Share a slice of Mississippi history
The itinerary at a glance
Begin in Jackson, the state’s capital city, by exploring three world-class museums, the civil rights, history, and art museums, before departing for Vicksburg and some of the country’s most significant Civil War sites. Follow the Mississippi River to Natchez and explore three centuries of rich history. Along the way, there are original dining options with regional fare and made-in-Mississippi shopping.
Duration: 3 Days
Begin your day in Jackson, the “City with Soul.” Immerse yourself in this distinctively southern, entirely American city. Visit the home of Eudora Welty, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and the first to be honored on the Mississippi Writers Trail. Begin your civil rights movement experience at the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument, the home of the African American civil rights activist at the time of his assassination. Lunch today is at Hal & Mal’s. Make sure you sample the Comeback & Crackers.
Stop at the nearby Old Capitol Museum, Mississippi’s most historic building. The structure is a National Historic Landmark and is where some of the state’s most significant legislation was passed. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum’s eight galleries focus on the events that occurred in the state between 1945-1976 that had an impact on Mississippi and the nation. Adjacent to the museum is the Museum of Mississippi History’s nine galleries that have their own stories to tell. Did you book your studio time? The walls at Malaco Music Group tell the story of music awards through records and posters since its opening in 1968.
Check into any Jackson group-friendly hotel to refresh before dinner. Dining options are numerous, from quaint, casual eateries to fine-dining restaurants with dishes prepared by James Beard Award-winning chefs. Check out the Fondren District for some great restaurants and retail therapy.
Enjoy breakfast and checkout before departing for a busy morning. The Mississippi Museum of Art is a must. The exhibitions and galleries inspire and delight, as do the tranquil Art and Walker gardens. Continue to the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, the second oldest continuously occupied governor’s residence in the U.S. Depart for the 12-mile drive to Ridgeland for lunch. Cock of the Walk is a group favorite.
Right around the corner, the next stop is the Bill Waller Craft Center, home of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi. Browse for that special piece of Mississippi to take home. Depart for the 50-mile drive to Vicksburg.
Begin your Vicksburg visit at the Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum to explore life on the Mississippi River and its impact on local society. Continue to the Jacqueline House Museum, which is dedicated to the area’s African American culture. Round out your afternoon with a visit to the Old Courthouse Museum before checking into one of Vicksburg’s group-friendly hotels or one of the casino hotels if you plan to try your luck later this evening.
After some rest and relaxation, depart for dining downtown. Make sure to windshield tour the murals on the levee. If a meal with a view attracts you, try 10 South Rooftop Bar & Grill. Shopping downtown is a treat with a variety of shops, boutiques, and galleries to explore.
After breakfast and checkout, begin your day at the Vicksburg National Military Park. No visit to Vicksburg is complete without a visit to this place of historical significance.
The 47-day Siege of Vicksburg was a decisive conflict in the Civil War. Both sides knew its importance. With New Orleans and Memphis in Union control, Vicksburg was the lone bastion preventing the splitting of the South. Begin your visit with a 21-minute film detailing the Campaign and Siege of Vicksburg and why the city’s defense was so difficult to defeat. Among the 1,400 monuments, markers and tablets, there are many of particular interest. The Vicksburg National Military Park is best explored with a guide.
Depart Vicksburg for the 75-mile drive to Natchez with a stop in Port Gibson for lunch. Mississippi’s Finest is well known for having the best soul food around. Be sure to stop by Windsor Ruins, the historic site of the Windsor plantation that was destroyed by fire in 1890. Twenty-nine columns remain of the largest Greek Revival mansion ever constructed in the state.
Once in Natchez, stop at the Natchez Visitor Center and official Mississippi Welcome Center, which sits at the head of the Mississippi River Bridge connecting Mississippi and Louisiana. Take time to enjoy the state-of-the-art displays that chronicle the history of Natchez.
Tour Rosalie Mansion, built in 1823, which overlooks the Mississippi River and Natchez riverfront. Nearby Longwood halted construction in 1861 as Civil War tensions rose. With the exterior walls completed and the interior unfurnished, the owners lived in their lavish basement.
The Forks of the Road Slave Market is being preserved, protected, and expanded by the National Park Service. A visit to the Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture showcases the civil rights movement and related struggles in the area. Check into at the Natchez Grand Hotel, Magnolia Bluffs Casino Hotel, or any Natchez group-friendly hotel.
The following morning, enjoy breakfast and checkout before departing Natchez, having experienced an authentic Mississippi adventure in the Capital/River Region. If you choose, continue your journey to the Mississippi’s Coastal Region.
Karen Gates Matlock, CPM, TMP
P.O. Box 849
Jackson, MS. 39205