Musical Heritage Tour
Explore our Mississippi music heritage, from Elvis Presley and the annual Elvis Festival, to Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Robert Johnson!
Begin your tour in Tupelo, where you’ll be moved by the humble, two-room house where Elvis was born, and visit the adjacent Elvis Presley Museum and memorial chapel. You’ll also explore a number of sites important to Elvis’ early life, including the school where he performed "Old Shepp" in a talent show, the hardware store where he purchased his first guitar, and the fairgrounds where he performed early in his career. Tupelo honors its famous native son every June during the annual Elvis Festival.
TUPELO TO CLARKSDALE
From Tupelo travel to Oxford, a charming college town immortalized in the writings of William Faulkner and the part-time home of blockbuster novelist John Grisham. Begin the day with a tour of Rowan Oak, Faulkner’s tranquil country home, where you’ll discover the outline of his novel, A Fable, scribbled on the study wall. Make your next stop the lovely campus of the University of Mississippi, affectionately known as "Ole Miss." Tour the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, a research center for Southern music, literature and folklore housed in an antebellum observatory on campus, then visit the University of Mississippi Blues Archive, the only research facility in the country dedicated to the study of the blues. The archive includes artifacts, photographs, and recordings, as well as the personal collection of blues legend and Mississippi native B. B. King, a treasure trove of Mississippi music history. From Oxford continue into the fabled Mississippi Delta where the meal at Madidi a white tablecloth restaurant co-owned by actor Morgan Freeman, or treat yourself to a down-home catfish dinner. Wrap up a trip to Clarksdale with a visit to one of the city’s blues clubs or authentic juke joints for a live performance of the music that made the Delta famous.
CLARKSDALE TO JACKSON
Travel south through the fertile farmlands of the Delta to Cleveland's Dockery Farms, a historic plantation listed as the possible birthplace of the blues. A barn bearing the plantation name and dates of operation is a popular photo opportunity. Continue south to Greenville, where you can try your luck at the casinos along the Mississippi River levee or immerse yourself in Native American culture at Winterville Mounds, one of the largest Indian mound groups in the Mississippi Valley. From Greenville, continue on to Leland, home of MuppetsR creator Jim Henson. Tour the Highway 61 Blues Museum to learn even more about the Mississippi Delta Blues, a crucial part of Mississippi music history. Next, follow Highway 82 east across the Delta to Greenwood, where you can take a walking tour of historic Cotton Row, the second-largest cotton exchange in the United States, then shop for souvenirs in the charming downtown area. For a taste of the lifestyle that inspired the blues, tour Greenwood's Blues Heritage Gallery, dedicated to Robert Johnson, the renowned "King of the Delta Blues." Continue your journey through the Delta to Yazoo City where you can take the Yazoo City Blues Tour and learn about Bentonia Blues and the Skip James connection. Press on to Jackson, and enjoy blues, rock, country and other Mississippi music at one of the local clubs.