A trip to the south is always worthwhile, and one state that’s growing in popularity as a tourist destination is Mississippi. Also known as “the Magnolia State,” Mississippi is full of history and natural beauty, making it a great vacation spot for couples, families, and history buffs. Whether you’re looking for great locations to have fun or learn something new, there’s plenty to find in cities like Vicksburg, Biloxi, and Tupelo. Here are eight must-see places to experience when you head to Mississippi.
Explore Civil War history in Vicksburg
One of the biggest reasons to visit Mississippi is to take in its rich Civil War history. Vicksburg is one of the best destinations to learn more about the war, and it’s for this reason that this city is known to many as the Key to the South. Vicksburg National Military Park should definitely be your first stop, as you’ll be able to learn more about the Battle of Vicksburg, an important battle waged by Union forces to gain a strategic advantage in Mississippi. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to history in Vicksburg, though. When visiting, you’ll definitely want to check out the USS Cairo museum as well. Built at the beginning of the Civil War, the USS Cairo was an ironclad warship and was the first in history to be torpedoed. If you’re interested in learning about Vicksburg’s role throughout the Civil War, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into in this historic city.
Gamble at top-notch casinos
Casinos are another major draw to Mississippi. One popular resort in Biloxi is Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, which features a variety of entertainers in addition to its amenities as a resort and hotel. Another great casino in Biloxi is the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. With luxury suites and a variety of gaming and events including 50 table games and over 1,000 slot machines, there’s plenty to do at the Hard Rock.
Learn more about Elvis Presley at his birthplace
If you’re a fan of rock music or “The King,” you’ve got to visit Elvis Presley’s birthplace when you head to Mississippi. Located in Tupelo, Mississippi, you can take a grand tour that includes Elvis’ childhood house and church, as well as a museum. You can even read stories from his childhood friends about what he was like as a kid, giving you greater insight into his life before stardom.
Make a splash at Gulf Islands Waterpark
If amusement parks are up your alley, you’ll definitely want to hit Gulf Islands Waterpark during your trip to Mississippi. With plenty of water slides, pools, and a gigantic bucket that dumps water onto guests, Gulf Islands Waterpark is a water lover’s paradise. Plus, there’s delicious food on site so you don’t even have to leave the park to grab a bite to eat.
Take in the beauty of the Natchez Trace
For something historical and beautiful, consider taking a trip to the Natchez Trace. In addition to preserving parts of the original trail that was first used by Native American tribes, there’s also plenty of natural scenery to appreciate while driving the parkway. Visitors are especially excited to take the trip in autumn when the leaves on the trees change.
Enjoy the outdoors at Buccaneer State Park
A trip to Waveland, MS wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Buccaneer State Park. Located right on the Gulf of Mexico, the park’s 400 acres are home to a variety of recreational activities, including camping, hiking, fishing, and even disc golf! Many campers refer to it as a hidden gem because of its prime location but relative privacy.
Tour Vicksburg’s Riverfront Murals
If you’re planning on visiting Vicksburg to explore Civil War history, you should definitely make a stop to learn more about its art, too. Vicksburg’s Riverfront Murals, which are painted on panels of a floodwall, complement the history of Vicksburg through paint. These murals showcase scenes from the city’s past and present, as well as envision a bright and prosperous future for its residents.
Go hiking at Clark Creek Natural Area
Woodville, MS is home to Clark Creek Natural Area, a fantastic destination for hikers and outdoorsman in the South. This nature preserve features a stunning 700 acres of and more than four dozen waterfalls, making it an excellent option for fans of taking long hikes and nature walks. With winding trails and plenty to see, you can easily spend a day enjoying this state park.
Mississippi has plenty to offer tourists, no matter what city you decide to visit. From day trips to week-long excursions, a trip to the Magnolia State is sure to be full of fun, history, and nature.