THE BEST WAY TO VICKSBURG, MISS.
From LAX, Southwest, United, American and Delta offer connecting service (change of plane) to Jackson, Miss. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $540. United, Southwest and Delta offer nonstop service to New Orleans, and American, United, Southwest, Delta and Frontier offer connecting service. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $362.
Jackson is 45 minutes east of Vicksburg, and New Orleans is 225 miles south.
WHERE TO STAY
Anchuca, 1010 First East St., Vicksburg; (888) 686-0111, http://www.anchucamansion.com. A Greek Revival mansion, circa 1830, that survived the Siege of Vicksburg. Swimming pool and a fine-dining restaurant. (see below). The main house has a suite that sleeps up to four; the carriage house has four bedrooms. $125-$296.
Ahern's Belle of the Bends, 508 Klein St., Vicksburg; (800) 844-2308, http://www.belleofthebends.com. Also in the old part of town , the four-guest room B&B was built in 1876 and is known for its gated garden and memorable breakfasts. Doubles $129-$169.
Among hotels and motels near Interstate 20 and Vicksburg National Military Park are LaQuinta Inn & Suites, 4160 S. Frontage St., (601) 802-0525, and Hampton Inn & Suites, 3330 Clay St., (601) 634-1962, adjacent to the battlefield park.
WHERE TO EAT
Cafe Anchuca (see above). Open for Sunday brunch, tapas and dinner Mondays-Saturdays. Pimento cheese toast ($6), seafood gumbo ($8), Creole sampler ($24), shrimp and grits ($20), chocolate Bourbon pecan pie ($6).
Walnut Hills, 1214 Adams St.; (601) 638-4910, http://www.walnuthillsms.com. In Old Town, rockers on the porch. Southern fare, with biscuits, tomato aspic ($6), gumbo ($6), fried chicken ($14) and catfish ($15). Community table for solo diners. Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, Sunday brunch.
Beechwood Restaurant & Lounge, 4451 E. Clay St.; (601) 636-3761, http://www.facebook.com/TheBeechwood. Nondescript restaurant near Interstate 20, recommended by the local LaQuinta. Local hangout to watch ballgames , live music, karaoke in the lounge. Waitress called me "Darlin'." Good fried catfish ($12), known for steaks ($23-$33).
WHAT TO SEE AND DO
Vicksburg National Military Park; (601) 636-0583, http://www.nps.gov/vick. Begin with a 20-minute film and lighted map showing Union approaches to Vicksburg. There's a 16-mile loop road through the park. Buy a CD tour or hire a guide, $20 an hour; reserve guide in advance at (601) 636-3827. Open daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission fee per vehicle $8 (for seven days).
Vicksburg's Old Court House Museum, 1008 Cherry St.; (601) 636-0741, http://www.oldcourthouse.org. Old-fashioned museum filled with Vicksburg memorabilia, much from the Civil War. Open 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sundays,. Admission $5, students $3.
Confederate (a.k.a. Soldiers' Rest) Cemetery, http://www.nps.gov/vick/historyculture/soldiersrest.htm. Third gate in Cedar Hill (City) Cemetery, Clay Street. Open 7 a.m. to dusk.
Lower Mississippi River Museum & Interpretive Center, 910 Washington St.; (601) 631-7043, http://www.lmrm.org. Free, family-friendly museum with interactive exhibits about river, 1927 flood, life on the river, and a real, full-size restored workboat. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays, 1-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, Closed Sundays and Mondays in winter.
TO LEARN MORE
Vicksburg Convention & Visitors Bureau; http://www.visitvicksburg.com, (800) 221-3536.