Like the mighty river, the state of Mississippi is full of surprises. With over 1300 historic buildings, forts, bridges and battlefields listed on the national register, there’s a treasure trove of landmarks in Mississippi. The state has a rich tapestry of history, antebellum architecture, music, art, culinary culture and warm hospitality, so it’s easy to see why Mississippi is beguiling.
Important battles, such as the Siege of Vicksburg, were fought in Mississippi. Because of its strategic position along the Mississippi River, the state was important to both sides during the American Civil War. The second slave-state to join the Confederates, by 1860, there were over 430,000 enslaved people in the state.
The Magnolia State was the birthplace of Elvis Presley, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams and Jim Hensen, who created Kermit the Frog. An important producer of cotton, sweet potatoes, pulpwood, Mississippi is also known as the Catfish Capital of the World, producing more than half of the USA’s farmed catfish. Edward Adolf Barq, Sr invented root beer in 1989 in Biloxi. Have I intrigued you to find out more? Start with these 20 Mississippi landmarks.
- Mississippi Landmarks
- Famous Landmarks In Mississippi
- Natural Mississippi Landmarks
- Historical Landmarks In Mississippi
Famous Landmarks In Mississippi
1- Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
Situated in Jackson, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is the state’s largest museum.
It is a treasure trove for science, wildlife, and museum lovers of all ages.
This massive museum is a Mississippi monument to nature with an aquarium brimming with 200 living species, a two-mile hiking trail that winds through natural habitats, and a wall full of incredible fossil specimens and animal displays.
Check out their seasonal exhibits like the wild weather, where kids can learn about the science behind extreme weather.
You will appreciate the research and time behind crafting all the exhibits in complete detail and authenticity.
Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is at 2148 Riverside Dr, Jackson, MS 39202.
2- Dentzel Carousel, Meridian
The vintage carousel with hand-carved animals and original oil paintings has a magical aura and was crafted by the master carousel craftsman Gustav Dentzel.
Visit the oldest Dentzel Carousel in the US in Highland Park, Meridian, and take your childhood for a 50 cent spin atop this historic carousel.
Manufactured in 1896, the carousel is the last of its kind to feature a unique arrangement with two rows of stationary animals.
It is placed inside a covered house or a carousel building, created from a Dentzel blueprint.
Open round the year, this carousel is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and considered as a National Historic Landmark.
Dentzel Carousel, Meridian is at 1802 Carousel Dr, Meridian, MS 39307
3- Fillmore Street Chapel, Corinth
In the historic town of Corinth, Fillmore Street Chapel is a charming and celebrated church that is the city’s oldest.
Erected in 1871, it first served as Fillmore Street Presbyterian Church from 1906 to 1976 and is now the First United Methodist Church.
Its appearance surrounded by trees and blooming hydrangeas makes it a lovely photo backdrop and its old-world appeal makes it a popular wedding venue.
Built in the Gothic Revival Style, it has a bare brick structure made with load-bearing brick walls containing windows with lancet arches.
Fillmore Street Chapel, Corinth is at 3161 E Shiloh Rd, Corinth, MS 38834
4- Rodney Ghost Town
Rodney was just three votes away from being the state capital during its heyday.
It was a bustling port city with fertile soil for cotton plantations nearby.
War, fire and a growing sand bar in the Mississippi River contributed to the town losing its port and was eventually abandoned by its occupants.
You can still visit this creepy ghost town, situated 32 miles northeast of Natchez.
Check out the once-bustling Commerce Street, now just muddy and unkempt.
The Baptist Church and Presbyterian Church still have some fine specimens of period architecture left.
The grocery store and numerous streets will still give you a feel of life that thrived here once upon a time.
Rodney Ghost Town is at Jefferson County in southwest Mississippi.
5- Biloxi Bay Bridge
For a lovely view over Biloxi Bay, drive across the Biloxi Bay Bridge, or you can walk, pedal, or run as well.
The walkway is safe, 12 ft wide, and protected from the ongoing bridge traffic by a concrete wall.
This engineering landmark of Mississippi is a 1.6-mile long and 95 ft high girder bridge that connects Biloxi with Oceans Spring.
Not only is the bridge aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but its structure can also withstand hurricane-like winds and high waves.
The design included these features after the old bay bridge received enough battering during hurricane Katrina.
Biloxi Bay Bridge is at 158 Howard Ave, Biloxi, MS 39530.
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Natural Mississippi Landmarks
6- Natchez Trace Parkway
Embark upon an epic road trip down a 10,000-year-old scenic corridor that runs roughly 444 miles (714 km) through three states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee.
The Mississippi slice of Natchez Trace Parkway begins from Natchez and stretches to the Alabama State line.
Natchez Trace Parkway is a recreational drive peppered with historical sites and tonnes of adventures like hiking, biking, camping, and horseback riding.
Visit Emerald Mound at milepost 10.3, the largest ceremonial site from Mississippian Period along the Parkway.
Other points of interest are Mount Locust Inn (milepost 15.5), The Sunken Trace (milepost 41.5) and Chickasaw Village Site (261.8).
Natchez Trace Parkway is at Natchez, MS.
7- Ship Island
Also home to a lovely beach, Ship Island is a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico.
Just 11 miles off the coast, it is easily accessible through ferry service and day cruises from Biloxi and Gulfport between mid-March and October.
The silver sandy beaches are perfect for relaxing on and the water, with its emerald hue, is an open invitation to swim in and snorkel.
For a spot of Civil War-era history, check out Fort Massachusetts and look out for dolphins as you cross the Mississippi Sound to access the island.
Ship Island is one of the Mississippi–Alabama barrier islands located in the Gulf of Mexico.
8- Mississippi Petrified Forest
The story of the Mississippi Petrified Forest began 36 million years ago when a river deposited fir and maple logs at this current site, where they eventually petrified and turned into fossils.
Located near the city of Flora in Madison County, Mississippi Petrified Forest is one of the only two fossil forests found in the USA.
Now a National Natural Landmark, walk into this ancient time capsule and soak up the air of mystery while learning fascinating forest facts.
The trail ends at the Earth Science Museum, which has a collection of other petrified specimens from all over the world and country.
Mississippi Petrified Forest is at 124 Forest Park Rd, Flora, MS 39071.
9- Sky Lake WMA boardwalk
A stone’s throw away from the small town of Belzoni lies Sky Lake swamp, one of the prized Mississippi natural wonders.
The highlight of this 3500-acre (1416 ha) forest is its 1000-year-old bald Cyprus trees and other ancient denizens.
The trees here are enormous, the largest measuring 47 inches (1.2 m) in circumference.
Take the boardwalk that snakes through the forest for a rendevous with nature and some lovely views.
The other way to explore is to kayak or canoe through the swamp on their paddling trail.
All the trails are well marked with plenty of informational displays to keep you hooked on the history of the forest.
Sky Lake WMA boardwalk is at 1090 Simmons Rd, Belzoni, MS 39038.
10- Red Bluff
Mississippi’s version of the Grand Canyon might be minute in size, but its contours and colours are just as spectacular and spellbinding.
This off-the-beaten-track geological wonder tucked away in Marion County was formed by erosion caused by the Pearl River on its western bank.
With a depth of 150 ft (34 m), the gorge is half a mile (.8 km) wide and about a mile (1.6 km) in length.
The area is not as developed for hiking but follows the well-worn trails down its eastern and western side to climb to its bottom.
The colour play of yellow, purple, and pink sediments on the bluff walls will create visual magic for your eyes.
Red Bluff is at Foxworth, MS 39483.
For landmarks in Latin America see:
Historical Landmarks In Mississippi
11- Delta Blues Museum
The Delta Blues Museum is a mecca for music fans who want a deeper and more detailed understanding of the origin of the blues in the Mississippi Delta.
The museum is a combo package of education and entertainment housed in the historic Clarksdale freight depot.
It offers a unique perspective into the history and heritage of Blues with photographs, documents, instruments, artifacts and other video exhibits.
Don’t miss the sharecropper cabin where the legendary blues musician Muddy Waters lived as a child.
The original cabin was moved intact to the museum grounds.
Delta Blues Museum is at 1 Blues Alley, Clarksdale, MS 38614
12- Vicksburg National Military Park
Sprinkled with over 1400 wartime monuments, this 1800 acre (728 ha) countryside site of Vicksburg National Military Park is a famous landmark in Mississippi for war history lovers.
It was here that the Battle of Vicksburg, one of the most decisive battles of the American Civil War, raged on for 47 days.
The victory at Vicksburg gave the Union control over the Mississippi River and was a turning point for the North.
The park pays homage to all the soldiers and sailors from both sides that fought during the siege.
The monuments to the casualties are a silent reminder of society’s loss during a war.
Vicksburg National Military Park is at 3201 Clay St, Vicksburg, MS 39183.
13- Elvis Presley Birthplace & Museum
Travel to the birthplace and boyhood home of the King of Rock ‘n Roll’ in Tupelo, and learn about the inspirational beginning of this musical sensation before he moved to Memphis.
Apart from the lovingly restored home, there is a museum and his childhood church.
The humble house is a symbol of this famous American rags-to-riches story.
Watch the film tracing Elvis’ humble beginning and how he achieved his superstardom, then walk through the manicured grounds sprinkled with more statues, informational walls and benches.
It’s a wonderful Mississippi landmark to visit for Elvis fans.
Elvis Presley Birthplace & Museum is at 306 Elvis Presley Dr, Tupelo, MS 38801.
14- Mississippi Civil Rights Museum
If you think the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is merely a time-filler for a rainy day, you’re wrong.
This important museum communicates everything you need to know about the Civil Rights Movement.
An in-depth look at its trials, terror, and triumphs, the museum is spread across eight galleries where visitors can learn about the systemic oppression of the black Mississippians, the origin and impact of the movement, martyrs and their fight for equality, and how a nation was transformed in the process.
The exhibits are highly detailed and creative, so expect to be swayed by these compelling audio and video displays.
Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is at 222 North St #2205, Jackson, MS 39201.
15- Belmont Plantation
This 19th century antebellum mansion is the last remaining of its kind built along the river in the Mississippi delta.
Cotton plantations with grand plantation homes were established in Washington County, around Lake Washington.
Belmont sports antebellum architecture, a mix of Greek Revival and Italianate styles.
Its interior features intricate decorative plasterwork and the property is on the National Register Historic Property.
It’s also a lovely B&B where guests can book a stay.
Belmont Plantation is at 3498 MS-1, Greenville, MS 38701
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16- Mississippi State Capitol
Besides being the political hot seat of the state, the Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson is also a historic jewel in the crown of architecture.
Built in 1903, the architectural design epitomises Beaux-Arts Classism.
Apart from 111 different types of marble used to create its fascinating interior, another quirky thing to notice is that over 4000 electric lights illuminate the dome.
Electric lights were a new phenomenon in the 1900s and the designers went overboard.
The exterior dome has an 8 ft (2.4 m) high copper gilded eagle perched at the top.
Visitors can tour this historic monument of Mississippi and its ground to see the Hall of Governors and replica of the Liberty Bell.
Mississippi State Capitol is at 400 High St, Jackson, MS 39201.
Overlooking the Gulf Coast in Biloxi, this 150-year-old mansion is the last house where Ex-Confederate President of Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, spent his remaining 12 years before his death in 1889.
A historic home packed with confederate history and elegant artifacts illustrating the life and time of the president, the mansion sits on a beautifully maintained ground with Spanish moss hanging from large old trees.
Join a guided tour around the home and library and later check out the garden, cemetery, and nature trails through the former plantation on your own.
Beauvoir is at 2244 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39531.
18- Winterville Site
Imagine a handmade mound that measures a mean 55 ft (16.7m), roughly the size of a five-story modern building.
Discover the ancient engineering feats of these in Winterville Mounds, a sacred ceremonial site built around the Mississippian Period between AD 1200 to 1250 by the Native Americans.
Out of its original 23 mounds, only 12 mounds have been preserved.
The complex also contains other earthworks arranged around a 43-acre (17.4 ha) plaza.
The Native Americans who built the mounds their hands are believed to be the ancestors of the Chickasaws and Choctaws, although clear lineage has not been established.
Learn their stories from various excavated artifacts that throw light on their customs, rituals, and commercial connections.
Winterville Site is at 2415 MS-1, Greenville, MS 38701.
19- Biloxi Lighthouse
A monument of Biloxi’s resilient spirit after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, this 64-foot (20 m) tall lighthouse was built in 1848 and was the first cast-iron lighthouse installed in the South.
It employed many female lightkeepers while civilians were operating it between 1848 to 1939.
Maria Younghans was one lighthouse keeper who took care of the lights for 53 years.
The lighthouse is in the middle of a four-lane highway, so approach it with caution.
Biloxi Lighthouse is at 1050 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39530
20- Medgar Evers Home
Complete your Civil Rights Trail by paying homage to a Civil Rights Martyr, Medgar Evers.
His shared home with his wife and co-activist, Myrlie Evers, has been converted into a museum and a designated National Historic Landmark.
Evers was the first NAACP field secretary in Mississippi and his contribution to Civil Rights activism has been immense.
He advocated for the rights of black students to gain admission to the University of Mississippi.
His private home in Jackson, where his assassination took place in 1963, has been preserved exactly as his family left it.
Medgar Evers Home is at 2332 Margaret W Alexander Dr, Jackson, MS 39213.
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