If you’re road-tripping from Memphis to New Orleans, you’ll almost certainly stop in Jackson. It’s a perfect stopping point if you’re following Route 55 and a great place for a little day trip, or overnight stay to rest up. Not only that, there are heaps of the best things to do in Jackson that are dotted all across the city.
So, to make your road trip through Mississippi nice and easy, I’m sharing some of our favourite finds and places in Jackson that are worth visiting whilst in the city.
Have an amazing time exploring the city and driving through Mississippi itself!
1.) Mississippi Museum of Art
Okay, so one of our favourite spots in Jackson has to be the Mississippi Museum of Art. Taking a few hours to stroll around, you’ll be able to explore some of the state’s most prized pieces of art.
Not only that, it hosts heaps of temporary exhibitions around culture that change throughout the year.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget; The Museum of Art offers free admission on Thursday evenings which makes for a totally easy stop whilst driving through the city.
2.) Duling Hall (and music venues)
If you’re staying for a night or two in Jackson, be sure to look out for any show or gigs that might be coinciding with your visit.
Make sure to check out places like the Duling Hall, or even the Jackson Convention Center and see your favourite band or comedians live. It’s a great way to get a ‘feel’ for Jackson and the surrounding area around Fondren.
Alternatively, you can head to see a comedy show at the Fondren Playhouse and laugh the night away. The Fondren Playhouse is a great theatre that hosts a variety of comedy shows and has a show for every taste. Just be sure to book your tickets in advance.
Also, if you’re in this area of Jackson, pop over to the unfussy spot of Bully’s – a soul food restaurant just on the fringes of Jackson. It’s a totally Southern affair and their beef ribs and catfish are so good.
3.) Mississippi State Capitol Building
Built-in the early part of the 20th Century, visiting the Mississippi State Capitol Building is one of the best things to do in Jackson if you want to explore some of the city’s older buildings.
Perched just off High Street, the Mississippi State Capitol Building is best seen with this official guided tour (which is totally free). Not only will you get to learn more about the state capitol but you’ll also get to take a sneaky peek inside one of the state’s most impressive buildings.
4.) Supreme Court of Mississippi
Okay, so I’m not trying to take you around all the government buildings of Jackson, but there are a few that are well worth seeing as you stroll the city.
Just off the Farish Street historic district of Jackson, The Supreme Court of Mississippi is really easy to spot, especially if you’re already visiting the Capitol Building.
Just don’t get too excited, you won’t spend longer than 5-10 minutes here, but it’s well worth spotting as you’re already looking for all the best things to do in Jackson that are dotted all across the city.
5.) Mississippi Governor’s Mansion
Home of the State Governor since the 1800s, the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion is one of Jackson’s historic spots you can’t miss.
Situated just off East Capitol Street, the Governor’s Mansion is well worth taking a gander inside. Just make sure to book your free tour with the Governor’s Mansion themselves. Tours operate on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings.
It really is one of the best things to do in Jackson if you want to explore one of Mississippi’s National Historic Landmarks.
6.) Mississippi Freedom Trail
Yeah, it’s not just in Mississippi, but the Freedom Trail has quite a few markers in Jackson and it’s well worth seeing those as you explore the city and further afield.
Of course, you’re going to stop at places like; Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National, the Greyhound Bus Station and the marker at the Woolworth’s Sit-In (on Capitol Street).
To get a further itinerary for the Civil Rights Trail routes in other states, check out these itineraries that’ll guide you to each marker.
Afterwards, don’t forget to check out the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, too. It’s a great way to learn more about the state and nation’s civil rights struggles and the history around events. Top tip: it’s well worth giving yourself a good few hours to explore.
7.) Mississippi State Fairgrounds
Visiting the Mississippi State Fair is one of the very best things to do in Jackson which hosts heaps of events, entertainment and culture throughout the whole year. Now, the Mississippi State Fair is typically held in October and is well worth experiencing if you’re in Jackson at the time.
There are rides, stalls, food, shows; you name it, it’s at the Mississippi State Fair. Just don’t forget the candy floss!
Looking for some more sporting events? Head over to Trustmark Park and cheer on the Mississippi Braves. The Mississippi Braves are a minor-league baseball team. This is a great place to see a professional baseball game and cheer on the home team.
8.) Eudora Welty House
Home to the nationally-renowned author, Eudora Welty, the author Eudora Welty House stands proudly on Pinehurst Street to this very day.
Now, if you’re something of a bookworm, this spot will easily be one of the best things to do in Jackson when you visit the city.
Best of all, you can actually take a tour of the house and learn more about Welty and the history of her writing between Tuesday and Friday. There is a small fee for entry, but it’s worth it for the experience.
9.) Smith Park
Straight opposite the Governor’s Mansion, Smith Park is a relatively small area in Jackson to chill. Now, to give context, you won’t really be visiting Smith Park for a big stroll – it’s not Central Park like in New York!
Once arriving in Jackson, be sure to check if there are any live events or music going on in Smith Park. It’s well worth visiting then. Though, I wouldn’t rush to Smith Park otherwise.
If that’s not your thing, take a walk or bike ride on the Greenbelt and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Jackson. The Greenbelt is a 22-mile trail that runs through the city of Jackson. It’s well worth it on a sunny day.
10.) Belhaven Historic District
Visiting the historic district of Belhaven is one of the best things to do in Jackson if you want to explore some of the long history of the city.
Of course, you’re going to visit Eudora Welty House (that I mentioned, earlier), but you can also see so much more.
Don’t forget to pop over to the Mississippi Children’s Museum’s art studio and create your own masterpiece. The Mississippi Children’s Museum’s art studio has a variety of art supplies and activities. It’s so much fun for the family and well worth visiting if you want to keep the kids entertained.
Saying that just up the road is the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum. Visiting is one of the best things to do in Jackson to learn about the history of agriculture and forestry in Mississippi. Trust me, it’s more impressive than it sounds. It has heaps of exhibits and activities that are both educational and fun and really easy for all the family to love.
For some tasty BBQ, head over to E & L Barbeque. It’s a no-frills kinda venue but their food is top-notch!
11.) Medgar Evers Home
Nestled on Margaret Walker Alexander Drive, the Medgar Evers home is a national monument that’s totally worth visiting when exploring Jackson.
Now run by the National Parks Service, you can head inside the museum and learn more about the legacy and life of Medgar and Myrlie Evers. Their legacy as Civil Rights activists is just incredible and equally heartbreaking to hear about.
Afterwards, for a stroll, drive over to the Mynelle Gardens which houses one of the state’s best botanical gardens. It’s a great place to chill and relax before leaving Jackson.
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