The phrase “small town Mississippi” conjures up images of quaint little towns with friendly residents displaying some of that famous Southern hospitality to visitors strolling down historic Main Streets. You’ll certainly find plenty of that, but Mississippi’s out-of-the-way attractions offer so much more: artists’ colonies, impressive mansions, literary heritage and unexpectedly large collections of Elvis memorabilia. Take your group to one of these small towns and prepare to be surprised.

Aberdeen was once a thriving cotton port and one of the largest cities in the state. That era is over, but many stately antebellum homes still stand, making Aberdeen one of the most architecturally beautiful towns in Mississippi. The best-known property is The Magnolias, a three-story Greek Revival mansion built in 1850, but Aberdeen has more than 200 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places in Aberdeen. Take the self-guided tour that takes you past almost 50 of them or come for the springtime Southern Heritage Pilgrimage to experience both the houses and special events. (

Because of its strategic railroads, Corinth was the site of two vicious battles during the Civil War. As a result, this is probably the best town in Mississippi to visit for Civil War buffs. Among the war-related sites are the Civil War Interpretive Center and Battery F, the best preserved earthwork system in America. Other town highlights include the Verandah-Curlee House, a beautiful antebellum structure that was the headquarters for both Union and Confederate generals at different times, and Borroums Drug Store, founded by a Confederate veteran and home to an authentic working soda fountain and the famous Slugburger. (