Mississippi is a diverse and welcoming state, though it is most well known for being the birthplace of American blues music. Alongside its great music scene and southern charm, the state also boasts America's second largest river: the Mississippi River, which is the ideal vacation spot for those who love water sports, relaxing on beach shorelines, or fishing into the late hours of the night.
Whether you are looking to enjoy a romantic getaway or a girl's trip, Mississippi is chock full of destinations for a three-day vacation that fits your needs, from exciting scenic drives along the Natchez Trace Parkway to a rejuvenating trip to a day spa in Gulfport. Whatever it may be, discover your next adventure in Mississippi.
One of the best small towns in Mississippi for a weekend escape, Canton is a convenient location, just outside of the state's capital of Jackson and situated halfway between Memphis, Tennessee and New Orleans, Louisiana. If you would like, you can turn your three-day weekend into a road trip, enjoying the charm of the small town and the excitement of one of the big cities.
Whether you choose to stay in Canton or not, be sure to tour the historic buildings, including the town's ornate courthouse, the Old Madison County Jail, and the courthouse square, which earns a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. There are also many tours, including driving and walking tours of the town, a visit to the historic train depot, and a vintage movie museum.
If you stop by from June 29 to July 1, you cannot miss the Hot Air Balloon Fest, where balloons line the sky, fireworks light up the night, and there is plenty of entertainment and food to enjoy all weekend.
Hattiesburg earns a spot on the list of best places to retire in Mississippi for its small-town atmosphere and big-city amenities. It is also just a short drive from the Gulf Coast, ideal for fishing trips, boating days, and relaxing on the glimmering shoreline. FestivalSouth is a popular event, occurring from May 30 to June 24, with each week dedicated to different art forms, including music, performance arts, and visual art.
If you are looking for something adventurous, consider biking the 44 miles down the Longleaf Trace or try climbing at the High Ropes Adventure Course. For a laidback afternoon, visit the Hattiesburg Zoo or Mississippi Armed Forces Museum. While there, explore the town's local eateries and breweries. Some of the most iconic spots include Birdhouse Cafe, Mario's Italian Restaurant, and Keg & Barrel pub.
Gulfport is one of the most charming cities along the Gulf Coast with ample opportunity to partake in water sports, with water recreation areas and parks lining the town. The Gulf Port beach itself is a great place to spend the day soaking up the sun, playing in the sand, and swimming through the clear waters.
While there, enjoy a zip lining experience, taking in fantastic sights of the water below, take a boat to Ship Island and spend a day fishing and enjoying the fresh air, or stroll through the downtown area, being sure to check out the unique arts scene and a multitude of galleries. The Mississippi Aquarium is a great spot to learn about aquatic animals while the Ocean Adventures Marine Park allows you to get up close and personal with the creatures, including a chance to swim with dolphins.
Natchez is a beautiful city in Mississippi and sits on the shoreline of the Mississippi River. The town is well known for its antebellum mansions and historic spots, including the octagonal Longwood and the Melrose estate, which are both part of the Natchez National Historical Park. Once you explore the long list of historic homes, immerse yourself in the town's cultural heritage and pay a visit to the town's museums, including the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians.
The town is also well-loved for its music scene, which you can discover with a drive along the Americana Music Triangle. Biscuits & Blues is a great place to stop for a bite to eat and a chance to hear some live music, while Under-the-Hill Saloon also boasts views of the Mississippi River. Do not forget to explore the great outdoors in Natchez, visiting spots like Bluff Park to enjoy a picnic, catching a game at Duncan Park Golf Course, and watching the sun go down along the riverside.
One of the cutest small towns in Mississippi, Oxford earns the title “Cultural Mecca of the South”, having been the location where many creatives of the past and present source inspiration, soaking up the history and culture of the town. The Square is the best place to stop if you want to find a live performance, while you can find work from local artists at the Oxford Artist Guild Gallery and The Powerhouse Community Arts Center. The Oxford Art Crawl takes place on the fourth Tuesday of every month, where visitors and locals alike enjoy a free shuttle ride through the town's best spots. Enjoy everything from scrumptious breakfasts to gourmet dinners at the plethora of restaurants scattered throughout Oxford, and do not forget to partake in a day of pampering at one of the luxurious spas.
Jackson is the capital of Mississippi, housing the Mississippi Capitol Building, Mississippi Governor's Mansion, and the Mississippi Blues Trail. The town also hosts a number of historic sites that were relevant during the civil rights movement, such as Medgar Evers Home Museum, which is open for tours.
Known as the "City With Soul," Jackson boasts more than beautiful architecture and a rich history. You will also discover all types of music -- blues, jazz, gospel -- around every corner, as well as a plethora of buildings used in popular films such as Get on Up or The Help -- making it the ideal vacation spot for a movie buff. There is no shortage of scrumptious food, either, whether you have a hankering for spice, savory, or sweet. The Dixie National Rodeo also takes place in Jackson, where horse and competition lovers alike tend to gather.
Ocean Springs sits along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and is a charming beach town featuring a collection of natural mineral springs. Enjoy a swim in the glistening warm waters or walk along the sparkling sandy beaches of Front Beach to kick off your trip. Peruse the streets in search of your next great souvenir or trinket to display at home, and don't forget to learn your history at one of the many museums, including the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum, Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, or the Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum. Ocean Springs also boasts a rich art scene, which you can enjoy at the Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival, or as you walk along the charming main street and discover over 200 independent shops and galleries.
Enjoy Your Vacay!
Mississippi is the ideal place for a three-day getaway, whether you want a jam-packed weekend or are looking to leisurely stroll the downtown streets of your new favorite small town. From historic mansions to scenic beaches and a plethora of attractions, there is something for everyone when exploring the beauty of Mississippi. When planning your next trip, consider one of these seven destinations for a fun-filled getaway.