Vicksburg is a land steeped in history. It is a safe bet to say that that it is its alluring history that 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 spent. Before you pay a visit, check out our list for the best things to do in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Vicksburg National Military Park
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.
The Vicksburg National Cemetery is also situated in this military park. The former contains 1325 historic markers and monuments, 20 miles of earthworks and historic trenches, 12.5 walking trail, 16-mile tour road, 144 emplaced cannons, 2 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 related to this mesmerizing towns’ history.
USS Cairo Museum
This museum is famed for providing a resting place for the first American ironclad warship USS Cairo. The 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. 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 artefacts obtained from the ship. You can find them all in the museum.
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. As you go down the history of these houses, you will get to know more about the lifestyle and housing facilities of their eras. With over 13 homes to explore, it is not wrong to mark this exciting trip with a tag of the tour.
Ameristar Casino Hotel
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 cool place to stay, as well as a stirring gaming and entertainment centre. It was opened back in 1994 and have been running successfully since then.
Old Vicksburg Bridge
This really old bridge has been included in U.S. National Register of Historic Sites. But don't be fooled by its age. The bridge is still very much in operation. 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.
Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum
This building was once the legendary place where Coco-Cola had their first bottling centre. It has now been turned into a museum where you can witness the original, antithetic bottles of Coco-Cola. It shows you in detail how the first drink was processed, bottled and the equipment which were used along with the history of the amazing Biedenharn family. Before you return, look out for the eye-catching Coca-Cola souvenirs
Lower Mississippi River Museum
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 of 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.
Vicksburg National Cemetery
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.
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 of. Situated on a higher level than the street, the house sits majestically as a two-storey 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.
Margaret's Grocery And Market
The promised land of Margaret’s Grocery and Market stands as a proud testimony to true love and promises. Although as of now, 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 colours, 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.
Vicksburg Riverfront Murals
A beautiful tribute to the rich history of the city, murals at the riverfront in Vicksburg is 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 the role played by the city of Vicksburg in America’s commerce, culture, history, religion and technology.
A very well known toy museum, Yesterday’s Children specializes in the collection of dolls. Hence, it is not unusual when tourists and visitors come looking for a doll museum instead of a toy museum. You will see here numerous dolls of different origins, categories and age, with some dolls dating all the way back to even 1843, this museum is a delight for kids as well as doll lovers.
Well, this museum has been featured in some prestigious magazines and is a must visit for it will definitely take you to a trip down the memory lane when happiness was wrapped in a small toy and life was all about simple pleasures. In the store, you can find dolls and souvenirs to purchase, which we highly recommend.
The museum is open from June to August for public visits at the timings of 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. It is closed on Sunday so better reserve a day between Monday - Saturday.
Old Depot Museum
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.
Vicksburg Battlefield Museum
Carefully preserving the history of 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.
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, jewellry, 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.