Named for the wide, meandering river that flows along its western border, this state is steeped in history and folklore.
Every schoolchild learns to spell MISS-ISS-IPPI. Now it’s time to live it.
Visit a variety of museums in Mississippi’s capital of Jackson. Treat the kids to hands-on creative play at the Mississippi Children’s Museum and aquarium views at the Mississippi Museum of Natural History. See diverse relics at the Mississippi Museum of Art and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Museum, including a crop dusting section.
Follow the Natchez Trace Parkway, a buffalo trail from 8,000 years ago, from Natchez toward Nashville. Along the way see the history of fellow travelers: Native Americans, settlers, traders and missionaries. Tour antebellum houses in Natchez for a glimpse of Mississippi’s grand lifestyle before the Civil War.
At the small town of Port Gibson, visit the Grand Gulf Military Park to see relics from the Civil War. View the Mississippi River from the observation tower or drive or walk a short distance to arrive at the riverbank. Watch for commercial boat traffic or locals fishing from the shore.
Farther north along the Mississippi River, visit Vicksburg, a critical site during the Civil War. After the Confederacy used the Vicksburg Port to shut off river access, northerners held siege for more than 40 days until the southerners surrendered. Read about this important history at the Vicksburg National Military Park.
Elvis Presley, “the king of rock and roll,” was born in Tupelo in 1937. See his humble beginnings at the Elvis Birthplace and museum, where he demonstrated an interest in music before he went on to Nashville, Hollywood and music immortality. For live music that didn’t leave the state, visit some of the more than 150 spots along the Mississippi Blues Trail. Look for events and artifacts across the state that invented this southern version of the blues.
Mississippi offers beaches on its Gulf Coast shores and on the barrier islands just beyond. Spend a day on the white sands and then go to nearby Biloxi or Gulfport for dinner or gaming and entertainment at the casinos.