Located down in the Deep South of the country, the oft-overlooked Mississippi is a fascinating place to explore that is just as often mythologized as it is misunderstood. Renowned for not only its rich music, literature and cuisine, but at times raw history too, it has everything from Civil War sites and college towns to beaches, battlefields and the Blues to check out.
Named after the majestic Mississippi River that makes up much of its western border, the Magnolia State lies in the southeast of the US, surrounded by Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama. A friendly and welcoming place, it mostly consists of flat coastal plains and low-lying hills with part of it also lying alongside the glittering Gulf of Mexico.
As it is both the largest city and capital, most visitors first head to Jackson, which is home to impressive landmarks and interesting museums that look at Mississippi’s history, culture and its role in the civil rights movement. Natchez is another popular place to visit due to its amazing antebellum architecture, as is the lively and youthful yet scenic and sophisticated college town of Oxford.
Clarksdale, or the ‘Birthplace of the Blues’, in the Mississippi Delta is also a must-visit for its many monuments and music clubs. While Biloxi’s oceanfront casinos, bars and beaches make it the perfect place to relax and unwind with New Orleans lying just under an hour away.
One of the best ways to see as much of the state as possible is to drive along the marvelous Natchez Trace Parkway that takes you past swamps and bayous, rivers and lakes with pristine woods and wilderness on show.