Vicksburg, Mississippi, is one of the jewels in the Magnolia State. Here, you will find incredible Civil War history, beautiful riverfront attractions, tasty food, and an adorable, walkable downtown. Casinos are plentiful for those wishing to try their hand at Lady Luck. Here are 10 fun things to do (and see) in Vicksburg, Mississippi, that will enhance your visit.
1. Dine At A Rooftop Restaurant
Capture the best photo-ops of the Vicksburg riverfront from the 10th-floor rooftop restaurant at 10 South Rooftop Bar & Grill, one of downtown Vicksburg’s hotspots. Not only is the food delicious, but 10 South offers exceptional views of the historic city of Vicksburg, the Mississippi River, the Yazoo Diversion Canal, and Centennial Lake.
Need a suggestion from the menu? That “Famous” Fried Chicken Sandwich gets my vote. Topped with spicy Pepper Jack cheese, candied bacon (**eyes rolling back in my head), and maple-chili glaze, you can’t go wrong. Pair your sandwich with a side of Mac & Cheese or Brussels sprouts. Yum!
2. Drive Through A Historical Park
With Vicksburg’s involvement in the Civil War, it is no surprise that the Vicksburg National Military Park is the biggest draw to the area. The perfectly manicured 16-mile road tour for self-guided driving takes you through hundreds of monuments and historical markers. With 1340 monuments and markers, the scenery is spectacular at this historic landmark. The entrance fee is $8 per vehicle.
Note: If you have the time, the 20-minute film at the Visitors Center does a great job of bringing the battle to life before your tour. You can choose a self-guided tour (the only kind I’ve taken) or take a guided tour via reservations.
Originally a military battlefield, the city of Vicksburg was a turning point in the American Civil War, the battle that changed the course of the war. I’m a Ulysses S. Grant fan so climbing the hill to get photos of the statue was a must. It was here that Grant was captured during the Battle of Vicksburg, giving the Union control of the river. The views from this plateau are amazing.
Before leaving the Vicksburg National Military Park, be sure to stop and see the USS Cairo Museum, one of the first ironclad warships built for the Civil War, fully restored and brand spanking new. You can also see the Vicksburg National Cemetery, where nearly 20,000 soldiers are buried across 116 acres—a far higher number than any other national cemetery across the country.
3. See History Through Murals
Another one of the most popular things to see is the scenic Vicksburg Riverfront Murals, painted by Robert Dafford. Stroll alongside the floodwall on Levee Street to see the intricate details of these visual 32 stories, each hand-painted and depicting Vicksburg’s vibrant historic city. This area used to be a busy and prosperous harbor in the 1800s.
Catfish Row Children’s Art Park is across the street from the Vicksburg murals and offers kids a place of their own with children’s art, a fun splash fountain, and playground equipment. This park is handicapped-accessible.
4. Brush Up Your Southern Education
The Old Courthouse Museum, a National Historic Landmark since 1968, was originally a symbol of Confederate resistance during the Siege of Vicksburg. Today, it is the most historic structure in Vicksburg and is surrounded by historic homes and much beauty.
The 1858 hillside museum (Old Warren County Courthouse) is a beautiful antebellum building, chock full of significant artifacts such as silver, china, antique furniture, and Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ inauguration tie. Being a history buff, I loved every inch of the nine rooms available.
William McKinley, Ulysses S. Grant, Booker T. Washington, Theodore Roosevelt were guests there. Admission is $7 for adults, and the museum is temporarily closed on Sundays. Don’t miss the gift shop featuring authentic Civil War artifacts.
5. See An Unbelievable Replica
A second notable place to visit for excellent historical info is the Old Depot Museum along the waterfront in downtown Vicksburg. The museum is loaded with souvenirs for purchase, artifacts, memorabilia, and a really cool 250-square foot diorama of the Vicksburg battlefield. It even has 2300 mini soldiers. The staff helps answer any questions you might have about, too.
This museum is handicapped-accessible.
Note: The Old Depot Museum is closed on Sundays. Admission is $5.50 per person.
If you crave more Vicksburg history, a third museum might be of interest. The Lower Mississippi River Museum has interactive exhibits that adults will enjoy, but I haven’t been there yet. Admission is free.
6. Go Gambling
Gambling is primo in Vicksburg with four local riverfront casinos to choose from: Riverwalk Casino Hotel, WaterView, Bally’s Vicksburg Casino (formerly Casino Vicksburg), and Ameristar. From blackjack to poker, video slots to roulette, you’ll find your favorite means of gambling in Vicksburg. The casinos have epic Mississippi River views, excellent restaurants, huge gaming areas with hundreds of machines, and beautiful decor.
Vicksburg casinos have hotel rooms so perhaps come for an overnight. While Riverwalk Casino & Hotel is my favorite to gamble at, we like to stay at Ameristar Casino & Hotel, which has spacious rooms, friendly staff, and a gorgeous lobby. Ameristar also has Sportsbook for placing wagers on professional sporting events.
Note: The hotel and the 70,000 square-foot casino are not connected, but there is a complimentary shuttle that runs between the two.
7. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Take time to enjoy one of the homemade goodies from Walnut Hills, a historic house (circa 1880) that has served as a Southern plantation cuisine restaurant since 1980. Lunch offerings include a round-table option (Southern Plantation Cuisine) with Miss Herdcine’s fried chicken and homemade biscuits.
I stop for the magnificent desserts. Walnut Hills has an amazing layered Caramel Cake, but the Strawberry Cake is my ultimate weakness. These Southern staples are drool-worthy and Instagram-Worthy, and there are about a dozen varieties to choose from.
The Fish Almondine and Shrimp & Grits are both excellent if you happen to be there for dinner!
Fun Fact: Walnut Hills was mentioned in 1000 Places to See Before You Die, a New York Times bestseller by our dear friend Patricia Schultz and, to me, the Holy Grail of travel.
8. Shop Local
Shopping in downtown Vicksburg is a delight and one of the best things to do in town. With a few well-stocked boutiques in downtown, namely on Washington Street, you’ll have plenty to see and do. We love the specialty foods at Southern Cottage (Green Door Market), home accents at Sassafras, and collectibles and packaged foods from Cinnamon Tree. Go to Peterson’s for beautiful baby gifts and The Dragonfly for top brand-name t-shirts.
The one do-not-miss shop is Lorelei Books, a fabulous independent bookstore that has one of the most incredible selections of unique cookbooks that I’ve seen. My granddaughter loves the books I’ve brought here from the children’s area, too.
9. Eat At The Tomato Place
I saw posts about The Tomato Place and found it a great spot to meet my Brandon, MS, family for a meal as we were passing through. While it looked like a roadside attraction, we loved it. My granddaughter had never seen this kind of market, so she was very intrigued. The Caribbean-themed produce market has some delicious food, and the staff goes to great lengths to make your visit enjoyable.
I had a 3-Veggie plate (which comes with fresh sliced tomatoes), while my husband chose a Turkey Club sandwich that passed his critique with flying colors. My granddaughter had a perfect grilled cheese. You can also buy breads, pies, and cookies baked daily. Be sure to check out the selection of locally-made jams, jellies, sauces, and other gourmet food products to take with you.
10. See Coca-Cola Memorabilia
Another fun thing in downtown Vicksburg is visiting the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum. This building is where the first Coca-Cola products were bottled globally, circa 1894. Today, it houses a vast collection of Coke memorabilia and a working circa 1900 soda fountain, where a Coke float might be a tasty treat to indulge in.
Having been in the soda and snack food industry for 20+ years, even I am impressed by the sheer number and age of vending machines and bottles at this museum. Admission is $3.50 for adults, but note that the staff isn’t one bit friendly.
Vicksburg: A Town To Get Acquainted With
I always look forward to a day trip including these things to see and do in Vicksburg, or else. Whether your journey brings you here for a few hours or a few days, you’ll love the Southern hospitality found in this charming city.
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