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The most populated city in the state and the capital of Mississippi is Jackson, conveniently situated at Interstates 20 and 55.
Many excellent attractions in Jackson focus on various subjects: culture, civil liberties, African-American culture, the natural sciences, and art.
Jackson offers many family-friendly attractions that keep kids engaged for days, including the Children’s Museum, Jackson Zoo, and Petrified Forest.
The city also hosts numerous events all year, such as the January Mississippi Blues Marathon, the May Greek Fest, the August Rhythm and Blues Festival, and the September Celtic Fest, which is a real surprise.
Jackson, Mississippi, is a fantastic weekend getaway spot for couples and kids, and it has fascinating museums, historic buildings, and top-notch dining options.
Visit the Mississippi Museum of Art, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, and the Old Capitol Museum. There are plenty of things to do in Jackson, Mississippi.
Visit a historical site like the Oaks, the Eudora Welty House, or the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion.
The Russell C. Davis Planetarium and the Mississippi Children’s Museum are among the best family-friendly activities in Jackson, Mississippi.
Jackson, Mississippi, has acquired the moniker “The City with Soul” because many blues, gospel, folk, and jazz artists, including Bobby Rush, Melvin Taylor, and Cassandra Wilson, were born and raised there.
Jackson offers various activities even though music is a significant city element.
In 1821, a city was named after General Andrew Jackson. After Jackson, the seventh President of the United States was selected.
Despite the city’s beginnings in the American Civil War, visiting it now is a beautiful experience thanks to the warm welcome, fine dining, and exciting attractions.
With so many unique activities in Jackson, Mississippi, your trip can end up in your history book.
Continue reading to learn the best things to do in Jackson, Mississippi.
1. Things To Do in Jackson, Mississippi
The small city of Jackson, Mississippi, is well known for its vibrant culture, history, and natural beauty.
Jackson, often known as the “City of Soul,” is home to several sights that will make your vacation worthwhile.
There are numerous entertaining things to do in Jackson, Mississippi, for every type of traveler, from admiring breathtaking artwork at the nearby museums to sampling delectable regional food at many well-known restaurants.
1.1. Mississippi Museum
Visitors can learn about Mississippi’s natural history at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, located inside LeFleur’s Bluff State Park, through educational exhibits, specimen collections, and interactive habitats.
In addition to typical residents like turtles and alligators, the museum has a unique greenhouse called “The Swamp” that houses wetland plants.
A sizable fossil collection, a close-up view of a local white-tailed deer, and details about Mississippi’s endangered species are all featured in the exhibit halls.
The Discovery Room’s giant treehouses are perfect for kids to explore, and the 300-acre grounds’ nature trails are great for the whole family.
Visitors can learn about the natural habitats and inhabitants of the state by visiting the 70,000-square-foot Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, a facility filled with historical artifacts and educational exhibits.
This museum is concerned with protecting Mississippi’s natural environment, so it makes sense that they also have an outdoor center.
Visiting the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is among Jackson, Mississippi’s best things to do.
The ideal way to wrap up your trip is to wander along the nature paths while inhaling the clean air.
1.2. Jackson Zoological Park
Families and animal enthusiasts enjoy visiting the Jackson Zoo, which has more than 200 species of animals from five continents, including endangered species.
African wildlife includes birds like storks and ostriches, primates like colobus monkeys and chimpanzees, and even a fat-tailed gecko.
Big cats like the Sumatran tiger and Amur leopard, as well as the cheeky red panda, are all represented by Asia, whereas Australia is home to the laughing kookaburra.
South America is home to spider monkeys, macaws, and other exotic birds and reptiles like the fierce anaconda.
Spend a fun day at the Jackson Zoo with your family.
Kids of all ages will enjoy getting up close and personal with more than 150 species residing within the facility, spread across 110 acres of land.
In addition to enjoying seeing live animals, pupils will benefit from learning about wildlife protection and care in this living classroom.
1.3. Mississippi Children’s Museum
One of Jackson’s most fantastic attractions is the Mississippi Children’s Museum, which has more than 50,000 square feet of entertaining and instructive displays.
Visit today to have a fun-filled day exploring the exhibits and learning through interaction with the interactive exhibits.
At this comprehensive museum, visitors can explore the subjects of science and technology, culture, and the arts in addition to learning about health and nutrition.
Given that the facility is in Mississippi, it is only fitting that the museum has exhibits and displays on the state’s history, geography, and culture.
Several displays and activities in the “Healthy Fun” area teach children about health and nutrition. A sizable area is also devoted to learning about the arts and finding expression through music, dance, and the visual arts.
A garden that grows edible plants is located outside, while the Literacy Garden promotes reading and language abilities.
The Pollinator’s Playground Garden is an accessible, public educational facility that promotes gardening and the use of pollinators in the food-growing process.
Visitors to the Mississippi Children’s Museum enjoy a memorable and educational experience.
1.4. Medgar Evers Home
This historic house museum, built more than 60 years ago, still carries a lot of significance as the former residence of civil rights activists Medgar and Myrlie Evers.
He and his wife supported school desegregation and looked into racially motivated homicides, among other things, to aid fellow African Americans.
In addition to housing the couple and their three children, the residence frequently hosted civil rights gatherings and welcomed African Americans who were in danger.
It is evident from the home’s distinctive architecture and safety features that the family persevered despite repeated death threats.
1.5. Mississippi Museum of Art Galleries
The Mississippi Museum of Art, which opened its doors in 1911 with a modest collection, currently houses more than 5,500 works of art, ranging from contemporary paintings to pre-Columbian ceramics.
The major galleries of the museum, which are free to enter and feature works by local and regional artists, are organized around the central theme “The Mississippi Story.”
The museum also holds special events like concerts in the Art Garden and educational programs.
The Mississippi Museum of Art is a gorgeous building with a simple, modern aesthetic.
The interior is illuminated by natural light thanks to the numerous windows.
Arthur B. Davies, Robert Henri, Reginald Marsh, and Thomas Sully are among the American artists whose works are on display at this museum.
Along with the creations of renowned sculptors, the museum also features exquisite prints by several photographers.
Among the magnificent museum’s permanent collections, these are only a few examples.
These are only a few of the beautiful, permanent collections. Spend some time unwinding on the patio and terrace after your visit.
After visiting the Mississippi Museum of Art, you’ll discover you have much for American art.
1.6. Old Capitol Museum
A visit to the Old Capitol Museum will undoubtedly transport you back on an educational and exciting journey because it is in one of the state’s most historic structures.
Some of Mississippi’s and the nation’s most significant events occurred at this National Historic Landmark.
The 1839 Married Women’s Property Act was passed in this very place, and the 1868 and 1890 constitutions were also drafted here.
In addition, Mississippi formally left the Union in this location in 1861.
Several multimedia exhibits depict the law and the Supreme Court’s roles in governmental processes.
Both the old state capitol, constructed in 1839, and the present state capitol are in Jackson.
The site of the previous state capital is now accessible to the public as a museum commemorating the significant historical occurrences that took place there.
Guided tours are also offered for those interested in learning more about the design and restoration of this beautiful Greek Revival structure.
Visitors can also explore the functioning Capitol Building, which was finished in 1903.
Highlights include a 180-foot-diameter dome ceiling with a 15-foot gold-leafed eagle.
Visitors can watch Senate and House sessions during legislative sessions from the public gallery. They are both recognized as National Historic Landmarks.
1.7. Mississippi Petrified Forest
The Mississippi Petrified Forest, located just two miles outside of Jackson, is a must-visit for anyone who wants to witness an old forest that time has turned into stone.
Many visitors pause to have their photos taken at “caveman’s bench,” a conveniently located piece of petrified wood within the park.
Visitors can tour the area via many trails to observe these magnificent fossils.
The Earth Science Museum, which explains how such a significant change may occur, is also nearby.
In the museum’s fossil collection are dinosaur footprints, whale bones from long ago, and a cast of a fossilized prehistoric camel.
The gem-mining flume, where visitors of all ages can sift for riches, will appeal to them.
1.8. LeFleur’s Bluff State Park
In addition to various recreational activities, LeFleur’s Bluff State Park is home to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.
The 305 acres of the property include a nine-hole golf course with a driving range, disc golf, playgrounds, picnic areas, restaurants, and shops.
While trekking on one of the many natural routes, you would never guess that a city borders this sanctuary.
Mayes Lake is also a well-liked location for boating and fishing and has several convenient entry points.
Additionally, various campsites are available, from essential to RV sites with all the amenities.
1.9. Russell C Davis Planetarium
One of the best planetariums in the South is the Russell C. Davis Planetarium.
The dome has a digital theatre that offers spectators a complete dome visual experience.
You can discover everything there is to know about astronomy, celestial navigation, and space travel.
It has the most advanced and cutting-edge technology and is one of the nation’s most extensive facilities.
This is a terrific destination for entertaining activities with kids in Jackson, Mississippi.
Other events held at the planetarium include film screenings, festivals, and fashion shows.
The cinema shows amusing and educational movies; examples include movies on dinosaurs or marine life.
1.10. Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum
The 39-acre Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum examines how agriculture and forestry have changed and how Mississippi has been affected.
The “Small Town Mississippi” portion of the museum is one of the most well-liked areas.
A school, church, general store, butcher shop, sugarcane mill, cotton gin, and other structures that would have been part of a typical community in the 1920s are recreated here, along with other buildings.
Heritage Center is a significant display examining how land, water, and train transportation interact with agriculture and forestry.
The National Agricultural Aviation Museum, located on the property, also explores the significance of air travel to the sector in keeping with the overall concept.
This museum was established in 2001 to educate Americans about the rich heritage of Islamic culture.
The museum frequently holds transient exhibits that examine various subjects, such as how Muslims interact with people of different religions and cultures.
The Legacy of Timbuktu, a permanent exhibition highlighting the importance and complexity of early African literature, is one of the permanent exhibits.
The collection contains several outstanding examples of ancient writings and records from the 13th century.
The museum also offers a variety of exhibitions that examine significant subjects, like how Islam and other Abrahamic religions interact.
Additionally, displays honoring Ramadan’s spiritual heritage and Moorish Spain’s history and culture.
1.12. The Oaks, Jackson, MS
The Oaks, the oldest residence in Jackson, is a Mississippi landmark recorded on the National Register of Historic Places.
This spectacular Greek Revival structure is situated on four acres of land not far from the city’s core.
The Oaks, constructed in 1853, is also known as the Boyd House since three generations of the Boyd family lived there.
1.13. Mississippi State Capitol
Admire the Mississippi State Capitol’s ornate design. Theodore Link won the competition to design the 171-square-foot building at the capitol after outshining other contenders.
It was built in 1901, and residents have come to revere it as a landmark.
It has been classified as a National Historic Landmark since 2016 and an official Mississippi Landmark since 1986.
The capitol is open from Monday through Friday, and tourists can take free guided tours daily.
Visitors can take in the building’s Beaux-Arts architecture and other design features such as Lady Justice sculptures, historical paintings, stained glass windows, and more.
Since the state’s legislative branch still resides in the structure, some political events may also be witnessed there.
1.14. Eudora Welty House and Garden
The Eudora Welty House and Garden is another historic site in Jackson.
Welty is one of the most well-known and popular authors in the Southern Gothic canon. She was born and raised in Jackson, where she spent most of her life.
After staying in New York, she became prominent in literary circles in the 1930s.
During the Great Depression, she returned to Jackson and spent all her time writing.
Even though she won numerous awards for her short stories, The Optimist’s Daughter, the book that won her the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, is the one for which she is best known.
Her childhood home, a Tudor revival, is open to visitors who enjoy her writing.
This museum, which especially honors all sporting achievements, must be visited by any sports fan.
It debuted on July 4, 1996, and is next to Smith-Wills Stadium, which serves as the home field for the Jackson Senators of the minor league.
Jerry Rice and Brett Farve, two of the league’s top passers, scorers, and Mississippi natives, are honored in one of the museum’s most notable exhibits.
It also displays mementos, such as MVP awards and Olympic gold medals, to celebrate the triumphs of the state’s teams.
The museum also features exhibits honoring Heisman Trophy-winning Mississippi high school athletes and a section on the Mississippi PGA golf tournament.
1.16. Mississippi Civil Rights Museum
The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is the location of an engaging collection of displays, monuments, and documentaries that take visitors on a trip through struggles, victories, and sadness from the end of the Civil War.
Visitors can view images of enslaved people and people who risked everything to fight for their rights and read quotes from both groups.
Between 1945 and 1970, Mississippi was important to the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement.
There are numerous exhibits and exhibitions concerning those times at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. Dark tunnels that depict Mississippi’s dark historical eras connect the galleries.
1.17. Museum of Mississippi History
A thorough collection of Museum of Mississippi History displays provides insight into the region’s known past.
The First Peoples exhibit provides artifacts and insights into the lives of the individuals who lived in the area long before European settlers came. It looks back to the first human residents as far as 13,000 BCE.
A 500-year-old dugout canoe is among the artifacts, and the exhibits offer fascinating information on the customs and beliefs of the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations.
The following exhibit examines the significant changes that occurred following contact with Europeans.
The “Cotton Kingdom,” the American Civil War, its aftermath, and the difficult path toward fundamental cultural transformation are covered in later displays. Slavery in the 19th century is also covered.
1.18. Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center
The Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center honors the heritage and contributions of African-American Mississippians throughout history and is conveniently close to other downtown Jackson attractions.
To provide visitors with a better awareness of the African American experience in southern states—from historical facts to cultural manifestations to artistic contributions—a variety of artworks, pictures, and artifacts may be seen throughout their exhibitions.
They have exhibitions like “From Slavery to America” and “1670-1864″, which detail the various contributions made by local African Americans while they were still fighting against slavery.
The Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Services’ “Field to Factory: The Afro-American Migration, 1915–1940” permanent exhibit, which charts African-American migration from Southern to Northern states, is also housed at the museum.
The white, Greek-Revival-style Governor’s Mansion was constructed in 1839 and occupied for the first time in 1842.
It is renowned for being the second-oldest governor’s residence in the USA that has been occupied continuously.
The front of the home, which is approached by a grand flight of steps, is graced by the imposing columns of the curved portico.
The National Historic Landmark structure is still in use for official government activities.
Guests can take a free tour of the mansion on a limited basis in the mornings unless it’s currently in use.
2. Final Words
Jackson, known as the “City of Soul,” is thriving and home to several top-notch, award-winning attractions.
The capital and largest city of Mississippi, Jackson, is conveniently located at the junction of Interstates 20 and 55.
This fascinating city offers attractions, including the State Capitol Building, entertaining bars, and exciting museums. Whatever your interests, Jackson has activities for you to enjoy!
Even though Jackson, Mississippi, is a classic southern town with everything you might desire in a metropolis, it is sometimes an underappreciated travel destination inside the United States.
You may find something here that will move you and keep you returning for more, whether in music, food, art, or history.
A few fascinating things you can do here include visiting a museum, sampling the delicious local cuisine, viewing great artwork, experiencing nature and its wildlife, and much more.
Remember that Mississippi’s summers are frequently warm and muggy.
If you can withstand Jackson’s heat, pack plenty of sunscreens, light-colored clothing, and a refillable water bottle. Visit in the fall or spring if you don’t like the summer’s heat.