Mississippi has a rich historical significance, dating back to the Civil War. Because of this, you can expect that the city will contain several museums and monuments that highlight the city’s role in the war and the American Revolution. Historical sites and museums are many, but those are not the only attractions the city has to offer.
Being home to the second-longest river in the US (Mississippi River), you can expect to have a bit of outdoor fun as well. Mississippi is also known as the Magnolia state, and the fertile lands produce an amazing ensemble of wildflowers, agricultural produce, and are home to wildlife as well. If you are planning a trip here, read on to learn more about the things you can do in Mississippi.
11 Things to Do in Mississippi
- Visit the Birthplace of Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo in 1935. He would go on to become one of the most iconic singers of all time. Because of Elvis’s contribution to community development in Tupelo, the city decided to restore his house and later made it a historic site. Today, the little white house stands as part of the Mississippi Blues Trails.
- Visit Fort Massachusetts on Ship Island
Fort Massachusetts was built after the War of 1812 as a residence for Union troops. Most of the soldiers who died in the battle against New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are buried here. Today, the fort is operational as a tourist attraction site. It is located along the shores of West Ship Island. Fort Massachusetts is one of the projects along this shore that has withstood the destruction of hurricanes for over two centuries. Visit this location to see stingrays, dolphins, pelicans, and other wildlife that thrives in the area.
- Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
The museum is located in LeFleur’s Bluff State Park and it contains numerous exhibits that allow you to experience the natural world differently. For instance, there is a 100,000-gallon aquarium, complete with thousands of marine life and hundreds of species. A large fossil of an endangered dinosaur takes center stage inside the museum. The museum grounds offer extended outdoor exhibitions for visitors as they take strolls. There is an outdoor maze to explore if you are feeling adventurous. Kids can have fun at the Kids Corner or in the Discovery Room.
- Visit the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS)
The IMMS was established in 1984 as a non-profit organization to conduct research, conserve, and educate the public about marine mammals. The institute has a specialty license for the protection of sea turtles and dolphins. You can book a trip here to learn more about these mammals and the role you can play in ensuring that they are preserved and protected. Expect to see dolphin shows, sea lion shows, bird shows, presentations of reptiles, parakeets, stingrays, and other wildlife here. There is an aquarium that contains all kinds of fish and a playground for your kids to have fun after the educational tour.
- Visit the Birthplace of Kermit the Frog
Do you know where the puppet character Kermit the Frog came from? Jim Henson, the master puppeteer and creator of Kermit the Frog, hails from Leland, Greenville. There is a permanent exhibition devoted to this creation in the Leland Chamber of Commerce museum to honor Jim and his famous creation. You can pose with a giant, stuffed Kermit for memorable photos when you visit this museum.
- Hike Along the Natchez Trace Parkway
The Natchez Trace Parkway was originally used by Native Americans, slave traders, and European settlers. The pathway stretches from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee, 444 miles away. It is a very scenic route with several attractions. For instance, the Tupelo and Bices Cross Roads battlefields lie on this pathway. These are historical locations that will trigger your interest in the way of life of the Native Americans. You will also come across interesting archaeological and prehistoric sites along the way.
- Visit the Rodney Ghost Town
Rodney town has an air of a town that was once flourishing before misfortunes brought it down. When Mississippi became a state in 1817, Rodney was almost voted to become the capital city. However, in 1843–1847, the town was struck by yellow fever, forcing most of the residents to flee to other towns. They would later return, but soon the civil war would derail the progress of the town.
When slaves were given independence, most of them fled the town. Fires, floods, war, and other misfortunes forced the remaining residents out of the town. Today, when you visit Rodney Town, you can see the Presbyterian Church, where Union troops had been held hostage by Confederate soldiers. Only a few structures remain in this town, and some of them are old enough to reflect how prosperous the town was once.
- Visit the State Capital, Jackson
Jackson is the center of administration and state affairs in Mississippi. When taking a tour here, take note of the architectural designs of the buildings, the monument to the Women of the Confederacy, and the portraits of statesmen hanging on the walls inside these buildings.
- Enjoy Art at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art
This is one of the most unique and prominent museums in the magnolia county. The museum was built to promote George E. Ohr, a renowned ceramic artist, potter, and resident of Biloxi. The building style is depicted as art itself with its unique architectural design that offers a sharp contrast to the serene surroundings. Inside, you will enjoy very creative artwork display by George and other both traditional and contemporary artists in the city.
- Go Fishing on a Charter Boat in Biloxi
Sportfishing is a common recreational activity in Mississippi. The best way to experience this activity would be on a charter boat. The locals know the best spots for fishing. You can hire a boat and a guide at the Broadwater Marina in Biloxi.
- U.S.S. Cairo Museum
This is a grounded gunship that was used during the Civil War by the Union troops in an attempt to regain control of the Mississippi River. The gunboat was sunk by Confederate soldiers. In 1965, the remains of the boat were unearthed and restored. This gunship will give you an insight into the lives of the soldiers who fought in the civil war. While you are here, take a moment to see other artifacts that are stored within this museum so that you can learn more about American history and the way of life of Mississippi residents during the Civil War.
Mississippi is a state with a lot of history. Its attractions offer you a chance to learn more about the ways of life of Native Americans, European settlers, and African slaves. Whether you are interested in the arts, fishing, hiking, or exploring ghost towns, you will find something to do in Mississippi.