Forget planning an out-of-state vacation; there’s plenty to do right here in Mississippi! And just in case you don’t know where to start, we put together this list of the absolute must-see, must-do things in Mississippi. So, whether you’re new to the area or a lifelong resident, these 26 things should definitely be on your bucket list.
1. Visit the home of the King.
Now a historic landmark, the modest home where Elvis Presley was born is available for touring.
2. Tour the Vicksburg National Military Park.
Thanks to the numerous exhibits, the U.S.S. Cairo Museum, and a very informative Visitor Center, history comes to life at this military park, making it one of the top attractions in the state.
3. Revisit the past in Natchez.
Established in 1716, Natchez is the oldest settlement on the Mississippi River and, as such, the town is filled with gorgeous antebellum homes that are open for touring.
4. Enjoy the waterfalls at the Clark Creek Nature Area.
Considered one of Mississippi’s “most beautiful outdoor treasures,” the Clark Creek Nature Area encompasses more than 700 acres and features approximately 50 waterfalls, which range in size from 10’ to more than 30’ in height.
5. Immerse yourself in both history and nature at Dunn’s Falls.
Located on the Chunky River, Dunn’s Falls features a 65’ waterfall, an 1857 grist mill, and access to a ton of outdoor activities such as primitive camping, cabin stays, fishing, swimming, paddle-boating, picnicking, and hiking.
6. Explore the Petrified Forest.
The only one of its kind in this part of the country, Flora’s Petrified Forest has been 36 million years in the making, and offers visitors the chance to view amazing fossils that exhibit perfectly preserved details.
7. Learn about one of the state’s biggest industries at the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum.
Established in 1986, this museum is intended to preserve and interpret the maritime history and heritage of the Gulf Coast through historic photos and objects, and by offering exhibits on a variety of topics, such as shrimping, oystering, recreational fishing, netmaking, and more.
8. Feel like a kid again at the Kermit the Frog Museum.
The two-room exhibit, located within Leland’s Chamber of Commerce, features numerous exhibits, a plethora of memorabilia, a gift shop, and, for those die-hard fans, a library filled with “pages upon pages” of Muppet facts.
9. Become a car buff at the Tupelo Automobile Museum.
With over one hundred rare and collectible vehicles on display, the 120,000 square foot facility contains one of the largest privately-owned collections in the entire country.
10. Grab a bite to eat at Borroum’s Drug Store.
Founded in 1865, Borroum’s is the oldest drug store that has been in continuous operation in the state and is known for having one of the best slugburgers around - which means a visit to this classic eatery is a must.
11. Spend the day at the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum.
Located in Jackson, this museum offers a ton of amazing exhibits including the Heritage Center, which explains the means used by farmers to transport goods, and Small Town Mississippi, a life-size replica of a small southern town in the 1800’s.
12. Tour the home of William Faulkner.
The home of William Faulkner and his family for over 40 years, Rowan Oak is open for touring year-round.
13. Visit the home of Jefferson Davis.
Serving as the last home of Jefferson Davis, Beauvoir has been preserved at the request of Davis’ widow, Varina. Today, the home is open seven days a week for touring and features artifacts connected to the daily life of Confederate soldiers, such as weapons and clothing as well as a gallery filled with fine art from the era.
14. Experience fine dining at Mary Mahoney’s.
Considered one of the most unique restaurants in the south, Mary Mahoney’s offers fine dining in an upscale atmosphere. The legendary cuisine, which has been enjoyed by presidents, celebrities, and dignitaries, is something you’ll definitely want to experience for yourself.
15. Fill up on Mr. D’s Heavenly Fried Chicken.
Located in Lorman, the Old Country Store features an all-you-can-eat buffet filled with southern comfort food, including “Mr. D’s Heavenly Fried Chicken.” Boasted as some of the best fried chicken around, Mr. D’s fried chicken has been featured on several television shows and attracts diners from all over.
16. Follow the Tamale Trail.
In the Mississippi Delta, food staples include catfish, barbecue, and hot tamales. That’s right; hot tamales. The local specialty is so popular, in fact, that there is an entire trail dedicated to the cuisine. Follow the Tamale Trail, which runs along historic Highway 61, and indulge in the dozens of different types of tamales the Delta has to offer.
17. Travel the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Take a drive through history on this 444-mile parkway, which offers exceptional scenery in addition to activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, and camping.
18. Get the blues.
There’s no better place to learn about the blues than the Mississippi Blues Trail. The unforgettable journey includes numerous stops throughout the state as well as markers filled with interesting facts, guaranteeing to give visitors a new appreciation for America’s music.
19. Check out the Windsor Ruins.
Built in the mid 1800s, the Windsor Plantation once encompassed a whopping 2,600 acres! The stunning mansion survived the Civil War practically unscathed; however, in 1890, a houseguest accidentally left a lit cigar on the balcony and the mansion burned to the ground, leaving behind only the columns, balustrades, and iron stairs.
20. Explore the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center.
Located at the Shiloh National Military Park, this museum tells the story of the city of Corinth during the Civil War through two video presentations, interactive interpretive exhibits, and detailed bronze work.
21. Sail away to Ship Island.
Just a short boat ride from the Gulf Coast, Ship Island is a tropical paradise, complete with gorgeous white beaches and beautiful blue water.
22. Experience the greatness known as the Neshoba County Fair.
Known as “Mississippi’s Giant House Party,” the Neshoba County Fair attracts thousands of people from across the country. The week-long event is filled with socializing, great food, exhibits, rides, races, including the fair’s signature chair race, a car parade, rodeo, and more.
23. Tour the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center.
Open since 2008, this museum honors the life and music of the legendary B.B. King, all while celebrating the Delta’s rich musical heritage. Through music, art, artifacts, educational programs, exhibits, and video presentations, visitors are completely immersed in the local culture.
24. Visit the "Grand Canyon."
Referred to as “Mississippi’s Little Grand Canyon,” Red Bluff is a geologic formation that has been created by the natural erosion of the nearby Pearl River. The amazing sight has become an extremely popular tourist attraction over the years.
25. Dine at Weidmann’s.
Serving Meridian since 1870, this historic restaurant has become known for its southern cuisine and comfortable, cozy atmosphere. Over the years, Weidmann’s has been featured in numerous books, magazines, cookbooks and television shows.
26. Explore Tishomingo State Park.
Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Tishomingo offers a breathtaking landscape made up of massive rock formations and fern-filled crevices that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
This is just a portion of what Mississippi has to offer. What would you add to the list?