Best Places To Visit in Mississippi
If you want to take a dive into history and celebrate music, literature and civil rights, and drop by a few casinos while you are at it, Mississippi is the right place for you. Located in the South-Eastern United States, the state has a long, complicated past that has melded into a much more accepting and beautiful present. Mississippi places to visit have embraced many diverse forms of art, and hosts numerous events celebrating the newfound culture, including dance competitions and film festivals. Mississippi has much to offer, and here are some of the top things to do and best places to visit in Mississippi:
Just like its British namesake, Oxford, Mississippi is famous for an educational institution. The University of Mississippi is one of the biggest attractions in the state. Its permanent collections include the Robinson collection of Greek and Roman relics and the nineteenth-century Millington-Barnard collection of scientific instruments. It also has the Gertrude Castellow Ford Center for the Performing Arts, which organizes a diverse set of events all year round. Other than that, Oxford is home to the Lyric Theatre, which can hold around 1200 people, and frequently hosts live music events, the record label, Fat Possum Records that has sold the records of many legendary artists, the bookstore, Square Books, one of the most famous bookstores in Mississippi. The Burns-Belfry Museum holds artifacts from the American Civil Rights Movement and pays a tribute to the activists with its African American History Exhibit. Rowan Oak, surrounded by twenty-nine acres of woods, contains more than a hundred different species of flora native to Mississippi. Oxford, in itself, is a celebration of both history and music thereby making it one of the top places to visit in Mississippi all around the year.
If it were the casinos that drew you in then Biloxi is one of the ideal places to visit in Mississippi for you. Biloxi draws in gamblers from all over, and they contribute a lot to the city’s tourism. Some of the most famous casinos in Biloxi include the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Golden Nugget Biloxi Hotel & Casino, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, and IP Casino Resort Spa. However, gambling is not all you can do in Biloxi. Put up in 1848, Biloxi Lighthouse is one of the first cast-iron lighthouses in the state of Mississippi. It is known for its panoramic view of the Gulf Coast. Beauvoir, the retirement home of President Jefferson Davis, and hosts a Civil War Museum, a Confederate cemetery, a garden and a library in addition to its beautiful architecture. Finally, Hurricane Katrina Memorial serves as a tribute to those who suffered at the hands of the disaster. If you are searching for some of the best things to do in Mississippi Biloxi then you will find many of those here.
Home to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Sciences, Jackson not only serves as the capital of Mississippi, but it is also the most populous city in the state. Jackson thrums with the beat of Mississippi musical culture and exploring it is top things to do in Jackson Mississippi. Jazz and rock and gospel are tied to the city’s roots. Some of the best places to savor Jackson’s musical culture are Duling Hall, which used to be an elementary school before it was converted into a live music center, Soul Wired Café, where you can enjoy art, food and poetry in addition to the music, The Yellow Scarf, with the tagline, “Where real musicians make real music in real-time,” Underground 119, with amazing southern food to accompany the music and Frank Jones Corner, which claims to deliver “Good Food, Good Music, Good People”. Music, however, is not all Jackson has to offer. The Mississippi Museum of Natural Sciences and the Jackson Zoological Park make for a much more educational trip. If you want to Jackson’s history, the Mississippi State Capitol and Old Capitol Museum, home to a 15-foot eagle, the United States’ national animal, covered in gold leaf, Mississippi Petrified Forest, an ancient forest frozen to stone over time, and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, a tribute the activists who fought against slavery and those affected by it, are some of the best places to see in Mississippi.
Since it was founded in 1716, Natchez has come a long way and it is one of the fun places to visit in Mississippi with kids. Natchez used to be the original capital of Mississippi. Now, the riverside city is known for its beautiful mansions and historic house, along with its numerous museums. The Auburn Museum & Historic Home, with a two-story portico following the Greek architectural style and an unsupported spiral stairway, the Mongolia Hall, the last mansion built in the city before the Civil War broke out, Monmouth Historic Inn & Gardens, which has been restored and transformed into a beautiful hotel are some of the prettiest mansions in Natchez. Natchez is also famous for the Old South Winery, a local winery with a range of Muscadine-focused wine and a quaint infrastructure. Here you can explore some of the best things to do in Natchez Mississippi all around the year.
Like the rest of Mississippi, Clarksdale also has a musical background that makes it one of the top tourist attractions in Mississippi. Thus, one of the most amusing activities and top things to do in Mississippi is engaging with live music. Some of the most popular live music venues are the Red’s Blues Club, which holds music fests four days a week, Bluesberry Café, which offers a great breakfast along with the music, Ground Zero Blues Club, which supports local bands and offers all the facilities of a restaurant and club, and Stone Pony, a locally owned restaurant with live music on Friday nights. The city also has a number of museums and tourism centers, the best of which include the Delta Blues Museum and the Clarksdale Tourism Center. Another one of Clarksdale’s attractions is the Delta Bohemian Tour with Chilly Billy. Finally, drop by a couple of diners and enjoy what has been described as the “most southern food on earth”. Clarksdale is somewhat more laid-back than the other cities―so just lose yourself in the blues and unwind for a few days.
Livingston is one of the most unique towns and top places to visit in Mississippi. Though it was abandoned during the Civil War, it was rebuilt in 2013. Today, it reflects the style of a town from the 1800s, while having all the facilities of a modern city. Going to Livingston feels like getting on a Time Machine and going back in time. The town square features a barbershop, a couple of restaurants, a confectionery store, a flower shop and a culinary school. The small General Store sells grocery items and everything that would have been needed when you were living in a town from the 1800s. In addition to all that Livingston also hosts a farmers market on every Thursday evening between May and October. This has played a huge role in rebuilding Livingston as more people visit the town to see the incredible farmers market. Livingston also holds the events for the entire community and whether it is the tourists or the residents, everyone gets the complete small-town experience.
Gulfport is one of the most exciting tourist attractions of Mississippi. What with clear beaches, theme parks, and casinos, it draws quite the crowd but somehow still manages to have more than enough space for new visitors. If you are enthusiastic about aquatic life, the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies serves the perfect balance between education and fun. In fact, Gulfport has quite a collection of museums and research centers. The Lynn Meadows Discovery Centre is Mississippi’s first children’s museum and has both indoor and outdoor displays that promote activities like art and cooking and help children take an interest in subjects like history and science, and The Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum features railroad track and car displays and hosts different events for its patrons. If museums are not your thing, though, you can try sailing with the help of many different sailing companies that offer cruises of different lengths of time. In addition to that you can go to the Gulf Islands Water Park, a seasonal water park, the Gulfport Dragway with car races, or even the Stennis Space Centre, an official NASA facility built in the 1960s.
- Ocean Springs:
Located along Mississippi’s gulf coast, Ocean Springs is famous for its beautiful landscape and captivating views. The city has tons of fun activities to offer, what with its beautiful coastline, a horde of museums, and a long line of casinos. Some of the best museums in the city are the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, which has a collection of art made by 20th-century philosopher, Walter Anderson, the Ocean Springs Museum of History, which offers a crash course on the history of the city, the GI Museum, a tribute to generations of Americans who had fought for their country, and the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, which showcases the legacy of George E. Ohr, a potter from Bixoli. If you are a history nerd or just love beautiful architecture, a trip to the Beauvoir, different from the one in Bixoli, but just as, if not more, beautiful, should definitely be on your bucket list. The estate, which was home to Jefferson Davis, now holds the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library and Museum, the Tomb of the Unknown Confederate Soldier, historical cottages, and the Beauvoir Memorial Cemetery, among other things, and shows off its beautiful architecture spectacularly. The city also has frequent concerts and live shows featuring bands from all over the world. The Governments St. Grocery, Mississippi Juke Joint, Murky Waters BBQ, Glory Bound Gyro Co, and the Greenhouse on Porter are some of the most famous establishments for live music in Ocean Springs. Finally, if you feel like having an adventure with your friends or family, the city has numerous escape rooms, which are a fun way to test your intellect while having fun.
- Arkabutla Lake:
If letting your worries rest of being surrounded by nature sounds more like your thing, Arkabutla Lake might be what you are looking for. Located in North Mississippi this lake was created following the construction of a dam by the same name on the cold water river. The lake and the nearby area accommodate activities like fishing, biking, sailing, camping, hiking, picnicking, wildlife watching, and even some water sports. The area has a total of three campgrounds and the lake has a large fish population. One of the most famous places in the lake is the open water point with an abundance of crappie fish. The gravel pit, the deepest point in Arkabutla Lake, is 7 feet on the bank and 40 feet in the centre. So go ahead: pitch a tent, camp for a bit, catch some fish, and have a good time
- Holly Springs:
Located at the border of Tennessee in Northern Mississippi Holly Springs is a small city that started out with cotton plantations. Now it contains about 200 historical homes from the Civil War era. Many of these homes can be toured by visitors, and some of them have even been converted into museums. The Ida B. Wells Museum, dedicated to the activist by the same name, is one of the most wonderful historical hotspots in Mississippi. Hillcrest cemetery contains the graves of five confederate generals from the Civil War. We see another show of Mississippi’s deep-rooted passion for music with how the city holds concerts every weekend in the Foxfire Ranch. Finally, Holly Springs is home to Kate Freeman Clark Art Gallery, which contains more than 1200 paintings. If you are a music, history or art enthusiast you will definitely enjoy a holiday in Holly Springs.
What’s next waiting for you?
Whether you are looking for amazing things to do in Vicksburg Mississippi or the best things to do in Mississippi Biloxi, the above travel guide covers everything. Mississippi is one of the most beautiful states in the United States of America. Though it has a bloody past, it has worked hard to overcome it, and today has a legacy of art and music and welcomes everyone to share it with them. Mississippi has many more interesting and wonderful places that did not make it to this list. If you are thinking of paying this state a visit, you might want to contact us to help you plan the best possible vacation with top-of-the-notch itineraries. And as we always say, keep up the wanderlust! Now you know what to do in Mississippi, you can plan your journey with total enthusiasm. Don’t forget to check out the North America travel guide to discover best places to visit near Mississippi.