13 Best Tourist Attractions in Mississippi
Mississippi, the birthplace of the blues and home to sprawling mansions and equally sprawling cotton flats is a place with a heart and soul. Most people are aware of Mississippi’s long and contentious history, as well as its rise and fall from one of the wealthiest to one of the poorest states, but Mississippi has a story to tell, which is what makes it such an intriguing place to visit. It also has stunning natural beauty, such as honey-dipped sandy beaches, tranquil farmland, charming historic towns, and verdant hill country.
From iconic landmarks like the Vicksburg National Military Park and the Natchez Trace Parkway to the stunning natural beauty of the Mississippi River and the Gulf Islands National Seashore, we’ve got you covered. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to discover the stunning beauty of Mississippi. Here are the best and most beautiful places to visit in Mississippi based on my exploration…
13. Tombigbee State Park
Tombigee State Park itself is a destination to reach finally after visiting attractive places via drive starting from Tupelo. People make this spot their first attraction to begin a wonderful journey ahead of them. Cottages, Hotels, and camps are available to spend a wonderful night.
Sometimes we see people complaining during the winter season that camps are not warm enough to spend even a single night however those people are very rare. Camps are renovated to fit every need of tourists nowadays. Internet and Cable TV facility is very rare around Tombigee State Park.
12. Deer Island, Mississippi
400-acre Deer Island, also known As Ghost Island because it is said that strange lights appear on the island on dark nights, is the closest island to the coast of Mississippi and can be easily visited by a nearby beach.
It was used for fishing in the early years and also occupied ten different kinds of endangered species and had an amusement park in 1915 which was left by the residents after the huge hurricane named Camille. Some stories were also developed about the island like the people say that it is the island haunted by the ghost of a pirate who died in there and his ghost now protect the treasure and some other self-made stories.
11. Mississippi Petrified Forest
Madison County, MS
The only Petrified Forest in the eastern United States is almost 35 million years old and was believed that they were fir and maple trees that were washed in here by an ancient river channel. These tremendous trees were a hundred feet in the sky and had trunks of 12 feet. At that time they were buried in the mud and with the passage of time, the erosion process took place, and logs were exposed giving a fascinating effect to the visitors.
In addition, this site features a museum that can be reachable when once forest is visited on a trail around the site and ends at the museum which has a huge collection of fossils, minerals, and rocks and most remarkable features to be seen are whale bones, dinosaurs footprints and turtle shells.
10. Maywood Beach
Olive Branch, MS
Maywood Beach is actually a water park opened by Maurice and May Woodson where many people spend their summer days. The beach also features two smaller lakes: Lake Shahkoka, named after a local Native American chief, and Lake Edomar, named for the nearby town.
Visitors to Maywood Beach can enjoy a variety of exciting activities, such as picnicking, nighttime bonfires, miniature golfing, and bowling. Its close proximity to other towns and cities ensures it will be filled with locals during the summer months and welcomed by travelers from across the globe. Whether you are looking to spend the day basking in the sun or engaging in some of the recreational activities offered onsite, Maywood Beach will leave you with a lifetime of unforgettable memories.
9. Jackson Volcano
Since the 1860s, geologists have identified an underground feature located beneath the Mississippi Coliseum region which was named Jackson Dome. It is believed that this dome is in fact a long-dormant volcano, estimated to be some 75 million years old, whose existence has been obscured by nearly three thousand feet of sedimentary deposits.
While it is uncertain exactly why the volcano has not erupted for so many tumultuous millennia, its presence remains well-documented and is considered by many to be one of the geological wonders of the region.
8. Falls Water Theme Park
Falls Water Theme Park is a park located in central Mississippi that contains 8 acres of white sand beaches which is the most attractive sight for visitors and has a 370-meter-long river along with waterfalls along the way that give a cool effect while boating in. It has a thunder lake that produces the highest man-made waves in the southeast which is really a fascinating activity for the tourists as they enjoy their swimming and skiing.
This park features 12 exciting waterslides like a four-lane racing slide for both young and children, snack bars, birthday huts, and picnic areas. The crystal-clear swimming pools are surrounded by almost 300 palm trees and can enjoy sunbathing there. This theme park is annually visited by 2 million tourists around the world.
7. Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo
The Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo was founded by Dan Franklin is the largest zoo in the state and is a huge collection of rare white buffalo. It has a large number of other species of animals, and birds, and other attractions like rides, snack bars, camping areas, and petting feeds.
Once the buffalo area is visited can get a history of the species and also can get a chance to hand feed them. There is an outstanding picnic area and a large playground for the children where they can also enjoy a merry-go-round, horse riding, and a comfortable train ride. It is the best place for children to enjoy themselves.
6. Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
It is the largest museum located in Jackson and was founded in 1933 and features mesmerizing aquariums housing 2oo species and a huge collection of fish, mammals, reptiles, birds, plants, and fossils. It is a place of great inspiration as you walk through indoor and outdoor exhibits that concede its biological diversity. It is the full package to enjoy both nature and many family adventures that can be performed as one can touch the creatures in the saltwater touch tanks open-air theater events and a gift shop.
5. Natchez Trace Parkway
This historic roadway stretches for over 440 miles, connecting Natchez, Mississippi, with Nashville, Tennessee. Along this picturesque route, you’ll be treated to an unforgettable experience that seamlessly combines natural beauty and rich history.
As you start your drive on the Natchez Trace Parkway, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery, towering trees, and vibrant wildflowers, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere. The scenic beauty is unparalleled, with every twist and turn offering a new vista to admire and capture in photographs.
The Natchez Trace Parkway is much more than just a scenic drive. It is a living testament to America’s past, with numerous historical sites and landmarks dotting the route. Along the way, you can explore ancient Native American burial mounds, historic settlements, and preserved segments of the original Natchez Trace trail.
One of the highlights of the Parkway is the Emerald Mound, the second-largest ceremonial mound in the United States. This impressive structure dates back more than 800 years and provides a glimpse into the fascinating Native American history of the region. Take a moment to explore the grounds, climb the steps to the top, and imagine the lives of those who once inhabited this sacred site.
4. Vicksburg National Military Park
Number nine on the list of top tourist attractions in Mississippi is Vicksburg National Military Park. This historic site marks the site of the Civil War Battle of Vicksburg and is a must-visit destination for any Civil War history buff. Visitors can explore the extensive grounds to get a sense of what the battle was like, as well as take tours of the various monuments and statues commemorating those who fought and died there.
You can also take part in activities such as reenactments, living history demonstrations, and memorial services. It’s easy to spend an entire day exploring the park, so be sure to plan accordingly! Vicksburg National Military Park offers an educational experience perfect for families and adults alike – highlighting the importance of remembering our past.
3. The Mississippi River
The Mississippi River, often referred to as the “Father of Waters,” is not only a natural wonder but also a cultural icon that has played a significant role in shaping the history and identity of Mississippi. Stretching over 2,300 miles from Lake Itasca in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, this majestic river offers a mesmerizing beauty that captivates visitors from all around the world.
Its vast ecosystem supports a rich variety of flora and fauna. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the abundance of species that call this river home, including majestic bald eagles and graceful herons. Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines into the river’s depths, hoping to reel in a trophy-worthy catch.
A river cruise is a popular way to experience the river’s grandeur. Step aboard a luxurious riverboat and embark on a journey that takes you through picturesque landscapes, historic landmarks, and charming river towns. Immerse yourself in the ambiance of a bygone era as you listen to the gentle lapping of the water and watch the sunset paint the sky in hues of gold.
2. The Mississippi Delta
Known as the birthplace of the blues, the Mississippi Delta is steeped in a rich musical heritage that has influenced countless genres and artists over the years. Exploring the Delta Blues is not only a journey into the heart and soul of American music but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the history and culture of Mississippi. From the humble juke joints to the iconic crossroads, every corner of this region tells a story.
One of the must-visit attractions in the Mississippi Delta is the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale. Housed in the historic Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Passenger Depot, this museum is a treasure trove of artifacts, exhibits, and memorabilia that showcase the evolution of blues music. From the early Delta blues pioneers to legendary figures like Muddy Waters and B.B. King, you can trace the roots of this genre and understand its profound impact on the music world.
For an authentic Delta blues experience, a visit to the Crossroads in Clarksdale is a must. According to legend, it was at this intersection of Highways 61 and 49 that Robert Johnson, one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his exceptional talent. Whether you believe the myth or not, standing at this iconic crossroads is a powerful reminder of the Delta Blues’ enduring legacy.
The Mississippi Delta is dotted with juke joints, music festivals, and live music venues that keep the spirit of the blues alive. From the famous Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale to the intimate Red’s Lounge in Delta City, you can experience the raw, soul-stirring sounds of the Delta firsthand.
1. Gulf Islands National Seashore
Davis Bayou Area Gulf Islands National Seashore is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Mississippi. Located just 30 minutes away from Biloxi, this stunning seashore spans over 11 miles of picturesque shoreline. It boasts a number of recreational opportunities, such as kayaking, hunting, fishing, and more. It also has a variety of wildlife, including manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, and more than 300 species of birds.
The area also offers visitors the chance to walk through a maritime forest or camp out under the stars. With its unique combination of nature and recreation, Davis Bayou Area Gulf Islands National Seashore is an ideal spot to spend time with friends and family. Whether you’re looking for an adventure or simply want to relax and enjoy nature, there’s something for everyone here.
FAQs About Mississippi Tourist Attractions
What is the number 2 attraction in Mississippi?
The number 2 attraction in Mississippi is the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge features a wide variety of wildlife and natural scenes, making it a popular destination for both hikers and birdwatchers alike.
What are the top 5 tourist attractions?
Mississippi is home to a variety of attractions that draw visitors from all over the world. The top 5 tourist attractions in the state include Biloxi Beach, Elvis Presley Birthplace Museum, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Vicksburg National Military Park, and Elvis Presley’s Tupelo Home.
Is there anything fun to do in Mississippi?
Absolutely. Mississippi is full of attractions and activities that make for an exciting vacation. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure or cultural exploration, you’ll find plenty of things to do in this charming state. Highlights include visiting historic sites, touring museums, enjoying art galleries and entertainment venues, exploring nature trails, and sampling delicious cuisine.
What is the most famous thing in Mississippi?
The most famous thing in Mississippi is undoubtedly Elvis Presley. Mississippi was where the legendary singer and entertainer was born and raised, and the state proudly commemorates his life with several monuments dedicated to him including the Elvis Presley Birthplace Museum and Graceland Estate.
What are 5 things Mississippi is famous for?
Mississippi is famously known for its vibrant culture, rich history, diverse wildlife, stunning beaches, and some of the best Southern cooking around. It’s also home to many popular attractions such as Biloxi Beach, Elvis Presley Birthplace Museum, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Vicksburg National Military Park, Elvis Presley’s Tupelo Home, Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Show Theater, and Beauvoir Jefferson Davis Presidential Library.
Why is Mississippi worth visiting?
There are many reasons why Mississippi is worth visiting. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure or cultural exploration, this charming state offers something for every type of traveler. From pristine beaches to bustling cities, you can find plenty of activities and attractions to enjoy while discovering the iconic Southern hospitality Mississippi has to offer.
Where is the prettiest place in Mississippi?
The prettiest place in Mississippi is the Natchez Trace Parkway. This 444-mile scenic road winds through three states and offers incredible views of beautiful rolling hillsides, forests, and rivers along the way. Along with a plethora of historic sites and markers, you can also find hiking trails, campgrounds, and picnic areas perfect for taking in the stunning views of Mississippi’s countryside.
Is Mississippi cheap to visit?
Yes, Mississippi is very affordable for travelers who want to explore its diverse attractions on a budget. In addition to its plethora of free activities and attractions, there are also numerous lodging options including camping facilities and budget-friendly hotels that provide comfortable accommodations without breaking the bank.
Do people vacation in Mississippi?
Yes! People come from all over the country to vacation in Mississippi because it offers an array of activities that cater to all interests and budgets. From fishing on the Gulf Coast to floating down a lazy river to golfing at championship courses, there is something for everyone in this laid-back Southern state.
What is Mississippi’s signature food?
Mississippi is known for its signature cuisine which includes soulful dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, fried catfish, barbecue ribs, deep fried chicken, biscuits & gravy, seafood dishes like fried shrimp and oysters, red beans & rice, baked ham hocky beans & stewed greens. These are just a few of the mouthwatering dishes you can sample while exploring Mississippi’s culinary scene.
What food is Mississippi popular for?
Mississippi is particularly well-known for its barbecued meats like ribs and pulled pork as well as hearty salads such as black-eyed pea salad and peach cobbler. Additionally, many restaurants across the state specialize in serving classic Southern comfort food like fried chicken and waffles or biscuits & gravy. No matter what your preferences are, you will certainly find something delicious to eat in Mississippi!
We hope you enjoyed our post about the stunning beauty of Mississippi and its must-visit tourist attractions. From its vibrant cities to its serene natural landscapes, Mississippi has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply seeking a memorable vacation, this state has it all. With our top 10 recommendations, you can explore the rich cultural heritage, indulge in delicious southern cuisine, and immerse yourself in the charm of this beautiful destination. So pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to discover the hidden gems that Mississippi has to offer. Happy travels!
- 13 Best Tourist Attractions in Mississippi
- 13. Tombigbee State Park
- 12. Deer Island, Mississippi
- 11. Mississippi Petrified Forest
- 10. Maywood Beach
- 9. Jackson Volcano
- 8. Falls Water Theme Park
- 7. Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo
- 6. Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
- 5. Natchez Trace Parkway
- 4. Vicksburg National Military Park
- 3. The Mississippi River
- 2. The Mississippi Delta
- 1. Gulf Islands National Seashore
- FAQs About Mississippi Tourist Attractions
- Final Word