A stop in picturesque downtown Winnsboro, with antique shops and old time storefronts, is like a time warp. Visit the Old Post Office Museum at 513 Prairie St. Admission is free but is only open on weekdays.
Lake Chicot is Arkansas’s largest natural lake. It was cut off centuries ago from the main channel when the Mississippi River changed course, this 20-mile long oxbow lake is a peaceful setting for fishing, boating, and bird watching. Fishing for crappie, bass, and bream is popular on the lake, especially on the upper end of Lake Chicot during spring and fall. Fishing for catfish can be enjoyed throughout the year. (Lake Chicot State Park is the race site.)
After the race you may want to drive to McGehee to visit the Japanese American Internment Museum located in the railroad depot. The website for information about the museum is http://rohwer.astate.edu/plan-your-visit/museum/
Holt Collier National Wildlife Refuge Birding and Wildlife Viewing Area is located at 728 Yazoo Refuge Rd. in Hollandale.
Hollandale is also the resting place of Sam Chatmon. The legendary bluesman died in 1983. His grave is located at Sanders Memorial Garden on Morgan Ave.
Meeman-Shelby State Park is just 13 miles north of Memphis.
In Memphis you can visit the Music Hall of Fame. Located on historic Beale St., the museum is open daily from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Admission fee is $8.00 per adult.
Explore Elvis Presley’s Graceland between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. There are various tour options and ticket prices; for more information check http://www.graceland.com/.
The Columbus-Belmont State Park (the site of the race) is picturesque! The primary attraction in the park is General Polk’s giant chain, which is estimated to have been over a mile long before flooding and erosion destroyed part of it. The anchor weighs between four and six tons and each chain link is eleven inches long. Another attraction at the park is the remains of the “Lady Polk,” a giant experimental cannon named for Polk’s wife. At 10 feet long and 15,000 pounds, the imposing gun bombarded Ulysses S. Grant’s troops at the Battle of Belmont. If staff is available, they will open the museum for us. Anyone with the slightest interest in Civil War history will enjoy all that the park has to offer.
Cape Girardeau is located in the southeast region of the state. The city boasts art museums, restaurants and gaming at Isle Casino.
Common Pleas Courthouse, completed in 1854, sits atop a hill overlooking downtown. The building was an integral player in the city’s history, from Indian council meetings to the Civil War.
Cape River Heritage Museum, 538 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, is an old police/fire station dating to 1908. The museum is designed to show what life was once like along the mighty Mississippi. The museum is open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday afternoon. Fees are not listed on the web site, but you can call 573-334-0405 for information.
The Edward Bernard Gallery is a Contemporary art gallery, 107 West Drive, Ste. D. On display, are handmade works by 90+ artists. Art includes glass, oil and acrylic paintings and sculpture. The art gallery is free of charge.
Our race site is in Vienna, IL, so you will probably take I-24 through Metropolis, where Superman awaits your visit (exit 37).
Also in Metropolis, you will find Fort Massac State Park, at 1308 E. 5th St. Overlooking the Ohio River, Massac is Illinois’ oldest state park. It features a replica of the fort built in 1802, as well as cultural artifacts.
Visit Harrah’s Metropolis Casino if you are feeling lucky, and while exploring Metropolis, notice the murals that bring the city’s heritage to life. Traveling on to Vienna, you will find Shawnee Winery Cooperative, formed to create a market for small grape growers in southern Illinois.
Enjoy antiquing? From the Past Antiques at 114 N. 4th St. allows you to browse two stories of antiques.