Mississippi is the 32nd biggest state in the United States, with a total land area of more than 48,000 square miles. It is called the Magnolia State because of the distinctive magnolia blossoms that you find here. Close to 3 million people call Mississippi home and is one of the best places to have a unique vacation. Not too many people know that the state has several regions that can offer one-of-a-kind experiences, taking you through woodlands and forests, shorelines, lakes, and even back through time. The many attractions here allow you to do what you want, eat what you want and buy what you want. So get on a bus rental in Mississippi and explore the state.
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No matter what your interests are, you can indulge them in Mississippi. From history sites to fun festivals and events, to dining and shopping, to the outdoors, to arts and entertainment, and even to golfing and athletic pursuits, there’s something for you here. There is a place for you to go to in the state. The variety of the state's topography as well as the fine weather and warm hospitality makes Mississippi a hidden gem for visitors to discover. So get on a bus rental in Mississippi and visit the state today!
Mississippi is has a number of amusement parks that you can go to. Choose from family-friendly venues to thrilling theme parks. Check out the Big Play Family Fun Center, which has a smorgasbord of fun attractions for kids, including racers, bumper cars, water balloon launchers, pools, and miniature golf. Meanwhile, the Park at North Hills has miniature golf, go-karts, a laser tag arena, and arcade games, as well as Guitar Hero contests. Then you can go to Geyser Falls, which is also known as the state's favorite water park. It has 13 slides, wave pools, speed slide, as well as cabanas for you to rest on.
You could also head over to Grand Paradise Waterpark, where you can go on the bowl ride, the mat racing, tube slides, and the Waddleland for the little ones.
Furthermore, there is Gulf Island, where you can choose from a lot of water attractions that are perfect for kids, teens and adults. Other water parks you can go to include Pep's Point and Flint Creek Water Park.
Casinos. The state has several casinos that you can play in. Mississippi has been one of the first states to allow riverboat gambling in the 1990s and it has since allowed casinos on land, as long as it stays within 800 feet from the coastline. The state's casinos are open 24 hours and offer a variety of games, such as blackjack, roulette, craps, poker, and other games. Some of the casinos you can go to include:
Mississippi is where writers, artists, potters, painters and ballerinas work their magic on stage. The state is home to Tennessee Williams, Richard Wright, John Grisham, Richard Ford and Richard Wright, all literary giants in their own right. Aside from the literary greats, it is also a hotbed for the visual arts, as well as a major contributor to the development and growth of pottery. As for the performing arts, the state also produces top-notch productions being home to some of the best performing arts group in the country.
Music. The state is known for its contributions to music. It is one of the primary centers of blues music and country music. In fact, the state has the Mississippi Blues Trail that would take you to the places that had special meaning to blues music. These 173 sites were chosen by a panel of historians and scholars and each were earmarked with interpretative markers. You can also go on the Mississippi Country Music Trail. Why not charter a bus rental in Mississippi to make sure that you can round out all the sites on these trails and get a feel of the state's musical heritage?
Opera is also alive and well in the state. You can go to the Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera, Natchez Opera Festival, and the Mississippi Opera. Or you can get a night of fine orchestra music at Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.
And if you want to get a deeper understanding of music in Mississippi, then go to Delta Blues Museum. Meanwhile, the Mississippi Musician's Hall of Fame will introduce you to the greatest musical talents to have come out of the state.
Other performance arts. Aside from literature and music, Mississippi also has stellar performance arts groups and events. Its capital city, Jackson, launched the USA International Ballet Competition, which is a venue for young and talented dancers from the world over to showcase their talents. The world-class competition takes places every four years. You should also attend the Magnolia Independent Film Festival in Starkville. This is the oldest film festival in all of Mississippi. Aside from these, there are notable community theaters here that help residents discover and nurture their talents. The public universities in the state also have performing art centers that you can go to.
Ballet Magnificat was established in 1986 and combines ballet and spreading God's word. The group has performed on stages all over the world.
The Crossroads Film Festival brings to the state a variety of excellent films and videos. The juried film festival gives out awards to the best films and filmmakers annually.
Then you have the Delta Center Stage that puts up top-notch live theatre productions.
You can also catch the New Stage Theatre perform original works, as well as well as classic adaptations. Other performing arts venues you should go to are Biloxi Little Theatre and Blackfriar's Drama Society.
Visual arts. Go to the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center, which showcases, highlights and honors the state's most talented artists in any discipline, including music, the visual arts, and performing arts. The College of Arts at the University of Southern Mississippi has several art exhibits, theater shows and other performances on campus. Meanwhile, the Stitchery Museum showcases the works of Ethel Wright Mohamed.
The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art has around 32,000 visitors annually because of its excellent collection of both American and European artworks, British Georgian silver, Native American baskets, Japanese woodblock prints, and books in its art history library. Meanwhile, the Mississippi Museum of Art is the biggest museum in the state, and has a permanent collection consisting of American, British and Mississippi paintings, sculptures, and photographs. Artists and photographers showcased here include Mary Cassatt, Arthur Bowen Davies, Georgia O'Keeffe, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Romare Bearden, Reuben Nakian, Cindy Sherman, Jimmy Lee Sudduth , Sarah Mary Taylor, Mose Tolliver, Andy Warhol, Gaines Ruger Donoho, Gwendolyn A. Magee, Walter Inglis Anderson, and Mary Katherine Loyacano McCravey.
Then you can go to the University of Mississippi Museum, which has a collection filled with regional masterpieces, Southern folk art, Roman and Greek antiques, scientific instruments from the 19th century, and fine art. Or you can go to the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art, which features the ceramic pieces done by George E. Ohr. Ohr is known as the Mad Potter of Biloxi.
Other art museums and galleries you can go to include Gallery 130 at the University of Mississippi Arts Department, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, Mississippi Arts Commission, Mississippi Craft Center, Mississippi Craftsmen's Guild, Samuel Marshall Gore Art Gallery, Tunica Museum, and Walter Anderson Museum of Art.
You should also participate in the Ridgeland Arts Festival, where you could see the works of artists from around the United States.
Shopping in Mississippi would introduce you to local merchants, and at the same time give you the best brand names and national brands. You can get unique crafts, fine antiques, and even imported ware. Get a saddle for your horse, or find the latest fashion trends here. There is the Williams Brothers Store, where you can get anything you want, plus you get to shop in an emporium that is close to a century old. You should also see the Biggers Hardware in Corinth or check out the outlet stores that dot the state.
Check out the Outlets in Pearl, Gulfport and Vicksburg, where you can get great discounts on national brands, or shop at Renaissance at Colony Park, Northpark Mall, or Highland Village. These are just some of the many malls and shopping centers you could find in Mississippi.
You would also love the great works of the state's most talented artisans and craftsmen. You can get gift items from the Mississippi Gift Company, or get great pottery pieces at Peter's Pottery Studio. Or you could go on the Mississippi Antique Trail, where you could have the best vintage finds!
Further, you should go to the many farmers markets, flea markets and specialty markets that dot the state. Check out the Canton Flea Market, Kids Consignment Sale, or Mistletoe Marketplace for some great goods.
Other places you should go to include Oxford Floral, Giggleswick Village, Material Girls, and Libby Story.
Restaurants. The state's restaurants offer you a variety of tastes and flavors that would surely be a treat to your palate. You get the best catfish here, as well as the best of the world's cuisines. You have restaurants run by James Beard award-winners and those that are family-run and that give you their most delicious take on a variety of dishes. Check out the hot tamales from Delta restaurants or Southern fine dining as well. You can have your fill of fresh seafood at the Gulf Coast, including McElroy's Harbor House Seafood Restaurant, Ole Biloxi Schooner, Lil' Ray's, Harbor View Café, Bozo's Seafood Market & Deli, Shaggy's Harbor Bar & Grill, and B.B.'s Po-Boys & Seafood.
Some of Mississippi's best restaurants include:
The state is heaven for every golfer. Mississippi's five regions have a unique character and geography that allows golfers to have a challenging yet fun and memorable experience on the greens. What's more, the state enjoys beautiful weather throughout the year.
Mississippi has at least 170 golf courses, some of them designed by great golf course architects and designers including Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, and Jerry Pate. If you are here in March, catch the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, while the Sanderson Farms Championship is held every November.
You could find a high concentration of golf courses in the Gulf Coast. Some of the best include Fallen Oak Golf Course, Great Southern Golf Club, Diamondhead, Grand Bear Golf Course, the Preserve Golf Club, Hickory Hill Country Club, Shell Landing Golf Club, Sunkist Country Club, the Bridges Golf Club at Hollywood Casino, the Oaks Golf Club, and Windance Country Club.
Other courses you can go to include:
Sports. Biloxi's Mississippi Surge is a member team of the Southern Professional Hockey League and plays at the 11,500-seater Mississippi Coast Coliseum. Meanwhile the Mississippi Brilla, Clinton's soccer team, is with the USL Premier Development League. The team plays its home games at the Clinton High School Stadium.
You can also catch the Mississippi Braves, an affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. They are in the Southern League and plays their games at the 8,480 seater Trustmark Park. Further, you can watch the Mississippi RiverKings as they play for the Southern Professional Hockey League at the Lander's Center.
Other notable sports venues in the state include:
The state's history mirrors that of the United States itself. You can find historic sites here that go as far back as the prehistoric times such as the Natchez Trace Parkway. The Natchez Trace Parkway runs for 444 miles to Nashville and is eight millennia old. In the olden times, this parkway was traced out by buffalo and missionaries, Indians, traders and settlers used this road.
You can experience the Civil War at various points of the state, including Port Gibson, Natchez and Vicksburg. You can visit Civil War battlefields as well as historic antebellum houses.
There are several historic places that you could visit here, including:
African-American history. The state has a long African-American history, with slaves being brought to Mississippi in the 1800s. But there are several notable people that helped uplift their brothers and sisters from slavery, including Hiram Revels who was the first African-American to serve in the US Senate, along with abolitionists Ida Wells, James Meredith and Medgar Evers. Some sites you can visit include China Grove Plantation, William Johnson House, I.T. Montgomery House, Beach Boulevard Historic District, Washington Street Historic District, Sycamore Street Historic District, Pleasant Reed Home, Farish Street Neighborhood Historic District, Smith Robertson Elementary School, West Capitol Street Historic District, Thomas Isaac Keys House, Alcorn State University Historic District, Merrehope Historic District, Wesley Memorial Methodist Episcopal, Mississippi Industrial College Historic District, South Central Aberdeen Historic District, and Starkville. These places take you to various points in the state, so get on a bus rental in Mississippi and tour these historical places!
Architecture. Within Mississippi, architecture lovers would love discovering the places that feature various architectural and design styles. You could go to Natchez, Columbus, Holly Springs, Vicksburg, Aberdeen and several other communities where you could find columned homes set amidst sprawling plantations. You could also visit Waverley Plantation Mansion, which was built in the 1850s.
You should also admire the architecture and learn the history of the Governor's Mansion and the Old Capitol, as well as other structures with different styles, including Italianate, Craftsman, shotgun, and Queen Anne. And of course, you should see the works of Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry.
Civil War. Mississippi's location made it an important part of the Civil War. You can visit the monuments at the Vicksburg National Military Park, which commemorates the lives and stories of men and women who died during the Civil War. Or you can visit the battlefield at Brice's Crossroads, the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, and the Corinth Contraband Camp, as well as churches and cemeteries in the state. And of course, CNN has named Vicksburg, Mississippi as one of its twelve fascinating Civil War sites, because of the historic siege that lasted 47 days. In Vicksburg, you can visit Pemberton's Headquarters, the Old Court House Museum, the USS Cairo Museum, and Cedar Hill Cemetery.
Museums. Mississippi boasts of several types of museums for you to enjoy. First, you could tour the different history museums here, including Grand Gulf Military Park in Port Gibson is a Civil War battleground and currently has a museum, cemetery, historic buildings, and an observation tower that you could tour. You could also go to the Biloxi Mardi Gras Museum, where you could find Mardi Gras costumes, memorabilia, and photographs. Then head on to Causeyville General Store and Mill, which features a store from the 1890s, a gristmill, mechanical music instruments, and other memorabilia. Check out the Holland Museum, where you could find a replica of a store that carries items from the olden times and the Yellow Fever Martyrs Church Museum where you could learn more about the 1878 Yellow Fever epidemic. You could also check out the Boler's Inn Museum and the Grenada History Museum.
There are military museums that you could visit as well, including the Camp Van Dorn World War II Museum, Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center, Military Memorial Museum, Mississippi Armed Forces Museum, and the Seabee Heritage Center.
Apart from these, every county has their own local history museum, including the Hattiesburg Area Historical Society Museum, Kosciusko Museum and Visitors Center, Lawrence County Regional History Museum, Noxubee County Historical Society Museum, Pearl River Community College Museum, Sam B. Olden Yazoo Historic Museum, Tishomingo County Archives and History Museum and the Tunica Museum.
Other museums include Tupelo Automobile Museum, the Stennis Space Center, Biedenharn Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia, Old Number One Firehouse Museum, Corinth Coca-Cola Museum, Cullis & Gladys Wade Clock Museum, Yesterday's Children Antique Doll and Toy Museum, and the Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum.
Native American culture. The state was home to a lot of Native American tribes. All over the state you could find different tribes such as Biloxi, Pascagoula, Bayougoula, Houma, Natchez, Chakchiuma, Tunica, Yazoo, Chickasaw, and Choctaw. Today you can visit different sites that tell you more about these tribes such as the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, Winterville Mounds and Museum, Choctaw Heritage Museum. You can also go to the Choctaw Indian Fair held every year.
Outdoor lovers also fall in love with Mississippi. The weather, the wildlife, the fishing and the beautiful places here make the state a great place to visit if you are looking for great adventures outdoors or just looking to relax under the stars.
The state is blessed with a variety of waterways and natural beauty. Go fishing, camping, hunting, horseback riding, biking, kayaking and just about any activity you have in mind. Work in a far or camp outside.
State parks. Mississippi has close to two dozen state parks and a handful of national forests. These parks allow you to camp with a selection of primitive campsites, to campgrounds with great amenities to glamping sites. The top state parks you could go to for camping fun are:
You should also check out the biking trails at Choctaw Lake Campground and Davis Lake Campground.
Agritourism. Agritourism is big in the state, and there are a lot of venues you can go to when you want to know more about the agriculture of the state. You can work in a real farm, pick your own produce, or see fields of sweet potatoes, strawberry, and other fruits and vegetables. You can even ride trains, tractors and wagons. Some of the places you could go to include Adkins Farms, Alliance Demonstration Farm, Cedar Hill Farm, Inc., Charlie's Upik, Christmas Memories Tree Farm, Farmer Jim's Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze, Fulmer's Farmstead & MS Pecan Festival, Landrum's Homestead & Village, Lost Corner Farm, LLC, Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum, Pine Mountain Christmas Tree Farm, Sawdust and Splinters @ Sherard Gray Estates, Silver Creek Equestrian, Trace Pathways at Stamps Farm, Welford Farms Pumpkin Patch & Christmas Tree Farm, and Wise Family Farm.
Biking. Check out the many trails in the state, including the 300 mile Natchez Trace Parkway, the Longleaf Trace, the Tanglefoot Trail that runs 43.6 miles, and the Mississippi River Trail that is 200 years old and that takes you through 10 different states. There are also trails located inside the state parks and national forests.
Hiking and birdwatching. Backpacking, hiking and enjoying the state's wildlife is just some of the things that you can do in the state. Go on the Black Creek Trail, considered to be one of the longest and most challenging trails in Mississippi. Meanwhile, you can go to any one of the state's wildlife refuges, parks and forest and check out the wildlife. In the spring and fall, you can be awed by the waterfowl and songbirds that visits the state in their migration. You can also join the many festivals here, including the Hummingbird Migration Celebration and Festival, or go on the Mississippi Coastal Birding Trail, where you have a good chance of seeing close to 400 bird species.
You could also go hunting and fishing here, and bag white-tailed deer, eastern wild turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, doves, and other birds. The state has 53 wildlife management areas that has public hunting grounds that covers more than 1,000 square miles. You can also go freshwater fishing at any one of the more than 100 lakes or saltwater fishing at the Gulf coast. Water Valley has the World's Largest Crappie Fest that you can join.
Nature museums. In Mississippi, you can see where the dinosaurs once lived, or see how the Native Americans settled in. The state's natural history sites give you a lot of choices.
There are more than just blues music and the great outdoors in Mississippi, and one of the things you should not miss are its many zoos. Hattiesburg Zoo has 14 acres of space that houses at least 55 species of animals coming from all over the world. Here, you can have a picnic among pine and oak trees, ride a train or the carousel.
Then you can go to the Jackson Zoological Park, the only zoo in the state that is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Aside from the animals, you can come here for Story Time Tuesday, Family Safari Slumber, camping and train and carousel rides.
Or how about visiting the Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo, which is one of the biggest nature parks in the state. You can find exotic animals here as well as a petting zoo where you can get up close to animals. They also have tour rides that you can go on, including the bison bus tour, pony rides and open-air trolley.
You can also go to Collins Zoo, which has more than 40 species of animals that includes leopards, wolves, tigers, snakes, turtles and lizards.
Mississippi has a love for guns and you can go to gun clubs and shooting ranges here where you can get into sport shooting in places such as Turcotte Shooting Range or McHenry Shooting Range.
Go for a high-tech form of treasure hunting and look for more than 8,000 caches that are hidden within the state. In fact, the state has the Mississippi Blues Trail Geocaching Challenge, where you need to find caches left on several markers on the Mississippi Blues Trail.
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