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Massachusetts Camping | Off The Beaten Path

Off The Beaten Path | Massachusetts

Massachusetts is a beautiful state filled with excellent destinations that visitors won't want to miss. Some of these destinations like the Freedom Trail in Boston and Walden Pond State Reservation are muse see destinations visited by thousands every year. Other destinations are equally fascinating, but perhaps see few visitors annually. Here are a few of Massachusetts more off the beaten path must see destinations.

Cranberry Bog Tour

The unique geological forces that created the conditions of the land in Massachusetts created the perfect conditions for growing cranberries. Today cranberries are the biggest crop industry in Massachusetts, and visitors can find different farms that provide tours of their cranberry bogs. The growing and harvesting of cranberries is a fascinating process, and taking a farm tour of a cranberry bog is a great way to learn about an important piece of Massachusetts agriculture.

Mohawk Trail

Taking a driving tour or just exploring the Mohawk Trail is a great way to experience all that the Berkshires have to offer. The Mohawk Trail started as a significant travel path for the native peoples of New England, now it is one of the oldest designated scenic routes in the country. Visitors can take a driving tour on the Mohawk Trial Scenic Byway, along this route they can explore Mohawk Trail State Forest, Mt. Greylock and the Bridge of Flowers.

Mount Greylock State Reservation

Mount Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts, and Mount Greylock State Reservation is a great place to enjoy some recreation and sightseeing in the beautiful Berkshires. This area is very accessible and it has some great recreational opportunities. There are plenty of hiking trails to enjoy, it is a great spot to enjoy some camping and backpacking. Mount Greylock State Reservation is also a good spot to enjoy some winter recreation.

Museum of Science

Boston is filled with fascinating sites, culture and history. One great place to enjoy a day of exploration in Boston is the Museum of Science. This museum has a long history of bringing the world of science to people and it is filled with fun and interesting exhibits for the whole family to explore. Visitors can enjoy IMAX and 3-D presentations about all different types of science topics, including The World of Sharks. The Museum of Science also has a planetarium, live presentations, live animal presentations, simulators and more.

Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site

This National Historic Site provides visitors with a fascinating view into life during the 1600s in this region. Visitors can take tours of the reconstructed industrial site as well as the iron works, and learn all about how iron was produced at this site. During a guided tour visitors also learn about the archeological dig that uncovered the site as well as the reconstruction of the site. Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site also has a museum and an orientation video for visitors, and tours may also include operating waterwheels and blacksmithing.

Springfield Armory National Historic Site

Visitors to this site will learn about the important role that Springfield Armory played in the military and industrial history of the country. Springfield Armory also has the largest collection of historic firearms in the world. In addition to learning about American history and seeing the firearms collection visitors can take self-guied or ranger guided tours of the grounds and buildings.

Tanglewood Music Center and the Boston Symphony Orchestra

Each summer at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox there is an amazing music festival. Tanglewood Music Center is the summer venue for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and they as well as others put on amazing performances. The summer schedule is packed with amazing performances from late June through August.. This is one festival that visitors to Massachusetts and the Berkshires won't want to miss.

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Massachusetts Camping | Things to Do

Massachusetts | Fun and Funky Things to Do

Massachusetts is a state filled with excellent historic sites and interesting destinations. Here are a few of Massachusetts fun, funky and overall fascinating destinations. Whether a visitor is in search of history, fun or more, there is something for everyone in Massachusetts.

Museum of Bad Art

This museum, located in Dedham, brings some of the worst art to audiences in Massachusetts. The Museum, also known as MOBA, is dedicated to sharing quality works of bad art. Visitors to the Museum of Bad Art have exhibits of portraits, blue people, landscapes and more.

Witch History Museum

Visitors to the Witch History Museum can learn about the Witch Hysteria that took over Salem and many other towns. The museum tells many of the tragic stories of the victims of this hysteria. Visitors will also learn about many of the other stories from this time in Salem's history.

The House of Seven Gables

This historic site is a great destination to learn about the history of Salem as well as Nathaniel Hawthorne. The House of Seven Gables is the oldest 17th century wood mansion surviving today. Visitors will discover the secret staircase and see how the house inspired the famous author Nathaniel Hawthorne to write his famous novel. In addition, visitors can also visit the house were Hawthorne was born at the same site.

Battleship Cove

Visitors to Battleship Cove have the chance to really explore a bit of Naval history. Battleship Cove gives visitors the chance to explore the USS Lionfish, the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. and the USS Massachusetts. In addition to exploring these magnificent ships and submarine, visitors will learn all about the important points in history that these vessels participated in.

Plymouth Rock

This symbol of the forefathers of America, is located right on the waterfront of Plymouth. Visitors to the rock can learn about the long history and path that the rock took to get to its current location. Plymouth rock was actually moved to its current location, and in the process the rock broke, so actually only part of the original rock is under the canopy built to celebrate this part of American history.

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Michigan Camping | Quick Facts

factsMichigan Quick Facts

Uniquely Michigan: The freshwater shorelines on the Great Lakes
Must-See: Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes and the dwarf lake iris, the official state flower
Most Unusual: The Mackinac Bridge, one of the longest suspension bridges in the world
Highest Point: Mt Arvon, 1,979 feet
Food to Try: All of the delicious options at the National Cherry Festival

What to Do in Michigan:

1 See one of the largest moose herds in the country at Isle Royal Park

2 Enjoy all the recreational opportunities on the Great Lakes and the longest freshwater shoreline in the world

3 Learn about an important piece of America's culture and history at The Henry Ford, which has a Museum, a Village, a Factory Tour and more

4 Visit the amazing Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids

5 Explore all of the destinations at Mackinac Island, including Mackinac Island State Park, Fort Mackinac and more

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Michigan Camping | Off The Beaten Path

Off The Beaten Path | Michigan

Welcome to beautiful Michigan! Below you will find out about just a few of the amazing places and activities the great state of Michigan has to offer. You may or may not have heard about these places, but they're sure to offer terrific memories, stories, and vivid experiences.


The little Bavarian town of Frankenmuth was founded in 1845 by German missionary families. It has a definite old world charm which draws and delights visitors. During a visit to the town you can take a horse-drawn carraige ride around the town. At the Frankenmuth Historical Museum visitors can learn about the area's history. You can also enjoy the local Weathervane Folk Art Show and the Zeesenagel Italian Village.

Mackinac Island

This beautiful island is a fabulous destination for all visitors to Michigan. On this island you will find Michigan's first state park, Mackinac Island State Park, and you can even take a horse drawn carriage tour of the park. Also on the island is Fort Mackinac. At Fort Mackinac you can be transported back in time with the re-enactors portraying 1880s Victorian soldiers and ladies. You can also tour the original buildings and enjoy many more attractions.

The Henry Ford Estate

The Henry Ford Estate is an amazing historical landmark and offers a different view into the Ford empire. This estate was the home of Henry Ford and gives you a chance to see the inside of the lavish home. Within the 31,000 acres of the home there are 56 rooms and even a pool room with steam heated benches. Visitors to the estate can also check out the estate's own power plant, which is still operational and generating power today.

Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale is special - the island's isolation means that it is only accessible by boat. Once there you can enjoy the wilderness that has been protected by its isolation. The island has a beautiful, rugged coast that can be explored by canoe or kayak. You can also explore the island by hiking its many trails. Another unique feature of the island is the shipwrecks, which can also be explored.


This little town is unique in its celebration of its Dutch heritage. For visitors looking to enjoy local history, the Holland Museum and the Cappon House are great destinations. The Dutch culture is also evident at Windmill Island, which has the only working Dutch Windmill in the United States. In early May visitors will be delighted with the Tulip Festival. This ten day festival has everything, including plenty of tulips and people wearing wooden shoes. Throughout the festival there are parades and many other types of entertainment.

Ann Arbor

For visitors to Michigan looking for a great city experience, Ann Arbor is a fabulous destination. This city blends art, culture and recreation in surprising ways. The art is continually changing, and there are visual arts, as well as theatre and music. In addition, the city has art festivals, heritage festivals and much more. Of course you can also spend time enjoying the antiquing and local markets. If you are looking for a little outdoor time the Huron-Clinton Metroparks have plenty of recreation to offer. After all of that fun, you are definitely going to want to enjoy some of Ann Arbors excellent dining options.

Paul Bunyan Festival

If you like to plan vacations around exciting and unique events, then a visit to Oscoda, Michigan during the Paul Bunyan Festival at the end of August is a great option for you. During the festival you will have the opportunity to enjoy the great story of Paul Bunyan. The festival's activities include a chainsaw carving contest, a Lumberjack show and an antique car show. If you want to stay longer than the three days of the festival, the area has lots of other activities to offer. The nearby AuSable River and Lake Huron provide many recreational options for all visitors.

Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Looking for a little fun at the beach? Stop at Silver Lake Sand Dunes. The dunes are located in the Silver Lake State Park. These dunes are located on the shores of Lake Michigan, this is a great place to enjoy water sports and a fund day at the beach. These dunes are a great spot to climb up the dunes, enjoy the 2,000 acres of sand hills and just sit back and relax. Silver Lake Sand Dunes is also the only place in Michigan where you can drive on the dunes, either in your own 4-wheel vehicle or on a tour.

South Haven

For visitors looking for a more resort style vacation South Haven is an ideal destination. In this town on the sandy shores of Lake Michigan visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, hiking and much more. The town also has great antiquing and it is home to a stunning 100 year old lighthouse. Golfers will also enjoy this destination, as they can take advantage of the championship course. South Haven is even a great winter destination, the winter provides spectacular vistas of snow covered beaches and more.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park

This state park is home to not one but two stunning and pristine waterfalls. For visitors seeking a little peace in some undisturbed wilderness this is the perfect destination. In addition to the two falls there are 40 miles of hiking trails on which you will find an abundance of wildlife. The park also has 13 inland lakes for visitors to enjoy. The waterfalls are fed by the Tahquamenon River, and 24 miles of the river flow through the Tahquamenon Falls State Park.


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Michigan Camping | Things to Do

Michigan | Fun and Funky Things to Do

If you are looking for a few places that are a little different, check out these fun and funky attractions in Michigan.

Paul Bunyan and Babe at Castle Rock, St. Ignace, Michigan

Michigan has plenty of Paul Bunyan statues. This statue is unique since Bunyan is sitting rather than standing. The statues are also located at the base of Castle Rock, which is a unique geological formation. From the lookout on Castle Rock, you can see Lake Huron and Mackinac Island.

American Museum of Magic, Marshall, Michigan

For magic lovers this is a great stop during any trip through Michigan. This is the world's largest publicly displayed and privately owned magic collection. The collection features paraphernalia from famous and obscure magicians.

World's Largest Tire, Allen Park, Michigan

The world's largest tire stands beside Interstate-94 in Michigan, close to the Detroit Michigan Airport. This tire is actually an artifact from the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. At the Fair, it actually had gondolas circling around the tire on its treads, making it a gigantic tire shaped ferris wheel. The gigantic tire is certainly an attraction worth checking out.

Dinosaur Gardens Prehistoric Zoo, Ossineke, Michigan

Visitors start at the gift shop, then proceed down the wooded path. Over the 40 acres of the gardens, visitors will have the chance to see an interesting mix of dinosaur, cavemen and Christian hand-sculpted sculptures. One dinosaur is big enough for visitors to actually climb inside via a ladder leading into the belly.

Hiawatha Statue, Ironwood, Michigan

The statue's plaque says that it is the "World's Tallest and Largest Indian." Unfortunately it is not actually the tallest Indian, but it is the largest. It is 52 feet tall, and if you are into visiting giant statues, this one is certainly worth a visit.

World's Largest Cherry Pies, Charlevoix and Traverse City, Michigan

Within 50 miles of each other you will find two gigantic pie plates and  the remnants of two of the largest cherry pies ever baked. The town of Charlevoix has a nice presentation for their giant cherry pie plate. This was the first town to bake a giant cherry pie. Years later the neighboring town of Traverse city decided to bake an even bigger cherry pie, and succeeded. Their giant pie plate stands alone beside its Guinness Book of World Records certificate. Unfortunately both towns were later outdone by a town in Canada, but the remnants of these two historically gigantic cherry pies are definitely a fun and funky destination in Michigan.

U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame and Museum, Ishpeming, Michigan

This museum is a great fun and funky stop for ski fans. Its displays celebrate the abundance of snow the region gets, as well as the history and progress of the sport of skiing. Some of the exhibits are utterly unique, and although some of the exhibits may be a little out of date, a visit to the museum will certainly be educational and piles of fun.

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Minnesota Camping | Quick Facts

factsMinnesota | Quick Facts

Uniquely Minnesota: Spoonbridge and Cherry at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Must-See: The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
Most Unusual: The statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox in Bemidji
Highest Point: Eagle Mountain, 2301 feet
Food to Try: Flavored milk and cheese curds at the Minnesota State Fair

What to Do In Minnesota

1 Canoe through Voyageurs National Park

2 See the wolves in Ely

3 Attend the Winter Carnival

4 Go to the state fair

5 Explore the Twin Cities

6 Go ice fishing

7 Look for the headwaters of the Mississippi River

8 Wander through Dinky Town (near the University of Minnesota)

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Minnesota Camping | Off The Beaten Path

Off The Beaten Path | Minnesota

The Land of 10,000 Lakes is a great spot to find off the beaten path attractions. Within this state you will find art, culture and recreation enough to satisfy any adventurous traveler. Not only does Minnesota have lots to do during the summer, but it is also a great winter destination. In the summer the many lakes are great for water recreation including fishing and boating. During the winter the terrain transforms, making it a great destination for cross-country skiing and ice fishing. No matter what off the beaten path attraction you are looking for, you are bound to find it in Minnesota.

Frontenac State Park

This beautiful state park is located on the Mississippi River, and it is located approximately 10 miles southeast of the town of Red Wing. The park is an amazing destination for bird watching. It has a diverse range of habitats, including prairie, flood plain and forest, which attract an equally diverse array of birds. Frontenac also has lots of hiking and skiing trails. In addition to great birding, Frontenac also has a good crop of wildflowers from spring through fall.

University of Minnesota

The Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota is one of Minnesota's great arts and culture destinations. The Weisman Art Museum is in a building designed by Frank Gehry, and the museum has a great collection of 20th century American artists as well as a fantastic collection of contemporary art. The University also has a thriving performing arts community. Visitors to the University can see performances by the schools visual and performing arts students, at the West Bank Arts Quarter. Or, during the summer, visitors can get tickets to the Minnesota Centennial Showboat, which features an interactive style of performance, based on the historic vaudeville tradition.

International Falls

This little border town is known as the "Icebox of the Nation." International Falls is located on the Rainy River, across from Fort Frances, Ontario. The two towns are connected by the Fort Frances-International Falls Bridge. This town has a record low of -55 degrees, which is why it gets its nickname. These extreme cold temperatures make the border town a great destination for winter sports. Nearby Rainy Lake provides great ice-fishing, as well as, snowmobiling, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. International Falls is also just 11 miles west of Voyageurs National Park.

Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park is the only congressionally enacted national park in the state of Minnesota. It is located along the border between the United States and Canada. This park is comprised of many interconnected waterways and islands. Late summer is a great time to visit this park, there are less bugs, and all of the waterways make it a great destination for water sports. At this park visitors can enjoy house-boating, fishing, kayaking and canoeing. On land there are hiking trails which transform into ski trails during the winter. When the water freezes over in the winter visitors can enjoy ice-fishing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Boundary Waters

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is a United States Wilderness Area which protects the southern part of the wilderness region that straddles the United States-Canada border between Ontario and Minnesota. The wilderness area is 1.3 million acres of waterways and land. Visitors can enjoy 1,200 miles of canoe routes and 11 hiking trails. As a protected wilderness area, all recreation is limited to the style used by the French Voyageurs 200 years ago, including canoeing, portages and camping. Visitors are also required to get a permit before enjoying an adventure in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

International Wolf Center, Ely

For the Minnesota traveler interested in wildlife should plan a visit to the International Wolf Center in Ely. This center tires to advance the survival of wild wolf populations through education. Visitors to the center learn all about wolves, their relationship with nature and the influence we have on their future. At the interpretive facility, families will learn all about wolves, enjoy the hands-on exhibits. Visitors have the option of taking a day trip, or extending it to a weekend visit to explore the forest. The International Wolf Center is also the home of their Ambassador Wolves. These wolves live at the center, their habitat has plenty of observation windows so visitors can view the wolves. The center has two Great Plains wolves and two Arctic wolves acting as ambassadors for their species.


The city of Duluth is one of the larger cities in Minnesota, and there are many arts, culture and entertainment attractions. The Tweed Museum of Art is located on the Duluth campus of the University of Minnesota, it has a permanent collection of art from a wide range of cultures and periods of art history. More recreational leaning visitors can join a white water rafting tour of the St. Louis River. Duluth also has a Waterfront Sculpture Walk, which combines lake views, shopping, and a delightful series of sculptures that express the culture and history of Duluth as well as its sister cities in Sweden, Ontario, Russia and Japan. The city is also home to the Lake Superior Zoo, which has hundreds of species of animals, and visitors can ride the zoo train and watch the daily zoo feedings.

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Minnesota Camping | Things to Do

Minnesota | Fun and Funky Things to Do

Minnesota is a state full of great places to visit - and some of them are a little different! If you are looking to visit a few unconventional tourist destinations in this great state, here are a few interesting places to stop.

World's Largest Twine Ball, Darwin

Visitors to Darwin, Minnesota have the unique opportunity to see the World's Largest Twine Ball Created by One Man. Other states have larger twine balls, but they are not the work of a single person. This ball of twine was created over 29 years by a resident of Darwin. Today, visitors can look at the ball of twine, purchase souvenirs and even take a tour of the museum. Visitors to the town can even check out the local festival, Twine Ball Days, held in August.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Minneapolis

This unique destination adjoins the Walker Art Center. The outdoor sculpture garden spans 11 acres in Minneapolis and is home to over 40 works of art on permanent display. Visitors can enjoy many fantastic sculptures including the Spoonbridge and Cherry Fountain by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Broggen.

Severs Corn Maze, Shakopee

Visitors to Shakopee will be stunned by the giant corn maze. Each year the family creates a new corn maze and each year there is a different and amazing theme. These corn mazes have been a tradition for the past 13 years and they are still going strong. Visitors can also enjoy the straw bale maze, pig races, exotic animal petting zoo, magic shows and much more.

Frank Lloyd Wright Gas Station, Cloquet

Most people probably don't think of stopping at a destination just to see a gas station, but Cloquet is home to a truly unique gas station. In fact, this gas station is the only operating gas station constructed from the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright. The exceptional American architect created a truly exceptional gas station that is well worth a stop.

Underwater Adventures Aquarium, Bloomington

This aquarium is located in the Mall of America, so it is just one of many fun things to do in this location. However, walking through an underwater tunnel, approximately the length of a football field, is a pretty unique experience. The Aquarium is home to a large collection of sharks, sea turtles, stingrays and freshwater fish. Visitors can also experience real adventures, including swimming with the fish. Underwater Adventures Aquarium recently opened their very large jellyfish collection.

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Mississippi Camping | Quick Facts

factsMississippi Quick Facts

Uniquely Mississippi: The Mississippi Sandhill Crane
Must See: Old Natchez Trace
Most Unusual: World's largest cactus plantation in Edwards
Highest Point: Woodall Mountain, 806 feet
Food to Try: Cajun Crawfish and Sweet Potato Pie

What to Do in Mississippi:

1 Explore the Biloxi Lighthouse

2 See the Civil War Earthworks in Corinth

3 Enjoy the cajun crawfish at the Country Cajun Crawfish Festival

4 Learn about Tennessee Williams at the Mississippi Welcome Center

5 Experience Civil War ear Mississippi at a Civil War reenactment

6 Learn about prehistory in the area at the Mississippi Petrified Forest


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Mississippi Camping | Off The Beaten Path

Off The Beaten Path | Mississippi

Mississippi is an amazing state. Visitors will find a wide range of activities and attractions to enjoy. Throughout the state there are many places of historical significance, as well as many places to enjoy recreational activities. Throughout this beautiful state there are many places to go, here are a few of these excellent destinations.

Vicksburg National Military Park

Vicksburg National Military Park commemorates the action at Vicksburg during the Civil War. When Vicksburg surrendered on July 4, 1863 and Port Hudson, Louisiana was captured just days later, the Union gained control of the Mississippi River, which was an important turning point in the war. Today, visitors can learn all about the history of Vicksburg at the National Military Park and on the tour road. Within Vicksburg National Military Park there are monuments, the USS Cairo Museum and Gunboat, and much more.

Natchez Trace Parkway

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a nationally designated parkway that travels for over 400-miles through Mississippi, and continues into Alabama and Tennessee. Visitors to Mississippi can take an amazing scenic drive across the state while following the parkway, and enjoy many other activities along the way. While enjoying the natural beauty along the drive, visitor can stop to camp, bike, hike, fish and more. There are also many fascinating places to stop and explore along the way, including a prehistoric mound site, scenic overlooks and archeological sites.

Mynelle Gardens

The Mynelle Gardens are a great attraction in Jackson. Covering seven acres in the city, visitors can enjoy seeing a wide variety of botanical gardens, water features, and even a variety of bird species. Visitors can explore the gardens on the paths, enjoy the pond, cross the bridges onto the island within the pond. Mynelle Gardens was originally a private garden, but today it is owned by the City of Jackson and welcomes visitors throughout the year to enjoy the beauty of these magnificent southern gardens.


Beauvoir is the retirement home of Jefferson Davis. Today it is owned and operated by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Visitors can tour this historic home, as well as learn about the Confederate President and the Civil War. Beauvoir also has an Annual Fall Muster, which is a great way to learn about the Civil War through experiencing the sights and sounds of Civil War battles.

Longwood Plantation

Located in Natchez, Longwood Plantation is one of the most unique mansions you will find. Rather than the usual Greek Revival style plantation home, Longwood is an octagonal, six story mansion with a byzantine style dome on top. The mansion was designed by Samuel Sloan for Haller Nutt, unfortunately the house was never finished due to the start of the Civil War. Today, visitors can tour this historic building, and explore the 32 rooms, of which only 9 were ever finished.

Gulf Islands National Seashore

This National Seashore is divided into two districts, the Mississippi District and the Florida District. Visitors to Mississippi can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities during a visit to the Gulf Islands, including swimming, hiking, wildlife watching, boating and more. Start a visit to the National Seashore at the visitor contact center in the Davis Bayou Area. Here visitors can learn about the islands as well as enjoy the boardwalks and nature trails. Visitors can also take a private boat to any of the islands. In addition, there is a passenger ferry to West Ship Island, where visitors can enjoy swimming in the designated area as well as enjoying the beautiful white sandy beaches.

Country Cajun Crawfish Festival

Each year, Mississippi celebrates one of the favorite dishes in Mississippi at the Country Cajun Crawfish Festival. Visitors can enjoy this festival held at the Coast Coliseum over two weekends in April. Along with excellent food, there is music, rides and much more. The Country Cajun Crawfish Festival is a great way to explore some of the culture and cuisine of Mississippi.


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