You won’t want to miss these quintessential activities and iconic destinations that can only be found in the Magnolia State.

Only in Mississippi

FOLLOW IN A FROG’S FOOTSTEPS

THE BIRTHPLACE OF KERMIT THE FROG in Leland highlights the magic of Muppets® creator Jim Henson’s childhood.

ROLL ALONG THE NATCHEZ TRACE

A bike ride down this picturesque parkway is a peaceful way to see sites including the PARKWAY VISITOR CENTER in Tupelo, a nature exhibit in Kosciusko, the RIDGELAND MULTI-USE TRAIL, the “SUNKEN TRACE” portion of the Old Trace near Port Gibson, and the ancient EMERALD MOUND just north of the Trace’s end in Natchez. If all that pedaling makes you hungry, stop for lunch at the COUNCIL HOUSE CAFÉ at the log-cabin village known as FRENCH CAMP.

RAISE A GLASS

At RICH GRAIN DISTILLING COMPANY in downtown Canton, take a tour and enjoy a tasting of small-batch bourbons in an 1880s building in the heart of the state that was the last to repeal prohibition.

PLAY YOUR CARDS RIGHT

You can bet you’ll have a blast at Mississippi’s casinos, located along the Gulf Coast, on Native American reservations, and in Tunica, Greenville, Vicksburg and Lula.

START YOUR ENGINES

Auto enthusiasts will not want to miss popular events like Ridgeland’s EURO FEST, which features fine classic cars and motorcycles, and CRUISIN’ THE COAST, a multi-city extravaganza that combines antiques and hot rods with live music and great food. Legendary Laurel restaurant PHILLIPS DRIVE-IN hosts its PDI REUNION classic car show each fall next door TO HELLFIGHTERS MOTORCYCLE SHOP, a custom Harley hotspot.

LOVE HIM TENDER

Mississippi native Elvis Presley would have turned 85 this year, so mark the occasion by visiting TUPELO HARDWARE, the store where his mother Gladys bought the future “King” his first guitar.

DRIVE DOWN THE GREAT RIVER ROAD

This National Scenic Byway traces the course of the mighty Mississippi for 3,000 miles, including nearly 400 miles of unforgettable scenery within our state.

SMELL THE ROSES

THE ALL-AMERICAN ROSE GARDEN at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg features some 800 bushes and more than 36 outstanding varieties.

CATCH A GLIMPSE OF CAMPUS LIFE

Tailgating is a can’t-miss experience at SEC rivals OLE MISS and MISSISSIPPI STATE, with sports happening year round to cater to every interest. The schools offer plenty of other cultural landmarks, including William Faulkner’s home ROWAN OAK at Ole Miss and the MSU LIBRARIES, which house the ULYSSES S. GRANT PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY and the JOHN GRISHAM ROOM.

GET CABIN FEVER

Experience the charm of the NESHOBA COUNTY FAIR in Philadelphia, a “giant house party” that dates back to 1889 and features colorful cabins, big-name entertainment and even horse races.

FIND FAVORITE HAUNTS

Legends say ghosts may still roam around many old Mississippi sites—from historic homes like the MCRAVEN HOUSE in Vicksburg, MONT HELENA in Rolling Fork, and ROWAN OAK in Oxford to other sites including the still-in-operation KING’S TAVERN in Natchez and STUCKEY’S BRIDGE near Meridian. The DEASON HOUSE in Ellisville, once occupied by Confederate deserters who inspired the Matthew McConaughey movie Free State of Jones, is said to be home to as many as five spirits.

LOOK FOR THE “BEAR” NECESSITIES

See where the teddy bear got his name during a famous hunt by President Theodore Roosevelt in the Delta town of Onward; the nearby ROLLING FORK VISITORS CENTER AND MUSEUM is the place to learn the whole tale.

GO BEYOND THE BATTLE

At VICKSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK, learn why this river city was the “key to the South” during the Civil War.

SADDLE UP

Some of the nation’s finest equines can be seen at GULFPORT’S GULF COAST WINTER CLASSIC HORSE SHOW HUNTER/JUMPER CIRCUIT, a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 award-winning event.

KEEP THE FAITH

Feel the spirit of ST. MARY BASILICA in Natchez, an architectural masterpiece built beginning in 1842 and is the oldest Catholic building in the state.

Fun for Kids

CAPITAL/RIVER

FIND A ONE-STOP FUN SHOP

THE LEFLEUR MUSEUM DISTRICT in Jackson is home to the MISSISSIPPI MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCE, the MISSISSIPPI CHILDREN’S MUSEUM, the MISSISSIPPI AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY MUSEUM, and the MISSISSIPPI SPORTS HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM. Nearby in downtown Jackson you will also find the MISSISSIPPI PLANETARIUM.

GET READY TO ROCK

Ancient trees are now stone at the MISSISSIPPI PETRIFIED FOREST in Flora, a site with natural artifacts dating back 36 million years.

LEARN THE SODA SAGA

See where Coke was first bottled at the BIEDENHARN COCA-COLA MUSEUM, a restored 1890s candy store in Vicksburg.

GO WILD

Take a safari wagon tour and experience an old-fashioned general store at MCCLAIN LODGE in Brandon.

COASTAL

BREAK THE RULES

At the LYNN MEADOWS DISCOVERY CENTER in Gulfport, kids are encouraged to touch everything, talk loudly and just have fun in a renovated 1915 schoolhouse.

SET SAIL FROM BILOXI

A ferry ride to SHIP ISLAND leads visitors to historic FORT MASSACHUSETTS, constructed after the War of 1812; back on the mainland, don’t miss the 1848-built BILOXI LIGHTHOUSE or the MARITIME AND SEAFOOD INDUSTRY MUSEUM, which offers rides on a replica 1800s schooner.

CUDDLE A SLOTH

You can also walk about with a wallaby, pet a Tunisian sheep, or simply enjoy seeing almost 100 other species, all at the HATTIESBURG ZOO.

DISCOVER WHAT’S UNDER THE SEA

Slated to open in the spring of 2020, the MISSISSIPPI AQUARIUM in Gulfport will be home to 300 species of colorful, vibrant sea creatures ready to greet visitors.

HAVE A BLAST

INFINITY SCIENCE CENTER in Pearlington is the official visitor center of NASA’s Stennis Space Center, plus so much more—visitors can explore the world of space and even practice landing the space shuttle.

PINES

RIDE AROUND ALL DAY

Go for a spin on a hand-carved animal on the restored 1897 DENTZEL CAROUSEL at Meridian’s HIGHLAND PARK.

EXPLORE THE RIVER WILD

Along the Chunky River in Enterprise is DUNN’S FALLS, a 65-foot waterfall that attracts visitors to picnic near the banks or canoe and swim in the river below.

SPLASH, SLIDE OR SOAK UP THE SUN

The massive GEYSER FALLS WATER THEME PARK in Choctaw features tube and speed slides, waterfalls, a lazy river and even sandy beaches.

HILLS

BEHOLD A BUFFALO

The TUPELO BUFFALO PARK AND ZOO is home to more than 260 animals, also including zebras, yaks, monkeys and more.

COME OUT AND PLAY

It’s all about outdoor fun at LATIMER LAKES PARK in Horn Lake, where a disk golf course shares space with nature trails, fishing lakes, a skateboard park, ball fields and tennis courts.

Unique Lodging

Delta

DREAM OF THE BLUES

Find three eclectic places to stay in Clarksdale: the vintage-decorated HOOKER HOTEL—named for blues legend John Lee Hooker— along with the SQUEEZE BOX and DELTA DIGS, all located within the 1897-built former Clarksdale Telegraph Office building.

HUNT AMID HISTORY

The restored 1857 BELMONT PLANTATION in Greenville welcomes overnight guests and wedding parties to experience the Mississippi Delta’s only remaining riverfront antebellum mansion; luxury extras include custom hunting and fishing excursions.

CAPITAL/RIVER

BE PAMPERED IN NATCHEZ

Choose one of several full-service bed and breakfasts, including the 1818-built MONMOUTH HISTORIC INN and the 1836-built CHOCTAW HALL, and find out what true Southern hospitality is all about.

STAY NEAR THE ACTION IN JACKSON

Whether you prefer the slow pace of the romantic FAIRVIEW INN with its spa and lush gardens or the stylish downtown vibe of the OLD CAPITOL INN, you’ll find the perfect accommodations in the Capital City.

HAVE SUITE DREAMS IN VICKSBURG

Built before the Civil War, CEDAR GROVE MANSION INN stands on five acres of grand gardens and is one of the South’s largest bed and breakfasts.

COASTAL

FIND A COZY NEST

Called “the best de- signed hotel in Mississippi” by House Beautiful, THE ROOST boutique hotel is tucked within a historic Ocean Springs building that’s within walking distance of the beach.

SPEND A NIGHT IN NATURE

RIVER RANCH B&B, a hand-hewn log cabin lodge set on 300-plus acres of wilderness in Hattiesburg, offers guests an escape from the everyday, with hiking and biking trails alongside flowing streams.

HILLS

DISCOVER A COUNTRY CABIN

Tucked away near Grenada Lake in Grenada is the LITTLE BIG HOUSE, a luxury cabin surrounded by scenic views and outdoor activities.

HIT THE BOOKS

The preppy hotel known as THE GRADUATE in Oxford is decorated in posh collegiate style and even features a lobby library.

PINES

ENJOY A HISTORIC HIDEAWAY

Step into the Victorian era at the JACKIE O’ HOUSE, a period-perfect 1909 mansion set on four tree-shaded acres in Columbus.

See More Features