Jackson, Mississippi’s capital and largest city, is ideally located at the junction of Interstates 20 and 55. In Jackson, there are various excellent museums covering a broad variety of topics, including history, civil rights, African-American culture, natural sciences, and art. There are several things to do in Jackson, Mississippi, and the city is not short of museums.
The Children’s Museum, Jackson Zoo, and Petrified Forest can keep families entertained for days. The Mississippi Blues Marathon is held in January, a Greek Fest is held in May, the Rhythm and Blues Festival is held in August, and the Celtic Fest is held in September.
If you’re looking for places to dine or drink in Jackson, look no further. To find out which restaurants and pubs are a must-see, read the following article:
- The Best Restaurants in Jackson
I’ve put together this list to help you get to grips with some of the finest off-the-beaten-path things to do in Jackson Mississippi, so you can visit a diverse range of the city’s top attractions.
In addition, I added some curveballs and out-of-the-box locations, hidden treasures, and unusual and intriguing attractions that will make your holiday memorable.
Visiting other places in Mississippi? Check out our other tasty guides:
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- 7 Must-Try Bay St. Louis Restaurants
- 7 Best Ocean Springs Restaurants
- 9 Best Pascagoula Restaurants
- 5 Best Natchez MS Restaurants
- The 7 Best Mexican Restaurants In Jackson MS
- 6 Best Jackson MS BBQ Restaurants
- 1 15 Top Things To Do In Jackson MS
- 1.1 Natural History Museum of Mississippi
- 1.2 Jackson Zoo is a zoological park in Jackson, Mississippi.
- 1.3 Old Capitol Museum and the Mississippi State Capitol
- 1.4 Petrified Forest of Mississippi
- 1.5 Mississippi Children’s Museum is located in Jackson, Mississippi.
- 1.6 Mississippi Civil Rights Institute
- 1.7 Mississippi Art Museum
- 1.8 Mississippi Forestry and Agriculture Museum
- 1.9 Planetarium of Russell C. Davis
- 1.10 Mississippi History Museum
- 1.11 Smith Robertson Culture Center and Museum
- 1.12 Mississippi Sports Museum and Hall of Fame
- 1.13 Governor’s Residence in Mississippi
- 1.14 Home and Garden of Eudora Welty
- 1.15 Distillery in Cathead
- 2 Wrapping Up The Best Things To Do In Jackson Mississippi
15 Top Things To Do In Jackson MS
Natural History Museum of Mississippi
(601) 576-60002148 Riverside Dr.
The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is a 70,000-square-foot structure filled with historical and educational displays on the state’s natural landscapes and inhabitants. See the animal exhibits and the aquarium, which contains over 200 different species.
Since this museum is committed to the preservation of Mississippi’s natural environment, an outdoor center is only natural. The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is one of the best things to do in Jackson, MS. The ideal approach to end your trip is to go around the nature walks and soak in the fresh air.
The Swamp, a one-of-a-kind greenhouse inside the museum, is home to wetland plants as well as typical inhabitants such as turtles and alligators.
The display rooms include a large fossil collection, a close-up view of local white-tailed deer, and information on Mississippi’s endangered animals.
Jackson Zoo is a zoological park in Jackson, Mississippi.
(601) 352-25802918 W Capitol St
The Jackson Zoo, which contains more than 200 types of animals from five continents, including endangered species, is popular among families and animal aficionados. Africa is home to primates such as chimpanzees and colobus monkeys, birds such as storks and ostriches, and even an African fat-tailed gecko.
Asia is represented by big cats like the Sumatran tiger and Amur Leopard, as well as the mischievous red panda, whilst Australia is represented by a laughing kookaburra. South America is home to spider monkeys, tropical birds like macaws, and reptiles like the mighty anaconda.
North American fauna is well-represented, with species ranging from the black bear to the red wolf. To enhance the experience, zoo entry now includes a splash area where visitors can cool off in the noon heat, as well as rides on a carousel and a train.
Old Capitol Museum and the Mississippi State Capitol
(601) 576-6920100 State St
Jackson is home to both the original state capitol building, built in 1839, and the current state capitol. The former state capitol is now a museum documenting significant events that transpired here. There are also guided tours available for anybody interested in learning more about the architecture and restoration of this magnificent Greek Revival monument.
I went to see the still-operational Capitol Building, which was erected in 1903. One of the building’s centerpieces is a 180-foot dome top with a 15-foot gold-leafed eagle. During legislative sessions, you may observe Senate and House proceedings from the public gallery. Both buildings have been listed as National Historic Landmarks.
Petrified Forest of Mississippi
(601) 879-8189124 Forest Park Rd
The Mississippi Petrified Forest, about two miles west of Jackson, is a must-see for anybody interested in viewing an ancient forest turned to stone by time.
You may enter the park through many pathways to see these wonderful fossils, and many visitors pause to snap photographs at Caveman’s Bench, a conveniently positioned petrified wood spot. The Earth Science Museum is also nearby, and it demonstrates how such a drastic transition might occur.
Among the fossils on show at the museum are dinosaur footprints, ancient whale bones, and a cast of prehistoric camel fossils. Younger visitors will be drawn to the gem-mining flume, where they may dig for riches.
Mississippi Children’s Museum is located in Jackson, Mississippi.
(601) 981-54692145 Museum Boulevard
The Mississippi Children’s Museum is divided into six parts, each of which focuses on a particular theme in order to stimulate children’s interests and push them to study more.
The World at Work exhibition focuses on STEM concepts and how they relate to business and careers, while the Discovering Mississippi display has a giant map of Mississippi that children may climb on and explore while learning about geography, history, and culture.
In the Healthy Fun section, there is a large space devoted to exploring the arts and personal expression via music, dance, and the visual arts, as well as a variety of exhibits and activities that educate children about health and nutrition.
Both the Literacy garden, which enhances language skills and reading, and the Food Plant Garden are situated outdoors. The Pollinators Playground Garden, which is free and open to the public, educates about gardening and the function of pollinators in food production.
Mississippi Civil Rights Institute
(601) 576-6800222 North St
The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum features an intriguing combination of exhibits, monuments, and movies that take visitors on a journey of struggles, triumphs, and sadness from the Civil War’s end until the 1970s. Visitors may examine photographs and hear testimonies from those affected by slavery, as well as those who have risked all to fight for their rights.
Many theatres show films on significant events, such as the lynchings of Emmett Till and Medgar Evers, and memorials include lynching victims’ monoliths. Additional exhibits include experiences from civil rights activists during the tumultuous 1960s, as well as information on the critical role of religion in community development.
Mississippi Art Museum
(601) 965-9932380 South Lamar Street
The Mississippi Museum of Art opened in 1911 with a tiny collection and has since grown to approximately 5,500 works of art spanning from pre-Columbian ceramics to current paintings. The museum’s principal galleries, which are open to the public, are organized around the core topic The Mississippi Story, with a focus on local and regional artists and concerns.
Permanent collections include prints going back to the 16th century, as well as 19th and 20th-century American art by Andy Warhol, Robert Henri, and Georgia OKeefe. Besides from educational programs, the museum hosts special events such as concerts in the Art Garden.
Mississippi Forestry and Agriculture Museum
+601-432-45001150 Lakeland Dr.
The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Museum is a 39-acre park devoted to the history and impact of agriculture and forestry in Mississippi.
One of the most popular sections of the museum is Small Town Mississippi, which features replicas of how a normal town looked and felt in the 1920s, including businesses and public spaces such as a school, church, general store, blacksmith shop, sugarcane mill, cotton gin, and more.
The Heritage Center is a big exhibit that looks at how rail, river, and land transportation impact agriculture and forests. On the grounds, the National Agricultural Aviation Museum examines the role of air travel in the agricultural sector in accordance with the topic.
Among the other attractions are a model train exhibition, the Victory Garden, where visitors may learn about sustainable farming, a cow show, and nature walks. Anybody interested in Mississippi Delta Americana would be interested in the Fitzgerald Collection, which is virtually buried near the Heritage Center.
Planetarium of Russell C. Davis
(601) 960-1552201 E. Pascagoula Street
The Russell C. Davis Planetarium is one of the greatest in the South. The dome includes a digital cinema, giving spectators a full-dome visual experience.
You can study everything about astronomy, celestial navigation, and space flight. This is one of the biggest facilities of its type in the nation, with the most sophisticated and cutting-edge technology and accessories.
If you’re looking for exciting things to do in Jackson, Mississippi, this is a great place to take the kids. Film screenings, festivals, and fashion shows are among the other activities conducted in the planetarium. Films on marine life or dinosaurs, for example, are screened in theaters and are both educational and entertaining.
Mississippi History Museum
(601) 576-6800222 North Street
The Museum of Mississippi History offers a broad array of exhibits that span the whole history of the state.
The First Peoples exhibit, which runs from 13,000 BCE to the arrival of the first humans, includes artifacts and insights into the lives of individuals who lived in the region long before Europeans arrived. Exhibits, including a 500-year-old dugout canoe, provide fascinating insights about the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes’ customs and beliefs.
Other sections address social and economic concerns such as industry and natural catastrophes, and there is an excellent display that highlights major events in Mississippi Civil Rights history. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is located in the same facility as this museum.
Smith Robertson Culture Center and Museum
601-960-1457528 Bloom St.
The Smith Robertson Museum and Culture Center was founded to honor and enlighten the African-American experience in the Deep South. The Treasures of Africa exhibition digs into African history, while the Visual and Master Collection galleries display a wide selection of artwork and photography.
Additional topics covered include the history of Smith Robertson School, Jackson’s famed Farish Street area, and an assessment of African-American life in Mississippi. The museum is also excited to host a Smithsonian-sponsored permanent display that examines the migration trend of Black Americans north from 1915 to 1940.
The Mississippi African American Hall of Fame honors Mississippians who have achieved success in a range of fields.
Mississippi Sports Museum and Hall of Fame
Lakeland Dr #4701 (+1) 601-982-82641152 Lakeland Dr #4701
The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is sure to appeal to all types of sports aficionados. This museum has a well-known collection of outstanding Mississippi sporting relics.
Recall that Mississippi is the birthplace of Jerry Rice, the NFL’s all-time leading scorer and receiver, as well as Brett Favre, the league’s all-time leading quarterback. Mississippi may even take pride in its ties to Archie Manning, the patriarch of football’s first family.
The state boasts several Super Bowl MVP awards, numerous Olympic gold medals, and even NBA and World Series victories. Visit the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum to view the amazing relics from various sports and players that can be found around the property.
Governor’s Residence in Mississippi
(601) 576-6850300 E Capitol St
The Mississippi Governors Mansion, erected in the 1840s, is a magnificent example of Greek Revival architecture. This majestic edifice is a National Historic Landmark, as well as the country’s second-oldest continuously inhabited governor’s residence.
Governor Tilghman Tucker and his family were unable to move into the house until a few years after it was built due to the economic collapse caused by the Panic of 1837.
This monument, designed by architect William Nichols, stands tall today and is one of the most outstanding examples of Greek Revival architecture in the nation.
Home and Garden of Eudora Welty
(603) 353-77621109 Pinehurst St
Eudora Welty lived at the Eudora Welty House, which is now a National Historic Landmark. She spent most of her time at this house until her death in 2001, where she wrote the bulk of her work.
As you walk in, you’ll be transported back to 1986, when Eudora Welty moved the home and many of its items to Mississippi. Paintings, linens, furniture, rugs, and photos are just a few of the objects you will encounter on your tour of her residence.
Her huge book collection, which numbered in the hundreds, piqued my interest in particular. As one would assume, she was an avid reader of outstanding literature.
Before beginning their tour of her home and gardens, visitors will see a video that will present them with important background information. Guests are then free to tour the museum and take in the many exhibits.
Distillery in Cathead
601-667-3038422 S Farish St
Cathead Distillery in Jackson is a well-known distillery that offers wonderful drinks, tours, and other activities. Cathead Distillery is one of the best places to go with your pals in Jackson for a fun, stress-free day.
Cathead Distillery offers a huge assortment of vodka, wine, and other drinks, as well as clothes and fun things to do with your friends.
You can do more than simply drink at Cathead Distillery. You may also go on a guided tour of the area, participate in taste testing, and participate in unique activities like yoga sessions, ping pong games, and live performances.
Wrapping Up The Best Things To Do In Jackson Mississippi
Jackson, known as the “City of Soul,” is alive and well, with multiple award-winning, world-class attractions.
Visiting a museum, sampling the delicious local cuisine, seeing great artwork, experiencing nature and its animals, and much more are just a few of the interesting things available here.
Remember that summers in Mississippi are often hot and humid. Bring light-colored clothes, plenty of sunscreen, and a reusable water bottle if you believe you can tolerate Jackson’s heat. If the summer heat isn’t your thing, come in the autumn or spring.