Immerse Yourself in Civil War History in Vicksburg, Mississippi

    6/04/22 •

    As part of our quest to visit all 50 states, my husband and I went to Vicksburg, Mississippi last November. We came away pleasantly surprised at the number of historic Civil War sites there. We visited Vicksburg National Military Park on Veterans Day weekend. It was a moving experience to drive the park’s 16-mile touring…

    Mississippi Petrified Forest: A National Natural Landmark

    11/10/22 •

    A short drive north of Jackson, Mississippi brings you to an unusual attraction: the Mississippi Petrified Forest, the only one of its kind east of the Mississippi River. This National Natural Landmark brings millions of years of history to light as you examine the giant petrified log sections exposed by wind and rain erosion. Once…

    Stained Glass Manor of Vicksburg, Mississippi: Stay a Night or Take a Tour

    5/08/17 •

    Civil war buffs who visit Vicksburg, Mississippi shouldn’t miss Stained Glass Manor, a bed-and-breakfast that offers public tours. Our guide, owner Bill Smollen, regaled us with tales of local history. He told us the home was built by a descendant of town founder Burwell Vick. Designed in 1902 by George Washington Maher — who taught…

    Tupelo, Mississippi: Elvis Presley's Birthplace

    10/03/19 •

    Most people have heard of Graceland, Elvis Presley’s grandiose mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. But “The King” got his start in a much more modest dwelling some 100 miles to the southeast in Tupelo, Mississippi. Elvis was born on Jan. 8, 1935 in a humble two-room home his father, Vernon, built for only $180, just east…

    The Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi (1)

    1/27/15 •

    In the Mississippi Delta region, my husband and I discovered the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale. Housed in a renovated 1918 railroad depot, the museum showcases the culture and people that shaped this original American music. As we studied photos, instruments and other artifacts, we heard recordings by blues greats like Muddy Waters, John Lee…

    Cat Island National Widlife Refuge Near St. Francisville in Louisiana

    11/06/21 •

    …and State Highway 10, roughly 30 miles northwest of Baton Rouge and just north of the Mississippi River. To reach the refuge, take Tunica Road north off Highway 10 on the south end of St. Francisville. Tunica turns into River Road; follow it over the low-water crossing bridge that spans Bayou Sara and follow the…

    Tarantula Bites

    4/25/15 •

    …of any known disease that affects humans. They are found in North America west of the Mississippi River; in South America; and in warm climates throughout the world. Their habitats include deep deserts, grassy plains, scrub forests, and rainforests. Most live in burrows, but a few species prefer trees. Tarantulas are mostly nocturnal and are…

    Little River Canyon National Preserve, Alabama

    2/17/17 •

    For spectacular vistas of one of the deepest gorges east of the Mississippi River, visit the 14,000-acre Little River Canyon National Preserve in northeast Alabama. The best views are from the Little River Canyon Rim Drive, which is actually a 22-mile stretch of the Lookout Mountain Parkway, just east of Fort Payne. The best place…

    Columbus-Belmont State Park in Kentucky: A Little-Known Bit of Civil War History

    4/29/21 •

    I found a little-known bit of Civil War history at Columbus-Belmont State Park, atop a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in Kentucky. In an effort to stop Union ships, Confederate troops here stretched a huge chain across the river, anchored on each side by massive earthworks in Columbus, Kentucky and Belmont, Missouri. The river’s strong…

    Learn Something New at the Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site in Georgia

    3/31/20 •

    …when Union troops captured the Confederate president here on May 10, 1865. Davis and a few Cabinet members were fleeing west, where they hoped to rally Confederate forces west of the Mississippi River. A bronze bust of Davis and a monument mark the site of his capture. Irwinville is at the junction of State Highways…

    Red Wing, Minnesota: Shop Antiques and Watch the Boats

    11/05/21 •

    For our 40th wedding anniversary, my husband and I enjoyed a relaxing weekend in Red Wing, Minnesota. It was one of the best weekend trips we’ve ever taken. A town of about 15,000, Red Wing is nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River. It’s named after the symbol of the Mdewakanton Dakota tribe, which…

    Abraham Lincoln Memorabilia Museum, California

    12/28/19 •

    I never expected to find an Abraham Lincoln museum in southern California. But the Lincoln Memorial Shrine in Redlands showcases the largest collection of Lincoln and Civil War memorabilia west of the Mississippi River. Opened in 1937, the limestone-faced building stands in a quiet grassy park. Inside this tiny jewel, I marveled at all sorts…

    Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve: Step Back Into the World of the Pioneers of Kansas

    7/07/20 •

    …Up the road about 16 miles is the historic town of Council Grove. Once a stop on the Santa Fe Trail, Council Grove features 12 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Hays House. Established in 1857, it’s the oldest continuously operated restaurant west of the Mississippi River (closed Mondays )….