12 Attractions in Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi is the state capital and largest city, offering visitors a unique blend of history, culture, food, and entertainment. From museums that chronicle Mississippi’s past to live music that keeps the party going late into the night, Jackson has something for everyone.

This article will highlight 12 of the top attractions that you don’t want to miss when visiting Jackson. We’ll provide an overview of each attraction, details on its history and significance, and practical information like location, hours, and admission prices to help you plan your visit. Whether you’re interested in civil rights history, art, or family-friendly activities, you’ll discover something new to see and do in Mississippi’s capital city.

1. Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is one of Jackson’s most important cultural sites. This museum, which opened in 2017, chronicles Mississippi’s history of racial oppression and the Civil Rights Movement efforts to dismantle segregation and Jim Crow laws.

Spread across 200,000 square feet, the museum uses archival film, oral histories, artifacts, text panels, and interactive media to immerse visitors in the stories of the state’s civil rights struggle. Key topics covered include slavery, Reconstruction, the rise of racist Jim Crow laws, and Mississippi’s role in major civil rights events like the Emmett Till murder, desegregation of schools, Freedom Summer, and the passage of key legislation like the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.

Visitors will leave with a deeper understanding of how far Mississippi has come in realizing civil rights for all, as well as how far it still needs to go.

Location: 222 North St, Jackson, MS 39201

Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 9am–5pm, Sunday 1pm–5pm. Closed Mondays and select holidays.

Admission: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and military, $5 for students. Free for children under 5.

2. Mississippi Museum of Art

Mississippi’s largest art museum, the Mississippi Museum of Art features impressive permanent collections and special exhibitions spanning a variety of artists and mediums.

The museum’s collections focus heavily on artists from Mississippi and the southeastern United States. Spanning paintings, sculpture, photography and more, you can view over 5,000 pieces including the Hudson River School, 20th century abstraction, and post-World War II genres. Some renowned artists featured include Walter Anderson, Marie Hull, Dusti Bongé, and George E. Ohr.

Special exhibitions have covered topics ranging from Chinese art and culture to the animation art behind Pixar films. With bright and spacious galleries, you’ll get an up-close look at an array of captivating American art.

Location: 380 South Lamar St, Jackson MS 39201

Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10am–5pm, Sunday noon-5pm. Closed Mondays and major holidays.

Admission: Free to view permanent collection galleries. Fees for special exhibitions vary by event, typically $5-12.

3. Mississippi Children’s Museum

The Mississippi Children’s Museum is a must-visit attraction when traveling with kids. This colorful museum offers hands-on educational play spaces designed to spark children’s natural curiosity.

Permanent museum exhibits allow kids to experiment with basic science principles, engage their bodies and imaginations through physical play, and explore expressions of creativity through music and art. Popular permanent spaces include an art studio, music studio, water play area, sensory garden, and structures that form a “human body adventure” climb and maze.

Special rotating exhibits dive deeper into science, health, culture, and history topics through innovative interactives. Upcoming 2023 exhibits cover dinosaurs, robotics, based engineering, and Mississippi’s amphibians and reptiles.

With opportunities for sensory and motor skill development around every corner, your kids will have a blast learning through play at MCM.

Location: 2148 Riverside Dr, Jackson, MS 39202

Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 9am–5pm, Sunday noon-6pm. Closed Mondays.

Admission: $10 for all visitors over 12 months old. Seniors 65+ are $9. Free for infants under 12 months.

4. Eudora Welty House and Garden

Literature lovers won’t want to miss visiting the former Jackson home of acclaimed Mississippi author Eudora Welty. This National Historic Landmark built in 1925 was Welty’s residence for over 75 years. As a house museum today, it provides a snapshot into the Pulitzer Prize winner’s life and literary career.

Through preserved rooms containing original furnishings, visitors get a glimpse at where Welty wrote most of her celebrated short stories, novels, and photo essays. Interpretive displays also cover her background as well how living in Jackson influenced her writing’s sense of place. Guests can even stroll through Welty’s private walled garden that served as a frequent source of inspiration.

Don’t skip the on-site visitor center, which contains exhibitions related to Welty’s works plus a gift shop carrying books and souvenirs. To further enhance your literary journey, join one of the site’s many special events, such as lectures, readings, historic cooking classes, and garden tours.

Location: 1119 Pinehurst St, Jackson, MS 39202

Hours: Tuesday–Friday 10am–4pm, Saturday noon-4pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays, and holidays.

Admission: House tours cost $10 for adults, $8 for seniors 65+, and $5 for students. Garden is free and open 9am-5pm.

5. Smith Robertson Museum

To immerse yourself in African American history and cultural heritage in Mississippi, schedule a visit to the Smith Robertson Museum. Operated by the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center organization, this museum opened in 2001 in Jackson’s historic Farish Street District.

Through exhibitions and programming, the museum’s mission centers on collecting, preserving, and interpreting Mississippi’s African American history spanning visual art, material culture, archival records, and artifacts.

Key displays cover topics like the African origins of African American culture, prominent Black Mississippi pioneers, the Reconstruction period following slavery, Jim Crow era struggles, and the musical heritage of blues and gospel traditions. Many exhibits profile local and regional artists.

Don’t miss the museum’s holdings of works by acclaimed Mississippi artist and writer Walter Anderson. Vibrant paintings, block prints, drawings and more represent the diverse scope of Anderson’s talents and artistry inspired by nature on the Gulf Coast.

Location: 528 Bloom St, Jackson, MS 39202

Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 9am–5pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays, and major holidays.

Admission: Free to all visitors

6. Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum

Sports fans visiting Mississippi’s capital should dedicate an afternoon to exploring the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum. As Mississippi’s first-ever sports museum, this venue opened in 1996 to celebrate the state’s greatest athletic accomplishments across many sports.

Spanning over 28,000 square feet, the museum showcases an array of exhibits and collections related to Mississippi sports history. Permanent displays highlight accomplished athletes who were born, lived, played, or coached in Mississippi across sports like baseball, football basketball, golf, tennis and more. Notable Hall of Fame members have included NFL great Brett Favre, NBA star Spencer Haywood, and Olympic champion runner Ralph Boston.

The museum also contains exhibits on the Evans Family – pioneering Black tennis stars who overcame 1920s-40s segregation laws for trailblazing success and equal rights progress in tennis.

With memorabilia, statistics, biographies, and videos detailing Mississippi athletes and events, you’ll gain new appreciation for the state’s sports legacy at the Hall of Fame.

Location: 1152 Lakeland Dr. Jackson, MS 39216

Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 9am–5pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays, and holidays.

Admission: $10 for adults, $9 seniors 55+, $8 active military, $5 students 7-17 years old. Kids under 7 free.

7. Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum

The Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum offers families an enriching look at the state’s agricultural heritage and natural landscapes through immersive indoor and outdoor exhibits.

Spanning over 200 acres just outside Jackson, kids and adults will discover fields growing cotton, corn and other crops, walking trails winding through pine and oak forests, heritage farm buildings, gardens, livestock barns, and greenhouses. Hop aboard tractors and other equipment pieces to embrace farm life first-hand. Indoor galleries also showcase forestry practices, technological advancements in agriculture, and interactive science exhibits.

Don’t miss the museum’s top attractions like “AgVentureland” with huge agricultural equipment displays, the “Genetics of Cotton” center tracing cotton’s evolution, and daily heritage demonstrations like blacksmithing, cow milking, woodworking and more. From agriculture to natural ecosystems, the engaging activities make Mississippi’s legacy come alive.

Location: 1150 Lakeland Dr, Jackson MS 39216

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9am-4pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays, and select holidays.

Admission: $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and college students, $8 for children 4-18 years. Kids 3 and under free.

8. Old Capitol Museum

History buffs will appreciate a tour of the iconic Old Capitol Museum located downtown near scenic Capitol Green. As the former state capitol building used from 1839 to 1903, this National Historic Landmark still impresses visitors with its Gothic-revival architecture featuring tall arched windows and a central rotunda dome.

Inside, the museum’s extensive exhibits chronicle the former capitol’s historical impact and Mississippi’s wider governance history from early statehood through the 20th century. Displays and artifacts provide an inside look at key legislators, governors, government practices, and events that unfolded within the old capitol’s walls.

Don’t miss seeing collection items like antique furniture from the 1839 state’s governor mansion furnishings, a rare surviving copy of Mississippi’s 1861 Ordinance of Secession, and the folding wooden ballot box used in the legendary 1890 election cementing Jim Crow segregation laws. Abstract artworks also commemorate the state’s influential freedom fighters.

Location: 100 South State St, Jackson, MS 39201

Hours: Monday–Saturday 9am–5pm, Sundays 1pm-5pm

Admission: Free

9. Fondren

Welcome to Jackson’s vibrant and eclectic Fondren neighborhood! Centered along North State Street above Downtown, this urban district first developed in the 1930s and still charms visitors with its locally-owned restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, music venues and more.

Meander along N State to take in the funky vibe and colorful murals splashed across building facades. Pop into shops like Mississippi’s largest independent bookstore, decorate your home at furnishings stores, or pick up some unique Jackson-made artisan wares.

When you get hungry, Fondren dining options span quirky cafes serving Southern brunch staples to Thai corners dishing up curry specialties to gastropubs pairing craft beers with elevated bar food. You’ll also find cozy coffeehouses and sweet shops whipping up homemade ice cream.

Don’t miss live music offerings at Fondren hotspots like Hal & Mal’s staging legendary blues and jazz shows or Martin’s downtown for indie rock. With new businesses and public events constantly opening, it’s worth returning to discover more!

Location: Fondren spans roughly between North State Street to West St., from Woodrow Wilson Ave. to Lakeland Dr.

Hours: Varies by business

Price: Free to explore district and shops, pricing varies by dining/entertainment venue

10. Thalia Mara Hall

Renowned as Mississippi’s top performing arts venue, the historic Thalia Mara Hall hosts Broadway musical touring productions, famous music artists,dance performances, and more within its ornate auditorium theater.

First opened in 1968 and later expanded in 1979, the hall was known as the Jackson Municipal Auditorium until being renamed to honor Mississippi dancer and teacher Thalia Mara in the early 2000s.

With intricate design details like wall sconces, plush seating, private opera boxes and a 95-foot stage with full fly tower, the multi-use hall can accommodate over 2,100 attendees. It brings some of Jackson’s most dazzling theater spectacles and concerts to life.

Upcoming 2023 events include touring musicals like My Fair Lady and Jesus Christ Superstar plus shows by Elvis Costello, Smokey Robinson, and Jackson Symphony Orchestra. For an elegant night out enjoying the arts, Thalia Mara Hall is a Jackson jewel.

Location: 255 E. Pascagoula St. Jackson, MS 39201

Hours: Varies by performance schedule

Ticket Prices: Varies greatly by event, typically $40-$100+ per seat

11. Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

For a family-friendly look at Mississippi’s diverse ecosystems and wildlife, spend an afternoon at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science situated right downtown. As the state’s official natural history and science museum, visitors can explore immersive habitats showcasing nearly 2,000 animals plus exhibition galleries covering wide-ranging science topics.

Must-see museum highlights include the iconic “Mississippi’s Wild”” exhibit containing huge aquarium tanks of river creatures like catfish, turtles and alligators together with a flooded forest environment. Get eye-level with specimens in the bird hall, snake house, shark tank, and the “Land of Swamps and Sky’’ waterfowl habitat. Children will also love the interactive science exhibits making weather, physics properties and health topics fun.

With new rotating exhibits plus ever-growing collections and research initiatives, the museum offers constantly evolving opportunities to engage Mississippi’s habitats and ecosystems.

Location: 2148 Riverside Dr. Jackson, MS 39202

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9am–5pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm. Closed Mondays and select holidays.

Admission: $10 for adults, $9 seniors, $8 children 3-18yrs. Free under 3yrs.

12. F. Jones Corner Blues Club

As Jackson’s oldest operating juke joint, the F. Jones Corner nightclub on Farish Street immerses visitors in real-deal Mississippi Delta blues tradition and hospitality.

Opened in the mid-1960s inside a former hotel building, the vibrant club still thrums with hand-clapping, foot-stomping energy fueled by live blues, soul and R&B music acts booked nightly. Annual headliners have included blues legends like Bobby Rush plus today’s rising talents.

Beyond the music, F. Jones Corner embraces you like old friends amid funky décor with strings of neon lights, album covers plastering the walls, and colorful graffiti art touches. Expect good times and cold drinks as patrons pack the dance floor to embrace Mississippi’s enduring musical heritage.

Location: 303 N. Farish St. Jackson, MS 39202

Hours: Opens 9pm nightly, closing hours vary

Admission: Cover charge varies by music act, typically $10-15


Our tour through Jackson’s top 12 attractions proves Mississippi’s capital has something for all interests. From poignant museums that chronicle the state’s complex history to vibrant music clubs fueled by soulful blues, you’ll gain new perspectives on Jackson’s culture. Family-friendly science centers andactivity museums ensure all ages can embrace interactive fun too.

To embrace Jackson’s unique blend of political history, artistic creativity, cultural celebrations, and natural landscapes, add these must-see attractions to your travel itinerary. Whether you dedicate a full weekend or just a day to exploring, Jackson’s southern hospitality and dynamic attractions will leave you planning a return trip soon!

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