Hot, dry summers and a long lazy river are Mississippi’s signature. The birthplace of music in America and cultural icons, Mississippi has made a permanent mark on the history and landscape of the USA.
The state mixes southern hospitality with blues music, plantation homes and civil rights heritage. Named for the wide, meandering river that flows along its western border, Mississippi is steeped in history and folklore.
Visit a variety of museums in Mississippi’s capital of Jackson. Follow the Natchez Trace Parkway, a buffalo trail from 8,000 years ago, from Natchez toward Nashville. Along the way see the history of fellow travellers: Native Americans, settlers, traders and missionaries.
Tour antebellum houses in Natchez for a glimpse of Mississippi’s grand lifestyle before the Civil War or step back in time and sail down the magnificent watery namesake on a recreation of a classic Mississippi river steamboat.
Farther north along the Mississippi River, visit Vicksburg, a critical site during the Civil War. After the Confederacy used the Vicksburg Port to shut off river access, northerners held siege for more than 40 days until the southerners surrendered. Read about this important history at the Vicksburg National Military Park.
Elvis Presley, “the king of rock and roll,” was born in Tupelo in 1937. See his humble beginnings at the Elvis Birthplace and museum, where he demonstrated an interest in music before he went on to Nashville, Hollywood and music immortality. For live music that didn’t leave the state, visit some of the more than 150 spots along the Mississippi Blues Trail. Look for events and artefacts across the state that invented this southern version of the blues.
Schedule time to explore a number of national and state parks, which offer opportunities to play outdoors, or seek out even more cultural pursuits at art museums and galleries. Book a stay at a quaint bed-and-breakfast or enjoy beachside luxury at a Gulf of Mexico resort – and keep those toes tapping.
Video Credit: VisitMississippi