Delta Blues & Cajun Spice: Practical Info

Practical information for taking a road trip down the Mississippi River from Memphis to New Orleans through the Mississippi Delta and Cajun Country

How to get to the Mississippi Delta

Despite the excellence of the Fats Domino song "Walking to New Orleans," that is a rather inefficient (and time-consuming) way to get from Memphis to the Big Easy—and, come to think of it, "Walking in Memphis" à la Marc Cohn is also all fine and dandy, but first you've got to get there.

The Memphis International Airport ( is serviced by most major airlines (American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, United; as well as by low-cost carrier airTran (from Atlanta and Orlando;

I'd pick up the rental car at the airport, but you can take one of several city buses into downtown Memphis (901-274-MATA,, or take a taxi for about $30 (901-577-7700,

You could, obviously, also do this trip backwards, flying into New Orleans (which is where you'd be flying home from anyway if you go the way I did). TK

When to go to the Delta

Avoid summer if you possibly can, when it gets hot enough to make the devil sweat. (Like them southern expressions? Here's another one: "Hotter than two rabbits making babies in a sock.")

At any rate, it's hot. I'm getting flop sweat just thinking about how hot it can get—it pretty much just stays in the 80s throughout July and August. Humid too. Did I mention humid? The fact that the air just stands there—still; no breeze—makes it ten times worse.

In other words: go in the spring or fall, when the weather is more mild and the farmland busy.

The Delta Road Trip Bookshelf




The details again

Day 1
Tourist info

• Memphis:


• Graceland, 3765 Elvis Presley Blvd., 800-238-2000,, $28.
• Rev. Al Green Gospel Service, Sundays at 11:30am, Full Gospel Tabernacle, 787 Hale Road, Memphis, 901-396-9192,, free.
• Delta Blues Museum, 1 Blues Alley, Clarksdale, MS, 662-627-6820,, $7.
• Cat Head, 252 Delta Ave., Clarksdale, MS, 662-624-5992,
• Ground Zero, 0 Blues Alley [yes, the street number is "zero"], Clarksdale, MS, 662-621-9009,, live music Wed-Sat, cover varies.


• Old Venice Pizza Co., 330 West Commerce St., Hernando, MS 662-429-9998,, individual pizzas from $10.99.
• Velvet Cream, 2290 Hwy. 51, Hernando, MS, 662-429-6540,, malteds from $2.98.


• Shack Up Inn, 1 Commissary Circle off Rte. 49, Hopson Plantation, Clarksdale, MS, 662-624-8329,, shacks $60–$75

($15 surcharge on weekends).

Day 2

• Delta Cultural Center, 141 Cherry St., Helena, AK, 800-358-0972,, free.
Lake Chicot State Park, 2542 Highway 257, Lake Village, AK, 870-265-5480,, free.


• Abe's BBQ, 616 State St., Clarksdale, MS, 662-624-9947,, sandwiches $3.25.


• Cedar Grove Mansion, 2300 Washington St., Vicksburg, MS, 800-862-1300,, doubles $100–$180, suites to $195.


Day 3

• Old Court House Museum, 1008 Cherry St., Vicksburg, MS, 601-636-0741,, $5.
• Corner Drugstore, 1123 Washington St, Vicksburg, MS, 601-636-2756,, free.
• Vicksburg National Military Park, 3201 Clay St., Vicksburg, MS, 601-636-0583,, $8.
• Natchez Trace Parkway, Nashville, TN to Natchez, MS (via Cherokee, AL, Tupelo, MS, and Jackson, MS), 800-305-7417,, free.


• Walnut Hills, 1214 Adams St., Vicksburg, MS, 601-638-4910,, full round table lunch $15.
• Fat Mama's Tamales, 500 S. Canal St., Natchez, MS, 601-442-4548,, half-dozen tamales $3.50, gringo pie $6.


• Bayou Boudin & Cracklin, 100 W. Mills Ave., Breaux Bridge, LA, 337-332-6158,, cabins $60–$125.

Day 4

• Cajun Country Swamp Tours, 108 Mills Ave., Breaux Bridge, LA, 337-319-0010,, $20.
• Shadows-on-the-Teche, 317 E. Main St., New Iberia, LA, 877-200-4924,, $8.
• The Old Opera House, 601 Bourbon St. at Toulouse St., New Orleans, LA, 504-522-3265,


• Café des Amis, 140 E. Bridge St., Breaux Bridge, LA, 337-332-5273,, crawfish etouffée $14.

• Napoleon House, 500 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA, 504-524-9752,, jambalaya from $2.50, sandwiches from $5s.25.


• Olivier House, 828 Toulouse St., New Orleans, LA, 504-525-8456,, doubles $69–$145.


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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in June 2012.
All information was accurate at the time.

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