America’s Music Highway
Mississippi's Highway 61
4 Days | Spring | Summer | Fall
Starting At $Flexible Pricing
U. S. Highway 61, known as the “Blues Highway,” rivals Route 66 as the most famous road in American music lore. Dozens of blues artists have recorded songs about Highway 61, including Mississippians Sunnyland Slim, James “Son” Thomas, “Honeyboy” Edwards, Big Joe Williams, Joe McCoy, Charlie Musselwhite, Eddie Shaw, Johnny Young, Eddie Burns, and Mississippi Fred McDowell. Come hear the music, feel the beat.
YankeeTrailsGroups by US Tours Flexible Pricing:
- Customizable Comps
- Net Rates
- Luxury or First Class Hotels & Meals
- Motorcoach Transportation & Professional Tour Managers are available
Whatever you want, YankeeTrailsGroups by US Tours will be happy to structure tour prices to match your needs. Just let us know!
Day 1 – Tunica, MS – Gateway to the Blues Museum – Casino Lodging
Arrive today in Tunica, MS where you first visit the Gateway to the Blues Museum. Music lovers will delight in this must-see attraction, while learning remarkable story of how The Blues was born and the role Tunica and the Delta played in building the genre’s legacy. Experience interactive exhibits, artwork and more – including a recording studio where you’ll learn the basics of blues music with a chance to record your very own blues song.
Check into your Casino hotel for the night. Enjoy dinner at the casino plus free time this evening for gaming or entertainment. (B,D)
Day 2 – Clarksdale, MS – Delta Blues Museum – Lunch at Ground Zero – Cleveland, MS – Grammy Museum “America’s Music Highway” Exhibit – Local Entertainment
The morning is spent in Clarksdale, MS, located at the intersection of Highways 61 and 49 (“the crossroads.”) Clarksdale and the surrounding Delta region are known as “the land where the blues began.” Here you visit the Delta Blues Museum, an internationally acclaimed museum that showcases the history and significance of the Blues in this region. The museum features a wax figure of Blues great, Muddy Waters and the famous Muddywood Guitar.
Many now-legendary musical artists, were born and raised in and around Clarksdale: Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Son House, Ike Turner, Jackie Brenston, Sam Cooke, Junior Parker and W. C. Handy. The likes of Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf and Charley Patton are also associated with the museum.
Next, enjoy a Southern Barbecue lunch and live music at Ground Zero, a restaurant/juke joint that is co-owned by actor Morgan Freeman. Clarksdale, Mississippi has long been described as “Ground Zero” for blues aficionados from around the globe. It all started here. That’s why Ground Zero Blues Club was created — to celebrate the area’s rich blues heritage and to provide a forum in which it can continue.
The afternoon features a visit to the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi in nearby Cleveland. Per capita, Mississippi is the birthplace of more Grammy winners than anywhere else in the world! Learn about the music industry, see outfits and instruments of many of your favorite musicians while learning more about the star-making quality of the music industry and the important contributions Mississippi has made to America’s music. Plus, with interactive exhibits you can write and produce your own work! You can even come up with dance moves for it, too!
The GRAMMY Museum Mississippi features a new, major exhibit for 2024 – “Highway 61: Traveling America’s Music Highway.” This first-of-its-kind exhibit will take visitors on a journey down what could be considered to be music’s most important and famous road—Highway 61—while exploring the music sites and celebrating the artists that played a major role in shaping American music history. The exhibit will be on display through 2024.
The exhibit will feature iconic artifacts from artists like Muddy Waters, Ann Peebles, Dr. John, Bobby Rush, and Conway Twitty, among others, along with artist interviews, interactive experiences, and even a Juke Joint. The exhibit will also include a section dedicated to the celebration of the Recording Academy Memphis Chapter’s 50th anniversary, highlighting key moments from the Chapter’s history.
Check into your Cleveland, MS hotel for the night. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant plus local entertainment as available. (B,D)
Day 3 – B.B. King Museum – Highway 61 Blues Museum – Vicksburg, MS – Guided Mississippi Blues Trail Tour – Natchez, MS – Rhythm Club Memorial Museum – Biscuits & Blues Dinner
This morning, visit the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola, MS. Your tour begins in the theater and leads you on a journey through the Mississippi Delta and into the life of B.B. King. The Center features the very latest in high-definition projection and audio technology. You are immersed in the sights and sounds of the Delta, and then introduced to the remarkable legacy of a man known as the King of the Blues.
Then stop at the Highway 61 Blues Museum in Leland, MS, a small blues museum honoring the Mid-Mississippi Delta bluesmen and their contributions to music all over the world. The town also has several murals honoring local Blues Legends. The town and the museum both have a lot of character and are definitely worth checking out.
This afternoon, stop in Vicksburg, MS for a guided Mississippi Blues Trail Tour. With a local guide, explore Vicksburg which has six Blues Trail markers: The Blue Room, Highway 61 South, Marcus Bottom, The Red Tops, Willie Dixon, and William Ferris. The life and music of Vicksburg’s best-known bluesman, Willie Dixon, is also celebrated in one of the 32 depictions of Vicksburg’s history found on the Vicksburg Riverfront Murals along Levee Street.
This tour will also include a visit to the HC Porter Gallery where you will find original paintings, serigraphs, and fine art prints and photographs many of which feature Mississippi Blues artists.
Travel today ends in Natchez, MS. Natchez is also part of the Blues Trail with markers located through town honoring local blues legends and significant events in music history.
Here you visit the Rhythm Club Memorial Museum. The Rhythm Night Club was a hot spot for many Socialites in Natchez, MS. On April 23, 1940, the famous Orchestra Band of Walter Barnes from Chicago, Illinois was performing at the Club when tragedy struck. The Club went up in flames and most patrons were trapped because there was only one door to enter and exit. Two hundred nine plus people lost their lives in the tragedy and many were badly burned. Walter Barnes and most of his band perished in the fire. Barnes died a hero as he continued to play “Marie” to calm the crowd. The museum is located on the actual site of the clue and honors those who lost their lives and the survivors. See exhibits of photos, newspaper articles, live recordings from survivors telling their stories as to what happened that night, written documentations, and even music that the band played that night.
Check into your Natchez hotel for the night. Tonight, enjoy dinner at Biscuits & Blues which is dedicated to the preservation of Hot Biscuits & Cool Blues! (B,D)
Day 4 – Frogmore Plantation’s Delta Music Tour – Depart for Home
After breakfast, head to nearby Ferriday, MS for Frogmore Plantation’s Delta Music Tour. Featuring rhythm and song with one or two vocalists who blend African cultural songs with hymns learned in America, guests listen to the mistress to learn history like never before, as she intertwines narration with the songs. You will be seated in a rare 1800’s plantation church with original handmade pews. Discover the musical history learning the “double voicing” lyrics used on plantations for communication. Group members may even get to participate.
Depart for home following the tour. (B)