Downtown Vicksburg

Vicksburg is a city in Warren County, Mississippi, United States. It is located 234 miles (377 km) northwest of New Orleans on the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers, and 40 miles (65 km) due west of Jackson, the state capital. Vicksburg is considered a cultural landmark in the American South and is home to the Southern Cultural Heritage Center, Vicksburg Military Park, and (opening soon) the Lower Mississippi River Museum.


The area which is now Vicksburg was previously part of the Natchez Native Americans' territory. The first Europeans who settled the area were French colonists, who built Fort-Saint-Pierre in 1719 on the high bluffs overlooking the Yazoo River at present-day Redwood. In 1790 the Spanish founded a military outpost on the site, which they called Fort Nogales (nogales meaning "walnut trees"). When the Americans took possession in 1798, they changed the name to Walnut Hills. A sprawling community developed which officially incorporated in 1825 as Vicksburg. It was named after Newitt Vick, a Methodist minister. Vicksburg experienced rapid growth during the expansion of the cotton trade in the American South. Cotton was grown most profitably in the Mississippi Delta region. Vicksburg sits at the southern most tip of the Mississippi Delta, and served as a production and commerce hub for the cotton industry. In the decades leading up to the American Civil War, Vicksburg became very affluent from the large number of Delta planters and merchants making considerable profits selling cotton to European and North American textile producers.

Vicksburg is most famous as the location of a 47 day siege during the American Civil War (May 18 – July 4, 1863). After federal naval forces on the Mississippi River made several attempts at passing the rebel batteries at Vicksburg, Ulysses S. Grant led the federal army on a campaign to put the Confederate garrison at Vicksburg to siege. The people of Vicksburg dug caves into the hillsides to survive the bombardment. The legacy of the siege lives through much of Vicksburg's art, museum exhibits and traditions.

Vicksburg was instrumental in the growth and propagation of American Blues music-- which is native to Mississippi. Blues evolved primarily in the Mississippi Delta region from the musical traditions of African-American slaves before the American Civil War. Vicksburg served as a central hub for musicians to perform for merchants and travelers in the music halls and "juke joints" near the river port at Vicksburg.

Today Vicksburg remains distinct as a place where travelers can experience the legacy and traditions of the American South in a quaint city overlooking the Mississippi River. The people of Vicksburg are very hospitable and love to pass down stories from generations past that will bring history to life. The pace of life remains much slower than in many other places in the United States. There are many activities in Vicksburg from cultural and historical venues, as well as historic Washington Street full of restaurants and consignment shops of antiques. Be sure to get out of the car and explore - Vicksburg has beautiful architecture and a warm, friendly environment for walking.

Get in

Vicksburg bridge over Mississippi

By car

Interstate 20 (E-W) or U.S. Highway 61 (N-S)

By plane

The closest commercial airport to Vicksburg is Jackson-Evers International Airport in Jackson, about 50 miles east on I-20 (or a little more than 85 kilometers). Vicksburg also has its own municipal airport for general aviation.

By boat

At this time there are no riverboat tours; however, The Great American Steamboat Company of Memphis TN, plans to restart riverboat tours on the American Queen sometime during April of 2012.

By bus

Greyhound Bus Lines (or Delta Bus Lines) has an active (albeit a very small) bus depot just off of I-20 on the Frontage Road (1295 S Frontage Rd), on the Halls Ferry Road exit south bound. You can contact the depot at +1 601 638-8389.

By train

Although there are active freight lines that run through Vicksburg; however, there is not a passenger line (I.E. Amtrak) that runs through Vicksburg. The nearest passenger station is in Jackson, MS and it is the New Orleans / Chicago route.

Get around

Visitors can walk around the downtown area easily. Other sites away from downtown will likely require some other form of transportation.

City Bus

The city of Vicksburg does have a local bus service called the NRoute, and there are nine routes throughout the city. The hours of operation are 6 AM till 6 PM Monday through Friday. The main depot where bus passes may be purchased is located at NROUTE Office 2501 Halls Ferry Rd, and may be contacted by calling, Phone: 601-636-1053. Bus riding rules are fairly strict (no food or drink may be consumed while riding, and exact change is required). Bus fares are: $1.50 (transfers are not included in the one-way base fare), Senior Citizen $0.75, Children (ages 3 - 12) $0.50, bus transfer are $0.25 each, and monthly passes are $30. Be aware that bus transfers are only made at the main bus depot.


Rocket Taxi Cab 601-636-0491


Vicksburg National Military Park
Old Vicksburg courthouse


Bottleneck Blues Bar, Ameristar Casino, 4116 Washington Street, Phone: 601-638-1000 . This is about as close as it comes to a blues bar in Vicksburg (without hopelessly searching for a juke-joint in the Marcus Bottom area). Patrons must be 21 years old to enter (as you have to enter the casino) and have valid ID (a US driver's license or a passport for foreign nationals). Oddly, smoking is permitted during non-ticketed events, but prohibited during ticketed events. Most events are free, but occasionally you'll have to purchase tickets to some of the big name events.

Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg, 4116 Washington Street,  +1 601-638-1000. Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg contains a 70,000-square-foot riverboat casino that has brought nonstop action to Vicksburg, including 1,800 of the latest and most popular slot machines, 36 table games, a newly-opened ten-table poker room and variety of exquisite dining options. This just wouldn't be Mississippi if there wasn't great music – be sure to check it out at Ameristar's classic blues bar on Friday and Saturday.

WestSide Theater Foundation - for information about upcoming plays, view their page on Facebook or call Jack Burns at 601-618-9349.

Gold In The Hills at the Parkside Playhouse, Phone: 601-636-0471, . In its 70th season, it is the longest running melodrama in the world. Spring/summer only. $10 adults and $5 children.





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Go next

Routes through Vicksburg

Shreveport Monroe  W  E  Clinton Jackson
Clarksdale Cleveland ← Jct W E  N  S  Port Gibson Natchez

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, March 15, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.