Vicksburg, Mississippi

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I had hoped to be in Arkansas by the middle of Day 4, but by one in the afternoon, I was just getting into Vicksburg.  It didn’t help things that Washington Street, the main road from the interstate into downtown, was closed for construction, causing me to make a long and confusing detour.  When I finally made it to Vicksburg’s downtown and waterfront, I decided to take just a quick look around, before moving on.

Vicksburg’s downtown is on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.  Head downhill a few blocks, and you can drive through an opening in the floodwall…

… for a look at the Horizon Casino steamboat.

Railroad tracks also run along the riverfront, and there’s a great relic from the old rail days here as well: the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad Station.

Back uphill in town, I passed one place where, if I had more time, I would have liked to have stopped.  The Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum celebrates an idea that started in Vicksburg: bottled Coca-Cola.  Around the turn of the 20th century, the Biedenharns ran a candy company in Vicksburg, and also sold Coke at their soda fountain.  The problem was, people had to come to them to enjoy a Coca-Cola — and there were plenty of rural areas where there were no soda fountains.  The Biedenharns became the first to bottle Coke, then sell it throughout the area.

Admission to the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum is a reasonable $3 for adults, $2 for children.  You can check on current prices and hours here.

It’s also hard to miss The Vicksburg, a historic hotel that now also offers apartments and event space.

Leaving Vicksburg, get back on Interstate 20 and head west, across the Mississippi River into Louisiana.

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