Mississippi is rich in history and the culture of the Deep South. Steam-powered riverboats paddling downstream and ornate pre-Civil War mansions remind you of a time long passed. The Mississippi Delta is the birthplace of the blues, America's first original music genre. World-famous performers like B.B. King got their start in Mississippi and everything from country, jazz and rock and roll have long been influenced by the state's musical roots.
Speaking of roots, Mississippi has grown into a premier destination for those looking to enjoy southern cuisine and comfort foods. Inspired by a thriving agriculture industry, the land is the source for favorites like fried okra, biscuits and gravy, cornmeal-dusted catfish and fried chicken. These recipes have been honed and passed down over hundreds of years. They are foods that connect you with the land. With Mississippi mud pie and the sweet smell of butter cookies in the oven, there’s a tradition here of filling your belly and comforting your soul.
Mississippi's southern border reaches the Gulf of Mexico. The state has 62 miles of warm, sunny coastline. Beachfront cities like Pascagoula and Gulfport give beach lovers a taste of tropical sands lined with palm trees. Gulf shrimp and oysters are a local delicacy fresh off of the Mississippi docks.
Just north of the Gulf, there are millions of acres of incredible forested habitat. Gently rolling terrain of southern pine and hardwood forests provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Rivers and streams look like they are flowing with southern sweet tea, with their crystal clear, transparent browns. While catfish, brim, shrimp, oysters, spotted bass, crappie and longear sunfish fill the water, thriving whitetails and turkey populations certainly fill the forests. If you want to explore places like the De Soto National Forest, you can hike its many trails or jump on an ATV for amazing backwoods adventure. Saddle a horse and discover the Black Creek and Leaf Wilderness Areas. Here you'll find that off-the-beaten-path opportunity that provides the solitude you've been looking for.
The Natchez Trace in Mississippi's northern region lets hikers and backpackers walk right through history. The 450-mile scenic trail was once used as a highway by Native Americans and, later, European traders. The trail runs right through Tishomingo State Park. The park has won numerous awards ranking in America's top 50 places for hiking trails, scenic views and amazing locations. Here you can kayak rapids, climb mountains and enjoy the best of Mississippi's outdoors.