- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Tunica County was established in 1840, close to 300 years after Hernando de Soto traveled through the area. Named after the Tunica Native Americans, today Tunica is the third-largest gaming region in the United States, after Las Vegas and Atlantic City. It is also a gateway to the Blues Visitor Center & Museum, housed in an 1895 railroad depot, which features a large display of guitars used by famous musicians. The county was established with a tiny population of 821, of whom 30 percent were enslaved. By 1860 the free population remained small – just 883 people – though the slave population had increased to 3,483.
Located in a delta, the county developed an agricultural economy based on cotton, livestock and large-scale slavery. In the post-war period, Tunica’s population rose to 8,461 and 85 percent of residents were African American. Tunica County’s population almost doubled between 1880 and 1900, reaching 16,479. The vast majority of residents were African Americans, and most made their living in agriculture as tenants and sharecroppers. As in other areas dominated by tenancy, the farms were small, and the primary crop was cotton. By 1960, Tunica had experienced a sharp decline in employment opportunities, was one of the poorest counties in the U.S., and its population continued to decline in the 1970s and 1980s. Tunica has experienced some economic improvements since the 1990s; casino gambling provided some community benefits. In addition, improved roads, new government spending, and a new airport created opportunities for economic growth.
Tunica Included Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Tunica Museum Retrace the history of Tunica County, from its Native American beginnings to the Civil War, to the casino mecca it is today! This unique museum allows you to learn about the city from Tunica’s proud citizens themselves. The museum was founded in 1997 by five Tunica townspeople who were looking to preserve their town’s heritage. As you explore this extensive museum, discover Tunica’s one-of-a-kind culture while you take a walk through history. Search the depths of Tunica’s past through exhibits focusing on multiple time periods, historic artifacts, and timelines.
Riverpark and Museum Immerse yourself in the history, wildlife, and culture of the Mississippi Delta. With two floors of exhibits and authentic artifacts, the RiverPark Museum showcases the unique qualities of the region through interactive exhibits as well as a stunning nature trail. See the impact of the Great Flood of 1927, follow the trail of Spanish Conquistadors, and see the Delta’s natural inhabitants in the museum’s four fresh-water aquariums. Venture to the third-floor observation deck for a peaceful, breathtaking view of the Mississippi River and the Delta forests that lay beyond.
Gateway to The Blues Museum Located on legendary Highway 61 in a rustic late 19th century train depot, the Gateway to the Blues Museum tells the story of how the blues was born and the role the Delta played in building the genre’s legacy. Experience the incredible story of the blues as you discover the history behind the iconic spots along the “Blues Trail,” the careers of famous artists such as Robert Johnson, Son House and others. Explore the museum’s interactive exhibits, artwork, historical artifacts, including over 20 famous guitars and much more! The museum even features a recording studio where you will learn the basics of the blues with an opportunity to record your very own song. After you see all the museum has to offer, browse through the unique gift shop to find the perfect blues souvenir to remind you of your visit to the Delta.