Although Vicksburg, Mississippi, is a great destination for music, dining, shopping, and even gambling, let there be no doubt that Vicksburg National Military Park is the city’s most prominent attraction.
It should come as no surprise that, as an amateur history buff and an obsessive collector of National Parks Passport stamps, Vicksburg NMP had been on my bucket list for years. I always assumed that when I finally made it to the park I would collect a unigrid (NPS official brochure and map) at the Visitor Center and do a self-guided tour like I always do. Little did I know that when it finally happened, as a guest of Visit Vicksburg, I would be accompanied by a personal licensed tour guide and chauffeur.
Word on the street had it that as tour guides go, David Maggio was the best of the best, and my experience soon proved the accuracy of his reputation. After breakfast, I met David at the Vicksburg NMP Visitor Center to begin the park tour. So that I could give him my undivided attention and have freedom for photo ops, David climbed behind the wheel of my Mountaineer, and we proceeded through the Vicksburg Memorial Arch and onto Union Avenue.
To fully immerse oneself in a visit to a historical site, it is always best to have a basic understanding of what happened there. Upon my request, David was kind enough to contribute two brief histories to this article. This is a good thing on two accounts. It prevents me from including historical inaccuracies in the text, and it gives our readers a taste of David’s guided tours.
A visit to Vicksburg, Mississippi, will capture your heart with its down-home hospitality and unmistakable southern charm. Nestled next to the mighty Mississippi, Vicksburg is also a picturesque destination perfect for RVers of all kinds. As your trusted Michigan RV dealer, we can vouch for this city’s unique ability to welcome RVers from all across the country and instantly make them feel right at home! Known as “the key to the south,” you’ll be met with a haven of historical wonder the second you pull your fifth wheel or travel trailer into town!
With charming brick-paved streets, chic boutiques, and restaurants offering a smorgasbord of southern fare, a trip downtown is the perfect way to spend a day in the historic city of Vicksburg. Grab a bite to eat at Rusty’s Riverfront Grill, then stroll along the levee walls which are artfully adorned with stunning murals depicting Vicksburg’s vibrant history. Submerse yourself in the city’s creative scene by checking out the local art galleries, performance art theaters, and live music venues which resonate with the sounds of delta blues and country rock once the sun sets over the city’s picturesque riverfront backdrop.
Vicksburg National Military Park
Vicksburg is home to one of America’s most beautiful national memorials which commemorates the tumultuous battles that took place on these historic grounds. The Vicksburg National Military Park acts as the final resting place for more than 17,000 union soldiers who perished during the American Civil War and the Siege of Vicksburg. A tour through the park will take you a couple of hours as it contains well over 1,000 monuments, 20 miles of historic trenches, more than 100 cannons, and the restored USS Cairo gunboat which was recovered from the Yazoo River after being the first US ship in history sunk by a torpedo. The cemetery within the park spans over 100 acres and provides a sobering visual to the significant number of casualties at rest here.
There are plenty of sites to see and places to visit within the city of Vicksburg. During your stay be sure to check out these awesome local attractions!
The Old Depot Museum: Set alongside the Mississippi River, this small museum is packed with exhibits, dioramas, and artifacts relating to railroad systems, train car transport, and the battles at Vicksburg.
Old Court House Museum: This beautiful educational site will take you back to the early life of Vicksburg residents with displays showing clothing of the times, guns used in the Civil War, and the actual chair used by Ulysses S. Grant.
McRaven House: Known as the most haunted house in the state of Mississippi, this ghostly site is perfect for an eerie afternoon tour that will take you through a time-capsule of southern history and give you paranormal thrills!
Catfish Row Children’s Art Park: You don’t have to be traveling with kids to appreciate the beauty of this Vicksburg attraction. With a butterfly garden, a playground, and a splash park, this cute little plaza is fun for all ages!
Whether you’re hauling a high-quality toy hauler or a bumper-pull pop-up camper, Vicksburg has a place where you can set up camp and stay comfortably during your visit! Check out these three excellent RV parks and pick the one that fits you best:
River Town Campground
Located only minutes from downtown Vicksburg, River Town Campground offers a prime location for those wanting to be in close proximity to all the city hot spots! They provide full hook-ups to all 108 of their spacious campsites, with pull-through sites available too! Here you’ll enjoy free Wi-Fi, a unique salt water pool, a sheltered pavilion with a full kitchen, and a playground for the kids.
Ameristar RV Park
If you like to gamble, you’ll love the accommodations offered to you at Ameristar RV Park. Here you’ll find 67 paved pull-through sites with full-hookups. Free 24-hour shuttle services take you to and from the nearby casino for convenient, cost-effective transport. This RV park also includes a pet walking area, a swimming pool, modern restrooms, and free coffee in the office lobby.
Magnolia RV Park Resort
Open year round, you can plan your trip to Vicksburg and stay at Magnolia RV Park Resort in any season! This 12-acre estate holds 66 sites which are all pull-through and offer full hook ups. Here you can enjoy a swimming pool, movie rentals, a fenced-in dog park, propane filling station, and free shuttle service to the nearby casino.
Vicksburg isn’t just a great city for RV travelers, it’s a perfect destination for history buffs and military aficionados alike! So if you’ve got your travel trailer or fifth wheel ready for the road but you’re searching for the perfect location to bring it to, look no further than Vicksburg, Mississippi! Have you ever visited Vicksburg?
As a big history buff with an interest in the Civil War, I wanted to see Vicksburg, Mississippi that played such an important part in that conflict. But even if you are not a fan of history, like my wife who joined me, there are reasons to visit this city on the shores of the Mississippi River. But let’s talk history first…
At the beginning of the Civil War, General-in-Chief of the U.S. forces Winfield Scott, made a plan called the Anaconda Plan. It called for blockading Confederate ports and advancing down the Mississippi River to cut the South in two. The Navy made good progress in blockading the ports, but 2 years after the start of the war, the Union seemed no closer to clearing the Mississippi because there was one barrier left, Vicksburg.
Even today, Vicksburg sits on high ground next to the Mississippi River. Well technically, now much of the downtown is along the Yazoo River. One day in 1876, the residents of the city woke to discover that the river had cut a new channel which left the city high and dry. In 1862 and 1863 the Union Army had tried unsuccessfully to do the same thing, that the river eventually accomplished on its own, by building a canal to bypass Vicksburg. Ironically it was again the U.S. army in the shape of the Corps of Engineers that restored the waterfront of Vicksburg in 1903 by redirecting the course of the Yazoo River.
You can learn about the campaign to take Vicksburg at the visitor center of the Vicksburg National Military Park. Take the time to see the movie that describes the campaign which was probably one of the boldest campaigns made by Ulysses S. Grant during the war as he marched away from his supply lines. This would give General Sherman some big ideas that led to his eventual march from Atlanta to the sea later in the war.
Traveling the backroads of the Mississippi Delta can feel like a rootsy American homecoming, and it can also feel like visiting another country—sometimes in the same moment. It’s been called “the most Southern place on earth,” with a complex and fascinating history as rich as its soil. Following the Mighty Mississippi along legendary Highway 61 toward Clarksdale, the unofficial capital of the blues, you’ll become intimately acquainted with the area’s perfectly authentic, gritty vibe. After all, this is the region where bluesman Robert Johnson traded his soul for his talent; where the Civil Rights movement took hold; where the sons of sharecroppers rose to international stardom; and where theDelta Blues sound was born from church songs, back alleys and cotton fields, and went on to inspire the genesis of rock and roll. Many of the sites and stories on this leg of the Gold Record Road are told through the Mississippi Blues Trail, an incredible resource for preserving and promoting the history of the blues long after the physical buildings and landmarks have crumbled or been razed in the name of progress. In this day and age, blues history isn’t tied to specific addresses—it’s about breathing in the thick air of the Delta, watching the Mississippi carve its way through the basin, standing on a railroad track at a country crossroads and soaking up the cotton-covered rural landscape. It’s about finding yourself in a juke joint in a rural town and understanding segregation, hardship, beauty and strength in a new way. Welcome to the Delta Highway.