The largest river system in North America, the Mississippi has been an integral part of American culture since the beginning of the 19th century. Originating in Minnesota, and sweeping across 95 river miles (153 kilometers) south to New Orleans where it spits out into the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi has gained an almost mythical place in American history. It is perhaps most famous for being the lifeblood of the western American economy during the 19th century, as steamboats traveled up and down, transporting goods for trade.
Today, make the trek over to the river to see for yourself what made so many American authors romanticize about journeying down the Mississippi. From the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to Beasts of the Southern Wild, the grand idea of the muddy river delta and its great abundance stays with us. Beginning in the far reaches of Canada, the long arms of the mighty Mississippi reach across the United States and eddy down the flat belly of America and out through the Louisiana river delta.
The Mississippi River divides New Orleans into what is colloquially known as the East and West Banks, though geographically speaking, the West Bank is to the south.