From award-winning Southern cuisine to stunning river views and historical monuments, the charming Mississippi River towns of Vicksburg and Greenville allow travelers to immerse themselves in the rich history and culture of the South. In Vicksburg, Civil War history and stories of the Mississippi River live on through museums and monuments. In Greenville, you’ll discover an eclectic mix of music, riverboat history and dining.
Are you ready to kick off your weekend adventure?
Day 1: A Blast from the Past in Vicksburg
If you’re looking for a great breakfast or brunch spot to kick off the day, you’ll find various options throughout Vicksburg. The Coffee House Café is a local favorite for a grab-and-go bite, serving breakfast bagels, burritos, croissants and delicious fruit smoothies. For brunch, check out The Biscuit Company of Vicksburg – their famous basket of biscuits served with honey, sorghum molasses, or jam is a must-eat.
After breakfast, step back in time at the Vicksburg National Military Park, which stands as a memorial to the Battle of Vicksburg, which took place between March and July 1863. A 12.5-mile trail dotted with hundreds of historical monuments and markers, including the Texas Memorial Monument and Mississippi Confederate Memorial, gives visitors a chance to reflect on the bravery and sacrifice that took place there during the American Civil War.
Next, check out the Old Court House Museum. Serving as Vicksburg’s courthouse until 1939, this beautiful building was converted into a museum in 1946, housing a vast array of artifacts documenting the rich history of Vicksburg, including an expansive collection of Civil War memorabilia, china, antique furniture, and the tie once worn by Jefferson Davis at his inauguration. If you’re visiting during the spring or fall, the museum also hosts an annual flea market for arts, crafts and food from local vendors.
Love authentic soul food? Refuel for the afternoon at the picturesque Walnut Hills Restaurant. Located in the historic district in a boarding house, this restaurant is known for its award-winning fried chicken and decadent pecan pie. Or, for some classic American comfort food like meatloaf and mac and cheese, check out the cafeteria-style Bovina Café.
After lunch, explore the Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum. From interactive displays highlighting the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 to an aquarium filled with fish that inhabit the river, this museum highlights how important the Mississippi River was and still is to the communities living alongside it. Check out exhibits replicating the 1927 flood wall and tent, and interact with the outdoor river flood model that showcases the movement of the river’s flow and tides.
Wrap up the afternoon with a stroll past the Riverfront Murals on Levee Street, a series of 32 beautifully painted vistas that capture key moments from Vicksburg’s past. Designed by renowned artist Robert Dafford, the murals depict scenes such as the Great Mississippi River Flood and the steamboat Sprague at sunset.
As your day in Vicksburg ends, enjoy Cajun-inspired cuisine and sunset river views at Rusty’s Riverfront Grill. Or, for a quick bite, grab a pizza or plate of classic fettucini alfredo at Billy’s Italian Restaurant. Then, continue your evening at the glittering Ameristar Casino. Housed in a stunning 70 000 sq. ft. riverboat, once a common sight on the Mississippi River, you can try your luck at various slot machines and table games and even enjoy a live show.
Where To Stay
Vicksburg offers places to stay to suit any budget, whether you’re looking for wallet-friendly solutions or more opulent surroundings. If you want to immerse yourself in the history of Vicksburg, head over to the Baer House Inn. This gorgeous Victorian house has been lovingly restored and offers intimate bed and breakfast accommodations. For travelers on a budget, the Ameristar Casino’s hotel has affordable rooms with gorgeous river views.
Day 2: Riverboat Mystique and Blues in Greenville
Start the day with a scenic drive along the Mississippi River to Greenville – just 90 minutes south of Vicksburg. Then, hit the ground running with a quick bite at Jim’s Café. Serving breakfast all day since 1909, this joint is a hit with locals and serves classic staples like cheese omelets, pancakes, and biscuits and gravy.
Next, it’s time to head to Winterville Mounds, one of the largest Indigenous American mound sites in the United States. A National Historic Landmark, this site has 12 prehistoric mounds and two expansive plazas. Constructed by hand by the ancestors of the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes, these mounds showcase the history of these ancient people. Currently, the visitor’s center is closed for renovations, but each mound has a placard highlighting details of its construction and more.
If you’re going to do lunch right in Greenville, the locals recommend Doe’s Eat Place. Opened in 1941 as a family-run eatery, this restaurant is known for its steaks and tamales. Other lunch options include Freddie’s BBQ – try the ribs – or Old Miss, a humble seafood restaurant serving snow crab legs, clams, and frog legs if you’re adventurous.
After lunch, check out the River Road Queen Welcome Center & Museum of the Delta – a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the region and the state of Mississippi. Housed in an authentic Victorian riverboat, this museum served as an exhibit for Mississippi at the 1984 New Orleans World Fair. Here, you’ll find exhibits celebrating Mississippi writers, Washington County history and even Kermit the Frog (Greenville is the birthplace of Jim Henson).
Your next stop is the Delta Museum Mile, a unique collection of museums within close proximity to each other. Whether you’re interested in Pre-Columbian treasures, Cold War memorabilia, or learning about Delta literary masters like Shelby Foote and Walker Percy, there’s something for everyone at museums like the Delta Children’s Museum, William Alexander Percy Memorial Library Greenville Writers’ Exhibit and Highway 61 Blues Museum.
End your weekend with a breathtaking sunset over the Mississippi in downtown Greenville before enjoying dinner at Sherman’s Restaurant. Finally, spend the rest of your night at the Walnut Street Blues Bar, an intimate jazz and Blues club that hosts live musical performances.
Where To Stay
If you’re looking for a truly stunning location to call home during your visit to Greenville, The Belmont 1857 is a gorgeous bed and breakfast in a historical mansion. Of course, for a casual night stay, check in at the Greenville Inn and Suites for budget-friendly modern accommodations in the heart of town.