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Mississippi

Total Mileage/Average drive time
145 miles, 2 hours, 39 minutes

Named for the mighty river, Mississippi is at the heart of history and culture in the South. The site of numerous brutal battles during the Civil War, it's also home to several great writers and is known as the birthplace of America's music.

1) Holly Springs
The Antebellum Capitol of the Mid-South underwent 62 raids during the Civil War and still managed to preserve its charm. Walk past the home General Ulysses S. Grant used as his headquarters and where the Union Army lost over $1 million in medical supplies due to the Van Dorn Raid. Stroll the quiet grounds of Hillcrest Cemetery, "The Little Arlington of the South," where 145 Confederate generals are buried. Explore one of the largest collections of Civil War artifacts in the state at the Marshall County Historical Museum.

2) Oxford
30 miles, 37 minutes

Highway 7 takes you to Oxford, the home of Nobel Prize winning author William Faulkner. Tour Faulkner's antebellum house, Rowan Oak, and glimpse into his private world, where his portable Underwood typewriter sits, waiting, and the penciled outline of A Fable is still readable on his study wall. Walk past the Thompson-Chandler House, the model for the Compson place in The Sound and the Fury. Pay your respects at Faulkner's grave in St. Peter's Cemetery. It's tradition to have a drink of Bourbon in his honor, and leave the bottle on his gravestone.

3) Tupelo
51 miles, 55 minutes

Traveling east on Highway 6, you'll come to Tupelo where on a cold January day, in a tiny, two-room house, the "King of Rock 'N' Roll" was born. Elvis Presley's father built the house for $180 in 1934, and today it is part of the Elvis Presley Birthplace Complex and Museum, along with the church he attended, where he heard the Southern Gospel that would influence his music. Traverse the "Walk of Life" that surrounds his birthplace, and read friend's recollections of him on the Story Wall.

4) Columbus
64 miles, 1 hour

Highway 45 South will take you to the birthplace of Famed Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tennessee Williams. It's a Victorian house that is now the city's official welcome center. Visit his early-childhood home, once a rectory, restored now to its 1911 appearance. St. Paul's Episcopal Church, where the home originally stood, is where William's grandfather served as minister. If you're in town the first of September, don't miss the annual Tennessee Williams Tribute and Tour of Victorian Homes.