Off The Beaten Path | Mississippi
Mississippi is an amazing state. Visitors will find a wide range of activities and attractions to enjoy. Throughout the state there are many places of historical significance, as well as many places to enjoy recreational activities. Throughout this beautiful state there are many places to go, here are a few of these excellent destinations.
Vicksburg National Military Park
Vicksburg National Military Park commemorates the action at Vicksburg during the Civil War. When Vicksburg surrendered on July 4, 1863 and Port Hudson, Louisiana was captured just days later, the Union gained control of the Mississippi River, which was an important turning point in the war. Today, visitors can learn all about the history of Vicksburg at the National Military Park and on the tour road. Within Vicksburg National Military Park there are monuments, the USS Cairo Museum and Gunboat, and much more.
Natchez Trace Parkway
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a nationally designated parkway that travels for over 400-miles through Mississippi, and continues into Alabama and Tennessee. Visitors to Mississippi can take an amazing scenic drive across the state while following the parkway, and enjoy many other activities along the way. While enjoying the natural beauty along the drive, visitor can stop to camp, bike, hike, fish and more. There are also many fascinating places to stop and explore along the way, including a prehistoric mound site, scenic overlooks and archeological sites.
The Mynelle Gardens are a great attraction in Jackson. Covering seven acres in the city, visitors can enjoy seeing a wide variety of botanical gardens, water features, and even a variety of bird species. Visitors can explore the gardens on the paths, enjoy the pond, cross the bridges onto the island within the pond. Mynelle Gardens was originally a private garden, but today it is owned by the City of Jackson and welcomes visitors throughout the year to enjoy the beauty of these magnificent southern gardens.
Beauvoir is the retirement home of Jefferson Davis. Today it is owned and operated by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Visitors can tour this historic home, as well as learn about the Confederate President and the Civil War. Beauvoir also has an Annual Fall Muster, which is a great way to learn about the Civil War through experiencing the sights and sounds of Civil War battles.
Located in Natchez, Longwood Plantation is one of the most unique mansions you will find. Rather than the usual Greek Revival style plantation home, Longwood is an octagonal, six story mansion with a byzantine style dome on top. The mansion was designed by Samuel Sloan for Haller Nutt, unfortunately the house was never finished due to the start of the Civil War. Today, visitors can tour this historic building, and explore the 32 rooms, of which only 9 were ever finished.
Gulf Islands National Seashore
This National Seashore is divided into two districts, the Mississippi District and the Florida District. Visitors to Mississippi can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities during a visit to the Gulf Islands, including swimming, hiking, wildlife watching, boating and more. Start a visit to the National Seashore at the visitor contact center in the Davis Bayou Area. Here visitors can learn about the islands as well as enjoy the boardwalks and nature trails. Visitors can also take a private boat to any of the islands. In addition, there is a passenger ferry to West Ship Island, where visitors can enjoy swimming in the designated area as well as enjoying the beautiful white sandy beaches.
Country Cajun Crawfish Festival
Each year, Mississippi celebrates one of the favorite dishes in Mississippi at the Country Cajun Crawfish Festival. Visitors can enjoy this festival held at the Coast Coliseum over two weekends in April. Along with excellent food, there is music, rides and much more. The Country Cajun Crawfish Festival is a great way to explore some of the culture and cuisine of Mississippi.