11 Interesting and Beautiful Places to Visit In Mississippi

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Mississippi is a state that evokes a conglomeration of mystery, emotion and romance.

With its Spanish moss laden oaks whose roots sprawl out in all directions, its sleepy little towns and the history that each keeps, Mississippi is a place in the Southeast that deserves attention from the traveler looking for a place to slow down and just be.

Beautiful state parks, miles of beaches and welcoming cities await the explorer that wants to see what life may have been like long ago in this dreamy southern state.

So, come with me and let’s see what makes Mississippi so interesting and beautiful!

Read on for a list of my favorite interesting and beautiful places to visit in Mississippi.

1. Jackson

Jackson, Mississippi is not only the capital of this Southern state, but a city that has many things to keep you entertained as well.

You might be surprised to hear that Jackson is the home of a plethora of museums, just waiting to teach you about a multitude of subjects. The history of this area is evident in its architecture, and monuments.

Walk around the capital and you will see relics of history on a beautiful campus that is laid out for enjoying a picnic on a gorgeous day. There are also art museums, planetariums and historical house and garden tours that will amaze you.

However, my favorite part of Jackson was the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum. This museum is like stepping back in time to a small town when days were unhurried and neighbors took care of each other. Stop by the Old Country Store and purchase a relic of history. This is an interesting place in Jackson and a great place to visit in Mississippi.

Jackson, Mississippi by Peter Van de Sande on Unsplash

2. Vicksburg National Military Park

Racing across America the thirty-one times that I did, I can’t tell you how many times we stopped in Vicksburg to overnight and recharge. It is such a beautiful little understated town that often flies under the radar.

One of the reasons I find it so fascinating is the Vicksburg Military Park, which adds to the mystique of the area and keeps you wanting to know more.

Vicksburg was the site of a bloody and divisive 47-day battle for the United States during the Civil War. At the end, Vicksburg had surrendered and the Union Army claimed victory.

Walk through reconstructed forts, trenches and implements of battle as you watch the sun lower over the Mississippi River. Learn of the emblazoned emotions that fueled both sides bloodying or killing more than 38,000 soldiers.

There is no shortage of historical representations at the park with more than 1,400 monuments and memorials cascading over the landscape that speak to a time when America was divided and shattered. The beauty and the brokenness is evident in the landscape and definitely deserves a stop at this moving historical landmark in Mississippi.

Vicksburg National Military Park by Joe Forget on Unsplash

3. Natchez Trace Parkway

If you have driven through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, chances are you have passed through the Natchez Trace Parkway.

You may be surprised to learn that this is not only a means to a destination, but a national park. I’ve driven this route countless times and it never ceases to amaze me how much history and beauty is packed along one stretch of road.

Along the Mississippi portion of the parkway and the 286 miles that encompasses it you will find eerie cypress swamps, historical houses, Native American burial sites and mountaintop overlooks. This drive is anything but boring and mystifyingly beautiful.

Stop at the National Park Visitors Center in Tupelo, Mississippi, stretch your legs, watch a video and take in more than 10,000 years of history that happened on one of Mississippi’s most interesting roads.

Natchez Trace Parkway by Ben Hoback on Unsplash

4. Tishomingo State Park

If you are looking for a picturesque and stunning place to have a picnic along your route across Mississippi, Tishomingo State Park is a great place to rest and recharge.

At this spot (in my opinion one of the most interesting parks in Mississippi), gorgeous sandstone formations, fun hiking opportunities and canyon overlooks await.

If you are the type to bring your fishing rod with you, you can enjoy beautiful Haynes Lake where you can take a boat out and catch your supper or just kiss it and throw it back.

If you are equipped for camping or are traveling in an RV, pick from the 62 campsites that dot the park landscape. There are also cottages and cabins that can help you enjoy the park overnight, where you can wake up refreshed and ready to explore more of the state of Mississippi.

5. Ship Island

In one hour by boat you can be at a beautiful Island off the coast of Mississippi that has all the elements you are looking for on your vacation. Do you want to swim? Do you want a dose of history? Do you want gorgeous scenery on an unspoiled beach? Well, you’ll find all these features and more in one of the most fun places to visit in Mississippi.

Ship Island not only is an incredibly stunning place to spend an afternoon frolicking at the beach, but is a perfect place to get in some American history.

Fort Massachusetts is the site of a fort that was defended by the first regiment of color to meet the Confederacy in battle on the Gulf Frontier. Tour around this beautiful relic of history and ponder the brave souls who defended it.

When you have had enough sun for the day. Hop back on the ferry and make it back to the mainland where you can plan the next leg of your trip touring around Mississippi.

6. Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge

If you’d like to get up close and personal with nature, be sure to add Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, one of the most beautiful state parks in Mississippi, to your route.

This was one of my favorite state parks when visiting the Southeast and remains a great place to see wildlife and the natural habitats in which they reside.

Keep your eyes peeled for alligators, bald eagles, turkeys, quail, deer and a host of other woodland creatures. I’ll never forget our visit which included a front row seat to witnessing the mating dances of scores of turkeys in a field trying to attract a lady friend. This was something incredible to watch and the kids thought it was so amazing.

This state park has 48,000 acres to explore, so you won’t have a difficult time finding something to do. Hike the many trails, drop a fishing line in the lake, or just relax with the sounds of nature. This park should go down as a “must see”, in Mississippi.

7. Rodney Ghost Town

For all of you amateur and professional photographers, this next stop is sure to bring a creepy, yet hauntingly beautiful addition to your portfolio. For a glimpse back in time and a chance to capture the past, stop by Rodney Ghost Town and one of the most alluring places in Mississippi.

Rodney was once a thriving pre-civil war town with more than 4,000 residents. However, war, fire, loss of trade on the river, and a devastating flood caused the town to totally diminish by 2011. The nearby Mississippi River continues to flood the former town, leaving it with a vibe that can only be captured in pictures.

If you come by, you must visit the Presbyterian Church whose white clad facade complete with bell tower still stands proud for others to enjoy. Numerous cabins and buildings fight the decay of time to add to the allure of this town turned time capsule in Mississippi.

8. Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum

Did you know that Elvis Presley had a twin brother? You can learn these rarely known facts about the beloved “King of Rock”, at one of Mississippi’s most visited places. Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum is for the die hard fan that wants to know everything about this fixture of American pop culture.

It all started in a tiny house in Tupelo, Mississippi where a a baby boy was born to a poor family that fought everyday to make ends meet. Here, Elvis would grow, attend school and church and find his love of music that we all enjoy today.

Come to this interesting find in Mississippi and tour Elvis’s boyhood home, his church and many of the other relics from his life on this 15 acre property meant to celebrate rock and roll’s, “greatest of all time”.

Elvis Presley by JR Harris on Unsplash

9. Mississippi Petrified Forest

The Mississippi Petrified Forest is a sharp contrast to the other Pertrified Forest you may know about. Lush, green, wildflowers and smells of the humid Earth permeate the air as you walk through a mystifying yet alluring world that is one of the most unique places in Mississippi and America, itself.

Logs floating down an ancient river created this sight, thirty-six million years in the making. Walk the nature trail and see these seemingly, primordial trees that beg to be inspected. Then visit the museum and learn all there is to know about this fascinating park. The gem mining flume was my kids’ favorite stop, where you can screen for semi-precious stones and beautiful minerals.

This is a nice reprieve from your Mississippi travels and is great way to get your heart pumping while educating yourself and enjoying nature.

10. Gulf Islands National Seashore

The Gulf Islands National Seashore is a collection of islands that lie off the coast from Mississippi to Florida. Beauty and interesting relics of the man-made and naturally made kind can be found strewn across the Gulf of Mexico.

Enjoy sightseeing the many forts and lighthouses that the islands contain. Take a ferry cruise that will take you to Ship Island for a day of relaxation and beach combing on a secluded and hidden gem. Put on your snorkeling gear and see what animals live beneath the ocean waves.

This was my favorite activity, and we were lucky enough to be able to see a huge sea turtle foraging for her lunch one afternoon. If you are looking for a relaxing few days or an adventurous holiday, the Gulf Islands National Seashore will keep you occupied!

11. Biloxi Beach

Home to the longest and largest man-made beach in the United States, Biloxi Beach has casinos for the grandparents, a beach to relax on for the parents and amusement parks for the young ones. In fact, it is considered Mississippi’s crown jewel when it comes to entertainment.

Stroll the boardwalk and eat at “restaurant alley”, one of the best places to eat seafood in the nation. After, you can visit Biloxi Lighthouse and take in some sights and history of this Biloxi icon that has stood since 1848.

However, my favorite part of Biloxi is the choice of casinos that dot the shore line. From Beau Rivage to New Palace to Treasure Bay, there is so much entertainment and fun to be had that you might think you are in Las Vegas! So, bring some sunscreen and some cash for an amusing getaway and a great place to visit in Mississippi.

Biloxi Beach by Thomas Konings on Unsplash

Did we miss any of your favorite places in Mississippi?

Let us know in the comments if there are anymore places in Mississippi you’d like to see on our list!

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