Eternally associated with the Civil War, this is the place where the Union prevailed. Here, the Union victory at Vicksburg propelled General Grant to national fame and helped seal the fate of the South. Vicksburg's fortifications, battlefields, and graveyards recall the famous siege on the Mississippi.
What We Love
Lower Mississippi River Museum: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' museum and riverside interpretive site showcases exhibits on the area's human and natural history. There's also an aquarium of Mississippi fish, a working scale model of the river, and a restored ACE towboat and inspection vessel.
Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum: Downtown Vicksburg is home to the exact building where the soft drink was first bottled in 1894. Even if you're a Pepsi fan, the museum's memorabilia has its charms.
Best Known For
Vicksburg National Military Park: Enveloping the city's northern and eastern edges, the solemn battlefield park includes reconstructed fortifications, a massive military cemetery, Grant's Headquarters, and the USS Cairo ironclad museum.
Southern Fried Anything: Pickles, avocados, green beans, and green tomatoes are just a few of the fried items of goodness found on menus in the bars and restaurants along Washington Street in downtown Vicksburg.
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Who It's Best For
Civil War Buffs: As one of the two great turning points of the War Between the States (along with Gettysburg), Vicksburg is a must-see for anyone with an interest in the epic.
Blues Connoisseurs: Delta-style blues music rings throughout Vicksburg at such spots as LD's Kitchen and the Bottleneck Blues Bar, as well as in the surrounding area north and south of the city in small towns along U.S. Highway 61.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
The River Doesn't Run Through It: Long ago the Mississippi carved a new, more westerly course; it no longer flows past downtown Vicksburg and the Civil War sites.
It's a Little Rough Around the Edges: Although downtown Vicksburg is in the midst of a mini revival, it still has a long way to travel to regain its glory.
Joe Yogerst is a California-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Travel + Leisure.