Mississippi Top 35 Attractions

Mississippi is a beautiful southern state, home to one of North America's longest river systems, tons of natural parks and untamed woods, and numerous quaint small towns.

Known as both The Magnolia State and The Hospitality State, it has a long, storied history featuring cotton plantations, the origins of many genres of music, and multiple historic war-related sites and monuments.

There are plenty of things to do in Mississippi, regardless of your interests.

Whether you're a history buff, art aficionado, nature lover, outdoor enthusiast, or music fan, you'll find a mix of well-known and niche sites to cater to your every whim.

With so many Mississippi attractions to choose from, where should you begin? Here are the top tourist attractions in Mississippi.

Things To Do in Mississippi

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1: Vicksburg National Military Park and the U.S.S. Cairo Museum

Vicksburg National Military Park and the U.S.S. Cairo Museum
Dreamstime/Jack Rogers

Vicksburg National Military Park is a memorial park dedicated to the Battle of Vicksburg, which was fought in 1863 during the American Civil War.

The war took place on a parcel of land spanning 20 miles and lasted for 47 days, claiming nearly 5,000 lives.

Till today, the land remains lined with tranches.

The Vicksburg National Military Park is designed to educate guests on the battle, making it one of the historic Mississippi attractions.

In addition, there is a 12.5-mile walking trail, 1325 historical markets, a cemetery containing close to 20,000 people's remains, and 144 canons to view.

An exciting part of the 1852-acre Vicksburg National Military Park is the U.S.S. Cairo Museum.

It is named after the gunboat within its expanse, the U.S.S. Cairo, made from wood and iron and was the first vessel ever to be struck and sunk by a torpedo detonated electrically.

Address: 3201 Clay St, Vicksburg, MS 39183

Website: www.nps.gov

Also Read: Top 10 American Civil War Sites To Visit

2: Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is set on 300 acres of open space within Bluff State Park, complete with 2.5 miles of hiking trails and an amphitheater.

Built in 1993, the museum is the largest in the state and welcomes people of all ages for an educational and exciting experience.

The inside of the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is where the real fun starts.

This is one of the best places to go in Mississippi for fans of nature, science, and history.

You'll find a 100,000-gallon tank featuring over 200 aquatic animal species, a big greenhouse, a large fossil wall packed with fascinating specimens, a discovery room for younger kids, and plenty of interactive exhibits.

Address: 2148 Riverside Dr, Jackson, MS 39202

Website: www.mdwfp.com

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Jackson, Mississippi

3: Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace Parkway
Dreamstime/Deebrowning

Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile drive that brings you through 10,000 years of history, leading you from Natchez to Nashville following an old Native American Trail.

As you travel along it, you'll realize that this is one of the most beautiful drives in the US!

This is an immensely popular scenic route for sightseeing, with many fascinating stops along the way.

Prehistoric monuments, archaeological sites, and beautiful lookouts over picturesque views dot the expanse of the Natchez Trace Parkway.

For example, there are the likes of the Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site, a bike route lined with photo opportunities, and a stunning natural Cypress Swamp to explore.

Address: Natchez Trace Parkway, Natchez, MS 39120

Website: www.nps.gov

4: Gulf Coast Beaches & Water Activities

Gulf Coast Beaches & Water Activities
Flickr/Visit Mississippi

Looking to soak up the sun? Look no further than the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

It’s home to 62 miles of picture-perfect shores and sandy beaches.

While kicking back on the beach is the preferred method, there are many ways to experience the area.

You can cure your wanderlust with an island excursion to West Ship Island.

It’s renowned for being a go-to spot to enjoy the Gulf Coast’s warm waters. Or you can try your hand at paddle boarding, kayaking, or canoeing.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast is also known for having a top-level restaurant and shopping experience.

Address: 1716 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39531

5: The Jackson Zoo

The Jackson Zoo
Flickr/NatalieMaynor

The Jackson Zoo is a great place to take your family for a day of fun. The zoo has a variety of animals that you can see and learn about.

The Zoo is currently home to 776 animals from 120 different species, including lions, tigers, giraffes, elephants, and more.

Take your children here so they can get up close and personal with their favorite exotic animals.

Get on the replica steam train, which can take you around the park to observe the animals in their natural habitats.

Let your kids join the Zoo Camp, where they will learn more about the animals and what they can do to help conserve them.

Address: 2918 W Capitol St, Jackson, MS 39209

Website: www.jacksonzoo.org

Also Read: 30 Best Zoos in the USA

6: Gulf Islands Waterpark

Gulf Islands Waterpark

Gulf Islands Waterpark is one of the things that you definitely should not miss during your trip to Mississippi.

Check out the Master Blaster, which is the Gulf Coast's first and only water roller coaster. It will take you through an extremely thrilling 500 feet slide filled with breathtaking twists and turns.

The park has a wide variety of rides, slides, and pools, as well as a lazy river and a wave pool.

The Cat Island Catapult and the Lil Pelican's Bay are great for younger kids where they can splash around and play with fun water cannons.

Gulf Islands Waterpark is a great place to cool off in the summer heat.

Address: 17200 16th St, Gulfport, MS 39503

Website: www.gulfislandswaterpark.com

7: Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum

Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum
Dreamstime/Calvin L. Leake

Rock and roll legend Elvis Presley was born in the quiet town of Tupelo, Mississippi, in January 1935.

The home is little more than a small shotgun shack, boasting only two rooms.

Elvis was only two years old when the bank seized the house as the family fell on hard times.

Today, the home has been restored to the state it was in when Elvis was born, and it's a must-see in Mississippi for fans of the King himself.

It is set within the space of a Mississippi Historic Site, among which you'll find other buildings like a small museum, a church for the Assembly of God that the Presleys attended, and an events center.

Although the Presleys moved to Memphis when Elvis was a teenager, he never forgot where he came from.

He performed benefits for the city and raised money to construct a local Youth Center.

This museum continues to honor his legacy in its own small, humble way, giving guests a glimpse into his beginnings.

Address: 306 Elvis Presley Dr, Tupelo, MS 38804

Website: www.elvispresleybirthplace.com

8: Tupelo National Battlefield

Tupelo National Battlefield
Flickr/Ron Cogswell

The historic battle of Tupelo happened in 1864 when Union Forces marched into Tupelo and fought fiercely with the Disorganized Confederate soldiers.

Today, the park is home to a monument that includes two informational panels explaining the significance of the battle.

If you have always been fascinated by American history, then this park should be on your must-visit list of Mississippi attractions.

You will be able to experience the Civil War at its best when you visit this battlefield and gain a better understanding of what happened during that crucial time in American history.

Although you can visit the park at any time of year, this is a great place to stop during the spring and fall months.

Address: Tupelo, MS 38801

Website: www.nps.gov

9: Mississippi State Capitol

Mississippi State Capitol
Dreamstime/Sean Pavone

As its name suggests, the Mississippi State Capitol is the government affairs center for the state of Mississippi; it was built in 1903 in the city of Jackson.

The elegant building has a dome-shaped roof, boasts a majestic facade, and is an official National Historic Landmark.

Tours of the capitol are among the most interesting Mississippi attractions. Tours are free of charge and are given on weekdays only.

During these events, you can view legislature meeting rooms, the Hall of Governors, a Women of the Confederacy monument, and a Liberty Bell replica.

Address: 400 High St, Jackson, MS 39201

10: MSU Riley Center

MSU Riley Center
Flickr/Visit Mississippi

You can see a modern show in a historic setting at the Riley Center. Also known as the Grand Opera House, the Riley Center is a performing arts center located in a fully restored grand opera theater house.

The theater originally opened in 1890. Today, it’s a 30,000-square-foot facility with an exhibit hall, boardrooms, conference center, and meeting place.

You can enjoy a show in either their expansive 950-seat opera house theater or the more intimate 200-seat studio theater.

The Riley Center features legendary Romanesque and Victorian architecture and is renowned as one of the best places to see a show in the southeast.

Address: 2200 5th St, Meridian, MS 39301

Website: www.msurileycenter.com

11: Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis Home, and Presidential Library

Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis Home, and Presidential Library
Dreamstime/Joe Sohm

The Beauvoir Estate is situated in Biloxi and was once the home of the only former President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis.

It is here that he retired after the Civil War when he was released from federal custody.

Today, this is a museum and a library, part of the National Register of Historic Places, and serves as a glimpse back into the past.

The museum is one of the best places to visit in Mississippi for history buffs, as it covers numerous topics, especially related to the Civil War and Southern antebellum life.

You can view munitions, memorabilia, uniforms, flags, and genuine furniture and decor from the time throughout the home.

In addition, the museum's library has many reference materials related to the Confederate Army, such as the names of soldiers and regiments in its service.

Address: 2244 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39531

Also Read: The Most Famous Historic Homes in America

12: Beau Rivage Casino

Beau Rivage Casino
Dreamstime/Felix Mizioznikov

Adults seeking things to do in Mississippi should take a trip to the renowned Beau Rivage Casino.

The luxurious site opened its doors in 1999 at the seaside of the Gulf Coast in Biloxi, and it's also home to the tallest building in the state.

There are over 1,800 slot games, numerous table games, and a poker room, among other options.

Though Beau Rivage Casino is most known for its gaming facilities, it is also an outstanding and well-rated resort with a gorgeous view of the ocean.

It boasts four lounges, a spa, a large pool, 12 retail stores, and a whopping ten restaurants.

There is also an onsite theatre where concerts and shows are regularly held.

Address: 875 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39530

13: Longwood Mansion

Longwood Mansion
Dreamstime/Dietmar Rauscher

Fans of history and architecture consider Longwood one of the best destinations in Mississippi.

In a state so commonly populated by antebellum homes, Longwood's luxurious, oriental-style villa is built in a stunning octagonal structure that stands out among even the most opulent homes around it.

Longwood is the country's largest octagonal home and boasts six levels, complete with an observatory and an expansive basement.

It was commissioned by Dr. Haller Nutt, who hoped for a 32-room mansion with an onion-shaped dome on top.

However, when the Civil War broke out, workers journeyed back north, abandoning their work, and the Nutt family fell on hard financial times.

This left Longwood unfinished. Till today, Longwood remains incomplete, its upper floors presumably never to be finished.

Its tours take you throughout the home and up to the second level, and its unfinished state easily reminds you of the cost of the war.

Tours are educational and fascinating; you'll learn a lot about this National Historic Landmark and its past.

Address: 140 Lower Woodville Rd, Natchez, MS 39120

14: Lynn Meadows Discovery Center

Lynn Meadows Discovery Center

A trip to the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center is one of the best things to do in Mississippi for families with kids.

More than just a children's museum, this impressive 15,000-square-foot space, housed in a former elementary school, features many hands-on exhibits and interactivity.

There's plenty that the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center has to offer.

Kids can attend the 'Art Knows Anything Goes' center to flex their artistic creativity or test their strength and agility on the Super Colossal Climbing Structure.

They can head to Little Pet Vet to learn about animal care, the Dolan Avenue Depot to learn about trains and play pretend as operators and travelers, or the What It's Like to Be Me to gain an understanding of disabilities and differences.

Address: 246 Dolan Ave, Gulfport, MS 39507

Website: www.lmdc.org

15: B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center

B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center

The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center is an establishment that is dedicated to international blues music icon Riley B. King.

This is one of the best attractions in Mississippi for fans of the artist and his genre, making it a must-visit in Indianola.

The center and museum highlight the life and times of B.B. King and his musical legacy and talents.

You'll learn about the struggles of his family life, his years spent on the local radio scene, and his deep love and respect for people from all backgrounds and races, with many stories told through rare artifacts and memorabilia.

There are also interactive programs that delve deeper into his legacy and several award-winning films to expand your understanding of the late performer.

Address: 400 2nd St, Indianola, MS 38751

Website: www.bbkingmuseum.org

16: Windsor Ruins

Windsor Ruins
Dreamstime/Zrfphoto

Once upon a time, the Windsor estate was a grand, opulent four-story mansion that featured massive columns marked by iron capitals in Corinthian design.

The mansion enjoyed a long history, serving as an observation post in the Civil War, an observation cupola for Mark Twain, and a lovely home for many.

Then, in 1890, a fire broke out and completely destroyed the entire structure, leaving only its staircase and 23 columns.

The staircase was moved to Alcorn State University's Oakland Memorial Chapel soon after.

Today, only those columns remain, and they have become an eerie attraction, popular filming location, and National Register of Historic Places site.

Ongoing stabilization projects are working to ensure that the remaining columns don't deteriorate over time.

For the most part, the Windsor Ruins are merely a place to contemplate what was lost - and a haven for photographers.

However, fans of unusual attractions will consider this among the best things to do in Mississippi.

Address: Rodney Rd, Port Gibson, MS 39150

17: Biloxi Lighthouse

Biloxi Lighthouse
Dreamstime/Sean Pavone

Biloxi Lighthouse was one of the south's first constructed cast-iron lighthouses, and it is now a central landmark and Biloxi and one of the most popular Mississippi tourist attractions.

When it was first opened, it was typically staffed by female keepers until the Coast Guard took over in 1939.

Built in 1848, it has withstood numerous disasters and historical events and symbolized the city's resilience.

 It even managed to survive Hurricane Katrina, though a large refurbishment project was needed in its wake.

Guided tours of the 64-foot lighthouse are offered regularly, teaching guests about the structure and its history.

Then, with a romantic ambiance, you can climb to the tower's top to gaze out over the coastline and the ocean.

Tours typically happen in the morning, the perfect time to watch the sun's rays glance at the serene water below!

Address: 1050 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39530

18: Rowan Oak

Rowan Oak
Dreamstime/James Kirkikis

Rowan Oak was built in the 1840s and became the home of William Faulkner and his family in 1930, renaming it from its original title of The Bailey Place.

Elegant but allowed to run wild with nature, the home boasts Greek Revival architecture and has two simple floors as it sits upon 29 acres of land near Oxford.

It's one of the most fascinating places in Mississippi and is now under the care of the University of Mississippi.

Many of Faulkner's most popular stories were written here in Rowan Oak.

When Faulkner moved in, it was little more than a rundown, slowly fading home, but the four acres of gorgeous trees enchanted him and his wife.

In addition, its location served as the provider of inspiration as Faulkner wrote about old spinsters, Native Americans, runaway slaves, and more, coloring his many Southern gothic stories.

Address: 916 Old Taylor Rd, Oxford, MS 38655

19: Stanton Hall

Stanton Hall
Dreamstime/Anne Donnarumma

Stanton Hall is a house museum built as an antebellum mansion in 1857, following Greek Revival architectural styles.

It was built in the heart of Natchez on the equivalent of an entire city block and furnished with various pieces from New York, Philadelphia, and France.

Having survived the Civil War and received excellent restoration in 1938, it has become a National Historic Landmark.

Tours of Stanton Hall are just about half an hour long.

During these excursions, you'll be blown away by the mansion's charm, Corinthian columns, gorgeous French windows, and marble mantels, among other features.

You will also learn plenty about the history of the home.

It's one of the many historic Mississippi attractions that grants you a look into the past.

Address: 401 High St, Natchez, MS 39120

20: Mississippi Museum of Art

Mississippi Museum of Art
Dreamstime/C5Media

Art lovers seeking things to do in Mississippi will love the extensive collection of the Mississippi Museum of Art.

Since its opening, this downtown Jackson establishment has hosted a mix of permanent and temporary rotating exhibits and offered classes and educational programs for people of all ages and experience levels.

Sculptures and paintings decorate the exhibit halls of the Mississippi Museum of Art.

Many are from American creators, but there are also works by European masters.

In addition, various special exhibits occur throughout the year, so check out the museum's calendar while you're in town.

Address: 380 S Lamar St, Jackson, MS 39201

Website: www.msmuseumart.org

21: Hattiesburg Zoo

Hattiesburg Zoo
Dreamstime/Famveldman

Hattiesburg Zoo is relatively small but remains one of the most fun Mississippi attractions for people of all ages.

You'll find Sumatran tigers, giraffes, and all sorts of fauna from across the globe.

Spanning 12 acres, this exciting and interesting location offers numerous ways to get up close and personal with the lovely animals living here, including a great petting zoo.

The zoo is home to the Asbury Discovery Center, where you can get up close and personal with over 30 animals and learn more about them.

One of the Hattiesburg Zoo attractions is The Sloth Experience, a 45-minute tour where you'll get to meet sloths! You can enjoy an up-close sloth encounter, feed a few sloths, and check out the zoo's special animal kitchen.

For particularly active guests, you can challenge yourself at the zoo's cool high-rope course.

Address: 107 S 17th Ave, Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Website: www.hattiesburgzoo.com

22: Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is the first museum of its subject sponsored by the state.

It opened its doors in 2017 and seemed unassuming at first, but it's one of the hidden gem attractions in Mississippi, especially for history buffs.

At the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, you'll learn about the life, times, and legacies of various civil rights heroes through well-presented exhibits.

Despite the severe and sobering subject matter, the museum's educational material is relatively easy to understand, and the interactive exhibits let you learn in engaging ways.

Address: 222 North St, Jackson, MS 39201

Website: mcrm.mdah.ms.gov

23: Mississippi Petrified Forest

Mississippi Petrified Forest
Flickr/DM

If you're looking for truly unique places to visit in Mississippi, check out the Mississippi Petrified Forest.

Its eerie majesty will show you exactly why petrified wood is the state's official rock.

Located in Flora, the Mississippi Petrified Forest is a preserved ground of ancient trees that have become fossilized.

It is believed that this forest was formed over 30 million years ago, making it one of only two forests of its kind on the eastern side of the country.

A nature walk winds its way subtly through the Mississippi Petrified Forest, allowing you to feast your eyes on fir, palm, maple, and various prehistoric trees, including some from species that are now entirely extinct.

Some of these trees are even more than a hundred feet in height!

Petrified trees like this formed after being covered by minerals and sediment that gradually replaced each flora's organic materials.

You can learn more about them at the forest's visitor center and Earth Science Museum, which also features a small room filled with various unique examples of fossils, petrified wood, minerals, and rocks from across the planet.

The museum itself is worth a visit all on its own, with exhibits featuring whale bones, dinosaur footprints, and other amazing sights.

Address: 124 Forest Park Rd, Flora, MS 39071

24: Institute for Marine Mammal Studies

Institute for Marine Mammal Studies

The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, also known simply as the IMMS, is one of the prime spots in Mississippi to learn about the state's marine life.

At its core, the establishment is dedicated to conserving, researching, and rescuing local marine life, but it also specializes in education and awareness.

The IMMS conducts many events and activities alongside its rescue efforts, camps, and classes.

You can head on one of the facility's tours, job-shadow an employee, and get up close and personal with a dolphin in unique interaction encounters.

There are also touch pools and plenty of other interaction opportunities where you can meet stingrays, sea stars, and even sharks.

Even more, interestingly, the IMMS regularly conducts tropical animal shows where you can learn about various reptiles and birds.

Address: 10801 Dolphin Ln, Gulfport, MS 39503

Website: www.imms.org

25: Tishomingo State Park

Tishomingo State Park
Dreamstime/Fasterhorses

Tishomingo State Park is among the best Mississippi attractions for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

It is located in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains and spans a whopping 1530 acres.

It boasts a total of seven trails with varying difficulty levels, from the moderate 3-mile loop of the dog-friendly Flat Rock Trail to the history-rich 0.75-mile Saddlebrook Ridge Trail, where you'll pass by caves that were once lived in by Native American peoples.

Tishomingo State Park blends a mix of natural wonder and Native American history.

In fact, the park's land is said to have been inhabited as far back as 7000 BC.

The fact that the park earned its name from a Chickasaw Nation leader speaks to the true storied history of the land.

There are plenty of activities that you can enjoy at Tishomingo State Park.

For those who want to stay close to nature, you can go birdwatching, picnicking, fishing, camping, and hiking.

However, if you'd like something a little less rugged, you can rent a cabin, hop in the park's swimming pool, or make use of the disc golf courses and playing fields.

Address: 105 Co Rd 90, Tishomingo, MS 38873

26: Mammy’s Cupboard

Mammy’s Cupboard
Flickr/Peter Burka

Mammy's Cupboard is a roadside restaurant located in Natchez, and it's one of the more controversial Mississippi attractions - though that hasn't stopped it from being very loved.

It opened in 1940 on Highway 61 and boasts a unique appearance, inspired by the appearance of "Mammy" from Gone With The Wind.

The restaurant features a politically incorrect statue, where the building itself is built into the wide hoop skirt of a maid, whose torso and face continue above the skirt.

During the Civil Rights Movement era, the figure's skin was repainted a lighter shade to escape criticism for its minstrel-like appearance.

Today, Mammy's Cupboard serves delicious homecooked meals.

It's well known for its freshly baked bread, scrumptious meringue pies, and mouth-watering blueberry lemonade.

Address: 555 US-61, Natchez, MS 39120

27: Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market

Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market
Flickr/Visit Mississippi

Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market is not one of the typical attractions in Mississippi.

Instead, it is an abandoned and dilapidated building that looks on the brink of destruction.

However, its history is safe, as it is the site of the brutal murder and lynching of Emmett Till in 1955, the event which was a significant factor in the sparking of the civil rights movement.

Till was only 14 years old at the time and was accused of a crime he did not commit.

A sign outside of Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market was set up in 2011 to commemorate the 1961 Freedom Rides.

It is one of the 25 sites on the Mississippi Freedom Trail.

It represents an important historic event that no one should forget in a crumbling brick building that refuses to sanitize the reality of history.

Address: Money Rd, Greenwood, MS 38930

28: GRAMMY Museum Mississippi

GRAMMY Museum Mississippi

Music lovers will be hard-pressed to find more interesting things to do in Mississippi than the GRAMMY Museum.

Opened in 2016, this relatively new establishment lets you look closely at various music genres and their accompanying stories and histories through interactive exhibits.

The GRAMMY Museum also hosts a wide range of displays featuring clothing worn by award-winning artists, stunning recordings of great music, and plenty of musical instruments.

You can also do lots of fun things while in the museum, like playing the drums, trying your hand at song recording, and dancing along to tunes.

Address: 800 W Sunflower Rd, Cleveland, MS 38732

Website: www.grammymuseumms.org

29: Birthplace of Kermit The Frog Museum

Birthplace of Kermit The Frog Museum

Jim Henson was born in Greenville, Mississippi, in 1936, but in the swamps of Leland, he spent most of his childhood playtime with a close friend named Kermit Scott.

Inspired by local wildlife and environments and based on that aforementioned friend, Henson created the iconic character of Kermit the Frog.

While it's hard to pinpoint an exact location of the birthplace of Kermit the Frog, this little two-room museum in the Leland Chamber of Commerce is as good a guess as any.

Filled with memorabilia, puppets, and other items related to Kermit the Frog's creation, this lovely tribute to the much-loved Muppet is even home to one of the original puppets of this green, banjo-strumming frog.

Without a doubt, this may just be one of the most charming Mississippi attractions.

Address: 415 S Deer Creek Dr E, Leland, MS 38756

30: Gulf Islands National Seashore

Gulf Islands National Seashore
Dreamstime/Jason P Ross

In case you need a reminder that Mississippi is one of the most beautiful states in the US, the Gulf Islands National Seashore is waiting for you.

Spanning 135,457 acres along the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico, this is a haven for white sand beaches and sparkling cerulean waters that make for the ideal sunny getaway.

With endless recreational options, Gulf Islands National Seashore is perfect for lounging and relaxing, hiking, exploring, camping, and wildlife spotting alike.

Tours can be followed to one of the numerous impressive historical sites and forts around the park's expanse.

If you're lucky, you'll spot some sea turtles during your escapades.

Address: 3500 Park Rd, Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Website: www.nps.gov

31: Ship Island and Fort Massachusetts

Ship Island and Fort Massachusetts
Dreamstime/C5Media

Ship Island is only accessible by ferry or boat, situated 11 miles south of Gulfport.

It is a barrier island with 85 acres to its name, where dolphins frolic and beaches of golden sand await.

With teeming marine life and plenty of opportunities for fun in the sun, this is one of the best things to do in Mississippi for those seeking an ocean getaway.

But one of the most intriguing features of Ship Island is Fort Massachusetts, a longstanding structure built after the 1812 war.

It successfully withstood numerous hurricanes and was used by Union troops to capture New Orleans, though the island's harsh environment led to the deaths of over 200 soldiers of the regimen.

Address: Ship Island, MS

32: Brussel's Bonsai Nursery

Brussel's Bonsai Nursery

Brussel's Bonsai Nursery is one of the hidden gems among Mississippi attractions.

It is the country's biggest bonsai nursery and can be found in the mid-southern portion of Memphis, where it can be found nestled in the hills and woods of Desoto County.

This large establishment is home to an impressive 175,000 square feet of space within its greenhouses and is dedicated entirely to showcasing, growing, and raising the amazing miniature bonsai trees.

It was opened as a simple store in 1975 and has grown into a sprawling nursery complex since then.

You can find some of the world's most unique variations of this flora here, many of which are worth a pretty penny.

Luckily, browsing the nursery is free, but don't be surprised if you are tempted to spend a tidy sum on a starter kit or exciting specimen.

Address: 8125 Center Hill Rd, Olive Branch, MS 38654

33: Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum

Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum

Did you know that one of the most unique attractions in Mississippi is dedicated to celebrating Coca-Cola's history?

The Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum is named after Joseph Biedenharn, a second-generation German Immigrant who is the sole reason behind the bottling of Coca-Cola.

Despite an unenthusiastic response from the President of Coca-Cola then, Biedenharn's idea of bottling Coca-Cola to supplement the tapped beverage was an immediate success.

Bottling franchises for the brand popped up all over the country, eventually revolutionizing the entire soda pop production industry.

The Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum tells the story of Biedenharn's innovation and business sense.

It is built into what was once Vicksburg's Biedenharn Candy Company building and is packed with all sorts of historical memorabilia, old Coca-Cola ads, and old bottling equipment.

Address: 1107 Washington St, Vicksburg, MS 39183

34: Under-the-Hill Saloon

Under-the-Hill Saloon
Flickr/amanderson2

The Under-the-Hill Saloon is a 200-year-old bar that grants a glimpse into the rough-and-tumble past of the towns around the Mississippi River.

Once upon a time, the port town of Natchez was notorious for its brawling, boozing, and other unsavory and scandalous activities, considered extremely licentious by all means.

As one of the more low-key Mississippi attractions, the Under-the-Hill saloon is filled with rustic memorabilia.

Its walls are still their original brick, and there are black-and-white pictures that glow in the sparkle of the neon signs of the bar.

You'll spot many dollar bills tacked to the surface on the ceiling.

This is a mark of a special tradition where customers fold a dollar bill with a quarter and thumbtack and throw it up to the ceiling as hard as possible.

Then, on the 4th of July, the bar owners take the money down for a massive cookout!

Interestingly, Mark Twain was supposedly a patron at the Under-the-Hill Saloon, and though it's hard to know this for certain, a decorative signboard of the famous author hangs in the saloon today.

Address: 25 Silver St, Natchez, MS 39120

35: Natchez City Cemetery

Natchez City Cemetery
Dreamstime/Deebrowning

The Natchez City Cemetery isn't typical on lists of places to visit in Mississippi.

Still, a few notable sights within its grounds have garnered some attention.

The facility even offers private guided tours and allows guests to stroll freely around.

One interesting monument is the Turning Angel Statue, dedicated to the victims of a 1908 gas explosion that tragically occurred in the Natchez Drug Company, killing five people.

Their former employer commissioned it.

The angel is nicknamed the "turning" angle because reportedly, at night, the statue turns its head to look at passing cars.

Another grave worth visiting is that of Florence Irene Ford, a young girl who passed away at just ten years of age.

Her mother requested that a window be fitted into Florence's coffin and stairs are constructed to lead down to the casket with hinged metal trapdoors to cover them.

This is because Florence was terrified of storms; whenever they struck, her mother would go to her coffin and sit by it to sing and soothe her daughter.

Address: 2 Cemetery Rd, Natchez, MS 39120

Plan your trip to these Mississippi attractions soon!

Mississippi attractions are diverse and steeped in the rich culture of its current day and history.

From gorgeous beaches to educational museums and verdant parks to historic forts, it's an excellent state for a vacation for virtually anyone.

So the next time you're stuck wondering about the things to do in Mississippi, come back and browse this list!

Mississippi Travel Guide

Explore Guide