The 11 Best Backroads In Mississippi For A Long Scenic Drive
Think you have to be an avid hiker or willing to brave the intense summer heat to take in the amazing scenery that fills Mississippi? Think again! The Magnolia State is home to several scenic byways, which means you can view some of the state’s most spectacular sites from the comfort of your own vehicle on any of the
scenic drives in Mississippi. So the next time you’re in the mood for a relaxing drive, check out one of these 11 Mississippi scenic drives.
1. Grand Gulf-Raymond Scenic Byway
Grand Gulf, MS 39150, USA
Perfect for a relaxing drive, the
Grand Gulf – Raymond Scenic Byway
follows 50 miles of backroads through the lush countryside. More than beautiful views, the byway is loaded with history – it partly follows the path used by soldiers during Ulysses S. Grant's Vicksburg Campaign.
Get a closer look at some of the historical sites on this drive:
2. The Great River Road
Great River Road State Park, 100 St Park Rd, Rosedale, MS 38769, USA
Running along the state’s western border, this
national scenic byway
follows the course of the Mighty Mississippi, spanning 3,000 miles through 10 states. The portion that runs through the Magnolia State extends over 200 miles and includes stunning views of Mississippi – the state and the river.
3. The Natchez Trace Parkway
Natchez Trace Parkway, Natchez Trace Pkwy, Natchez, MS, USA
By far the most well-known scenic drive in the state, the
Natchez Trace Parkway
is steeped in as much history as it is in natural beauty. The 444-mile parkway, which starts in Natchez and ends in Nashville, Tennessee, highlights some of the state’s most stunning terrain and is dotted with informative markers to point out all of the significant spots along the way.
Get an in-depth look at Natchez Trace Parkway:
4. Wildflower Trail on US 51
Crystal Springs, MS 39059, USA
The portion of US 51 that leads into the town of
isn’t an official scenic byway, but it offers stunning views nonetheless. Part of a statewide project known as "The Wildflower Trails of Mississippi," the highway is lined with colorful fields of wildflowers, making this a perfect route to take in the spring.
5. U.S. Route 61 a.k.a. Blues Highway
Blues Highway, Blues Hwy, Natchez, MS, USA
Spanning from Vicksburg all the way to Memphis, Tennessee, this
is lined with must-see sites, both natural and man-made. Sprawling views of the vast Delta are accompanied by great restaurants, museums, and noteworthy Blues-related spots. Change the route up a bit by diverting west to Highway 1 near Clarksdale. The scenic two-lane highway, which is parallel to Route 61, runs along a seemingly boundless levee known as Mississippi’s Great Wall.
Check out some of the historic spots along the Blues Highway:
6. Red Bluff a.k.a. The Secret Pearl River Run
Red Bluff, Mississippi 39483, USA
Over the course of this 33-mile route, you’ll find plenty of hills, lots of twists and turns, and expansive wooded areas. Begin the scenic drive in Columbia, where you’ll take Highway 98 to Highway 587 all the way to Monticello. Along the way, you can stop at
and take in the breathtaking views from atop the vast formation.
7. Brice's Crossroads Battlefield-Chief Tishomingo Scenic Byway
Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield, 128 MS-370, Baldwyn, MS 38824, USA
At under 20 miles, this is one of the shortest scenic byways in the state but that doesn’t mean the drive is any less interesting. The
traverses two counties and is filled with sites that perfectly portray the state’s rich history. Popular stops along the way include Brice’s Cross Roads National Battlefield and Interpretive Center and the home site of Chief Tishomingo.
8. Highway 605
Mississippi 605, MS-605, Gulfport, MS, USA
Beginning in Saucier and ending in
, this coastal drive will probably only take about an hour or two, leaving plenty of time for exploring along the way. Once in Gulfport, consider paying a visit to the Turkey Creek Community Historic District. The historic community was founded by freed slaves after the Civil War and features several original buildings.
9. Grenada Lake Loop
Grenada Lake, Mississippi, USA
Winding through lush pine woods and providing pristine views of Grenada Lake, this
is perfect for a serene drive. Dotted with bluffs, you’ll find plenty of places along the way to take in the beauty that is Grenada Lake.
10. Beach Boulevard
Beach Boulevard, Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS, USA
Formerly known as Old Highway 1, the
Beach Boulevard Byway
is split into two parts, with Highway 90 being the dividing point. The leisurely coastal drive is about 30 miles long and runs parallel to the coastline, offering exceptional views of the Gulf of Mexico.
11. Scenic Highway 18
Spanning from Port Gibson to Raymond, this
is made up of small, charming towns and picturesque sites. Port Gibson’s historic Windsor Ruins and the Raymond courthouse are among the popular points of interest along this scenic path.
Have you taken any of these Mississippi scenic drives? Have another to add to this list? Tell us in the comments section!
Looking for more scenic sites in the Magnolia State? Check out these
scenic overlooks in Mississippi. I think it’s time for a road trip in Mississippi, how about you?
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More to Explore
Road Trip Attractions In Mississippi
What are the most unique attractions in Mississippi?
The most unique attractions in Mississippi include:
The Mississippi Blues Trail. This trail of locations tells the history of blues music and how it grew at places like the WROX radio station.
Vicksburg National Cemetery. This is the largest cemetery for Union soldiers of the Civil War in the country.
Home of William Faulkner. This was the home of an author who wrote stories set in a fictional version of Lafayette County.
Birthplace of Elvis Presley. There was only one King of Rock and one birthplace for him, and that place is in Tupelo.
Find out more about the most unique attractions in Mississippi.
What are some amazing hidden gem attractions in Mississippi?
Some amazing hidden gem attractions in Mississippi include:
Grammy Museum. This is one of two Grammy museums in America and is full of wonderful musical history.
Jim Henson Museum. Jim Henson was beloved for Kermit the Frog and the other Muppets and this museum celebrates Kermit and all the rest.
NASA Bus Tour. Take a tour through restricted areas of the Stennis Space Center and learn about how they do things at NASA.
Biedenharn Coca Cola Museum. This popular carbonated drink is bottled in Mississippi and this museum exhibits memorabilia that is over 100 years old.
Learn more about these and other amazing hidden gem attractions in Mississippi.
What are the weirdest places to visit in Mississippi?
The weirdest places to visit in Mississippi include:
Frog Art Farm. This collection of frog sculptures in Fayette was created by Louise Cadney Coleman and is an odd and charming exhibit.
King’s Tavern. Located in Natchez, this is the city’s oldest building and is purported to be haunted by the spirit of a mummified body that was found there in the 1930s.
Kuhn Memorial State Hospital. This is a hotbed of supposed paranormal activity that brings paranormal investigators from all over.
Red Water Artesian Well. While the state has many similar wells, this one has red water that is completely safe to drink.
Find out more about the weirdest places to visit in Mississippi.