Experience the Best of Mississippi on a Weekend Getaway
Are you looking for an unforgettable weekend escape in the Deep South? Mississippi is the perfect destination to indulge in a refreshing and exciting getaway. With its charming small towns and lively cities, the Magnolia State offers a plethora of fun places for weekend travelers. From exploring Civil War sites to lounging on beautiful beaches, Mississippi has something for everyone. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the top weekend getaways in Mississippi, ensuring you have an incredible experience. So pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to explore the best of Mississippi!
Oxford: A Vibrant University Town
If you’re a fan of history, culture, and vibrant college towns, Oxford should be at the top of your Mississippi weekend getaway list. Home to the University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss, Oxford offers a charming blend of southern hospitality, literary heritage, and lively entertainment. Take a stroll through the historic Lafayette County Courthouse, explore The Square with its unique shops and restaurants, and visit the University of Mississippi Museum to admire its extensive art collection.
For literary enthusiasts, a visit to Rowan Oak, the former home of renowned writer William Faulkner, is a must. Immerse yourself in the literary ambiance and explore Faulkner’s personal library and writing space. Don’t miss the chance to catch a show at the iconic Lyric Theater, which hosts a variety of performances throughout the year.
Oxford is also known for its vibrant food scene, offering a wide range of dining options. From upscale restaurants to local dives, you’ll find something to satisfy every palate. Be sure to try some traditional southern comfort food, such as fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, and pecan pie.
Gulfport: Beaches and Excitement
For those seeking sun, sand, and excitement, Gulfport is the ideal weekend getaway in Mississippi. Located along the Gulf of Mexico, Gulfport boasts beautiful white sand beaches where you can relax, soak up the sun, and take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters. If you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at boating, fishing, or even dolphin spotting on a boat tour.
When you’re ready for a break from the beach, explore the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, a hands-on children’s museum, or visit the Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum, where you can marvel at intricate model train displays. For nature lovers, a visit to Jones Park is a must. This waterfront park offers walking trails, picnic areas, and stunning views of the Gulf Coast.
If you’re a fan of craft beer, don’t miss the Chandeleur Island Brewing Company, where you can sample a variety of locally brewed beers. And if you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, head to Gulfport Premium Outlets, where you’ll find a wide range of stores offering discounted prices on your favorite brands.
Natchez: Quaint Charm and Rich History
Natchez is a charming Mississippi town that should be on every history lover’s radar. Known for its well-preserved antebellum homes and breathtaking views of the Mississippi River, Natchez offers a glimpse into the past. Start your weekend getaway by visiting the Natchez National Historical Park, where you can explore the historic district and learn about the town’s rich history.
Stroll along the Natchez Trace Parkway, a scenic road that winds through beautiful countryside and historic landmarks. Make sure to visit the stunning Stanton Hall, a Greek Revival mansion that showcases the grandeur of the antebellum era. Don’t miss the opportunity to tour Longwood, an unfinished octagonal mansion that provides a fascinating insight into the lives of plantation owners during the Civil War.
For a taste of Natchez’s vibrant culture, visit St. Mary’s Basilica, a stunning Gothic Revival church, and attend a wine tasting at one of the local wineries. End your day with a stay at one of the town’s charming bed and breakfast inns, where you can experience true Southern hospitality.
Tupelo: Birthplace of Elvis Presley
For music lovers and fans of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, a weekend in Tupelo is a must. Tupelo is the birthplace of Elvis Presley, and there are several sites dedicated to preserving his legacy. Start your journey at the Elvis Presley Birthplace, where you can explore the humble two-room house where Elvis was born and the nearby museum that showcases his life and career.
Take a self-guided driving tour of the city to visit other significant sites, such as the Elvis Presley Museum, Tupelo Hardware Store (where Elvis bought his first guitar), and the Tupelo Automobile Museum. Immerse yourself in the music and history of Elvis as you explore these iconic landmarks.
If you’re looking to connect with nature during your weekend getaway, make sure to visit Trace State Park and Tombigbee State Park. These parks offer opportunities for hiking, fishing, boating, and camping, allowing you to experience the natural beauty of Mississippi.
Biloxi: Beaches, Casinos, and More
Biloxi is a vibrant coastal city that offers a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement. Known for its beautiful beaches and lively casino scene, Biloxi is a popular destination for weekend getaways in Mississippi. Spend your days lounging on the beach, swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, or trying your luck at one of the many casinos.
For a unique experience, take a boat charter and explore the rich fishing and shrimping history of Biloxi. You can also enjoy water activities such as kayaking and parasailing, or visit the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum to learn about the region’s maritime heritage.
Biloxi is also a paradise for golf enthusiasts, with several world-class golf courses offering stunning views and challenging fairways. If you’re interested in history, take a trip to the Biloxi Lighthouse and the nearby Hurricane Katrina Memorial to pay tribute to the resilience of the community.
End your day by indulging in delicious seafood at one of the local restaurants, followed by a leisurely stroll along the beach to catch a breathtaking sunset.
Jackson: The Capital City
As the capital city of Mississippi, Jackson offers a wealth of attractions and activities for a weekend getaway. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich history by visiting the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. Explore the vibrant downtown area, known for its green spaces, art galleries, and unique shops.
Art enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Mississippi Museum of Art, which showcases a diverse collection of American art. For a taste of the local music scene, catch an orchestra performance or visit one of the city’s breweries. Don’t forget to sample the local cuisine at renowned restaurants such as the Pig & Pint, Walker’s Drive-In, and the Iron Horse Grill.
For a relaxing stay, choose one of the city’s historic bed and breakfast inns, where you can experience the charm of Southern hospitality. Take a leisurely walk around the picturesque streets, visit the Mississippi State Capitol, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of this dynamic city.
Canton: Festivals and Local Charm
Canton is a delightful town in Mississippi that offers a unique blend of local festivals and small-town charm. If you’re a fan of hot air balloons and Victorian festivals, plan your weekend getaway around the annual Canton Balloon Fest and Victorian Festival. These events showcase the town’s vibrant culture and provide an opportunity to experience the local traditions.
While in Canton, visit the Canton Movie Museum to learn about the movies filmed in the area, including the popular “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Take a swing at the local country club if you enjoy golfing or indulge in locally crafted spirits at the Rich Grain Distilling Company.
If you’re visiting during the holiday season, don’t miss the fun-filled Christmas festival in Canton. The town comes alive with festive decorations, parades, and holiday cheer, making it a magical place to spend the weekend.
Hattiesburg: Family Fun and Entertainment
Hattiesburg is a vibrant city in Mississippi that offers a wide range of family-friendly activities and entertainment options. Start your weekend by visiting the African American Military History Museum, where you can learn about the contributions of African Americans in the military.
Nature lovers will enjoy a hike at Paul B. Johnson State Park, which offers scenic trails, picnic areas, and a lake for fishing and boating. Cool off at Pep’s Point Water Park, where you can splash around in the water slides and pools.
If you’re traveling with kids, a visit to the Hattiesburg Zoo is a must. The zoo is home to a variety of animals and offers interactive exhibits and educational programs. For some indoor fun, head to the UpDown Trampoline Park, where you can bounce, flip, and jump to your heart’s content.
End your weekend getaway by exploring Turtle Creek Mall, where you can shop for the latest fashion trends or enjoy a meal at one of the onsite restaurants.
Vicksburg: A Historical Journey
Vicksburg is a city in Mississippi that holds significant historical importance, particularly during the Civil War. History buffs will enjoy exploring the Vicksburg National Military Park, where you can learn about the pivotal Battle of Vicksburg and its impact on the outcome of the war. Visit the U.S.S. Cairo Museum to see the remains of a Civil War ironclad gunboat and immerse yourself in the history of the era.
Take a stroll along the riverfront to admire the beautiful murals that depict the city’s history and culture. Pay your respects at the Vicksburg National Cemetery, where thousands of Civil War soldiers are buried. For a deeper understanding of the region’s history, visit the Old Depot Museum and the Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum and Interpretative Center.
To experience the charm of historic homes, take a tour of some of Vicksburg’s beautifully preserved antebellum houses. These architectural gems offer a glimpse into the opulent lifestyles of the past.
Corinth: History and Art
Corinth is a hidden gem in Mississippi that offers a unique blend of history and art. Immerse yourself in the local culture by attending a theater performance or listening to a symphony at the Corinth Coliseum Civic Center. Explore the Crossroads Museum, which showcases the rich history of the region, and learn about the history of Coca-Cola at the Corinth Coke Museum.
Art lovers will enjoy visiting the Corinth Artist Guild Gallery, where you can admire and purchase works by local artists. Take a leisurely walk around town and discover the various public art installations that add vibrancy to the city’s streets.
To experience the natural beauty of Corinth, visit the Crossroads Regional Park and enjoy a picnic or a peaceful walk along the trails. Don’t forget to explore the historic downtown area, where you’ll find charming shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Mississippi offers a wealth of weekend getaway options, from vibrant cities to quaint towns steeped in history and charm. Whether you’re a history buff, a music enthusiast, or a beach lover, Mississippi has something to offer everyone. Explore the vibrant college town of Oxford, relax on the beautiful beaches of Gulfport, or immerse yourself in the history of Natchez. Experience the birthplace of Elvis in Tupelo, indulge in the excitement of Biloxi’s casinos, or explore the cultural and culinary delights of Jackson. From the charming festivals of Canton to the family fun in Hattiesburg, Mississippi has it all. So plan your weekend getaway to Mississippi and create memories that will last a lifetime.