You’ll begin your journey landing in the Gateway city of Jonesboro, Arkansas. From there, you’ll travel 50 minutes east along Route 18 to Blytheville to catch the  Arkansas Great River Road Scenic Byway. Steeped in southern hospitality,  Blytheville is home to a number of historical landmarks and unique attractions. Explore the Mississippi County Historical Center, which showcases the region’s past through exhibits and artifacts to learn more about the area. Stroll downtown with quaint shops, boutiques, local eateries, and Eaker Air Force Base Memorial Park, honoring contributions during World War II. Relish the scenic beauty of Walker Park and Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge, which are perfect for birdwatching and outdoor activities.

Blytheville Historic District

Make your way to the historic district of town, which showcases the region’s rich architectural heritage and significant historical sites. The district features a collection of well-preserved buildings, some dating back to the early 1900s,  reflecting various architectural styles such as Victorian, Craftsman, and Colonial  Revival. Strolls through the district offer a glimpse into the town’s past, with charming streetscapes, unique facades, and a sense of nostalgia. Visitors can also explore the Mississippi County Courthouse, historic homes, and various landmarks that highlight the town’s cultural and economic development.

Historic Greyhound Bus Depot Visitor Center

Originally built in the 1930s, this beautifully restored depot showcases photographs, memorabilia, and interactive exhibits that tell the story of  Blytheville’s past as a bustling transportation hub along the Greyhound bus route. Knowledgeable guides share fascinating stories about the depot’s significance and its impact on the community. The visitor center also houses a gift shop. 

109 US-61, Blytheville, AR 72315, 870-763-2525, M-F 8AM-5PM, Free

Delta Gateway Museum

Housed in a historic building, the Delta Gateway Museum showcases an extensive collection that portrays the Delta’s diverse past, from its agricultural roots to World  War II. Exhibits illustrate the lives of early settlers, the significance of the Mississippi River, the agricultural industry, stories from the Civil War, the Great  Flood of 1927, and the town’s transformation over the years. The museum also offers special events, lectures, and workshops to further enrich understanding of the Delta’s unique cultural legacy. 

210 West Main Street, Blytheville, AR 72315, 870-824-2346, Tu-F 1PM-5PM, Sat  10AM-4PM, Free

Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge

This pristine natural haven is a refuge for migratory birds on the Mississippi Flyway. As you explore the diverse wetland habitats, observe various bird species,  and enjoy the tranquil beauty, there will be plenty of opportunities for wildlife photography, birdwatching, and hiking along designated trails in the virgin cypress tupelo swamp.  

2274 AR-18, Manila, AR 72442, 870-564-2429, Daily Dawn-Dusk, Free

Destination Distinctive Accommodations

Blytheville Hampton Inn  301 North Service Road I, 55, Blytheville, AR 72315,  870-763-5220 Complimentary Wi-Fi, and a hot breakfast to kickstart Day 2.

Destination Distinctive Dining 

McAdoo’s Steak and Lounge  220 East Main Street, Blytheville, AR 72315, 870-763-9753, Enjoy steaks cooked to perfection and other delicious dishes in an outdoor dining setting.

Kream Castle  112 North Division Street, Blytheville, AR 72315, 870-762-2366, Savor some Memphis-style BBQ at this local legend. 

Jeri-Lin Donuts  840 North 10th Street, Blytheville, AR 72315, 870-763-9679, The aroma as you step in the front door says it all.

Destination Distinctive Retail  

Main Street Blytheville  105 North 5th Street, Blytheville, AR 72315, 870-763-2525 Explore a mix of locally-owned boutiques, antique shops, specialty stores, and eateries, including: 

Blytheville Book Company  429 West Main Street, Blytheville, AR 72315, 870-763-3333.

Arkham Comics & Used Books  514 West Main Street, Blytheville, AR 72315,  870-776-1021.  

First and Main Gift Shop  101 West Main Street, Blytheville, AR 72315, 870-763-8381.


Grab donuts and coffee at Jeri-Lin’s before heading south on the Byway from Blytheville toward the heart of Arkansas’ Delta towns along the Mississippi, starting in Osceola. From there, you will take one of the Great River Road’s optional ancillary loops toward Dyess before spending the night in West Memphis.


Immerse yourself in the heart of the Mississippi Delta’s rich cultural heritage in this charming Mississippi River town with deep historical roots. Nature enthusiasts appreciate the town’s proximity to the River and nearby wildlife refuges, with great birdwatching and outdoor activities, and the scenic beauty of the riverbanks offers peaceful moments of relaxation. Osceola also hosts various cultural events and festivals celebrating the region’s traditions and contributions.

Mississippi County Museum and Historical Society Osceola

Mississippi County Museum and Historical Society offers a journey back in time through engaging displays that bring the county’s rich history to life. Artifacts and photographs tell the tales of early settlers, and interactive elements allow you to experience history firsthand. The Hampson Archeological Museum, a facility of this museum that you can visit later in the day, showcases Native American artifacts found in the area.  

209 West Hale Avenue, Osceola, AR 72370, 870-563-6161, M-F 10AM-4PM, Free  (Donations Welcome)

Historic Dyess Colony

A visit here offers a rare glimpse into a New Deal resettlement project and the lives of those who once called it home. It is also the location of the Johnny Cash  Boyhood Home and Museum. Strolling through the streets, you can feel the spirit of resilience and community that is a tribute to the enduring spirit of those who lived and worked here. 

110 Center Drive, Dyess, AR 72330, 870-764-2274, Mon-Sat 9AM-3PM, Various tours start at Adults $10

Hampson Archeological Museum State Park

This museum is built around the Hampson Mound, a prehistoric Native American burial site dating back thousands of years. A remarkable collection of artifacts and ancient pottery provides insight into the daily lives, customs, and culture of the Native American tribes that once inhabited the area. Knowledgeable guides offer intriguing details about the archaeological findings, vividly depicting the region’s rich past.  

33 Park Street, Wilson, AR 72395, 870-655-8622, W-Sat 8AM-5PM, Sun 1PM-5PM, Free

Parkin Archeological Site

This National Historic Landmark, situated along the St. Francis River, preserves the remains of a Native American village that thrived over 600 years ago. As you explore the site, you’ll find reconstructed ancient buildings, including a ceremonial plaza and a thatched-roof house. The museum showcases a remarkable collection of artifacts excavated from the site, shedding light on the daily life, customs, and trading practices of the indigenous people who once inhabited the region. Guided tours and interactive displays provide valuable insights into the cultural significance and historical significance of the Parkin Site. The serene setting, with walking trails and river views, adds to the immersive experience. 

60 State Highway 184, Parkin, AR 72373, 870-755-2500, W-Sat 8AM-5PM, Sun  1PM-5PM, Free

West Memphis

History enthusiasts can delve into the past at the Delta Cultural Center, and the city’s scenic riverfront offers picturesque views, leisurely walks, and relaxation. West Memphis is renowned for its barbecue.


Known as the “Home of the Blues” and the “Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” the rich musical heritage of Memphis comes alive on iconic Beale Street, where the sounds of blues, jazz, and Rock ‘n’ Roll fill the air. Exploring the historic Sun Studio, where icons such as Elvis Presley recorded their first hits and Graceland, Elvis’s former home, offers an intimate look into the life of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Beyond music, explore the National Civil Rights Museum and the famous Memphis Zoo. Don’t miss out on indulging in the city’s signature barbecue.

Destination Distinctive Accommodations

Peabody Memphis  149 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103, 901-529-4000. A blend of rich history, Southern charm, and luxurious elegance.

Destination Distinctive Dining

B.B. King’s Blues Club  143 Beale Street, Memphis, TN 38103 901-524-5464

Blues City Cafe  128 Beale Street, Memphis, TN 38103 901-526-3637

Destination Distinctive Retail

Loretta Nash Fine Art  219 West Bond Avenue, West Memphis, AR 72301, 870-636-1999. Unique paintings and original art pieces are crafted on-site by this local artist. 

Withers Collection  333 Beale Street, Memphis, TN 38103, 901-523-2344. A must-visit destination for those interested in history, photography, and civil rights heritage. 

Flashback Memphis  2304 Central Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104, 901-272-2304. Vintage store with retro-themed venue with a gift shop to match. 

A Schwab Dry Goods Store  163 Beale Street, Memphis, TN 38103, 901-523-9782. An iconic retail establishment founded in 1876 which still offers a wide variety of goods, clothing, toys, and novelty items within the charm and nostalgia of a bygone era.


C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa

A visit to the C.H. Nash Museum is both educational and captivating. It will deepen your appreciation for the cultural heritage of the Native American civilizations that once thrived in this region. Located within the T.O. Fuller State Park, the archaeological site showcases the remains of a prehistoric Native American village that dates back over 800 years. Exhibits in the reconstructed village, with thatched roof houses and ceremonial mounds, illustrate daily life and customs. Meanwhile, in the museum, a vast collection of artifacts offers valuable insights into the Mississippians’ art,  technology, and social structure. 

1987 Indian Village Drive, Memphis, TN 38109, 901-785-3160, Tu-Sat  9AM-4:30PM, Adults $6

Memphis Riverboat Cruises

Breathtaking vistas, delicious Southern cuisine, and heart-pounding beats – what’s not to love about a Memphis Riverboat Cruise? With various cruise lengths and types, a tour on Memphis Riverboat Cruises delivers a leisurely cruise that offers panoramic views of the Memphis skyline and the iconic riverfront. As the boat glides along the river, you’ll be treated to live music, narrations of the city’s storied past, and fascinating tidbits about the Mississippi’s role in shaping American history. Each cruise showcases the renowned Beale Street Landing and its bustling  riverfront park, adding to the vibrant atmosphere.  

45 Riverside Drive, Memphis, TN 38103, 901-527-2628, Mon-Fri 9AM-4PM, Sat 11AM-7:30PM, Sun 11AM-3PM, Cruises from $25


Enjoy a serene respite in the heart of the Delta region in this charming town, which exudes Southern hospitality and a rich cultural heritage. Explore the Lee County Museum, which delves into the town’s past, including its Civil War history. Enjoy the Mississippi River. Wander through the quaint downtown area, with historic buildings, local shops, and authentic Southern cuisine.

Mississippi River State Park

Located on the river, this state park offers a diverse array of outdoor activities and stunning vistas. Hike the park’s scenic trails, meander lush forests, and take in scenic overlooks. See if you can spot resident birds and wildlife. The park’s elevated boardwalk leads through pristine wetlands that showcase the river’s unique ecosystem. Learn about the region’s history at the visitor center, which features exhibits and displays on the river’s cultural significance and environmental conservation efforts.

2955 State Highway 44, Marianna, AR 72360, 870-295-4040, Daily 8AM-5PM, Free

St. Francis National Forest

Covering over 22,000 acres, St. Francis National Forest encompasses sprawling bottomland hardwood forests, cypress swamps, and scenic bayous. Savor your journey through this natural world as you make your way through the pristine landscapes of Arkansas’s eastern wilderness. 

2955 State Highway 44, Marianna, AR 72360, 870-295-4040, Daily 8AM-5PM, Free

Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie

Nestled in the heart of the Grand Prairie, the Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie showcases the area’s rich agricultural traditions, from rice and soybean farming to the renowned annual Wings Over the Prairie Festival, which celebrates migratory waterfowl. Artifacts, interactive displays, and educational programs delve into the diverse ecosystem of the Arkansas Grand Prairie. The emphasis on conservation and environmental stewardship provides valuable insights into preserving the region’s unique wildlife and habitats. 

921 East 4th Street, Stuttgart, AR 72160, 870-673-7001, Tue-F 8AM-4PM, Sat  10AM-4PM, Free


Situated along the banks of the Mississippi, Helena exudes old-world charm and a warm sense of community. Explore the Delta Cultural Center and the Helena Museum of Phillips County, which showcase both the region’s Civil War heritage and African American history. Helena’s musical heritage comes alive at the King Biscuit Blues Festival, which attracts music lovers from far and wide. The town’s picturesque streets, historic buildings, and scenic riverfront make for delightful strolls. You can also explore the White River National Wildlife Refuge nearby.

Destination Distinctive Accommodations

Edwardian Inn  317 Biscoe Street, Helena, AR 72342, 870-338-9155.  This B&B features well-appointed rooms and period furnishings housed in a beautifully restored Edwardian-era building.

Destination Distinctive Dining

The Bistro Bar and Grill  213 Plaza Avenue, West Helena, AR 72390, 870-572-9707. Savor the incredible catfish and fast, courteous service. 

Biscuit Row BBQ  321 Phillips St, Helena, AR 72342, 870-995-3350. One of the Byway’s best spots, the pulled pork will melt in your mouth, and the beans are the perfect combination of spicy and sweet.

Destination Distinctive Retail

Delta Dirt Distillery  430 Cherry Street, Helena, AR 72342, 870-662-5709. Family-owned, craft distillery making the best locally inspired vodka, gin, whiskey, and liqueurs around. 

Handworks  227 Cherry Street, Helena, AR 72342, 870-338-4340. This downtown boutique features a collection of things for home, or gift-giving.

Eclectic Designs by Mel  280 Richmond Hill Drive, West Helena, AR, 662-302-1222. Unique jewelry, apparel, and home decor.


Helena Murals

This captivating collection of outdoor artworks created by local artists that adorn the town’s historic buildings and walls depict the region’s rich history, cultural diversity, and natural beauty in an open-air gallery that captures the essence of the  Mississippi Delta’s spirit. 

Helena Museum of Phillips County

Housed in a historic building, the museum showcases a diverse collection of artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that offer insight into the area’s past.

623 Pecan Street, Helena, AR 72342, 870-338-7790, W-F10AM-4PM, Sat  10AM-2PM, Free

Delta Cultural Center

Housed in a restored depot, the center showcases exhibits, interactive displays, and captivating artifacts celebrating the region’s music, arts, and diverse communities. Explore the Delta’s influential musical legacy with exhibits on blues,  gospel, and rock ‘n’ roll legends, and delve into the area’s agricultural roots with stories of the cotton industry and the labor of enslaved African Americans during the antebellum era. This is a must-visit destination for visitors seeking an immersive and inspiring journey into the heart of the Mississippi Delta’s soulful heritage.

141 Cherry Street, Helena, AR 72342, 870-338-4350, Tue-Sat 9AM-5PM, Free

White River National Wildlife Refuge

The unspoiled beauty of this natural world spans over 160,000 acres along the lower White River. The extensive wetlands and picturesque backwaters offer excellent opportunities for birdwatching, wildlife photography, and peaceful contemplation. Take some time to enjoy this unforgettable experience,  immersing yourself in the wonders of the wild world.  

57 CC Camp Road, Saint Charles, AR 72140, 870-282-8200, M-F 8AM-2:30PM, Free


The peaceful community of DeWitt welcomes visitors with its warm hospitality and picturesque landscapes. History enthusiasts can explore the town’s heritage at the Arkansas County Museum, showcasing exhibits and artifacts highlighting the area’s agricultural roots, Civil War history, and local traditions.

Arkansas Post National Museum

Continue your trek along the Byway with a captivating journey through the Arkansas Post National Museum, which preserves the first permanent European settlement in the lower Mississippi Valley, dating back to 1686. Exhibits and artifacts showcase the area’s significance during the colonial era, the Revolutionary War, and the Civil War. Engaging displays offer insights into the lives of the diverse people who once inhabited the region, including Native Americans, European settlers, and African Americans. Walk the grounds to explore historic Fort San  Carlos, which shaped this crucial region of the United States. 

5530 Highway 165 South, Gillett, AR 72055 870-548-2634, Wed-Sat 8AM-5PM,  Sun 1PM-5PM, Free

Trusten Holder State Wildlife Management Area

Spanning over 10,000 acres, explore a variety of habitats, including bottomland hardwood forests, wetlands, and open fields, all teeming with wildlife. The Arkansas  River flows along the eastern border, adding to the serene ambiance and providing scenic views. 

At the intersection of Highways 165 and 212 at Pendleton Bridge, Continue on 212 East toward the Pendleton Park Area, Tichnor, AR 72166, 877-367-3559, Daylight Hours, Free


McGehee’s proximity to the fertile farmlands, with sprawling rice and cotton fields dotting the surrounding countryside, showcases the area’s agricultural heritage.  Explore the McGehee Depot Museum, housed in a restored railroad depot, which showcases the town’s rich railroad heritage and contributions to the region’s development.

Destination Distinctive Accommodations

The Belmont 1857  3498 MS-1, Wayside, MS 38780, 501-650-2296. Take a step back in time with a stay at the last antebellum mansion along the Mississippi River.

Destination Distinctive Dining

Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales  714 Saint Marys Street, Lake Village, AR 71653,  870-265-3108. Using a recipe passed down through generations, Rhoda’s tamales are flavorful, spicy, and a cherished local specialty.  

Louie’s Steakhouse  4280 Harlow Boulevard, Greenville, MS 38701, 866-524-5825. The finest cuts of steak and the freshest seafood are folded into handcrafted dishes.


Lake Village

Nestled on the shores of beautiful Lake Chicot, the largest natural lake in Arkansas, Lake Village offers a peaceful retreat for visitors with its gorgeous vistas and rich heritage. The town’s history is showcased at the Lakeport Plantation, an antebellum mansion that provides a fascinating glimpse into the region’s past,  particularly its cotton-growing legacy. Visitors can also explore Lake Village’s charming downtown, with its historic buildings, local shops, and eateries serving authentic Southern cuisine.

Lake Chicot State Park

Abutting the shores of Lake Chicot, this park offers the ideal setting for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Lake Chicot Park’s scenic beauty invites you to explore diverse ecosystems, including cypress-tupelo swamps, hardwood forests, and tranquil lake waters. 

2542 State Highway 257, Lake Village, AR 71653, 870-265-5480, Park Admission Free

Lakeport Plantation

This beautifully restored Greek Revival mansion offers a rare glimpse into the life of a wealthy cotton plantation owner during the 19th century. Guided tours provide fascinating insights into the history of slavery, the complexities of plantation life, and the legacy of cotton agriculture in the Mississippi Delta. Meticulously preserved rooms adorned with original furnishings and artifacts showcase the opulence and daily routines of the past. The grounds and gardens offer a tranquil setting to appreciate the grandeur of the mansion and the beauty of Lake Chicot.  

601 AR-142, Lake Village, AR 71653, 870-265-6031, M-Sat 9AM-3:30PM, Adults $5, Tours additional $5


Conclude your trip along the Arkansas Great River Road with a visit to Eudura, which offers one final glimpse of small-town Southern charm. Explore the Eudora Heritage Museum, which showcases the town’s rich past, including exhibits on its agricultural roots, the timber industry, and the impact of the Mississippi River on the region.

Destination Distinctive Dining 

Eudora Grill and Chill  2738 US-65, Eudora, AR 71640, 870-355-2167. Try the golden brown catfish or wings at this epitome of Southern hospitality.