The mighty Mississippi is the largest river in America and a cruise on a traditional paddle steamer is a great opportunity to see the river and the historic sites along the way.The river has inspired famous music and literature, particularly in the lower Mississippi and takes you through the history of the South.
October and November is a great time for a cruise when the weather is mild and you can avoid the humidity of the summer months
Before the cruise starts time spent in New Orleans will be rewarded. Explore the French Quarter, enjoy a Creole lunch and then take in a piano duel or listen to jazz in one of the many bars on Bourbon Street and the surrounding area.
You can take a paddle steamer from New Orleans to Oak Alley Plantation, which provides the backdrop to the opening scenes in Gone With The Wind. Most stop at Natchez, the oldest city along the route, which has many homes, which survive from before the American Civil War, and has many delightful restaurants along the side of the river as well as a welcoming shopping area downtown with antique shops and historic buildings.
The Civil War era can be experienced at the National Military Park in Vicksburg. The capture of Vicksburg is the site of the end of the Civil War and with over 1,300 monuments, a Union gunboat, fortifications and a National Cemetery it can be an emotional place to evoke the spirit of this difficult period of American history.
St Francisville is an opportunity to walk around the town and to visit historic plantation homes, such as Rosedown Plantation, which is open to visitors to the house and gardens, and Myrtles Plantation, a reputedlyb haunted house.
Baton Rouge, the state capital, has water parks, botanical gardens, museums and plantations and is a great place to experience and enjoy the local cuisine before the return to New Orleans.
Nashville and Memphis provide further opportunities to experience the region and enjoy the very different musical traditions of each.