Arkansas is rich in history and there’s no better way to take it all in than a trip down the Great River Road.
Delta Cultural Center
Located in downtown Helena, the Delta Cultural Center is really two buildings. The Depot features two permanent exhibits, one telling the story of the Arkansas Delta and its people, from prehistoric days to the present and the second detailing the role the state played in the Civil War. One block away you’ll find the Visitors Center, which is home to several traveling exhibits and its permanent feature, Delta Sounds. Delta Sounds features listening stations where visitors can listen to all the music of the Arkansas Delta, including blues, gospel and rockabilly. It’s also home to the longest running daily blues radio show in the U.S. – King Biscuit Time.
Lake Chicot State Park
Lake Chicot is Arkansas’s largest natural lake. This 20-mile long oxbow lake was part of the Mississippi River until centuries ago, when the river altered its course and the lake was cut off. Now the lake is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Thanks to its location along the Mississippi Flyway, the birding is fantastic and the water is rife with crappie, bass and catfish. There are campsites and cabins and boat and bicycle rentals to round out your visit.
The Lakeport Plantation house in Lake Village is the last remaining antebellum Arkansas plantation home on the Mississippi River. Built in 1859, the home has been beautifully restored into a museum focusing on the lifestyles and relationships between and people who lived and worked at Lakeport.
Parkin Archeological State Park
Parkin Archeological State Park was the site of a former American Indian village from A.D. 1000 to 1600 which is believed to be Casqui, the village visited by explorer Hernando de Soto in 1541. Archeological excavations are often underway here and can be viewed via guided tour. Exhibits and audio tours are also available. Parkin remains one of the last archeological sites of its kind in the region as many were destroyed during the settling of eastern Arkansas.
Blues history is alive and well along the Great River Road. And while the genre is most prominent in the Deep South, you’ll find blues highlights in other states along the Mississippi as well.
Born in the Mississippi Delta in the late 19th century, blues originated from African American spirituals, work songs and chants. It’s no wonder then that Mississippi is flourishing with blues history. The Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale honors Mississippi as the birthplace of the blues, and the Mississippi Blues Trail tells stories through words and images of historic bluesmen.
Memphis’ Beale Street District served as a music haven for African Americans at the turn of the 20th century and remains a legendary blues entertainment destination. Memphis also boasts the Mississippi River Museum, which features five galleries explaining the origins of the blues, including pieces such as vintage band equipment, radios and various records.
The Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Arkansas focuses on the history of the Arkansas Delta, presenting exhibits, educational programs, tours and more. Their current exhibit, called, “Helena: Main Street of the Blues,” gives a unique perspective of the delta’s rich blues history.
Finally, Chicago’s Blues Chicago club features some of the area’s best blues artists and is a popular blues hotspot for fans all over the world.
Experience rich blues history along the Great River Road.
Explore the rich blues music history of the Arkansas Delta at the Delta Cultural Center, located in historic downtown Helena, AK. Comprised of two locations, the Depot and the Visitors Center, guests can learn Delta history through the museum’s exhibits, programs, events and tours. Visit the Depot’s “A Heritage of Determination” exhibit to learn about Delta history from the time of its earliest inhabitants through the great Mississippi River floods. Then walk a block north to the Visitors Center and see the “Delta Sounds” music exhibit.
Delta Cultural Center
141 Cherry St.
Helena, AR 72342
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