Tunica, Mississippi Spend a day in beautiful downtown Tunica. Enjoy shopping and dining in a relaxed and charming atmosphere. You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to an era with a slower pace as you browse our antique shops, gift shops and restaurants. From handmade crafts to extravagant necessities and period antiques, you can find it all in downtown Tunica.
Hungry? Enjoy southern cooking at its best by visiting the famous Blue and White Restaurant or perch on a stool at our downtown deli for a scoop of your favorite ice cream and a delicious sandwich. Cafe Marie offers delicious daily selections of catfish, chicken, steaks and salads in an elegant and relaxed atmosphere. From coffee shop to BBQ, there is a meal to fit everyone’s taste in historic downtown Tunica.
Antiques abound in downtown Tunica. From English antiques to American primitives, treasures of all sorts are all around. Antique clocks and expert clock restoration are also available. Remember those who have served and sacrificed when you visit Tunica’s beautiful and lush
Veterans Memorial Park. Flags and plaques commemorating each branch of our military encircle a magnificent bronze sculpture and pay tribute to our nation’s soldiers. Tunica’s Veterans Memorial is breathtaking by day or while fully illuminated at night. Thousands visit this memorial yearly. You don’t want to miss it! Entertainment of all sorts can be found in Tunica. There’s Tunica’s spring Rivergate Barbeque Festival, an Independence Day parade, fall’s Delta Day Festival, and a winter Wild Game Cook-off. Battle Arena, on Highway 61, hosts events most weekends from rodeos and horse shows to National Kart Racing Championships and National Cheerleading Competitions.
History buffs will not be disappointed. Tunica Museum is home to a variety of artifacts and interesting stories from Tunica’s past. Downtown Tunica is home to the Tate Log House Museum, Tunica County’s oldest existing structure, built originally in 1840. Museum docents will happily don period costumes and perform re-enactments of time appropriate activities, upon advance request.
Blues Trail Marker: Harold “Hardface” Clanton
Long before casinos brought legalized gambling and big-named entertainment to Tunica, African American entrepreneur Harold “Hardface” Clanton (1916-1982) ran a flourishing operation that offered games of chance, bootleg liquor, and the best in blues music. Nicknamed for the stone face he wore during poker games, Hardface owned several businesses, including a café near this site and “The Barn” on Moon Landing Road, a popular spot on the blues circuit. He offered a stage for legendary blues artists like B.B. King, Bobby Bland, Ike Turner, Albert King, Sam Carr and others to perform.
A Blues Trail marker now stands, honoring Hardface at home in downtown Tunica, just steps away from his famous Harold’s Cafe on Magnolia Street. Hardface was a legend not only in Tunica but across the country, in both blues and gambling circles. Though never elected to office, he was called the “black sheriff” of the county and was reputed to be Tunica “first black millionaire” as well. Recalled with fondness and admiration by blacks and whites alike, Hardface operated in an era when Tunica County steered its own course when it came to gambling and alcohol statutes. Gambling helped fuel the economy, drawing money from the many out-of-town participants and providing employment for locals. Hardface’s activities helped pave the way for Tunica County to to become the first county in Mississippi to legalize casino gambling in 1991.
Downtown Tunica Walking Trail
A walking tour in downtown Tunica begins at 1245 Main Street. Completed in September 2008, seven historical bronze plaques are part of the “Downtown Walking Tour” in Tunica.
“There are seven bronze plaques and all of these are on the west side of town,” said Lynn Ryals, Executive Director of Tunica Main Street. “We are currently working on some for the east side of town.”
Visitors to downtown Tunica are offered a glimpse into the rich and colorful history of the Town of Tunica and its citizens with the placement of the markers. Each marker contains an antique photo and history of the people, businesses, and events surrounding each location.
See Tunica photo album. Download Tunica walking tour brochure. Download Downtown Tunica Brochure with map and business/retail listing. For more information on downtown Tunica, go to http://www.tunicamainstreet.com.