TOP HIGHLIGHTS ON A MISSISSIPPI RIVER CRUISE
|Top Highlights On A Mississippi River Cruise
|Laura Radford, Travel Writer
The Mississippi River region is full to the brim with southern charm, eclectic cultures, a rich musical heritage, and an incredible gastronomy scene, thanks to an infusion of Cajun and Creole influences. There is so much to see and do when sailing this famous waterway, but here at Marvellous Escapes we’ve narrowed it down to some of the top highlights...
Arguably the biggest draw of any trip to the Deep South, be it a land or cruise holiday. New Orleans is the beating heart of the lower Mississippi. With French, Caribbean and African influences, this city really is a delight for the senses. The birthplace of Jazz, its strongly recommended that you take in a Jazz performance here, even if its not really your thing, you may end up falling in love with it! Stroll around the stunning French quarter with its European-style architecture, be sure to try a sweet beignet (pieces of deep-fried dough coated in soft sugar), which are found everywhere in the city, along with some Creole delicacies such as jambalaya and gumbo and learn about the history of its world-famous Mardi Gras festival. As you venture slightly out of the city centre you’ll see dozens of restored plantation houses, relics of the lives of enslaved people, rich in history and human suffering, many of which can be visited.
The iconic Gateway Arch is sure to greet you when you visit St. Louis, along with the spirit of the Midwest! This 192-metre-tall monument is the world’s tallest arch and was built to commemorate Thomas Jefferson’s vision of a transcontinental United States. Most Upper Mississippi river cruises begin in St. Louis, and its also a key stop on Route 66. The dramatic landscapes here inspired the American author Mark Twain, and its not hard to see why! A popular stop on a Mississippi River Cruise from St. Louis is the authors childhood town of Hannibal, Missouri, where you can visit his boyhood home & museum and hear about the sites that inspired the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn!
No visit to the Deep South is complete without a visit to Memphis, and thankfully this is included on almost all Mississippi River Cruise itineraries. Explore Graceland, Elvis Presley’s home for more than 20 years. This colonial-style mansion houses a collection of the singer’s platinum and gold records as well as some of his iconic outfits. You can also learn about the city’s past in the National Civil Rights Museum, which is housed at the site where Martin Luther King was assassinated. And of course, your trip would not be complete without listening to some live music on Beale Street, along with some southern soul food of course!
Named for the Native American tribe, Natchez is famous for being the oldest town on the Mississippi, and one of the most important in the era before the Civil War. The architecture here is simply stunning, and it oozes a real charm, with a rich and vibrant history. Enjoy a horse & carriage trip around the town, where its plain to see the riches that came with a successful slave trade, in its multiple plantation houses. Also, visit its National Historical Park and learn about the towns Native American heritage in Mound and Grand Village.
Experience true Cajan culture in Louisiana’s state capital. The culinary scene here features everything from traditional dishes to high-end dining, and everything in between! Mark Twain might not have been a fan of this city, but it has plenty to delight, and will inevitably be a stop on most Mississippi River Cruises so why not make the most? Pay a visit to the Louisiana State Capitol, an Art Deco building with glorious gardens. Plus, there are plenty of arts and cultural attractions, including theatres, galleries & breweries.
Ready to experience the Deep South on a Mississippi River Cruise? Enquire with us today!