Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Jackson, MS

  • Published 2022/09/21

Jackson, Mississippi is one of the most famous tourist hotspots in the US and has been recognized through numerous awards.

The city is full of lush green expanses and several remarkable historical sites, making it a cherished holiday destination.

Jackson bustles with a lively zest for life, and the atmosphere here is electric.

True to this spirit, the city has been called “The City With Soul.”

Jackson’s cultural heritage is second-to-none, expressed through the city’s many magnificent museums.

There are many other fun activities here as well.

You can wander in its shopping complexes and lose yourself in the variety of available products.

Alternatively, you could enjoy culinary delights in its outstanding dining spaces and restaurants.

If you visit this city on your next holiday trip, refer to this list of the best things to do in Jackson, Mississippi:

Visit the Mississippi State Capitol

Exterior view of Mississippi State Capitol

Sean Pavone /

Located on High Street, the Mississippi State Capitol has been recognized as a National Historic Landmark.

Discover it through one of the grand public tours of this magnificent government building.

The gift shop inside offers a variety of interesting items for you to pick up as sweet memorabilia from this place.

This Mississippi State Capitol’s architecture is as elegant as it comes.

Stunning interior of Mississippi State Capitol

Nagel Photography /

It will be a pleasure to walk through the glorious public galleries inside the building.

You can take free guided tours and learn about this historic building.

The on-site gift shop offers affordable crafts perfect for gifting.

Beautiful mugs and keychains are some products you can take back home with you.

Interior view of Mississippi State Capitol

Nagel Photography /

Meet the Animals at the Jackson Zoo

If you’re an animal lover, visiting the Jackson Zoo is a must.

This impressive zoo, which opened its doors to the public in 1919, houses more than 250 animals of 120 rare and exotic species.

Observe these exciting creatures from close quarters and take some close-up pictures of animals you’ve only seen on TV.

Some of the most exciting animal species in this zoo include Sumatran tigers, chimpanzees, tortoises, flamingos, and many more.

After exploring the vast area, you can take a refreshing dip in the splash pad.

Beat the scorching Jackson summer heat and enjoy hours of wild fun splashing around in the cool waters.

Kids can have a laugh taking multiple rides on the animal-themed carousel.

The Jackson Zoo is located on West Capitol Street.

Ride a Boat at LeFleur’s Bluff State Park

Canoeing in LeFleur’s Bluff State Park

Charlie Brenner, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Situated on Lakeland Terrace, LeFleur’s Bluff State Park is spread over 300 acres.

The panoramic views of the scenery here are something you’ll remember for a while.

There is a glorious lake inside this impressive urban park.

It also houses two golf courses, multiple campsites, and many other facilities.

The park’s environment is refreshing.

Some fun activities include taking a relaxing boat ride on the lake or dangling your fishing lines in the water.

Plenty of spots are available for you to set up camp and enjoy exciting outdoor pleasures.

Complete your visit to LeFleur’s Bluff State Park by taking a few swings on the two golf courses.

There’s also a moderately sized museum inside the park.

Admire the Displays at the Mississippi Museum of Art

Entrance to Mississippi Museum of Art

Chad Robertson Media /

Located on South Lamar Street, the Mississippi Museum of Art houses an impressive collection of artwork from reputed American and British artists.

It dates back to 1978 and is the most significant public museum in Mississippi.

The museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and painting lovers.

It houses art items in other media, such as photographs and sculptures.

You can have an enriching experience exploring the variety of artwork on display in the exquisite galleries this place has to offer.

The Mississippi Museum of Art encourages local artists to hone their craft and contribute significantly to the art world.

They curate most of their works from local artists and invest lavishly in displaying these pieces to the larger public.

The museum organizes many fun activities.

You can enjoy live music in one of the concerts hosted in the garden.

Learn some art skills by participating in an educative session.

Alternatively, sit back and enjoy an art film screening.

Step Back in Time at the Oaks House Museum

Outside view of Oaks House Museum

Joe C Furr, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dating back to 1853, the Oaks House Museum was the residence of famous Jackson Mayor James H. Boyd.

Hence, it is also called the Boyd House.

Located on North Jefferson Street, the Oaks House Museum is one of the oldest structures in Jackson.

The building has been recognized as a Mississippi Landmark.

It’s an architectural marvel created in a beautiful Greek revivalist style.

The museum survived the Civil War and is one of a select few in the area to have done so.

You can explore the place on one of the tours and learn about this historical site in detail.

The guide will enlighten you with exciting details about the colorful history of the building and its many famous residents.

The gardens situated on the outside are equally marvelous.

You can enjoy a refreshing walk in the greenery.

The Oaks House Museum offers the perfect scenery to bring out your cameras and take memorable photographs.

Learn Something New at the Smith Robertson Museum

Exterior view of Smith Robertson Museum

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on Bloom Street, the Smith Roberson Museum was an early African American school where you can now catch a glimpse of the saga of African American history.

The exhibits narrate the bittersweet history of the African American people, including their hard struggles along the way.

You can attend one of the many programs organized here to learn about this episode of human history.

The knowledgeable guides on tour will fill you with astounding and sometimes painful facts about the events that transpired in the past.

Jackson was home to some of the earliest African American settlers in Mississippi.

Peek into their lives during those times through the many exhibits in the galleries.

You can explore several artworks, photographs, artifacts, clothing items, and furniture pieces dating back to this era.

Visitors are also welcome to attend their informative lectures to understand this chapter of American history on a deeper level.

The Smith Roberson Museum also organizes regular workshops, and you may enjoy attending one of these as well.

Watcha Live Show at New Stage Theatre

You can watch engaging performances at New Stage Theatre on Carlisle Street, which has a seating capacity of more than 300 people.

This place is a favorite among theater lovers, and most shows are sold out well in advance.

Live performance lovers will enjoy the spontaneity and realism of its unique shows.

They perform plays and musical concerts composed by some of the best minds in the genre’s history.

A Christmas Carol is one of their legendary performances.

You must try to get a ticket to one of New Stage Theatre’s shows during your visit to Jackson.

Snap Photos at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame

Established in 1961, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame exhibits the many awards and jerseys from the state’s rich sporting history.

You can see the personal gear of some of Mississippi’s most famous sports stars in the exhibits available here.

The museum is a tribute to these great state athletes and showcases their stellar achievements.

You can learn more about the celebrated sporting events through its exhibits in one of the guided tours.

Culminate your visit by picking up a memorable souvenir from the in-house gift shop.

Sports enthusiasts must visit the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame on Lakeland Drive.

Tour the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Distant view of Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Situated on North Street, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum aims to spread awareness and information about the long and painful American Civil Rights struggle.

They document and educate people about this movement through their many displays, exhibits, and informative play cards.

It’s the country’s first-ever civil rights museum sponsored by the state.

Front view of Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Luckiewiki, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Eight elegant galleries showcase the heroic struggle of the African American people for justice and equality.

After touring the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, you can head to the on-site cafe, which offers snacks and beverages.

You can also enjoy the colorful goodies in the museum’s gift shop.

Geek Out at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

Entrance to Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

Chad Robertson Media /

Established back in 1932, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is the state’s largest museum.

Its vast collection houses fantastic artifacts.

Some of the most exciting items on display include exotic and rare habitats, a gorgeous aquarium, and dinosaurs.

This museum is an excellent place for you to take your kids.

Children will enjoy getting acquainted with natural wonders playfully and engagingly.

They can participate in the several hands-on activities on offer to further increase the pleasure of their visit.

Navigate the vast outdoor maze and challenge yourself to find your way out.

Walk through the natural trails and enjoy some refreshing exercise.

Alternatively, marvel at the sight of the beautiful life-like statues.

Kids can get lost solving the fascinating puzzles on site.

They can also get a rare opportunity to feed fish.

The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is located on Riverside Drive.

See the Gardens at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum

Situated on Lakeland Drive, the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum is a rich collection of beautiful plants and trees.

This living-history farm has several other activities to offer to its visitors.

You can walk through the majestic agricultural gardens or catch some old-world romantic vibes in the children’s barn.

There is a heritage center located within its premises.

This building will give you the feeling of going back in time.

The exhibits retell the story of agriculture as it played out in Mississippi over the years.

An exquisite rose garden surrounds the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum.

The beautiful variety of roses here is truly one of a kind, and their sweet fragrances make walks through the garden a blissful experience.

Be Awed by the Russell C. Davis Planetarium

Entryway to Russell C. Davis Planetarium

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Russell C. Davis Planetarium is the ideal place to visit in Jackson for astronomy enthusiasts.

This vast modern planetarium is located downtown and uses cutting-edge technology to provide an exciting space experience.

You can learn fascinating facts about the planets, stars, and other astronomical objects.

Their awesome videos and presentations enlighten visitors with exciting information about the universe.

Using state-of-the-art digital technologies, the shows in the hemispheric theatre provide a unique experience you will cherish for life.

You can find the Russell C. Davis Planetarium on East Pascagoula Street.

Make Your Way to the Trendy Fondren District

Downtown Fondren District

GilbertThompson, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You must head out to the hustle and bustle of the Fondren district and enjoy a carefree stroll around the area.

Admire its charming local shops, warm cafes, exquisite art galleries, and delicious food.

The Fondren District is Jackson’s entertainment hub, and you can hang out in the area with some of your friends or on a date.

This neighborhood offers many fun activities.

You can join a dance class, attend a concert, or check out the bakery that serves mouth-watering sweets.

These are just some of the many things you can enjoy in this trendy, must-visit neighborhood.

Glimpse into the Life of an Author at the Eudora Welty House and Garden

Exterior view of Eudora Welty House and Garden

Chad Robertson Media /

The Eudora Welty House and Garden are recognized as National Historic Landmarks.

This property was the residence of the renowned author Eudora Welty.

The award-winning novelist penned some of her most famous works while staying at this magnificent mansion.

Take a guided tour through this place to learn about Eudora Welty, her life, and the events that inspired her writing.

The beautiful garden provides the ideal scenic beauty to capture beautiful snaps.

The Eudora Welty House and Garden are located on Pinehurst Street.

Catch a Performance at the Alamo Theater

Outside view of Alamo Theater

Bdarby78, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy marvelous live performances at the famous Alamo Theatre.

You can also enjoy fantastic movie screenings here.

The theater is surrounded by restaurants where you can enjoy delicious local and world cuisine.

You can watch live acting performances and dance acts at this excellent arts venue.

The Alamo Theatre is located on North Farish Street.

Admire the Architecture of the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion

Facade of Mississippi Governor's Mansion

Chad Robertson Media /

Designed in the Greek Revival style, the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion was constructed in 1839 and used as a residence in 1842.

This house is the second-oldest governor’s mansion in the United States that has continued serving as a residence.

A portico with massive columns adorns the front of the museum, and you may reach it through a long flight of stairs.

The structure has been recognized as a National Historic Landmark and continues to host official governmental events.

The Mississippi Governor’s Mansion is located on East Capitol Street.

Look Back on Heroism at the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument

View of Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument

Carla Batchelor, May 2005, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument, built over 60 years ago, was home to civil rights icons Medgar and Myrlie Evers.

Medgar was the first field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People before being murdered as a martyr for the Civil Rights Movement.

The couple worked to aid their fellow African Americans in various ways, including pursuing justice for victims of racially motivated killings and advocating for school integration.

Besides being home to the couple and their three kids, the residence also served as a common gathering place for civil rights activists and a haven for black people who were under threat.

Despite several death threats, the family bravely persevered, as seen by their unusually designed and secure home.

The Elaine Subdivision, built about the same time as the Evers mansion, was the first post-war contemporary subdivision for middle-class African Americans.

The Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument is located on Margaret W. Alexander Drive.

Bring Your Kids to Explore the Mississippi Children’s Museum

Colorful entrance of Mississippi Children's Museum

Chad Robertson Media /

Those who visit the Mississippi Children’s Museum will have a fantastic time learning new things.

With more than 50,000 square feet of interactive and informative displays, it is one of Jackson’s most popular tourist destinations.

You may spend a fun day perusing the exhibits and participating in the museum’s many interactive displays.

In this all-encompassing museum, guests may explore the realms of culture and the arts, health and nutrition, science, and technology.

It’s only logical that a museum based in Mississippi would have displays and exhibits focused on the state’s history, geography, and unique culture.

Visit the Mississippi Children’s Museum on Museum Boulevard.

Taste the Spirits of Cathead Distillery

One of Jackson’s most well-known watering holes, Cathead Distillery hosts tastings, tours, and other events.

The distillery is a great spot to spend the day with friends in Jackson, away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

It features a wide variety of vodka, wines, and other beverages to try, as well as clothing to purchase and enjoyable group activities.

There’s more to do at Cathead Distillery than get drunk.

The venue on South Farish Street also hosts other activities such as yoga classes, ping-pong tournaments, live performances, and more.

Final Thoughts

Jackson is a fascinating place with a rich history and countless museums for visitors to explore.

Get to know this charming city by trying the things on this list of the best things to do in Jackson, Mississippi!

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