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Natchez Trace Parkway

494.6 miles: 10 hours, 7 minutes

An old Native American footpath turned bucolic, 444-mile scenic drive linking Nashville, TN, and Natchez, MS, the Natchez Trace Parkway defies the jaded notion that the U.S.A. has become a coast-to-coast strip mall. Blissfully free of commercial blight, the relaxing two-lane route treats you to gorgeous woodlands, moss-framed swamps, Civil War history and much more.


Nashville, TN to Tupelo, MS

206.6 miles: 4 hours, 11 minutes

flickr/Visit Mississippi

Rambling out of Nashville, aka “Music City,” this leg winds past rolling meadows, twisted oaks, meandering streams and towering pines. Along the way, a number of turnouts let you explore the Trace on foot. After visiting waterfalls, ancient Native American burial mounds and scenic overlooks, slip on your blue suede shoes in Tupelo, birthplace of Elvis Presley.


Tupelo, MS to Jackson, MS

185.0 miles: 3 hours, 45 minutes

flickr/Nick Shields

All shook up from Tupelo, it's back to the peaceful, pastoral parkway. Hit the brakes to visit more historic Native American and Civil War-era sites. Keep an eye peeled for toothy gators while strolling the Cypress Swamp boardwalk trail. The road skirts the banks of the lovely Ross Barnett Reservoir before arriving at Mississippi's state capital, Jackson.


Jackson, MS to Natchez, MS

103.1 miles: 2 hours, 9 minutes

flickr/Richard Weil

With the bustle of Jackson behind you, travel back in time to parkway must-sees like the Rocky Springs ghost town; the much-photographed Sunken Trace section of the original Native American trail; and Mount Locust, now a historic inn. Your adventure wraps on the banks of “the Mighty Mississip” in Natchez, a Southern jewel bursting with classical architecture.


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