{Pictured above:HWY 61 Blues Trail}

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If you were to describe Vicksburg in just one word, that word might be monumental.   There are, after all, more than 1300 elegantly commanding monuments gracing the length and breadth of the 1800-acre Vicksburg National Military Park, which happens to be one of the world’s most heavily monumented parks.  Monumental also describes the Vicksburg Campaign and 47-day siege, both in size and impact on the course of the Civil War.  What’s more, the word sums up the stirring personal experience this park promises:  Imagine rolling green hills, dramatic bronze statuary, elegant friezes and towers stretching toward the sky, all part of a design that includes precisely marked battle sites, canon, fortifications, a restored ironclad and museum, and a cemetery that is the single largest resting place for Union soldiers in the nation—monumental, indeed.

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“If you were to describe Vicksburg in just one word, that word might be monumental.”

Prize is another good Vicksburg description.  Sitting high atop the bluffs above the Mississippi River, Vicksburg was prized by both Union and Confederate forces for its strategic position.  Today, this vivacious, mural-clad city is prized for its veritable feast of culture, arts, shopping and dining.  Art galleries, an art park for children, inviting murals decorating downtown streets—life is sweet in the city where the very first Coca-Cola® was bottled in 1894, now commemorated in the Biedenharn Coca-Cola® Museum, just one of several Vicksburg museums, including the newly opened Old Levee Depot Museum and the Old Courthouse Museum, housing thousands of historic artifacts.

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And while the city’s historic finds are rich, Vicksburg’s shopping finds also have visitors flocking, to browse the boutiques of downtown, to scour the city’s value-packed outlet shops or to peruse the premier brands of the Vicksburg Mall.   Tired from all that shopping?  Then pamper yourself with a day at a Vicksburg spa.   Dining here ranges from American classics and comfort foods to European-inspired cuisine and wine tastings.  The food and the gaming are both superb at Vicksburg’s five casinos.

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In fact, perfection is another Vicksburg trait, like the perfectly classical design of the Military Park’s Illinois Monument, a small masterpiece modeled after the Roman Pantheon.  Step inside this handsome structure and speak aloud.  You’ll hear your voice reverberate against the high arched ceiling.  Singers and small choirs prize this space for its gorgeous echo.  Expect similar reverberations in your monumental memories of Vicksburg, memories that may well bring you back.

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