occasions. Those looking for the definition of a dive are encouraged to visit the local hole-in-the-wall.

Historic Klondyke Trading Post
Historic Klondyke Trading Post
(Photo courtesy of Visit Vicksburg)

Excursions, events, and entertainment

Vicksburg is also known to use its natural beauty and position on the Mississippi River to open doors for travelers to enjoy the city’s offerings, outdoors enthusiasts to explore nature, and sportsmen and women to take advantage of the multiple outdoor amenities.

Riverboat tours

Vicksburg uses its geographical location to its advantage by offering folks a chance to visit the River City while on a cruise ship. Both American and Viking cruise lines offer trips that navigate the Mississippi River with stops in Vicksburg to allow vacationers to enjoy the multiple excursions Vicksburg has to offer. Cruise dates and ticket information can be found here.

cruise
Cruise ship navigating the Mississippi River
(Photo courtesy of CruiseMapper)
Sports Force Park

One of Mississippi’s most pristine sports complexes, the park offers state-of-the-art baseball, softball, and soccer fields as well as spaces for mini golf and ziplining.

Sports Force Park
Photo courtesy of Sports Force Park
Bike trails

Vicksburg sits along two of the nation’s most scenic spots for riding bikes. The city resides on Mississippi River Trail, which spans across the entire body of water and provides riders with breathtaking sights along their trek. In addition, Vicksburg is located right by the Natchez Trace — one of the most iconic paths riders have used for centuries.

Those wanting to get a taste of everything can also visit Battlefield Tour Road at the Vicksburg Military Park. The bike path is an 18-mile loop that entails views of the Mississippi River, fields and hillsides, and Civil War battle sites.

Mississippi River bike trail
Mississippi River bike trail
(Photo courtesy of the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee)
Catfish tournament

The Mississippi River Monsters Mega Bucs Pro Series will be taking place from July 28-29 and will give professional anglers the chance to catch the largest catfish the state has seen and a shot at a $50,000 prize.

Mississippi River Monsters
Mississippi River Monsters Tournament
(Photo courtesy of Catfish Now)
Independence Day festival and fireworks

There’s nothing better than the Fourth of July and a beautiful body of water. Vicksburg gives the public the chance to enjoy both during the city’s Independence Day celebration that features food from local vendors, live music, and a 45-minute firework show that Strickland says is the longest on the Mississippi River.

Vicksburg fireworks
Vicksburg fireworks on Independence Day
(Photo courtesy of the Natchez Trace Parkway)
Casinos

Vicksburg is the epicenter of Mississippi’s nightlife, putting the play in eat, live, and play with four casinos along the river filled with table games and a wide variety of slot machines. Folks looking to soak up the nightlife are encouraged to visit Ameristar, Riverwalk, WaterView, or Bally’s — all of which feature hotel rooms and dining options — for a night out.

Ameristar Casino
Ameristar Casino
(Photo courtesy of Visit Vicksburg)

“Our four casinos are open and available,” Strickland said. “So you can come out, play games, and hopefully win some money.”

The above article is one of eight stories that will be presented by SuperTalk Mississippi News throughout the summer months, highlighting some of the gems that make Mississippi a great place to live, work, and play.

Stay up to date with all of Mississippi’s latest news by signing up for our free newsletter here

Copyright 2024 SuperTalk Mississippi Media. All rights reserved.

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