♦Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art Inc: Specializes in regional blues CDs and artwork.
♦ Miss Del’s General Store: General store, lodging and catering.
♦ Quapaw Canoe Company: Quapaw Canoe Company offers wilderness expeditions on the Lower Mississippi River, its Back Waters, Bayous, Oxbows, and Flood Plain between the levees.
National Civial Right's Museum
♦The Delta Blues Museum: The museum is dedicated to creating a welcoming place where visitors find meaning, value and perspective by exploring the history and heritage of this unique American musical art form known as the “blues.” Since its creation a quarter of a century ago, the Delta Blues Museum has preserved, interpreted and encouraged a deep interest in the story of the “blues.”
♦Riverside Hotel: The former G. T. Thomas Hospital where blues singer Bessie Smith died in 1937 has been a hotel since 1944, playing host to visitors like Sonny Boy Williamson II, Robert Nighthawk, Ike Turner and even John Kennedy Jr.
♦Shack Up Inn: Blues lovers making the pilgrimage to the cradle of the blues, the Mississippi Delta, should not miss the unique opportunity to experience the Shack Up Inn at Hopson Plantation, located 4 miles from the legendary Crossroads, Highways 49 and 61, in Clarksdale. Virtually unchanged from when it was a working plantation, guests will find authentic sharecropper shacks, the original cotton gin and seed houses and other outbuildings. Sleep in one of the renovated shotgun shacks or one of the newly renovated bins in the Cotton Gin Inn.
♦The Tutwiler Arts Project: W.C. Handy first heard the blues while waiting for a train at the Tutwiler Depot. Resident artists have revitalized the town.
Famous Blues Spots
♦Blues Alley Railroad Depot
♦ Bluesmen’s gravesites
♦ Muddy Waters’ home
♦ North Delta Museum, Friar’s Point, Miss.
♦ The Crossroads (Highways 49 and 61)
♦ W.C. Handy’s home
National Civil Rights Museum
Located at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, site of the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the museum presents interactive audiovisual displays,
life-sized replicas, and actual artifacts to present an emotionally charged history of the American civil rights movement. The $11 million expansion opened in September 2002 and includes the renovation of the boarding house where the fatal shot was fired.
Take a look at the roots of rock ’n’ roll in this tiny, unassuming space that is the birthplace of the genre. The first rock record, “Rocket 88,” was recorded here as well as hits by superstars including Elvis, B.B. King, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Muddy Waters and Roy Orbison.
Take the Clarksdale Delta Blues Tour Provided by Sweet Magnolia Tours
Welcome to the Mississippi Delta, where writers and blues men, planters and scholars have lived and created the culture that we call “the Old South.” In many small towns dotted along the roadside this culture has remained virtually unchanged throughout the many decades since Plantation Life flourished in the Delta. You will be traveling down one of those roads today, Highway 61, America’s “Blues Highway” on your way to Clarksdale, a town highly acclaimed for keeping the blues alive. Clarksdale is a mix of legend, lore and literary greatness. It is not only home to many of the original blues artists of our time, but also, the famous playwright Tennessee Williams.
Heading down the same route traveled by blues artists of the 1920s and ’30s we arrive at the junction of Highway 61 and Highway 49 in Clarksdale where legend has it that the famous blues man, Robert Johnson, sold his soul to the devil in order to meet his fate as the greatest blues musician of all time.
Upon arrival in Clarksdale you will be met by a local tour guide who will take you on the back roads of this quiet little town in search of the spirits of the Delta Blues country. The tour will be enhanced by a stop to visit the Delta Blues Museum located in the renovated Clarksdale railroad depot. As the sound of the Delta plays in the main gallery, you will learn about the history of the blues and the musicians that brought it to the world. The outstanding displays include one of B.B. King’s “Lucille” guitars and a guitar commissioned by ZZ Top using lumber from Muddy Waters’ cabin.
Your next stop in the Clarksdale Historic District will be at Ground Zero for a Southern-style plate lunch with cornbread to be sure. The Ground Zero Blues Club, owned by local businessmen and actor Morgan Freeman, celebrates the area’s rich blues heritage and provides a forum for those looking for a true Delta Blues experience.
Following lunch, your Delta adventure will continue on to the Hopson Plantation where you will find yourself immersed in the living history of this authentic southern plantation. As you stroll around the compound you will see the original sharecropper shacks, original cotton gin, seed houses and the commissary that is filled with antiques and artifacts pertaining to the culture of the surrounding Mississippi Delta. A special Southern culture departing gift of an RC Cola and Moonpie will be given to each passenger to enjoy.
Helpful Web Sites for Your Visit to the Delta