Take a musical journey on a stretch of highway made famous for the Mississippi Delta music that has filled the air along this byway. The Mississippi Blues Highway will take you from Memphis, TN and through Mississippi and the historic towns that were written about by many memorable blues artists. You will experience the thrill of the legendary junction of Highways 61 and 49 where a blues master sold his soul. Allow enough time to stop at the blues spots and enjoy many incredible performances along the way.
While in Memphis, you should stop by the Stax Museum of American Soul Music to marvel at the more than 2,000 exhibits, including photos, instruments and costumes for stage performances. When you want the real thing, you can take a tour of the Memphis nightclubs in the evening and a trip down the delta during the day. Hit the famous Beale Street and don’t forget to try some of the amazing barbecue in town.
Travel south on Highway 61 until you reach Tunica. Go to the visitor center to find out all available for you here, because there is a lot to do and see. Tour the Blues Markers for a feel for all the musical endeavors that went down in the area. Visit the Tunica Museum for more history of a bit different nature. Admission is free, and who can pass that up?
Clarksdale, a bit further down the road, offers more live music. Plenty of blues joints to visit, and a historic cotton farm to see – the Hopson Plantation. It is a pleasure to sample some of Mississippi hospitality here, and visit with other like-minded souls. The delta has its own flavor and culture which gives you a wider view of our world today.
While in Clarksdale, be sure to visit the famous nightclub Ground Zero Blues Club, owned by actor Morgan Freeman. Next door you can stop by the Delta Blues Museum for another taste of history and to explore our musical heritage. Stay a while and park your RV at Coahoma County Expo Center – reasonable rates and great amenities.
Taking Highway 49 south from Clarksdale, you will reach Greenwood with its wide variety of blues culture. There are three museums that display many historical artifacts. The Museum of the Mississippi Delta may not focus on the blues, but you can see many original paintings, drawings and a collection of items on the animals, antiques and agriculture of the Mississippi Delta. If you are in the area during October, don’t miss the Cotton Capital Blues Festival, a must for any blues lover.
Whether you take 49 or go back to Highway 61, the rest of your trip is a pleasant one, until you get to Vicksburg, when it takes on new meaning. This is a town of importance on the Mississippi Blues Highway, but also for its part in the Civil War. You can visit Vicksburg National Military Park to discover the past. Blues clubs are abundant and you can still find a lot of toe-tapping music, as well as plenty of festivals and events that happen all year long. What an RV vacation! You will have to do this again!