With a fall getaway on the radar, you might be wondering what to do during your time off of the casino floor in Tunica. While you can always go outlet and antique shopping, play a few rounds of golf or tennis, treat yourself to the spa, lay out by the pool, and enjoy live entertainment, here are some ideas of things to do exploring the area that are off the beaten path.
Bill Canter, our Director of Marketing and Sales, helps groups plan getaways to Tunica year-round. Here’s what he suggests for travelers wanting a three day weekend to remember!
DAY ONE Arrive in Mississippi Delta
Both I-55 and I-40 offer your group easy access to the new Interstate 69 and U.S. Highway 61 leading to the Mississippi Delta. You quickly realize how important agriculture is to this region. You will be amazed at how far you can see in any direction as you look upon the vast, expansive farmlands. The farms encompass thousands of acres; some held by families for generations, while others still bear old plantation names. The alluvial soil of the Delta produces much of the nation’s cotton, soybeans, and rice.
DAY TWO Sightseeing
Begin day two with an incredible breakfast buffet offering almost any breakfast food you can imagine.
Now it’s time to explore. Get in your car, and use your Tunica MAP to see all nine casinos. None of the casinos, hotels, Tunica shopping outlets, theaters or other amenities existed just a few short years ago. As you tour, you can begin to see how Tunica became one of the largest gaming destinations in the U.S. in such a short time. The first tourist to Tunica was Hernando Desoto, who moved through this area in the 1500’s.
Visit Tunica’s Mississippi Blues Markers starting at the Gateway to the Blues Visitor Center on Highway 61. Continue on to see four other markers across the county. Highway 61, the Blues Highway, is known as the hallowed path where gospel and folk merged and Robert Johnson sold his soul in exchange for mastery of the music that made him a legend. Other markers honoring the blues include James Cotton, Son House, Harold “Hardface” Clanton and the Abbey-Leatherman Plantation.
After the resort area tour, we head south down U.S. Highway 61. The quick 10-mile trip will take you toward the Town of Tunica. Our first stop is at the Tunica Museum, offering interactive displays depicting the region’s history. Artifacts and exhibits about Tunica from the days of Spanish explorers to the Native Americans, Delta Blues musicians, and the arrival of Las Vegas-style gaming. Admission Free – Call 662-363-6631. Allow 1 hour.
As you tour through Tunica, your group is going to develop and appetite for authentic Southern Cuisine. The four restaurants below happen to be local favorites that are “off the eaten path”.
Hollywood Café. Immortalized in Marc Cohn’s hit, Walking in Memphis, the Hollywood Café is the Home of the Fried Dill Pickle. Since 1969, this hole in-a-wall has offered juicy hubcap burgers, local fried catfish and fried green tomatoes.
Café Marie. Café Marie offers small-town dining with steaks, seafood and Southern fare. Located in an 1890’s hotel, the Marie is just 10 miles south of the Tunica Resorts area in downtown Tunica.
Catfish Warehouse. Like the name suggests, the Catfish Warehouse is the place to go for the South’s favorite delicacy. Indulge in the all-you-can eat catfish buffet, or opt for smaller plates of the local fare. Located 10 miles south of the Tunica Resorts area, just past the Tunica Arena & Expo on Highway 61.
Blue & White. The Blue & White has been a local favorite since 1937. Originally a Pure Oil Gas station, it is regarded as a unique photo opportunity. Stop in for the South’s best breakfast or for a meat-and-three plate lunch. Located on Old Route 61.
After lunch, explore Downtown Tunica. Visitors can take a step back in time as they visit a small town at its best. The town square offers antiques and specialty gift shops in charming and historic buildings. Visit the Tate Log cabin, Tunica’s oldest structure located on the corner of School Street and Magnolia Street. Allow 1-2 hours.
Return to Casino Resort area. There will be time to relax or for another session of fast-paced casino gaming after a day of touring.
Depart for the Tunica RiverPark, which is a museum, ecotrail, and overlook, located on the banks of the Mississippi River. The RiverPark offers an extensive one-of-a-kind interactive, interpretive center that showcases the life of the river and its history. Overlooking the Mississippi River from a harbor on the eastern bank, the museum features exhibits, a 3-story outdoor observation deck, aquariums with native aquatic life, and a 130-acre riverside forest with walking trails. Call 866-51RIVER (866-517-4837) for information. Admission: $5.00 per person. Allow 1.5 – 2 hours.
After your museum tour, proceed to the boarding area, as it is time to experience the Mighty Mississippi River.
The Tunica Queen offers the beauty and luxury of a classic 19th century riverboat. This 250-seat riverboat allows passengers to experience the golden age of river boating with all the comforts and amenities of the 21st century. Tonight you will enjoy a scenic evening dinner cruise, stand on a deck overlooking the Mississippi River, or enjoy the interior comfort as the Captain narrates points of interest along the way. The Tunica Queen offers scheduled daily cruises onto the Mighty Mississippi. Call 800-866-805-3535 to book your cruise. Combination RiverPark and Tunica Queen packages are available.
Your cruise returns early enough for you to spend the evening at the casino. Enjoy the gaming and live entertainment.
DAY THREE Departures
Luggage out as it’s time to move on. After breakfast, try your luck one more time in another casino before leaving the area.
Come back and visit us soon!
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Mississippi tourism & sightseeing