For those interested in history, the military park explains the city's role in the Civil War. The park has a driving tour that winds through the battlefield, with markers for Union and Confederate soldiers, the Vicksburg National Cemetery, and the U.S.S. Cairo Gunboat and Museum. Make sure you budget about one and a half to two hours, though, because the park is 1,800 acres.
Many people don't know this, but Joseph Biedenharn, a Vicksburg resident who owned a candy company, created the process that allowed Coca-Cola to bottle its soft drink. The museum tells the history of the Biedenharn family, Coca-Cola bottling and even has exhibits that feature the memorabilia from the company over the years. The museum even has a soda fountain from the 1800s in the back.
Around 2002, Vicksburg commissioned Robert Dafford to create a mural on the riverfront levee, and the project grew into a must-see stop from there. The murals tell the story of Vicksburg, from its prehistoric life to the tornado that devastated the city in the 1950s to its blues roots.
Just up from the river on Washington Street is Monsour's at The Biscuit Company. The interior sort of feels like Vicksburg's version of Ole Tavern on George Street with a more expansive area for dining. Monsour's also has an area that overlooks the canal, so you can watch boats pass by as you eat your food.
Also near the canal is the Levee Street Marketplace, where you can find a little bit of everything, whether you need furniture or just want a snack. The marketplace is divided into stalls where people can sell their wares, including records, clothes, artwork and so much more that it's hard to keep up with it.
Just down the street from the marketplace is the river museum, which also houses the M/V Mississippi IV survey ship. You can tour the museum and learn about the river's origin, its ecosystems, and how the Mississippi River Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers combat flooding. On the ship, you can see how the crew lived while they surveyed the river. Each deck has exhibits, including the engine room and the outer decks.
If you need a break from all the walking, grab a frozen hot chocolate or a coffee at Highway 61. After that, venture upstairs to The Attic Gallery. Paintings and other art from Mississippi artists, such as Sam Biebers and Jackson's own Laurin Stennis, cover the walls and much of the floor. It's bright and colorful, and no matter your taste, you can probably find something you like.
H.C. Porter is arguably one of the most prolific artists in Mississippi. Her art has been shown around the world ("Friends" actor David Schwimmer even has one of her pieces). Porter has painted a variety of subjects, from people in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to blues legends such as the late Honeyboy Edwards.
The bar sits on top of building that houses a Trustmark Bank and apartments. The menu has dishes such as the 10 South wings, which come in Coca-Cola barbecue, Louisiana Buffalo or naked Cajun sauces. My personal favorite was the chicken and waffles, which features panko-fried chicken, a sweet potato-cornbread waffle and a maple-chili glaze. The dish is a great way to end a long day.