Mississippi

Mississippi

Some people say Mississippi and Louisiana mixed up their names. The first French settlement was in Mississippi, not the state named after the French king. And the mighty Mississippi’s namesake isn’t where she empties into the sea. What does it take to understand a place like Mississippi?

The state’s name comes from the Ojibwe word for Great River – ‘misi-ziibi’. It’s known as ‘The Hospitality State’ because of its long tradition of southern hospitality, especially for travelers along the river and the historic Natchez Trace overland route. In Mississippi, you’ll find smiling faces, historical places, natural spaces, and so much more.

Table of Contents

Price point levels scaled for a 7-day visit for a couple and anchored on research and personal experiences.

$ - up to $1500
$$ - $1500 - $3000
$$$ - $3000 -$5000
$$$$ - $5000+
Price Point
$$-$$$
Language(s)

English

Currency

US Dollar

Reported for the US traveler with foreign countries rankings based on the US State Department's travel advisories.
Safety
Exercise Increased Caution

Reported for three representative cities within the destination via Weather Spark.

Climate (°F)
Summer Winter
Tupelo 91 34
Jackson 92 38
Biloxi 89 45
Outlets
Type-A
Type-B

Best Time to Visit

Early spring features elaborate Mardi Gras celebrations across Coastal Mississippi. By mid-spring, the Magnolia State’s namesake flowers are in full bloom, and you don’t want to miss the blessing of the fleet that marks the beginning of the shrimping season in late spring. Mississippi’s sweltering summers are perfect for playing in the water on the Gulf Coast or the many rivers and streams. Northern Mississippi has good fall color, and everybody across the state appreciates cooler weather and dry skies.

Fun Facts

  • More than 50% of the Mississippi is covered by wild or cultivated trees
  • Mississippi is home to NASA’s largest rocket engine test facility – The John C. Stennis Space Center (SSC)
  • Mississippi produces Mississippi is also known as ‘the Catfish Capital of the World’ and produces more than 50% of America’s farm-raised catfish
  • Mississippi is the birthplace of the Teddy Bear, which came about when Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a defenseless bear on a hunting trip in Sharkey, Mississippi
  • Natchez is the oldest permanent settlement on the Mississippi River, settled two years before New Orleans in 1716
  • Hattiesburg has the highest concentration of millennials in the South

Bucket-List Activities

  • Eat some shrimp at the Biloxi Blessing of the Fleet Festival (Biloxi)
  • Cruise or bike ‘The Secret Coast’ (Coastal Mississippi)
  • Visit Elvis’ birthplace (Tupelo) and the birthplace of rock and roll (Hattiesburg)
  • Drive through 10,000 years of history on the Natchez Trace (Tupelo to Natchez)
  • Chase waterfalls at the Clark Creek Nature Area (Woodville)
  • Catch the blues on the Mississippi Blues Trail
  • Hit the beach on Ship Island (Gulfport)

Natural Wonders

  • Petrified Forest (Flora)
  • Tishomingo State Park (Tishomingo)
  • Red Bluff (Marion County)
  • Loess Bluff (Natchez)
  • Clark Creek Natural Area (Woodville)
  • The Cypress Preserve (Greenville)

Major Attractions

  • Vicksburg National Military Park (Vicksburg)
  • Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (Jackson)
  • Natchez Trace Parkway (Natchez)
  • Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum (Biloxi)
  • Elvis Presley Birthplace (Tupelo)

Native Foods

  • Mississippi Mud Pie
  • Corn Bread
  • Collard Greens
  • Pecan Pie
  • Shrimp (bonus if it’s fresh off the dock in Biloxi)
  • Smith County watermelon
  • Fried Chicken (bonus if it’s Mr. D’s)
  • Tamale (bonus for completing the Tamale Trail)
  • Slugburgers (bonus points if they’re at the Corinth Slugburger Festival)

General Travel Tips

Common Phrases

  • Nabs – Peanut butter crackers, although Nabisco no longer makes them
  • Give me some sugar – Give me a kiss
  • Jeat yet? – A way to say ‘did you eat yet’ using only two syllables
  • All get out – To do something to the extreme, popularized by Huck Finn’s travel down the Mississippi River

Enplanements scaled by the number of commercial passenger boardings that occurred at the airport in calendar year per Wikipedia

🛩 - Limited commercial air service

✈ - 25,000  - 100,000

✈✈ - 100,000 - 500,000

✈✈✈ - 500,000 - 1,000,000

✈✈✈✈ - 1,000,000+

Major Cities / Airports

  • Jackson / Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (JAN ✈✈) – Mississippi’s capital and largest city
  • Gulfport / Biloxi International Airport (GPT ✈✈) – Your gateway to the secret coast with some cheap flights from Sun Country and Allegiant
  • Columbus / Golden Triangle Regional Airport (GRT ✈) – Serviced by Delta from Atlanta
  • Tupelo / Tupelo Regional Airport (TUP 🛩) – Elvis’ birthplace
  • Meridian  / Meridian Regional Airport (MEI 🛩) – The largest city in Mississippi between 1890 and 1930
  • Hattiesburg / Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport (PIB 🛩) – Birthplace of Rock and Roll and home to outdoor adventures and the Longleaf Trace
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