Natchez Trace byway in Mississippi delivers a unique America

April 22, 2011 12:00 AM

Driving through the heart of Mississippi might not seem like the most appealing of drives, but novelist Jason Goodwin begs to differ.

In a column with the UK Telegraph, Goodwin drove down the Natchez Trace scenic byway, which took him past wonderful forest vistas and several mysterious Indian burial sites.

The route was originally used for transporting animals from Mississippi's grazing areas to an area just outside of Nashville, Tennessee.

"Pass through forests, cypress swamps, and farmland to meander through the rock-studded hills of Tennessee, cotton fields in Alabama, and Mississippi's rural countryside," describes of the route.

Today, travelers who take the route will get a unique look at Southern history. From the hometown of William Faulkner Oxford, Mississippi to the city of Jackson, Confederacy pride is alive and well.

Some of the best experiences Goodwin had were frommeeting the locals. Pulitzer prize winner Eudora Welty gives tours of her home and a fisherman at River Bend gave the author fried white perch, the "best tasting fish there is," writes Goodwin.

Still, if Americana is what drivers are looking for, they won't find it here. The Deep South is unlike any place in the United States, but that's what makes it special.

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