There’s something wonderful about a half-mile long scale model of the Mississippi River in the Mud Island River Park, which sits in the actual Mississippi River.
A complete model of the Mississippi River would be space-prohibitive, so the model is just of the lower half of the river. It’s made of 1,746 pre-cast concrete panels that each weigh eight and a half tons.
The best part? You can totally play Godzilla and take off your shoes to walk in it. Just be careful – some of those concrete plates can be sharp.
(That’s our intern Jessica standing over the bridges into Memphis.)
The River Walk ends at New Orleans into Lake Pontchartrain (which, unlike the real thing, has a giant fountain in the middle of it) and the Gulf of Mexico, which is a huge 3 ft. deep pool. The Gulf used to be a public swimming pool. These days, you can rent a paddle boat ($2 per person per half hour) and paddle around the gulf and check out the Memphis skyline.
If you get hungry while you’re on the island, there are a few food options (one of which overlooks the Gulf). There’s also a museum devoted to the history of the Mississippi River. If you want a Mud Island experience that will really put you in touch with the river, you can rent canoes or kayaks or camp out for the night.
Admission to the park is free (especially if you take the Auction St. bridge or walk over on the pedestrian bridge). If you want to ride the monorail, it’s $4.