Mississippi offers travelers a wide range of options, including beautiful remote campsites, great canoeing or kayaking, and places dedicated to the history of the state.
Below we present some of the best places to visit in Mississippi.
Natchez: Historic Natchez is one of the best-preserved southern cities in the United States, with stately pre-war plantation homes perched on the bluffs of the Mississippi River overlooking the rich flat land of the Louisiana Delta on the other side.
Places to visit:Take a break from it all at these 5 great places to kayak, canoe and camp
Hit the road for a fast ride
Legend has it that many wealthy Natchez plantation owners were from the north who moved south to grow cotton. However, when the war began, they sided with the North. Thus, Union forces did not destroy many of the plantation houses in Natchez.
Today, many houses are in private hands. However, many of them remain open for tours. These include Monmouth (1818), Rosalie’s Mansion (1820), William Johnson House (1840), Melrose (1842), Stanton Hall (1857), Longwood (1860) and many others available for excursions and possibly overnight stays.
Natchez hosts spring and autumn pilgrimages during which many private houses are open to the public.
Natchez has also become something of a Hollywood scene in recent years, with Mississippi-born Hollywood film producer Tate Taylor starring in films like Come Back, The Help, Ma, and Breaking News in Yuba County. city in recent years.
Vicksburg: Another historic city on the Mississippi River worth visiting is Vicksburg, which also has some pre-war homes and great views of the Mississippi River.
However, the historic city of 22,000 is probably best known for the Battle of Vicksburg during the Civil War, which was a turning point in the conflict.
Vicksburg National Military Park receives more than 500,000 visitors to the city each year. The park itself is a beautiful place, and exploring it can take at least half a day, if not the whole day. However, self-guided driving is easily accomplished an hour or two after stopping at the Visitor Center.
The park houses the restored gunboat USS Cairo, which plowed the Mississippi River during the war.
And even more for history buffs. The Old Courthouse Museum is an excellent repository of information and is of interest to everyone.
Any day in Vicksburg should include a tour of pre-war homes. Some must-see houses are Anchuka, Cedar Grove, and Duff Green.
While in Vicksburg, visit Holy Trinity Church with 11 Tiffany stained glass windows and Christ Episcopal Church, both historic and beautiful, both offering guided tours.
Indianola: This place this is a gem in the Mississippi Delta, perfect for those looking to get away for the day. Located in Sunflower County, Indianola fits the bill for shopping, dining, entertainment, live music and sightseeing.
Every trip to Indianola should begin with a visit to the BB King Museum and the Delta Interpretive Center.
King is recognized as the most famous blues musician from Mississippi. The museum tells the story of his humble upbringing to become the face of the musical movement that led to his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The museum is located in downtown Indianola.
A new museum exhibit, which opened in 2008, showcases the last years of King’s life.
Club Ebony was once one of the most important African American nightclubs in the South. It was built just after World War II by Indianola contractor Johnny Jones. Under Jones and subsequent owners, Ray Charles, Count Basie, BB King, Bobby Bland, Little Milton, Albert King, Willie Clayton, Tina Turner, Howlin’ Wolfe and many other legendary performers performed at the club.
Although the B.B. King Museum was forced to close earlier this year, it is in the process of being renovated and reopened after receiving a grant from the state of Mississippi. Officials hope the attraction will be back in service by the end of July or early August, with a grand opening in the first week of June 2023.
Laurel: More recently, the city has become known as the hometown of Ben and Erin Napier, stars of the HGTV series Hometown, where the couple are renovating a home.
However, Laurel is not only a great “Hometown” but also a great place to visit.
The first stop for visitors to Laurel should be the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, 565 N. Fifth Ave., which has been called Mississippi’s first art museum. It was founded in 1923 and designed by Rathbone DeBuys of New Orleans. It is located on tree-lined Fifth Avenue, among turn-of-the-century houses, just one block from downtown Laurel.
The museum has an extensive collection of Native American sneakers. It also has a selection of American art by Winslow Homer, Albert Bierstadt and John Singer Sargent. The museum receives 32,000 visitors a year.
Take a walking tour of the historic district as you leave the museum. The area contains the largest intact adjoining collection of artisan houses and bungalows from the turn of the century.
All the information you need for a self-guided walking tour can be obtained from the museum.
Whether you enjoy canoeing or kayaking, or just swimming in a nice cool stream, there are plenty of options in Mississippi.
Bear Creek: This popular destination is located in the northeast Mississippi and passes through Tishomingo State Park in the rocky foothills of the Appalachians before reaching Alabama. In the park, visitors can rent canoes and take a 10.25 km trip through the scenic and historic area.
Fat River: In the east-central Mississippi, near the tiny town of Chunky, rowers can enjoy the waters of the river, which flows southeast and joins the Okatibby River, forming the Chickasoway River near the Enterprise. The water is relatively clear, and the smooth current and the population of commercial fish make this place attractive for fly fishing. In the spring, rowers are treated to blooming mountain laurels, rare in Mississippi.
Okatoma Creek: North of Hattiesburg, Okatoma Creek is a popular paddling destination and has what many Mississippi creeks don’t have – class 1 rapids. The rapids are accessible to just about anyone, including kids. Visitors may encounter otters, beavers, and possibly soft-shelled turtles. On the territory there is a country shop, showers and changing rooms, as well as a primitive camping site with grills.
Black Brook: South of Hattiesburg is Mississippi’s only National Wild and Scenic River, flowing 40 miles through the De Soto National Forest. Its name comes from the dark water caused by the tannic acid of decaying vegetation. Unlike its dark waters, its white sandbars serve as playgrounds for paddlers and all-natural campsites. There are many sandbanks along the creek where you can stop and rest. Rowers may also experience a sense of privacy and may not meet another person because the lease is limited.
Wolf River: The Wolf River, which flows through the west side of the Mississippi coast and ends in St. Louis Bay, offers another unique opportunity to paddle and camp. Along the way, paddlers may encounter bald eagles, ospreys, otters and cranes. The pines and oaks along the river are typical of southern Mississippi. People interested in stones should also be on the lookout because agate can be found along the river. Cooling down in the summer heat is also not a problem. On the way, several spring streams with cold water flow into the river.