Today’s Mississippi is a multifaceted landscape of rich history, legendary musical heritage, mouth-watering culinary delights and breathtaking outdoor recreation. From the natural splendor of the Hills region to the mighty Mississippi River to the sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast, Mississippi is a celebration of diversity and creativity through her people, geography, sights and sounds.
From blues to rock ‘n’ roll to country, Mississippi is the birthplace of American music. Blues legends like Charley Patton, Muddy Waters and B.B. King were born in the Mississippi Delta region. The birthplace and childhood home of Elvis Presley still stands in Tupelo. And the “Father of Country Music,” Jimmie Rogers is the subject of a museum in his birthplace of Meridian. Visitors can explore these musical roots via the Mississippi Blues Trail and Country Music Trail.
William Faulkner, Richard Wright, Tennessee Williams, Eudora Welty, Margaret Walker, John Grisham, Greg Iles, Kathryn Stockett, U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway… yes, they were all born right here. There’s something about Mississippi that produces fertile ground for expressing culture through the written word. Visit the homes of Faulkner in Oxford, Williams in Columbus, Welty in Jackson and other key sites that inspired the work of so many great Mississippi writers.
Both a visitor attraction and an educational tool, the Mississippi Freedom Trail recognizes the bravery and courage of the men and women who were a part of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s, ’60s and beyond. Markers have been placed in honor of Fannie Lou Hamer, Medgar Evers, James Meredith, C.C. Bryant and other pioneers. Markers are also in place to recognize pivotal locations and events.
The Mississippi Culinary Trail features an interactive map with background information, stories and details that highlight those singular local eateries travelers want to find, but often don’t know where to search for them. Now visitors can eat local and enjoy the bounty of farm-fresh produce and fresh Gulf seafood as well as traditional favorites like hot tamales, fried catfish, succulent barbeque ribs and much more.
There’s just something about getting “out there” to experience the natural beauty of Mississippi, to reconnect with your surroundings, to learn something new about nature or to seek a new thrill. Hunting, fishing, nature trails, water sports, camping… the list goes on with an abundance of opportunities to enjoy Mississippi’s beautiful, unspoiled natural settings. And the state’s moderate climate makes outdoor fun possible year round.
Some of the fiercest and bloodiest battles of the Civil War were fought on Mississippi’s soil. Among the historical structures that represent the era are the intricate Longwood, the largest octagonal house in America; Rosalie, where you can witness the grandeur of Mississippi’s past through an informative tour by costumed guides; and Beauvoir, Confederate president Jefferson Davis’ former home. Mississippi State University’s Library and collection of Ulysses S. Grant, the Vicksburg National Military Park and Corinth Interpretive Center near Shiloh National Military Park are other must-sees for history buffs.