The History Lovers’ Guide to Visiting Mississippi: 4 Things to Do and Check Out

 For those looking for the ultimate road trip experience through the South, Mississippi is most definitely the place to be.

Honestly, the Magnolia is oftentimes overshadowed by its neighbors but certainly offers a unique southern experience. Offering a similar vibe to Louisiana minus the tourist trap traffic of New Orleans, Mississippi represents a cost-effective spot to see the sights and sounds of the south at your own leisure.

That’s said, it’s history-lovers who’ll have the best time trekking through the great state of Mississippi. This is especially when you consider the area’s rich history and many reasons to stop through in the first place, including:

  • The state’s role during the Civil War, including its status as the second state to secede from the Union and numerous landmark battles including the siege of Vicksburg
  • Classic architecture, including famed Antebellum homes and plantations which are synonymous with “southern”
  • Local culture, including classic southern cuisine as well as being the birthplace of Delta Blues and Elvis Presley

Oh, and let’s not forget a certain body of water known as the Mississippi River.

There’s obviously a lot to see, and we’ve broken down below some of the essentials if you’re a history buff or just want to experience a sort of blast from the past while you’re here.

And if you want to see the state properly, the best way is by driving to Point A to Point B to ensure that you don’t miss anything. Ideally, you can find either a traditional or RV campground that suits your needs, which isn’t a problem at all thanks to the state’s abundance of state parks. Furthermore, services like Outdoorsy make it easy to find an RV rental in the state.

Now, what are you going to do once you’re ready to embark on your Mississippi adventure? Here are four options for history lovers to check out along the way:

Must-See Mississippi Museums

Although the state is indeed brimming with museums, the following the most definitely take the cake if you’re interested in learning a thing or two during your visit:

  • The U.S.S. Cairo Museum: hear the story of the U.S.S. Cairo and get up close with the actual gunboat itself
  • The Old Capitol Museum: there’s plenty of Civil War memorabilia to see and photograph while you’re here
  • Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center: regardless of how much of a Civil War buff you might or might not be, the tale of the siege of Corinth is fascinating to any and all visitors

Also, those who stop by the U.S.S. Cairo are likewise in close proximity to the Vicksburg National Cemetery, which hosts the remains of over 17,000 Union soldiers.

National Parks with Some Serious History

Not only does Mississippi boats a beautiful state park system, but each and every park has its own story in terms of history. For example, consider the following options for spending some time in the great outdoors:

  • Vicksburg National Military Park: this park is actually home to the battlefield of the Battle of Vicksburg, providing visitors with plenty to do and see including many miles of trail to explore, war-time cannons and some aforementioned Antebellum homes
  • Paul B. Johnson State Park: a popular spot for boating and fishing, the nearby Geiger Lake was actually created after World War II as part of a POW camp
  • LeFleur’s Bluff State Park: formerly part of the Choctaw nation, this park includes tons of fishing in addition to its nine-hole golf course

Peek the Plantations

Again, the Antebellum homes located throughout the state not represent incredible architecture you can’t really find anywhere.

The good news? You can find tons of Mississippi plantation tours, primarily in Natchez and Vicksburg, which represent great places to unwind in the midst of your adventures. Some top tours to check out include Brandon Hill, Linden and Jefferson Davis’ own Rosemont Plantation.

Musical Blasts from the Past

Whether it’s blues or rock-and-roll, Mississippi has you covered.

In addition to catching a live band in the likes of Jackson or Gulfport, there are a couple of prime music-themed museums and hotspots to check out. For example, there’s the birthplace of Elvis Presley and a subsequent museum in Tupelo as well as the amazing tribute to blues at the B.B. King Museum in Indianola.

Making the most of your Mississippi trip means appreciating the state’s rich history while you’re here. Any combination of these attractions can help fill out your trip itinerary and likewise give you a one-of-a-kind taste of the South during your next road trip.