16 Best Places to Visit in Mississippi

16 Best Places to Visit in Mississippi
© Michael Flippo | Dreamstime.com

The US state of Mississippi is one of the southern states. Almost three million people live on an area of 125,443 square kilometers. The capital of the US state is Jackson. This state of the USA got its name from the Mississippi River. The nickname of Mississippi is Magnolia State.

The Mississippi area was once inhabited by the Native American peoples of the Natchez, the Caddo, the Chickasaw and the Choctaw. In the first three decades of the 18th century, the first French settlers advanced into the territory of the present state. The first settlement was established in the Biloxi region. The present state territory is located east of the lower reaches of the Mississippi River.

This U.S. state is very rural and mostly flat in topography with some low elevations located in the extreme northeast. The south is dominated by a narrow coastline to the Gulf of Mexico. Mississippi has many cities worth seeing and beautiful sights that should definitely be visited during a stay there. Here is our list of the 16 best places to visit in Mississippi.

16. Windsor Ruins

A touch of Greece east of the Mississippi River and thus located in the eastern part of the US state of Mississippi – that is what the Windsor Ruins represent. The ruins – these are 23 towering Corinthian columns of the largest Greek Revival mansion built in this US state. The mansion stood in full glory for just shy of 30 years – from 1861 to 1890 – until it was destroyed in a fire. The columns were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and 14 years later, in 1985, it was designated a Mississippi Landmark. The mansion was a focal point of a plantation where enslaved African Americans were forced to work for Smith Coffee Daniell II.

15. Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge

Local recreation for people and a breeding ground and refuge for migratory birds and other wildlife – that’s Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge is eastern part of the US state of Mississippi. The national park was founded in 1940. On the grounds of the national park it is possible to climb an observation tower.

There are also viewing areas and a boat ramp, as well as rest areas and an information point for visitors and numerous hiking trails. Fishing and hunting are allowed on lakes and forested lowlands. The grounds are open year-round and free during the day. The special highlight is the 1/4 mile Woodpecker Trail, which offers visitors the opportunity to view endangered birds.

14. Cypress Swamp

The Cypress Swamp Loop Trail is 4/10 of a mile in size. A bridge leads through the swamp to a pond. Hiked the trail from the parking lot in 20 minutes. Dogs are allowed on the property, but must be leashed. Not on the leash are the alligators living there. Therefore: Walk the trail with caution and foresight. A particularly beautiful play of colors occurs when the treetops of the cypress trees and the water vegetation are bathed in beautiful autumn colors. The Cypress Swamp Loop Trail can be reached via the Natchez Trace Parkway, which runs from Natchez (Mississippi) to just before Nashville.

13. Dunn’s Falls

Set amid pristine hills along the Chunky River and located in South Lauderdale County, Mississippi is Dunn’s Falls Water Park. On the eastern bank to treetop level. Of the Chunky River rise Dunn’s Falls, cliffs with a working water wheel. The waterfall drops sixty to seventy feet to the river below. The waterfall was created in the mid-1850s by Irish immigrant John Dunn.

Also on the park grounds is an 1857 grist mill, which was moved from Cave Springs, Georgia, in 1987 and placed on the site of the original mill, as was a rustic homestead. The mill pond is filled with catfish and ducks. A picnic area and places to fish are located at the pond, as well as docks for canoes. Swimming is also possible in the mill pond. Nature trails run through the grounds and wild turkeys, deer, squirrels and other wildlife roam the area.

12. Friendship Cemetery

For those interested in the American Civil War era (1861 – 1865), Friendship Cemetery, a cemetery in Columbus, Mississippi is certainly worth a visit. More than 2,000 Confederate soldiers were buried in this cemetery, as well as an estimated 40 to 150 Union soldiers originally, whose remains were exhumed in 1867 and interred in Corinth National Cemetery.

Most of these soldiers had been killed at the Battle of Shiloh – either dying directly on the battlefield or later passing away in the Columbus Military Hospital. In 1980, Friendship Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 1989, the cemetery was finally designated a Mississippi Landmark. There are also two Confederate Army of the South monuments on the cemetery grounds. All in all, it’s a place steeped in history.

11. Stanton Hall in Natchez

East of the Mississippi River, in the heart of Natchez, stands Stanton Hall, an Antebellum Classical Revival mansion – three stories and built with brick, plastered and painted white. This building at 401 High Street in Natchez was built in the 1850s. It is one of the most opulent antebellum mansions found in the southeastern United States. the Pilgrimage Garden Club now uses the building as a house museum.

In 1974, Stanton Hall was designated a National Historic Landmark. This was followed in 1995 by the addition of the building to the list of places declared a Mississippi Landmark. This mansion served as the design for Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion and the interiors served as the setting for the Main family mansion in the miniseries “North and South – Torches in the Storm.” Surrounding the mansion is a wrought-iron fence adorned with ornate gateposts. This is where real Southern flair comes in.

10. Oxford, MS

Oxford, a city in the northern part of the U.S. state of Mississippi, is located in Lafayette Country and its administrative seat. Founded in 1835, the city, which today has a population of about 25,000, was named after the famous English university town. Oxford is a tranquil and typical southern town.

Probably the most famous inhabitant of the city was the writer and later Nobel Prize winner for literature William Faulkner (1897-1962). His house in the middle of town, a former plantation house, is now a museum. The town is also home to the University of Mississippi, known as Ole Miss for short, which was founded in 1848. In 1962, a racism incident that occurred in the city made headlines.

Today it is known as a great cultural destination, rich in culture, history, fabulous food, beautiful architecture and vast green spaces. Stroll through Town Square to feel the spirit of the city.

9. Biloxi

Biloxi, a city in Harrison County, located in the south of the U.S. state of Mississippi, was the first settlement founded on the territory of the present U.S. state. The city has about 49,000 inhabitants is located on a peninsula on the Gulf of Mexico and is strongly influenced by tourism. The city is also home to several casinos and, just outside, Keesler Air Force Base (KAFB).

The face of the city has changed a lot since August 29, 2005. On that day, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city and devastated large areas. Residences, hotels, motels and gambling casinos that make up the city’s splendor have been rebuilt. Prominent antebellum homes destroyed and rebuilt by the hurricane include Beauvoir, the home of Confederate Southern President Jefferson Davis during the American Civil War.

8. Fillmore Street Chapel, Corinth

For weddings and christenings, as well as viewings, a beautiful setting is provided by the historic chapel, Fillmore Street Chapel in Corinth. The Fillmore Street Chapel is located in the historic downtown area of Corinth. It is the oldest church building in the city. Built in 1871, the church building, which once served as a Presbyterian house of worship, features imposing steeples and arched windows.

There is also an imposing arch above the church door and a small park surrounding the building. Today, Fillmore Street Chapel is maintained by the First United Methodist Church. The church building is one of the landmarks of the city of Corinth, located in northern Mississippi.

7. Ship Island MS

Ship Island is an island south of Gulfport and Biloxi. On the island are the most beautiful beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. In 1969 the island was divided into two parts by a hurricane. From Ship Island, ferries go there where bottlenose dolphins gather not far from the coast to play and where they can be observed very well. From land, the ferry ride takes about 50 minutes.

The island is managed by the National Park Service. The beaches that are there are quiet and miles long. Ship Island once played an important role in the settlement of the coast along the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, the island had deep sea anchorages, which eventually gave the island its name. It was from Ship Island that French settlers once came ashore.

6. Vicksburg National Military Park

Vicksburg played a central role in the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865. Indeed, it was here that the famous and ultimately pivotal Battle of Vicksburg took place. The fall of the city after a 47-day siege gave the Union Army control of the Mississippi River region. In commemoration of this important and arguably pivotal battle that ultimately brought victory to the Union Army over the Southern states, there are over 1,300 historical monuments and markers in Vicksburg National Military Park.

Also on the grounds is Vicksburg National Cemetery, which became the resting place for more than 18,000 fallen soldiers. Annually, Vicksburg National Military Park is visited by more than half a million visitors. Vicksburg National Military Park is a haunting tribute to the Battle of Vicksburg and the soldiers who died here.

5. Tishomingo State Park

Rich in history and a breathtaking natural ambiance to boot – that’s Tishomingo State Park. The park is named after Chief Tishomingo, the leader of the Chickasaw Nation. This great Chickasaw Indian leader was born not far from the park and hunted and fished in this region. Tishomingo State Park is crossed by the Natchez Trace Parkway.

There are imposing ferns in Tishomingo State Park and moss-covered boulders in Bear Creek Canyon. The park is also characterized by colorful wildflowers. Tishomingo State Park, located about 45 miles northeast of Tupelo, offers rock climbing, fishing and hiking. Canoeing is also available in the park. The park is accessible via Milepost 304 of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Thus, the approach takes place via a beautiful scenic road.

4. Clark Creek Nature Area, Woodville

Clark Creek Nature Area has a total area of 700 acres. There are only 50 waterfalls on the area, some of which are up to 9 meters high. The nature area is a stomping ground for hikers, bikers and nature lovers. Hikers and bikers should take good equipment with them, as some of the trails are on nature trails. The trails are closed to motorized vehicles. Most of the area of the park consists of large beech and magnolia trees.

The park was established in 1978 at the initiative of the Mississippi Wildlife Heritage Committee, the Nature Conservancy, Wilkinson County, and David Bramlette and the International Paper Company and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. The park is home to migratory birds and several species of snakes, a rare land snail and white-tailed deer, as well as foxes, coyotes, armadillos and chipmunks. Wild hogs, bobcats and black bears can also be found here.

3. Elvis Presley Birthplace Park

Rock n’ roll fan or Elvis fan? Then the Elvis Presley Birthplace Park is a place that belongs to the mandatory program of a tour through the US state of Mississippi. The Elvis Presley Birthplace Park is located in Tupelo. Elvis’ birthplace, which is now a museum, is located on the grounds. He saw the light of day there on January 8, 1935.

The museum not only commemorates the fact that Tupelo is the birthplace of the King of Rock n’ Roll. The museum also houses various personal items of the rock n’ roll legend. Next to Graceland, this museum is the top address in the USA for all Elvis Presley fans.

2. Tunica

The city of Tunica in the northwest of the US state of Mississippi is located about 9 kilometers east of the banks of the Mississippi River. US Highway 61 passes through the city. The city has m south a small airfield and east the regional airport. This is where the tourists land, attracted by the local casinos.

Tunica is the administrative seat of Tunica County and is more rural in nature. Even today, there is still a lot of farming around the town. The casinos located in the city are in different styles, some in the glow of lights quite in the style of Las Vegas, others, however, rather quaint and in beautiful old brick buildings.

1. Jackson

The capital of the state of Mississippi is Jackson. The city has about 153,000 inhabitants and is located on the former settlement area of the Choctaw. The city was founded in 1822 and is named after General Andrew Jackson. The city was once laid out in a checkerboard fashion. Jackson is connected to Interstate 20, Interstate 55 and Interstate 220. U.S. Highways 49, 51 and 80 also run through the city, which is also on Mississippi State Routes 18 and 25.

Jackson-Evers International Airport is located just east of the city. Jackson is not only the capital of the U.S. state of Mississippi, but also the cultural center of the state. The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra is based here. It is also home to the New Stage Theatre and the Mississippi Arts Center, two outstanding cultural institutions.

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Map of Mississippi