The name roughly translated from Native American folklore means “Father of Waters.” The translation comes from the Chippewa words “mici zibi” meaning “great river” or “gathering in of all the waters” and the Algonquin word “Messipi”.
Mississippi was organized as a territory in 1798 and was admitted as the 20th state to join the Union on December 10, 1817. Jackson is the capital city and the largest metropolitan area.
Lush, rolling hills and flat cotton fields combine with white sandy beaches and the fabled Mississippi River to create horizons like no other in America.
Best known for the famous river that forms its western border, Mississippi is a state that runs deep. America’s music, be it blues, gospel, country or rock’n’roll, got its start here. Visit the BB King Museum or Elvis’ birthplace or the GRAMMY museum or the new Mississippi Arts Experience for an interactive experience found only in America.
The Elvis Presley birthplace in Tupelo is an attraction on every travel bucket list. Super fans to passers-by come to Tupelo and see where the King’s story began.
You can visit The Elvis Presley Birthplace & Museum, the two-room house where Elvis was born, the church where he sang on Sundays and enjoy the beautiful grounds with walking paths and memorials.
Chasing the Blues
One of the most popular (and free) exhibits is the Mississippi Blues Trail. More than 200 markers across the state tell stories through words and images of bluesmen and women and how the places where they lived and the times in which they existed – and continue to exist – influenced their music. The sites range from city streets to cotton fields, train depots to cemeteries, and clubs to churches.
Home Sweet Home
A visit to Mississippi would not be complete without touring one of the state’s beautiful antebellum homes. Natchez, with its historic mansions, boasts the most of these grand estates, but they can also be found in Vicksburg, Meridian and Columbus as well. Stay overnight in one for an authentic and unforgettable night straight from Gone With the Wind.
The new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is a powerful and moving testimony to the bravery and sacrifice of individuals from the 1800’s to the modern day. The next-door History Museum recounts 15,000 years of deep history from prehistoric times to the present day.
Packed full of memorabilia from the 1920’s on, including Muddy Water’s homeplace, the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale recounts how the music that started in the Delta cotton fields migrated to Memphis and Chicago and eventually around the world spawning the likes of the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin.
Down on the Gulf Coast
If gaming, shopping and time in the sand is your preference, then the Mississippi Gulf Coast is where you will find plenty of options. Beyond gaming, the coast features A-list entertainers, relaxing spa experiences and activities for children. Dine on delicious freshly caught seafood dishes and then visit the artistic towns of Bay St. Louis and Ocean Springs.
From the picture perfect town square to William Faulkner’s Rowan Oak and the manicured campus of Ole Miss, Oxford is quintessentially Southern.
President Abraham Lincoln described Vicksburg as “The Key to the South” in the American Civil War and visitors can relive the history at the expansive National Military Park.
Try a Hot Tamale
Dating back more than 100 years, the Hot Tamale is a savoury snack local to the Mississippi Delta and is not to be missed!
Discover how to make the perfect fried chicken, shrimp grits or fried green tomatoes at the Viking Cookery School, adjacent to the luxury Alluvian Hotel.
Mississippi’s craft brewing reputations is growing from Lucky Town in Jackson to Crooked Letter in Gulfport and Southern Prohibition in Hattiesburg.
Barbecue may not have been invented in Mississippi, but it sure was perfected here. Whether you’re in the state’s Northern Hills region, on the Gulf Coast, or anywhere in between, delicious barbecue is never too far away. From places only the locals know about to nationally-recognized restaurants, Mississippi has it all. And don’t forget to ask for the Come Back sauce!