The Mississippi Delta has no shortage of museums, historic attractions and clubs devoted to the blues. But visitors will find the region has many other stories to tell, from the cotton plantations where African-American families worked and lived in desperate poverty, to culinary traditions that reflect a surprising ethnic diversity.
THE BLUES TRAIL AND MUSEUMS
You can't miss the big blue guitars marking the famous crossroads of Highways 61 and 49 in Clarksdale. This is where, according to legend, Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil to learn how to play the blues.
Roadside signs for the Mississippi Blues Trail make it easy to find other sites as well, from Clarksdale's Riverside Hotel, where Bessie Smith died, to the Dockery Farms cotton plantation in Cleveland, where many pioneering bluesmen lived, worked and made music, among them Charley Patton, Roebuck "Pops" Staples and Howlin' Wolf.
A sign in a field at Clarksdale's Stovall Plantation notes that Muddy Waters' songs were recorded...