The magnificent Mississippi River is the second-longest river in the United States as it covers a total distance of 2,202 miles. Its source is Lake Itasca in Minnesota, from where it flows due south and connects to two of its major tributaries known as the Ohio River and Missouri River as it heads to the Gulf of Mexico. There are seven major riverfront towns that are found along the Mississippi River namely Memphis (TN), Minneapolis (MN), New Orleans (LA), St. Louis (MO), Saint Paul (MN), Baton Rouge (LA), and Davenport (IA).
Cities on the Mississippi River
Memphis is the 2nd largest and most populous city in Tennessee with a population of 646,889. Popularly known as the home of blues, soul and rock “n” roll music, the city adorns the magic of the Mississippi River. One can enjoy a riverside drive along the river as they relish the beauty of the city. Besides, the glow of lights that illuminates the Big River Crossing between October and May is a beautiful sight to behold.
The city of Minneapolis in Minnesota enjoys so many accolades that explain why it is a favorite to many. The city is famous for being the “Most Literate City”, “Most Giving” (in 2011, over 40% of the population were involved in volunteer work), and “3rd Most Cycling-Friendly Urban Area” in America. Minneapolis has a population of 382,578.
New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is the city of having fun, events, parties, and cultural attractions. It is found 105 miles up River Mississippi from the Gulf of Mexico. With a population of 343,829, it is the most populous town in Louisiana. The Jazz and Heritage Festival, City Tour of New Orleans, Cruises, Sailing, and Water Tours are some of the tourist attractions in the city.
St. Louis, MO
St. Louis, Missouri, has an estimated population of 319,294. It acts as the economic and cultural center of the St. Louis metropolitan area. Nicknamed “Gateway to the West”, the city is found along the western bank of the Mississippi River. The border between Missouri and Illinois is located at this spot. From the source of the river at Lake Itasca to St. Louis, there are 43 dams that moderate the flow of Mississippi River water.
Saint Paul, MN
Saint Paul is the second most populous and capital city of the state of Minnesota. Statistics in 2018 estimated its population as 285,068. Saint Paul lies on the east bank of the Mississippi River which is adjacent to the river’s point of confluence. Saint Paul adjoins Minneapolis resulting in the two cities being popularly known as “Twin Cities.”
Baton Rouge, LA
Baton Rouge is the capital city of the state of Louisiana. It is located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River. Many historic attractions and sites in Baton Rouge are found along the Mississippi River waterfront. The population of the city is 229,493.
Davenport, Iowa is a city that is nestled along the mighty Mississippi River where it flows from the east to west. The city’s attractions include The River Music Experience, Rhythm City Casino, and Figge Art Museum. Visitors can also enjoy some jazz and blues from the local musicians over drinks offered at the Redstone Room. The population of Davenport is 99,685.
Economic Benefits from the River
The river acts as the lifeline of the cities based on its banks. The water from the river is utilized for numerous purposes like domestic consumption or for running factories. Fishing in the river is an important economic activity. The cities on the Mississippi River also enjoy benefits from the tourism industry due to the large number of people who visit the river for recreational purposes. In most cities, tourist attractions have been built along the magnificent waterfront.