Whether you are enjoying a short weekend away in Jackson, MS, or you are planning a long road trip through the Southern United States, Mississippi will not disappoint you. Undoubtedly, the Magnolia State is famous for the unspoiled nature of its Delta, the never-ending cotton fields, and charming quaint towns.
But as the birthplace of Delta blues and the home of several critical historic landmarks, Mississippi also offers endless opportunities for memorable walks and historic walking tours. Unsure what to put on your travel itinerary?
Start with the options below!
Immerse Yourself in the History of Mississippi in Jackson
No matter how long your journey through Mississippi is, your trip should always start with a visit to the state’s capital city, Jackson.
From visiting the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in LeFleur’s Bluff State Park to touring the State Capitol and Old Capitol Museum, Jackson offers some of the best things to do in Mississippi – and, certainly gives you a comprehensive overview of the historical, cultural, and natural heritage of the state!
Pro tip – Looking for more specific walking tours? Look for the markers of the Freedom, Blues, and Writers’ Trails dotted around the city!
Hike (or Bike) the Natchez Trace Parkway
Following the historical travel corridor known as the Old Natchez Trace and providing over 440 miles of breathtaking natural scenery, the Natchez Trace Parkway is a must-visit trail for all visitors to Mississippi.
The All-American Road crosses the states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee, and it is dotted with multiple historical landmarks, including the William Johnson House and several historic stands, such as the Mount Locust Inn.
The Natchez Trace undoubtedly provides one of the most scenic drives in the nation, but it can also be explored on foot or by bike thanks to the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, which runs parallel to the main parkway.
Follow the Blues Trail To Discover the Rich Musical Heritage of Mississippi
No trip to the Magnolia State can be complete without a full immersion into the rich history of Delta blues music.
Delta Blues, which is considered to be the original style of blues and the predecessor to Chicago Blues, was initially characterized by finger-picked acoustic guitar, slide guitar, and harmonica sounds. Today, it remains one of the most important aspects of Mississippi’s heritage and the culture of the African American community in the state.
If you are looking to trace the steps of famous Delta Blues musicians such as Muddy Waters, consider taking a walking tour and exploring the markers of the state’s Blues Trail.
Pro tip – Looking to create a custom itinerary? Start by downloading the Blues Trail App!
Visit Clarksdale To Find One of the Freedom Trail Markers
Following the murder of Emmett Till in 1955, the communities and activists of Mississippi played a critical role in supporting the civil rights movements that took place across the US in the 1950s and 1960s. And, today, the state remains a beacon for civil rights protection and initiatives.
If you are just getting to know the history of the state, consider paying a visit to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the markers on the Mississippi Freedom Trail in Jackson and Clarksdale.
Take a Food Tour and Savor the Delicacies Mississippi Has To Offer
When visiting the Southern State, you should not miss out on the unique opportunity to experience a food walking tour! In particular, Mississippi, or the Hospitality State, is well-renowned for its rich culinary culture, which continues to influence the cuisine across the country and plays a vital role in shaping the state’s culture.
If you are looking for the most authentic food to try in Mississippi, consider visiting a soul food restaurant, trying hot tamales, and indulging in local delicacies like biscuits and gravy!
Explore the Mississippi River Delta and Its Tributaries
Once you have taken in the history, culture, and lifestyle of Mississippi, it is time to explore some of its most beautiful natural landscapes: the Mississippi River Delta. Stretching over three million acres, the Delta offers endless opportunities for adventure lovers to explore stunning hiking trails, follow paddling routes, and watch wildlife.
And, when exploring the Delta, don’t forget to check the calendar for upcoming events – you might be able to take part in one of the local blues festivals or even participate in the Mardi Gras carnivals.
Mississippi is a state with a rich history and culture, which is evident in its music, food, art, and architecture. From exploring the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway to following the Blues Trail and visiting the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, there are endless opportunities for visitors to immerse themselves in the state’s unique heritage. And, of course, no trip to Mississippi would be complete without savoring the local cuisine and exploring the stunning landscapes of the Mississippi River Delta.