Super useful & totally free travel guides, written by locals who love Mississippi

Colorful sky over the Biloxi Lighthouse in Mississippi
Lighthouse in Biloxi

Why We Love Mississippi: Mississippi is best known for its Southern food and for the many musicians and authors from the state. There’s a lot to explore – a capital city full of cultural and historic attractions, vibrant college towns, and even charming small towns along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. You won’t find the same unique culture anywhere else.

Best of Mississippi

🏙️ Destinations

View of Brent’s Drugs from the outside in Jackson, Mississippi
Brent’s Drugs in Jackson

Mississippi is full of underrated, charming cities and towns. There are plenty of places to visit for every kind of getaway. A few of the most popular destinations include: 

  • Jackson – Known as the “City of Soul”, Mississippi’s capital city has great food, historical sites, and lots of culture.
  • Natchez – Visit the oldest city in Mississippi, and you’ll quickly see why this beautiful, walkable city is so popular.
  • Oxford – A charming college town with a historic old square, great dining, and one of the best bookstores in the state.
  • Clarksdale – For fans of Blues music, the home of legends like Muddy Waters and Sam Cooke is a must-visit.
  • Laurel – Go shopping, eat crawfish and po’boys, and explore the historic district in this quaint little town.

✨ Things to Do

With everything from one-of-a-kind museums to cool outdoor spaces, there are plenty of things to do in Mississippi. 

  • Tour the Eudora Welty House – Visit the home where the Pulitzer Prize-winning author lived for almost 80 years.
  • Explore the Lauren Rogers Art Museum – A small, but impressive, space, this was the first art museum in Mississippi.
  • Hike at Tishomingo State Park – A tranquil outdoor retreat in the foothills of the Appalachians with unique rock formations.
  • Visit the Mississippi GRAMMY Museum – See the only GRAMMY Museum located outside of LA and learn about the state’s musical heritage.
  • Take a ferry to Ship Island – Watch for dolphins as you head out to one of the barrier islands on the Gulf Coast.
The author, Elizabeth Demolat posing for a photo outside the Mississippi GRAMMY Museum
Elizabeth at the Mississippi GRAMMY Museum

🗺️ Where to Stay

A chair and book shelves inside the Square Books
Square Books in Oxford

You have lots of options for where to stay in Mississippi depending on what you want to see. Here are a few of the most interesting cities and towns:

  • Jackson – Mississippi’s largest city, it’s one of the busiest places in the state and you’ll find plenty of things to do in Jackson.
  • Tupelo – Best known as the birthplace of Elvis Presley, this north Mississippi city has activities for the entire family to enjoy.
  • Oxford – The town is packed on college game days, but this charming town with a historic square is worth visiting any time.
  • Gulfport – Enjoy the beaches, seafood, and casinos while visiting the second-largest city in the state.  
  • Ocean Springs – A cozy beach town that’s popular for its art and its festivals. One of the best places for a weekend getaway.

🛎️ Best Hotels

The Beau Rivage Resort and Casino building from afar in Mississippi
The Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi (photo: George Dodd III / Shutterstock)

From elegant B&Bs to giant resorts, Mississippi has a place for every type of traveler. Pick the perfect accommodation for your trip.

  • Fairview Inn – Housed in a historic mansion built in 1908, this elegant inn is the perfect place to stay in Jackson for special occasions. 
  • Old Capitol Inn – A renovated YWCA, this Jackson Inn features a beautiful courtyard and serves a delicious Southern breakfast.
  • Beau Rivage Resort – An upscale hotel and casino located right on the Biloxi waterfront. The hotel is especially beautiful at Christmas.
  • Graduate Oxford – Stay on The Square in Oxford at this boutique hotel inspired by Mississippi’s unique heritage.
  • Travelers Hotel – An artist-run hotel in Clarksdale that’s a hub for the city’s vibrant art and music community.

🚗 Best Road Trips

A signage at the entrance of Natchez Trace Parkway
The Natchez Trace Parkway

The scenery in Mississippi is beautiful, and you can’t go wrong with a road trip that will allow you to see all the different sections of the state.

  • Mississippi Blues Trail – Start right over the state line in Memphis, then make your way through Clarksdale, Jackson, and more to learn the stories of the men and women who influenced Blues music.
  • Mississippi Writers Trail – Learn about writers like Eudora Welty, Margaret Walker Alexander, and William Faulkner as you follow the trail across Mississippi.
  • Natchez Trace Parkway – Start in Natchez and follow the 444-mile historic pathway all the way to Nashville in Tennessee.

Mississippi Travel Advice

🗓️ Best Time to Visit

Mississippi’s summers are hot and long while the winters are relatively mild, especially the further south you go. Spring and summer typically have the most pleasant weather.

  • 🍂 Fall – Fall can be short, but it’s a great time to visit. Especially if you want to spend time outside.
  • 🌼 Spring – The weather is typically beautiful during the spring months. However, pollen allergies can be an issue.
  • 🌞 Summer – There’s lots going on during the summer. Be aware that the heat and humidity are hard to handle if you’re not used to it.
  • ❄️ Winter – Winter is unpredictable in Mississippi. You can have freezing temperatures and pleasant highs in the 70s all in the same week.

🚌 Getting In & Around

In almost all Mississippi destinations, a car is necessary to get around. Here is some additional information you need to know about transportation in the state.

  • ✈️ Airports – Jackson–Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (JAN) is the largest in the state. There are several smaller airports as well.
  • 🚗 Driving – Driving is the easiest way to get around the state. In most areas, it’s the only option.
  • 🚇 Public Transit – Public transit options are limited in most parts of Mississippi.
  • 📲 Ride Share – Larger cities have ride share options available. In the rest of the state, you’ll have limited options, if any.
  • 🚴‍♀️ Biking – College towns are the most bike-friendly places in Mississippi. Outside of these towns, biking is mainly limited to trails and greenways.
  • 🚶‍♀️ Walking – Some cities and towns have walkable sections. However, you’ll likely need a vehicle to explore.

👉 Tips & Things to Know

  • ☀️ – Be Prepared for Heat and Humidity – Unless you visit in the middle of winter, there’s a chance you’ll have to deal with hot and humid weather. Drink lots of water.
  • 🗺️ – Download your Route – While passing through rural areas you can lose cell phone service and wifi. Have your route saved.
  • 🚗 – Try Gas Station Food – Some gas stations in Mississippi offer amazing food. Check ahead to see if there are any iconic spots near your destination.
  • 🐊 – Don’t Mess with Wildlife – Most of the wildlife is harmless, but you shouldn’t disturb it anyway. Definitely leave the alligators alone.
  • ☂️ – Check the Weather Forecast – It’s impossible to know what to pack unless you check the forecast. Except during the summer when you can guarantee it’s going to be scorching.

🧳 What to Pack

  • 👟 – Reliable shoes – You’ll likely end up walking a lot as you explore the state. For those visiting during the summer, sturdy sandals are the way to go.
  • 🧴 – Sunscreen – Pack sunscreen if you have outdoor activities planned for your trip. The last thing you want is a bad sunburn.
  • ☂️ – Umbrella – This works equally well as a sunshade or for when you get caught in an afternoon downpour.
  • 💧 – Reusable water bottle – The only good thing about humidity is that sweating is a concrete reminder that you’re losing water. Stay hydrated with a water bottle.
  • 👚 – Linen clothing – Linen pants and shirts are a good choice for sun protection while still staying cool during the summer.

🤓 Facts & Info

  • Population – 2.95 million
  • Capital – Jackson
  • Largest Metro Areas – Jackson
  • Time Zone – Central Time (UTC -6:00 / UTC -5:00 during daylight savings)
  • Airports – Jackson–Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (JAN), Gulfport–Biloxi International Airport (GPT)
  • Colleges & Universities – Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Nickname – The Hospitality State
  • Demonynm – Mississippian
  • USPS Abbreviation – MS
  • Governor – Tate Reeves (R)
  • CountryUnited States of America

💵 Costs & Budgeting

  • MERIC Cost of Living State Rank – #1
  • 3 Star Hotel Room – $75-150/night
  • 1 Bedroom Apartment Rental – $100/night
  • Rental Car – $35/day
  • Take Out Meal for Two – $15-30
  • Sit Down Dinner for Two – $30-100
  • Draft Beer – $4-10

FAQs About Visiting Mississippi

Is Mississippi safe for tourists?

Mississippi is overall a safe place for tourists. Crime in Mississippi is lower than the national average, and tourists are unlikely to be in areas that are considered unsafe. Of course, you should always use your best judgment in avoiding situations that seem dangerous.

What is Mississippi known for?

Mississippi is best known for its namesake river. The state has also produced many talented musicians and writers, and it’s known for having good Southern-style food.

What is the best month to visit Mississippi?

Visiting Mississippi any month between October to March will allow you to avoid excessive heat and skip hurricane season. Visiting South Mississippi in February or March during Mardi Gras is also a fun idea.

Is Mississippi cheap to visit?

Mississippi is one of the cheapest states to travel to. Costs for accommodations and food are typically lower than in many other areas. Even entrance fees for attractions tend to be lower than similar attractions in other places.

Meet Our Mississippi Travel Expert

Elizabeth Demolat, Travel Lemming writer

Elizabeth Demolat

Elizabeth Demolat is a travel and lifestyle writer in Nashville, Tennessee. Elizabeth loves exploring new destinations. Her favorite travel destinations are France, Italy, and the United States. Right now, Elizabeth is focused on finding cool local spots and taking trips through the southeastern United States.

👉 Read Elizabeth’s Articles

📰 Mississippi Travel Guides

Mississippi has a vibrant capital city, cool coastal towns, and everything in between for visitors to enjoy. These guides can help you find the state’s most popular attractions and hidden gems.

🗺️ Mississippi Map