Mississippi is known as the ‘Magnolia State’ because of the abundance of Magnolia trees and beautiful light pink and white flowers in the state, so much so that the tree and the flowers have become the state emblem. The state is situated in the southern US on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico towards the south. Named after the Mississippi River, most of the state is a lowland while the northwestern part is known as the Mississippi Delta region, the birthplace of blues music, and guess what?! This is where King of Pop and Rock and Roll was born. So let’s begin with our list of Mississippi Road Trip Destinations and go down further till the Gulf of Mexico!
1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, All Mississippi! Below slides capsulize all the top road trip destinations, just for you!
Elvis City & Other Mississippi Road Trip Destinations
Tupelo is where Elvis Presley was born and this is where we begin our road trip but before heading out, we can explore a few attractions within the city…
1. Elvis Presley’s Home & Museum Tour
When you’re in the city of Tupelo, how can you miss the King’s Birthplace? It is only a two-room shack built by Elvis’ father and has been preserved as it is. It has been converted into a museum and the site also hosts the Assembly of God Church, where the King first came across Gospel music and began his musical journey. This church was originally not located here but has been moved here to complete the museum. This place is a part of Mississippi Blues Trail in honor of the birthplace of Blues Music.
2. Tupelo Automobile Museum: Vintage Cars and more!
Situated very close to the site is the Tupelo Automobile Museum exhibiting more than 100 vintage cars starting from the 1886 Benz and moving on to the 1994 Dodge Viper. The combined value of all the cars here is approximately $6 million and it also hosts the Lincoln Mark IV once owned by Elvis. When in Tupelo, you can’t miss a visit to this place.
3. Rowan Oak & Enid Lake: History and Nature Culmination
Moving out of the city and beginning the road trip experience from Tupelo, one hour west will take you to Rowan Oak, the home of a Nobel Laureate, William Faulkner, who lived here with his family for 40 years till his death in 1962. This could be a quick stop on the road trip for literature buffs who can enjoy the tour and the museum here. After spending close to 2 hours at the Rowan Oak, road trippers can head to Enid Lake by driving for another 35 minutes. This is a spot for nature lovers and adventurers. They can enjoy various recreational activities here such as camping, horseback riding, fishing, hiking, and hunting. Of all these activities, fishing is the most popular one and the place hosts a 10,000-gallon aquarium with scores of freshwater exhibits. This could be an educational, fun, and relaxing one or two-day road trip from Tupelo.
4. Natchez Trace Parkway: A Scenic Experience
A 40-minute ride from Tupelo towards the south will take you to one of the access points of Natchez Trace Parkway, the 444-mile forest trail connecting Nashville in Tennessee and Natchez in Mississippi. No Road trip experience in Mississippi can be complete without hitting Natchez. At some point or the other, you will have to enter this road to reach different cities of the state. It is the most scenic route in the entire south-east US and is lined by forest on both sides. Driving on this route for miles and miles can be an adventurous experience of its own. There are many mileposts here for camping, biking, hiking, Civil War history, picnicking, and other such activities.
5. Tishomingo & Noxubee: Two Great Spots
While Tishomingo is toward the north on the Natchez Parkway, towards the south is the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. It will take you only a 1-hour drive on the parkway. It is spread over 48,000 acres and is full of bottomland and upland woodlands and is the home to one of the biggest Alligators on the planet. They are 18ft long and weigh close to 600 pounds. Further, it is a conservation area for the endangered species of Red-Cockaded Woodpecker apart from hunting species such as deer, quail, and turkey. This is a great place for all nature-lovers, wildlife buffs, and adventure-seekers.
So this was it for the Tupelo section of Mississippi road-trip destinations and the next section begins near the Capital city, Jackson…
The ‘City with Soul’ & Southern Road Trip Destinations
Jackson is the city of soul as it is home to so many artists from different disciplines such as acting, dancing, sculpting, painting, filmmaking, photography, and so on. They capture the soul of the state in their craft…
1. Jackson’s Museum Tour: Science and More!
Starting the road trip from Jackson can be an exciting experience. Exploring the city could be as exciting as heading out of it. Let’s start with the museums of the city, two most attractive ones are the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science & the Mississippi Children’s Museum. The former is very attractive for children interested in science as it has many unique exhibits such as the robot zoo, which has Robo animals in it. Another exhibit is dedicated to the Dinosaurs and the prehistoric era. There are wildlife exhibits which even display some of the endangered species and a network of nature trails covering forests, swamps, and rivers. The second museum is more for very young children who can be awestruck by exhibits of different kinds of careers or gardening or geography and natural science of the state. It is a great family stop on a road trip.
2. Petrified Forest: Uniqueness At Its Best
Some 20 miles away from the city is the Petrified Forest, the only one in the entire eastern US. Petrified forests are those forests where the vegetation has taken the form of stone due to years and years of mineralization process known as petrification. The one near Jackson is the result of petrification that has occurred for 36 million years. One of the attractive spots is the ‘Caveman’s bench’ which is a log that has become a stone over the years and gives a glimpse into the past when it was a living tree. There is also a museum here for people who want to know more about this process. This place presents a large expanse of natural beauty and is a great learning experience.
3. Vickburg Park: American Civil War Memorial
A close to 1-hour drive from Jackson will take you to Vicksburg National Military Park. This place is where one of the battles took place in the American Civil War and is, therefore, one of the most renowned historic attractions of the state. There are close to 1,400 monuments within the park that spreads across 1,800 acres. There are cannons, carriages, historic bridges, war cemetery, forts, and many other attractions. It is a paradise for history buffs. There are driving tours that give awe-inspiring views of the Mississippi River and a 12-mile trek for those who wish to walk. There is even a haunted tour for those who love a great thrilling experience.
Jackson is a city full of life and is a must-visit on a road trip… Next on our list of Mississippi Road Trip Destinations is the Hub City…
Hub City & Neighboring Road Trip Destinations
Hattiesburg came to be known as the hub city in 1912 because several railroads intersected here and later on many highways too…
One of the attractions of Hattiesburg is the Rose Garden which displays close to 750 varieties of rises and is a very romantic place for the visitors. However, for road trippers, Hattiesburg is more of a connecting junction to many attractions in the southern region of the state.
1. Coastal Mississippi: Water Sports & Adventure
A 2-hour trip from the city down to the south will take you right to the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, where there are scores of attractions. The Gulf Islands National Seashore has ultimate outdoor adventures such as swimming, snorkeling, diving, camping, hiking, bird watching, and waterfowl hunting. Various boating and sailing options are also available here. The entire shoreline is lined with attractions such as the Biloxi Beach, Ocean Springs, & Deer Island and is together known as the Coastal Mississippi.
2. Windsor Ruins: Greek History & Architecture
A 2.5-hour drive towards the northwest of Hattiesburg will take you to the Windsor Ruins where you can see the remains of one of the most impressive greek style homes of the state of which 23 columns are remaining. The mansion was completed in 1861 and it took almost $3.5 million to build if measured in today’s terms. This is the place where Mark Twain used to observe the Mississippi River and mentions it in his book “Life on the Mississippi” History and literature lovers will love this place. Also, this is one of the top attractions for budget activities in Mississippi as it costs absolutely nothing!
3. Clark Creek: 50 Waterfalls and Spectacular Beauty
Another 2.5-hour road trip towards the west of Hattiesburg will take you to Clark Creek Natural Area State Park. It is spread over 700 acres and features close to 50 waterfalls. It is a natural preserve area for nature strolls, hiking, camping, paddling, and canoeing. Hills here can be as high as 400 ft. The area is covered with hardwood and pine trees which present the spectacular beauty of nature.
So in the words of Mississippi’s very own Charley Pride, “Roll on Mississippi, carry me home.”, visit the state and feel the cool breeze, whistle a song, sit on a riverboat and enjoy. Check out the best vacation rentals on Rental Trader. We hope that these suggestions of Mississippi Road trip Destinations are helpful An you have a memorable experience. For any more information, fill our web form or give us a call.