Blues is one of the few music genres considered to be wholly American, and its roots are firmly planted in the rich soil of the Mississippi Delta. Here, too, is where legendary musician B.B. King came of age. Indianola's B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center celebrates not only King's prolific career, but also the significance of the Mississippi Delta to music then and now. Interactive exhibits take visitors through the guitarist's life in chronological order, starting with his boyhood in the Delta and culminating with the highlights of his decades-long career.
The Building: The 20,000-square-foot museum was built on the site of an old cotton gin where B.B. King once worked.
Valuable Relic: Tucked in the section about B.B.'s pre-celebrity life is the Panoram, an early video jukebox on which he first saw the big bands he became so enamored with.
From His Early Career: In the exhibit on what was known as the Chitlin Circuit, you'll find the leather-bound notebook in which King stashed his song charts, meticulously cross-referenced by songwriter.
Other Mementos: Memorabilia from King's life spans the decades, including a quilt from his boyhood home, his draft card, and various iterations of his guitar, Lucille.
Hidden Gem: The museum also includes items from other artists of his era, such as Janis Joplin's handwritten lyrics.
Hands-On Exhibit: Under video instruction from B.B. King himself, visitors strum tunes on guitars.
From the Press: "The ... facility is likely the most elaborate museum in the U.S. about a single living musician, but Mr. King's stature justifies the investment." ? Wall Street Journal
Dedicated to preserving Mississippi’s heritage, Cottonlandia Museum educates visitors with an array of interdisciplinary displays and collections. Cottonlandia’s permanent exhibits and rooms include the Mississippi Art Collection, an anthology of Mississippi-made art, most of it purchased from the winners of the biannual Cottonlandia Fine Arts Competition, and the Archaeology Room, home to a large assortment of Native American beads and a 12,000 year-old mastodon skeleton that they used to hang sabertooth fur coats. Meanwhile, the Malmaison Room presents photographs and furniture salvaged from the home of county namesake Greenwood Leflore, the last chief of the Choctaw tribe before their removal to Oklahoma, and the Swamp Room lets guests absorb the sights and sounds of the wetlands without brewing their own bog water out of bullfrog tears.
More than 200 species swim through the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, and that's just the facility's aquatic residents. Beyond the aquarium network sprawls an abundance of plant and animal life both indoors and out. A trip through the museum campus reveals Mississippi's diverse ecosystems, as well as their relationship to humans.
The leading receiver in NFL history, the leading passer in NFL history, and the patriarch of football's first family all have something in common—a few things, actually. Not only do Jerry Rice, Brett Favre, and Archie Manning all hail from the Magnolia State, but all three are also inductees in its Sports Hall of Fame. They share the honor with nearly 300 other legends, including winners of Olympic gold medals and World Series games. Visitors can learn about these athletes through exhibits and touchscreen kiosks, or they can head to play areas to have a chance to complete a game winning pass, strike out a batter with the game on the line, make a game winning shot, or kick a game winning goal.
The Viking Classic is an important milestone in the world of golf, with the winner receiving $648,000 as well as FedExCup points. Golf aficionados can redeem their tickets on any day in the competition, from Thursday's first round to the tournament-deciding match on Sunday. A Scottish-style course blasted from the cold, unforgiving earth by the piercing thoughts of Jack Nicklaus, Annandale welcomes golf balls and their professional owners with rolling hills, elevated bentgrass greens, and pampas grass. Last year's winner was Bill Haas, and past champions have included vaunted pros such as Luke Donald, currently ranked number one in the world in golf.
In West Monroe's countryside, 20 acres of grapevines sway among gently rolling hills and tall, old trees. This is Landry Vineyards, tended by Jeff and Libby Landry and their four sons. They began growing hybrid blanc du bois grapes?specially bred to withstand the South's climate?at their first vineyard in Folsom back in 1999. However, in 2005, Hurricane Katrina leveled their crops, inspiring them to move to higher ground.
Today, the Landrys ferment a full roster of wines from blanc du bois and other hardy Southern grapes. The crisp fruit flavors of semisweet blanc du bois white pair well with spicy Cajun and French-inspired fare, whereas the Envie Rouge?made with red Cynthiana-Norton and black spanish grapes?acquires its spice from oak-barrel aging. The Landrys also import and ferment many grapes that they can't grow, including hand-picked bunches of cabernet from Washington state and California. Though locals have been enjoying the fruits of the Landry family's labors for several years, the vineyard's appearance in a 2012 episode of Duck Dynasty introduced the Louisiana-made wines to a national audience, drawing in droves of customers from all over the country.
Besides sipping wines, customers can visit the picturesque vineyard for tastings and cellar and winery tours. And during regular concerts, they can sip wine among the sounds of blues, jazz, and grapes quietly gossiping about which grape pickers have the softest hands.