What are the best things to see and do in Jackson?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Michael Ream

Jackson’s rich history adds to the city’s ideal sightseeing, This Southern city seems to have something for everyone — from rich historical sites to cultural centers. Here are the best things to see and do in Jackson:

1. Visit the downtown buildings. Begin with the Mississippi State Capitol, a granite and limestone Beaux Arts structure topped with a dome and a golden eagle. The nearby Old Capitol was where Mississippi seceded from the United States, and was one of the few buildings in town to survive the Union offensives during the Civil War. Today it is home to a museum of state history.
2. Stroll through the Mississippi Museum of Art. The state’s largest art museum has works in many media by many notable artists including Picasso, Miro, Chagall and Rembrandt, in addition to a number of pieces by native Mississippians. There’s also an excellent selection of folk art and outsider art.
3. Tour the Eudora Welty House. In a state known for its literary heritage, from Faulkner to John Grisham, this modest home across the street from Millsaps College is definitely worth a pilgrimage for fans of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Welty called the Tudor Revival-style house home for 76 years, until her death in 2001 at age 92.
4. Explore African American history. Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, housed in the former first public school for African American children in Jackson, has exhibits on various eras of African American life in Jackson and in the South, including the Great Migration. It’s adjacent to the Farish Street District, once a thriving African American business area. It has fallen into decline, but you can still chow down on some authentic soul food at Peaches Restaurant, in the shadow of the Alamo Theater, whose marquee dominates the street.
5. Head to the Governor’s Mansion. The Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, built in Greek revival style, has tours with guides who will explain the history of each room. Behind the governor’s mansion is Smith Park, a public square and the only park that remains from Jackson’s original city plan.

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