Mississippi is one of the more modest states, but its jaw-dropping landscapes and an overall laidback lifestyle make up for it. Not to mention that it has acres of forestland where you can roam around free. Plus, the food is delicious!
Located in the south of the US, Mississippi is one of the most rural states, with over 50% of the population living in the countryside. Its soil is rich, the cost of living is low compared to other states, and its population is diverse.
Add to this the fact that this is a gulf-coast state with several gorgeous beaches, and you have the recipe for a fun vacation surrounded by nature. But there’s more to Mississippi than forests, rivers, and beaches; there’s also a lot of culture and history that needs to be discovered.
So, if you’re planning your trip, here are the top six places you cannot miss:
1: The Natchez Trace Parkway
There’s nothing more beautiful than driving through luscious forests and admiring the landscapes! And that’s exactly what this 444 miles route has to offer – the experience of a beautiful drive designed to let the mind wander.
The route stretches across three states, starting from Natchez, Mississippi, and strives to preserve the old route used by Native Americans. Along the way, you can see historical moments, visit tourist attractions, and enjoy being surrounded by Mother Nature.
The parkway allows visitors to bike, walk, run, hike, or camp on its grounds (among others). So, if you want to do some stargazing, remember to bring your sleeping bag and camera! Also, if you’re going to spend the night in a tent, check out these camping tips to have an absolute blast of an experience.
2: The Mississippi Blues Trail
Mississippi’s history takes a dark turn at some point, but the people managed to fight their way out of hardships through good music and solidarity. This is how blues music got to be one of the most influential genres in American music history and culture.
So, if you want to learn about the history of Mississippi Delta Blues music, you can’t miss out on taking The Mississippi Blues Trail. You’ll get to learn about all the great names that promoted blues, jazz, or gospel as a way of bringing communities together.
3: Try Your Luck in Tunica
What once was one of the less fortunate communities in the state is now the third largest gaming market in the country (after Las Vegas and Atlantic City). The city welcomes its visitors with glamorous casinos, poker rooms, slot machines, and more. In fact, if you didn’t know better, you’d think you were in Las Vegas!
But you can also visit if you’re not interested in gambling. There are lots of resorts and spas, gourmet restaurants, and luxury shops to keep you entertained. And, if you want a bit of adventure, the Tunica RiverPark is next door. Here, you’ll find amazing hiking trails and gorgeous scenery to rest your eyes and fill your memory card.
4: Step in Elvis Presley’s Footsteps
Besides being the birthplace of blues, Mississippi is also the state where one of the biggest rock and roll icons that ever lived was born. Elvis was born in the city of Tupelo, and nowadays, it’s completely dedicated to celebrating “the King’s” life and work.
But you don’t have to be a fan to enjoy the city. There’s also the Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo to visit. Plus, it’s on the Natchez Trace Parkway, so you can’t miss it if you take the scenic route!
5: Get Artsy in Ocean Springs
If you’re more of a beach and sea kind of tourist, you’ll love the city of Ocean Springs. Here, you can enjoy the water and the warm weather and satisfy your thirst for art and culture. Also, the history of the town is quite interesting, and you should visit the local museums and listen to the locals’ tales.
In Ocean Springs, you’ll find numerous art galleries, studios, art shops, and historic churches. There are also lots of interesting restaurants, a microbrewery, and other impressive attractions you get to enjoy just by taking a stroll.
6: The Mississippi Petrified Forest
If you’ve ever wanted to see what a forest turned to stone looks like, now you have the chance! Well, you won’t see the actual forest (sadly), but you’ll get to admire remnants of what used to be a huge forest 36 million years ago.
The area is still a forest so you can enjoy some peace and quiet on the road there. Plus, not all the specimens are outside; you’ll have to visit the Earth Science Museum for more details and explanations. Also, if you want more amazing locations, check out other places to visit in Mississippi.
There’s no doubt that Mississippi has a lot to offer from a tourist standpoint. So don’t hesitate to visit and make sure you come prepared for the type of trip you want to take. Mississippi may be a place of calm and reunion with nature, but it’s also filled with forests and wildlife, which can be dangerous if not properly considered.