16 Best Things to Do in Vicksburg, MS

Vicksburg, MS
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Vicksburg is a land steeped in history.

It is a safe bet to say that its alluring history attracts tourists from all over the globe.

However, there is more to this beautiful city than just history.

Today, this little town presents its visitors with a wide array of cultural attractions, never-ending entertainment, and a vibrant dining scene.

If you are still lost in thoughts about visiting this city, let’s just say that a trip down to this pivotal township would definitely be worth every penny you spend.

Before you pay a visit, check out our list for the best things to do in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Pay a Visit to Vicksburg National Military Park

View of Vicksburg National Military Park
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This military park is entitled as a U.S. National Military Park and is also enlisted in the U.S. Register of Historic Sites.

The park safeguards the site of the American Civil War Battle of Vicksburg and memorializes the Vicksburg Campaign.

In 1993, the park was handed over to the National Park Service from the War Department, which has been managing the same since then.

View of Vicksburg National Military Park
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The Vicksburg National Cemetery is also situated in this military park.

The former contains 1325 historical markers and monuments, 20 miles of earthworks and historic trenches, 12.5 walking trails, a 16-mile tour road, 144 emplaced cannons, two antebellum homes, restored USS Cairo, and the Grant’s Canal site.

It won't be wrong to say that Vicksburg National Military Park is a one-stop destination to know anything about this mesmerizing town’s history.

View of Vicksburg National Military Park
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Explore USS Cairo Museum

View of USS Cairo Museum
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This museum is famed for providing a resting place for the first American ironclad warship USS Cairo.

Cairo’s career was short but impactful.

The ship was once lost and forgotten, but it was later rediscovered after decades in 1956 and was salvaged from the bottom of the Yazoo River along with an 8-inch cannon and a pilothouse.

View of USS Cairo Museum
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It has unfortunately continued to degrade continuously because of exposure to air, vandalism, and bird droppings.

Personal gears of the serving sailors, naval stores, weapons, and ammunition were other recovered artifacts obtained from the ship.  

You can find them all in the museum.

Do Some Home Tours Around the City

Without witnessing the historic houses of Vicksburg, your trip to this town is totally incomplete.

From Greek apertures to Victorian Italianate, Vicksburg has it all, preserved and, in some cases, restored.

Outside View of the The Shirley House
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As you go down the history of these houses, you will know more about their eras' lifestyle and housing facilities.

With over 13 homes to explore, it is not wrong to mark this exciting trip with a tag of the tour.

Play at Ameristar Casino Hotel

Aerial View of Ameristar Casino Hotel
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Operated by Penn National Gaming and owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties, this riverboat casino is more than extraordinary.

Engaging its visitors with over 1400 slot machines, 30 table games, and 149 hotel rooms, Ameristar could serve tourists in both ways: as a comfortable place to stay and as a stirring gaming and entertainment center.

It was opened back in 1994 and had been running successfully since then.

Take Pictures at Old Vicksburg Bridge

Old Vicksburg Bridge
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This ancient bridge has been included in the U.S. National Register of Historic Sites.

But don't be fooled by its age.

The bridge is still very much in operation.

View of Old Vicksburg Bridge
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It helps a railway line to cross the Mississippi River and to make its way to Delta, Louisiana.

It is classified as a cantilever bridge and has a single service lane.

Old Vicksburg Bridge was opened once for motor vehicles, but this function was later on transferred to a bridge down the river.

Admire the Historical Facts at Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum

Outside View of Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum
NatalieMaynor from Jackson, Mississippi, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This building was once the legendary place where Coco-Cola had its first bottling center.

It has now been turned into a museum where you can witness the original, antithetic bottles of Coco-Cola.

Outside View of Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum
Charles Bell, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It shows you in detail how the first drink was processed, bottled, and the equipment which was used, along with the history of the amazing Biedenharn family.

Before you return, look out for the eye-catching Coca-Cola souvenirs

.

Revisit History at Lower Mississippi River Museum

Outside view of Lower Mississippi River Museum
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The museum is commonly called as Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum.

Featuring a view of the mighty river Mississippi along with an aquarium, the visitors are in for a treat.  

If you want to know more about the science behind water movements and the very enriched past of the historic river, you’re in luck.

The guides here are very forthcoming and knowledgeable.  

A unique flood model is also built outdoors, which can be accessed by the guests.

The museum also gives shelter to a very historic entity - the Motor Vessel Mississippi IV.

Visit the Vicksburg National Cemetery

Vicksburg National Cemetery
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Inside the park, a cemetery called the Vicksburg National Cemetery can be found.

It has 18,244 interments, with 12,954 of them unidentified.

The number of interments still remains higher than any other national cemetery.

Embracing a landmass of 116 acres, the cemetery remains as a final resting place for those who served their country till their last breath.

Wander Around the Pemberton's Headquarters

Outside View of Pemberton's Headquarters
Infrogmation of New Orleans, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Also known as Willis-Cowan House, the Pemberton’s Headquarters was built all the way back in 1836.

In 1976, the house was proclaimed as a National Historic Landmark, which eventually paved the way for it to be enlisted in The U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

The visitors can witness the beauty of this house after visiting Vicksburg National Military Park, of which the house is a part.

Situated on a higher level than the street, the house sits majestically as a two-story building.

The house was built in stages and was first constructed by William Bobb, who is thought to be the first owner of the same.

Have Fun at Margaret's Grocery and Market

The promised land of Margaret’s Grocery and Market stands as a proud testimony to true love and promises.

Though only ruined remnants of the actual structure remain, it is still worth your time.

What was once a simple grocery store marked the tragic demise of Margaret’s first husband’s death.

Around five years later, Margaret met the man who, after becoming her husband, gave the place its signatory look, Preacher Dennis.

The word has is that he had promised that if Margaret would marry him, he would build a new “castle,” signifying their love.

After their marriage, Preacher worked on the building while Margaret opened the stores again.

Today, this building stands famous as a sign of folk art decorated with fascinating mosaic and pastel colors, and as a symbol of Preacher and Margaret’s love and efforts, Margaret’s Grocery and Market continues to amaze the tourists and visitors and signifies the eternal love and bond of its makers.

Admire the Vicksburg Riverfront Murals

Vicksburg Riverfront Murals
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A beautiful tribute to the city's rich history, murals at the riverfront in Vicksburg are as picturesque as it gets.

These murals are a brainchild of Robert Dafford, an artist famed across America and other countries.

First unveiled on April 12, 2002, Vicksburg Riverfront Murals are also the first riverfront mural of the city.

Advanced throughout the south, up and even down the river of Mississippi, these murals are a must-visit for every visitor who lays their feet in Vicksburg.

The murals embrace the history as well as the present of the city.

It gives a pictorial representation of Vicksburg's role in America’s commerce, culture, history, religion, and technology.

Get Lost in the Old Depot Museum

Outside View of Old Depot Museum
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Live the history of Vicksburg in 3-D at the Old Depot Museum.

With memorabilia of railroads, original paintings of Herb Mott, models of railroad lines, a diorama of the Siege of Vicksburg, videos of tracks adopted by citizens and soldiers during the Siege, and finally, a collection of model gunboats used in the Civil War, you will never run out of things to see here.

You will definitely enjoy this fusion of information and entertainment.

Take a Stroll Through Vicksburg Battlefield Museum

Carefully preserving the history of the Civil War, the Vicksburg Battlefield museum owns the world’s largest collection of model gunboats of Civil War, an 8* 20-foot diorama of the Siege, 30 Inland Water War-themed original paintings.

If you want to learn more about the history, you can take time to see “Vanishing Glory” - a 30-minute documentary.

Take a Spooky Tour at the McRaven House

Outside of McRaven House
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Describe your taste in creepy and bizarre entertainment. What about haunted residences?

If this is the case, then a "McRaven House" location would be an essential must-see.

According to local legends and reports, the McRaven House in Vicksburg, Mississippi, is considered the most haunted house in the whole state of Mississippi.

National Geographic Magazine dubbed it the "Time Capsule of the South" because of all the exciting things to view and investigate.

According to folklore, five people have perished in this home, and the property's previous owner, named John Bobb, met his demise not far from its boundaries.

In addition, some Confederate troops allegedly died on the site when it served as a field hospital.

More often in the house's history, people have claimed to have seen ghosts roaming around and talking to them.

These events, as well as many more, have turned this mansion into a popular tourist destination.

You may take a tour of the home and discover everything it has to offer by looking at the way of life of the people who formerly lived there, for example.

Every room features museum-quality antiques, including a pioneer kitchen and other unique pieces of Americana.

You may find a splendid three-acre garden on the site of a former Confederate camp and military hospital.

You'll also learn about the house's renowned and notorious past residents, as well as why their ghosts remain here to this very day.

This extraordinary gallery is actually an independent gallery and is considered to be the oldest of its kind in the whole area of Mississippi.

If you are a fan of contemporary fine art, southern folk art, glass, jewelry, handmade pottery, and items related to “blues,” the Attic Gallery should be your next stop.

The gallery also specializes in “outsider art.”

Best part?

Buying souvenirs for you and gifts for your loved ones.

Attic Gallery is going to turn 50 years old on October 2, 2021, which is a milestone, not every independent gallery gets to witness.

Visit the Old Court House Museum

Outside View of Old Court House Museum
Ken Lund from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Old Court House Museum is a unique and intriguing location that you should check out.

It is a museum housed in a former Warren County courthouse.

Vicksburg's courthouse is a historically significant edifice.

A National Historic Landmark and a Mississippi Landmark, it was constructed in 1858.

This structure stands as a testament to the Confederate people's will to resist during the Vicksburg siege.

Outside View of Old Court House Museum
I, Gsmith, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As a result of its long history has played home to several notable figures, including General Ulysses S. Grant, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Author Booker T. Washington, and former United States President Teddy Roosevelt.

Visitors to this museum can thoroughly explore it due to the sheer number of things to see and do.

You'll see numerous items from this region, for example, when you go around the museum.

Outside View of Old Court House Museum
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Even a tie used by Jefferson Davis at his inauguration is on display, along with antique Confederate flags.

Additionally, this location offers everything from Confederate money to gowns to weapons and artillery to furnishings.

There will even be a friendly Siamese cat that follows you around the courthouse while you're exploring.

Final Thoughts

Vicksburg, Mississippi, in general, is one of the most historically significant cities in the United States.

You'll discover that this city is full of unique and exciting things to see and do.

When visiting Vicksburg, save this list of the best things to do.

This way, you'll know what recreational activities are available.

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