Dubbed “the birthplace of the blues,” the Delta is where Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and B.B. King began their careers. If you’re looking for the real thing, the doors to juke joints like Po’ Monkey’s and Red’s Lounge are open into the wee hours, and museums like the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale and festivals such as the Mississippi Delta Blues Heritage Festival in Greenville pay tribute to this internationally popular art form.
For true blues aficionados, the markers along the Mississippi Blues Trail, commemorate sites like Dockery Farms near Cleveland, which served as a home base for Charley Patton and other blues musicians. Clarksdale’s renowned hot spot is Ground Zero Blues Club, where you can hear local blues acts live. This regional landmark is owned by Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman and Bill Luckett, mayor of Clarksdale.
You’ll learn more of the Delta’s rich history at Greenwood's Museum of the Mississippi Delta and Tunica's RiverPark. Explore the places where Tennessee Williams grew up, where Willie Morris and his dog Skip played and where Jim Henson was inspired to create Kermit the Frog. In Yazoo City, tour the Oakes African American Cultural Center to learn about the achievements and contributions of African Americans of the area.
No visit to the Delta would be complete without sampling the region’s world-renowned, traditional food, especially Delta-style tamales. Follow the Hot Tamale Trail and stop by Delta Fast Food, Airport Grocery and John’s Homestyle Hot Tamales, all in Cleveland. In Belzoni, often called the “Catfish Capital of the World,” you’ll see how Mississippi’s farm-raised catfish industry has helped catfish become a popular national and international dish.
Many visitors are surprised to find that Mississippi is one of the top 10 gaming destinations in America, but when it comes to value we are second to none. The Gulf Coast features world-class casino hotels like the Hard Rock and the Beau Rivage. Tunica is a popular and very affordable gaming destination with eight casinos, more than 40 restaurants and three signature golf courses.
Greenwood is home of Viking Hospitality Group, which offers a number of opportunities to relax in style. The Alluvian Hotel provides luxury accommodations and a 7,000 square foot spa. Visitors can enjoy meals at Giardina’s Restaurant and Mockingbird Bakery and learn to cook from professional chefs at the world-famous Viking Cooking School.
For outdoors enthusiasts, the Delta region includes more than 110,000 acres of public lands. Cyclists treasure the wide open spaces of the Delta and its 300-mile trail through the heart of blues country, along with trails at Great River Road State Park in Rosedale and Delta National Forest at Rolling Fork. Tunica RiverPark and Leroy Percy State Park are also great areas for birdwatching and outdoors excursions.