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Along the Mississippi River: The Sweet Lowdown

Eve Fowler

Photo: Eve Fowler

THE FACTS
Memphis and Natchez are about 300 miles apart. You can drive it in a day, but take five. The best route is the famous Highway 61 (soon to be renamed Blues Highway), which winds along the Mississippi River.

MEMPHIS
Peabody Hotel 149 Union Ave.; 800/732-2639 or 901/529-4100, fax 901/529-3600; doubles from $180.
Lorraine Motel & National Civil Rights Museum 450 Mulberry St.; 901/521-9699.

TUNICA COUNTY
Harrah's Tunica Casino & Hotel 1100 Casino Strip Blvd., Robinsonville; 800/427-7247 or 662/363-7777; doubles from $99.
Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel 1600 Isle of Capri Blvd., Robinsonville; 877/711-4753 or 662/357-6500; doubles from $59.
Gold Strike Casino Resort 1010 Casino Center Dr., Robinsonville; 888/245-7829 or 662/357-1111; doubles from $59.
Grand Casino Tunica 13615 Old Hwy. 61 N., Robinsonville; 800/946-4946 or 662/363-2788; doubles from $39.

VICKSBURG
Cedar Grove Mansion Inn 2200 Oak St.; 800/862-1300 or 601/636-1000, fax 601/ 634-6126; doubles from $130, including breakfast and afternoon tea.
André's Restaurant at the Cedar Grove Mansion Inn; dinner for two $50.
Vicksburg National Military Park and Vicksburg National Cemetery 601/636-0583. The battlefield includes 1,325 monuments and markers, 20 miles of restored and original trenches; the cemetery contains the graves of more than 17,000 Union soldiers.

THE BLUES
Red's (395 Sunflower Ave., Clarksdale; 662/627-3166), Do Drop Inn (Third and Lake Sts., Shelby; 662/741-2475), and Sarah's Kitchen (208 Sunflower Ave., Clarksdale; 662/627-3239) are good places to hear the real thing.
Delta Blues Museum 1 Blues Alley, Clarksdale; 662/627-6820.

TOURS
The Natchez Convention & Visitors Bureau (800/647-6724 or 601/446-6345) and Natchez Pilgrimage Tours (800/647-6742 or 601/446-6631) can provide information on custom tours of the antebellum buildings in town. For guided bus tours of the pre—Civil War South, with stops in Natchez and river cruises on the Mississippi, contact Tauck World Discovery (800/788-7885 or 203/226-6911). The Mississippi Division of Tourism lists a suggested "Highway 61" itinerary on its Web site (800/927-6378 or 601/359-3297; www.visitmississippi.org).

—Robert Maniaci

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