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8 great scenic drives

By: Matt Hickman on May 3, 2011, 8:44 a.m.
road winds past bare tree and pastures on rainy day

Photo: activefree/Flickr

9 of 10

Natchez Trace Parkway

Location: Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee

Length: 444 miles

Recommended drive time: Two days

Scenery: Winding from Nashville to Natchez in southern Mississippi, the Natchez Trace Parkway, a unit of the National Park Service, passes through postcard-perfect landscapes including cypress swamps, forests, hills, rivers and farmland with several historical detours to keep Civil War buffs well satisfied. Biking, hiking and swimmin’ hole-hunting opportunities abound.

Highlights: Tishomingo State ParkTupelo National BattlefieldDevil’s Backbone Scenic Area, Mount Locust Inn and Plantation, Meriwether Lewis Park, Rocky Springs

Refuel at: Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant, Leiper’s Fork, Tenn.; Loveless Café, Nashville, Tenn.; Clock of the Walk, Natchez, Miss.

Pull over (for the night) at: Eola Hotel, Natchez, Miss.; Cabot Lodge, Ridgeland, Miss.

Stretch your legs at: The Mississippi Craft Center

Cultural diversion: Elvis Presley Birthplace

Required listening: B.B. King, “Live at the Regal”

Remember that town called … Leiper’s Fork?