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Itineraries

"Writers and travelers are mesmerized alike by knowing of their destinations."  --Eudora Welty

The choices stretch before you, endless and exciting:  To see the birthplace where Elvis made his entrance to the world stage ... To walk among the nation’s largest remaining Civil War earthworks from the largest siege in the Western Hemisphere, at the Crossroads of the Confederacy ... To stand where James Meredith stood, surrounded by National Guardsmen, about to walk through the doorway of history ... To be inside the study where William Faulkner composed his masterpieces, where the walls bear his handwritten outline for one of those masterpieces ... To dive into Grenada Lake or the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway ... To immerse yourself in beauty and history at any one of the dozens of magnificent antebellum mansions.

There’s so much to see and do in the Mississippi Hills. Faulkner once said he could spend a lifetime writing about it — you could spend a lifetime exploring it. And it all starts now, with a simple click.  In the Mississippi Hills, the possibilities are boundless.
 

American Cultural Icons

A Nobel venture, a royal welcome on the road to musical and literary genius.

Elvis at 13 StatueLet’s start with the facts: the artists of the Mississippi Hills rocked the world, and the roll call of genius you’ll meet on this tour is pretty amazing:

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The March to Freedom

Out of bondage into brilliance: Let your eyes see the glory on a journey to freedom and greatness.

Ida B. WellsIf American civil rights was a journey of a thousand steps, those first steps were taken here by some remarkable people. People like Ida B. Wells, who was born a slave and became a hero to millions as a crusading journalist and activist; and James Meredith, an Air Force veteran who’d answered his country’s call with honor and saw no reason for America to give a deferment to his own dream.

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Crossroads of the Confederacy

Fiery fields, a famous Forrest in an adventure that goes deep into the fray.

Nathan Bedford ForrestWhen it came to fighting in the Mississippi Hills, the Confederate Army may have been outgunned, but it was the Union Army that got outfoxed, repeatedly, as the Confederates stayed in the game by staying on their toes:  their tiptoes, that is.  P.G.T. Beauregard sneaked his men out of Corinth in the dark of night to evade capture; in the light of early morning, Earl Van Dorn and his men sneaked up on Grant's forces at Holly Springs to devastate Union supplies. 

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Southern Architecture

Grand designs on history and beauty in architecture that rises to greatness at every turn.

Oxford CourthouseIf journalism is history's first draft, it might be said that architecture stands as a final draft, the physical and often enduring realization of the aims and the ambitions of the people who created it.  In the Mississippi Hills, architecture often reaches not for the sky but for beauty and elegance, and since great design wasn't Greek to the builders here (or rather not just Greek Revival), there's a variety and depth to Hills architecture that means something different and interesting around every corner.

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Outdoor Recreation

Playtime is naturally more fun in the Hills.

Fishing on Columbus LakeVisitors to the Mississippi Hills invariably and immediately note the friendly and outgoing nature of the people here.  Funny thing is, it doesn’t take long before visitors themselves become outgoing in nature — that is to say, out going in Nature as they hike, bike, fish, hunt, play tennis, golf, go camping, boating, birding, skiing, horseback riding, rope and rock climbing... Of course, sometimes visitors stop going because they like to just stand and breathe in the stillness of a hardwood forest, or gaze out over the shimmering surface of a crystal blue lake.  Sometimes they want to drink in a sunset or just sit and soak up the beautiful scenery.
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Educational Heritage

The thoughts count more at institutions of higher learning where goals are reached on the field, in every field.

Lyceum at the University of MississippiIn the Hills' pioneering days, an agricultural economy meant that life could be a hard row to hoe, with the school of hard knocks always in session.  Still, even from those earliest times the people of the Mississippi Hills were a forward-thinking group who believed that while the region needed to bring in its cotton crops, it also needed to cultivate a love of learning and a life of the mind.  The result has been an impressive yield, not just of firsts, but also of bests.

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Hills Celebrities

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Annual Report

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2013 Annual Report

Heritage Area Map

Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area


MS Hills Visitors Center


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