Alyssa has been writing about exciting travel topics for Trips to Discover since 2013. After living the big city life in Chicago, Washington, DC, and Atlanta, Alyssa sold the bulk of her possessions and became a digital nomad, living full-time in her camper and working from wherever she could find an outlet and an internet connection for her laptop.
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To best experience the Deep South, you’ll need to take a few weekend trips in Mississippi to truly explore the region. From big cities to small towns, Mississippi has a lot of exciting destinations for weekend warriors. Here you’ll find many opportunities to learn about Civil War history, relax at the beach, soak up the small-town charm, and eat some of the most delicious comfort foods anywhere in the world. To get you started, here are the top weekend getaways in Mississippi for your travel itinerary.
For plenty of sand and sunshine, plan your Mississippi weekend getaway to Gulfport. This city is right along the Gulf of Mexico and has some great beaches to spend time on. It’s fun to take a boat tour with a local guide to see dolphins swimming through the water. If you aren’t blessed with perfect weather, you can also spend time at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center and the Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum. Other top sights to see on your weekend include the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, Jones Park, the Chandeleur Island Brewing Company, and shopping at Gulfport Premium Outlets.
Natchez is an essential Mississippi town to see on a weekend getaway because it’s quaint, historical and filled with lovely views. Make a point to visit the Natchez National Historical Park and go for a drive along the Natchez Trace Parkway. Historic stops to make include Stanton Hall, Longwood, the Rosalie Mansion, Melrose, and St. Mary’s Basilica. The Natchez Visitor Center is a great place to start to see everything you want to on your weekend. This is also a romantic destination with lovely streets, wine tastings, and bed and breakfast inns to stay in for the weekend. Meanwhile, Natchez State Park has lakeside cabins for other romantic accommodation options.
Anyone who’s a fan of Elvis or just curious to learn more about this iconic American musician should spend a weekend in Tupelo. This was Elvis Presley’s birthplace, and you can visit various sites that are relevant to his early life here. Visit Elvis’ childhood home and museum, explore the grounds and gift shop, and go for a self-guided driving tour of the relevant sights. When you’ve gotten your fill of Elvis nostalgia, head over to the Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo. To get outdoors and active on your weekend, check out Trace State Park and Tombigbee State Park nearby.
Biloxi has a rich fishing and shrimping history, so one of the best activities to do here for your weekend is to arrange a boat charter to get out on the water. Other fun ways to get active on the water are kayaking and parasailing. It’s also known as a top casino destination, while you’ll also find mini golf here for family fun and a Hurricane Katrina memorial to see. Biloxi is a prime place to be for bird-watching, playing at 18-hole golf courses, and learning new things at the Maritime Seafood Industry Museum. Of course, there’s also the beach to simply relax on and see the beautiful sunsets.
It’s also fun to visit Canton for the weekend, especially if you enjoy local festivals. This Mississippi town is home to a hot air balloon event and also a Victorian Festival, as well as arts and craft shows in the spring and fall. It’s fun to learn about the great movies that were filed here at the Canton Movie Museum, including “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and others. There’s a country club in town if you enjoy playing golf as well. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on the locally crafted spirits at Rich Grain Distilling Company. If possible, plan your weekend around Christmas to attend the fun holiday festival in Canton.
Hattiesburg, Mississippi has lots to offer weekend visitors looking for family fun and entertainment. Here you can visit the African American Military History Museum, go for a hike at Paul B. Johnson State Park, and cool off at Pep’s Point Water Park. Popular things to do in Hattiesburg for the weekend include the Hattiesburg Zoo, Southern Prohibition Brewing, the UpDown Trampoline Park, and shopping at Turtle Creek Mall.
History buffs enjoy visiting the Mississippi city of Vicksburg because of the city’s Civil War relevance. The Vicksburg National Military Park, U.S.S. Cairo Museum, Old Depot Museum, and Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum and Interpretative Center are all here. Weekend travelers also enjoy the riverfront murals, seeing the Vicksburg National Cemetery, and touring historic homes here.
The capital city of Jackson is an excellent place to plan a weekend getaway if you want non-stop entertainment or are traveling with kids. There are lots of museums here to explore, including the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and the Mississippi Children’s Museum. Couples enjoy visiting Jackson to spend time in the downtown green spaces, see the Mississippi Art Museum, and stay in historic bed & breakfast inns. You can also catch an orchestra performance or visit the city’s breweries to get a better feel for the local scene. Top Jackson restaurants for local cuisine include the Pig & Pint, Walker’s Drive In, and the Iron Horse Grill.
Oxford in England certainly isn’t the only hub for arts and culture in the world. Oxford, Mississippi is a university town that has lots of art festivals, live music performances, and museums to check out. Known as one of the best college towns in the United States, you can take a walk around the University of Mississippi campus, then stroll through the historic downtown square, watch a game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, or go for a hike at Bailey’s Woods Trail.
The last weekend destination in Mississippi that we’ll mention here is Corinth, which is a favorite spot among history and art lovers. Here you can see a local theater performance, learn about local history at the Crossroads Museum, and even listen to a symphony. Meanwhile, the Corinth Coke Museum is a place to visit to learn more about this iconic American beverage and nostalgic soda fountains.