It’s no secret to the state’s residents that Mississippi has a lot to offer. However, there are still a lot of outsiders who don’t know just how great the Magnolia State is. (Surprising, I know.) And while there are many more, here are 17 reasons Mississippi is the most underrated state in the country.
1. Music was basically born here.
The birthplace of both the Blues and Elvis Presley, Mississippi has had a huge impact on the world of music.
2. The literary world wouldn’t be the same without Mississippi.
William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, and Tennessee Williams are just a few of the notable authors born right here in Mississippi. Not too bad for a state that has a reputation of being unable to read.
3. Mississippi is the only state to host the USA International Ballet Competition.
The USA International Ballet Competition, which is held once a year, rotates between four different cities around the world: Varna, Moscow, Tokyo, and Jackson.
4. Mississippi is the Catfish Capitol of the World.
Catfish and Mississippi just go together, so it only makes sense that the Catfish Capitol of the World be located in Mississippi. And being that the state is responsible for over half of the country’s catfish production, the title was accurately assigned.
5. Without Mississippi, the movie industry wouldn’t be the same.
When thinking of the movie industry, places like New York and California come to mind, but in the recent years, Mississippi has become a top contender. Numerous movies have been filmed all over the state, especially in Canton, which fits perfectly since the town has long been called the “City of Lights.”
6. The state is responsible for a number of medical firsts.
Mississippi paved the way for the rest of the nation with major medical advancements, such as the first human lung transplant, the first heart transplant, and first kidney autotransplant.
7. Mississippi played a huge role in the Civil War.
Obviously the effects of the Civil War could be felt all over the country; however, Mississippi played a huge role in the war since its location along the Mississippi River made it strategically important to both the Union and Confederacy. Several notable battles, including the Siege of Vicksburg, have been fought on the state’s soil.
8. Walking through history is actually possible in Mississippi.
Thanks to over one thousand nationally registered historic sites, countless battlefields, Native American sites, plantations, and colonial settlements, Mississippi can offer visitors a chance to see the past for themselves.
9. Numerous inventions can be accredited to the Magnolia State.
Barq’s root beer, the Teddy bear, rayon, stickball, Pine-Sol - these are just a few of the inventions that the world would have to live without if it weren’t for Mississippi.
10. Kermit the Frog wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Mississippi.
One of the most loved Muppets, Kermit the Frog, is from none other than Leland, which means that without Mississippi the world would’ve grown up without ever knowing the friendly frog or his former beloved, Miss Piggy.
11. The breathtaking views can’t be matched.
Mississippi is made up of five different regions, all of which are unique in their own way, but one thing is for sure, they all offer out-of-this world views.
12. Mississippi’s state parks have won numerous awards.
Seven of Mississippi’s 25 state parks have been ranked amongst the top in the nation. Scattered throughout the state from the Tennessee border to the Gulf of Mexico, the parks offer an abundance of activities, historic sites, and a ton of outdoor recreational activities, making Mississippi’s state parks perfect for everything from a day outing to a family vacation.
13. The Neshoba County Fair shows the rest of the nation how it’s done.
Held once a year, the Neshoba County Fair attracts thousands of people from across the nation. And with a name like “Mississippi’s Giant House Party,” it’s safe to say all other fairs and festivals could stand to learn a thing or two from one of Mississippi’s most anticipated events.
14. The historic Natchez Trace runs right through Mississippi.
The 450-mile foot trail was travelled by traders, missionaries, early settlers, and Indians for thousands of years, making it one of the most historically-significant spots in the nation. Visitors to the Natchez Trace can select from five different trails and take a one-of-a-kind historical stroll filled with rocky outcroppings, steep ridges, and the “sunken” section of the trace.
15. Mississippi’s culinary creations can’t be matched.
Renowned restaurants are most often associated with larger cities, but that is definitely not the case when it comes to Mississippi. Taking southern comfort food to the next level, the state has quickly become a major player in the culinary world, thanks in part to the state’s numerous one-of-a-kind creations and local specialties.
16. The rarest North American crane lives in Mississippi.
The Mississippi Sandhill Crane, which stands about 44 inches tall with an eight-foot wingspan, can only be found in the grassy savannas of Jackson County.
17. Mississippi is home to one of the most historically-significant cities.
Having been settled by the French in 1716, Natchez is actually the oldest permanent settlement along the Mississippi River. At around 1850, half of the country’s millionaires lived in Natchez, and the city has even served as the capital.
There’s just so much to love about Mississippi! What do you love most about the state? Tell us in the comments section below.