If you need a little ‘soul’ in your life, start packing your Travelpro and consider heading to Jackson, Mississippi where you’ll find it in abundance. Jackson is known as the “City with Soul” and that starts with the sheer number of historic landmarks that helped to shape our country’s history from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement. There’s also a resilience and spirit of the people who’ve called Jackson their home both in years past to today. One of the first things you’ll likely notice is the friendliness and welcoming nature of locals and how proud they are to show you their place in the history of America.
Located in the 20th State in our Nation, that was admitted to the Union in 1817 — Jackson’s home to more site markers on the historic Freedom Trail than any other city in Mississippi. February is Black History Month and this is just one of the reasons we decided to make it the latest city featured in our popular “Destination Spotlight” series, which airs regularly on our nationally syndicated travel radio show. Often referred to as the “Cradle of the Civil Rights Movement” the famous Civil Rights leader, Medgar Evans, lived in Jackson with his wife Myrlie and their home was established as a National Historic Monument in 2019.
Home to nearly 30 museums, we recommend the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, the Old Capitol Museum, the Eudora Welty House and Garden, and the Mississippi Museum of Art. But there are many more and for something completely different, a visit to their Agriculture and Forestry Museum is worth your time. Talk about the soul of a destination — this museum is a living-history farm taking you back to the cotton era and the forestry industry, and spans nearly 40 acres. There’s an impressive array of agricultural artifacts and a wonderful recreation of an 1800’s town, giving you a peek into the cotton industry and its relevance in the South. There’s even a National Agricultural Aviation Museum on-site to show visitors how the invention of planes changed the agricultural industry’s impact not only in the South but across the globe.
If you’re looking for good Southern barbeque, you’ll find that at The Pig and Pint, and a hole in the wall joint called Bully’s. Bully’s is not fancy but has some of the best ‘soul food’ in the area and it’s the real deal for old fashioned southern Bar-B-Que… But if you get your fill of BBQ and want something different, Jackson also boasts many award-winning James Beard Foundation chefs to satisfy your culinary quests. You’ll find many restaurants in the quaint Fondren District along with art galleries, live music, shops, several excellent bakeries, and local watering holes. And even during the pandemic, they’re easy to access and navigate.
If you enjoy music, the city’s music scene pulses with inspiration from homegrown gospel, blues, jazz and R&B — and for dance lovers, a fun fact is the International Ballet Competition is held in Jackson, Mississippi every four years.
So as most of the country is experiencing the winter cold, why not pack your Travelpro and head to the warm and welcoming city of Jackson. It’s a convenient and easy drive from cities such as Memphis, Birmingham, Mobile, New Orleans, Shreveport — even Dallas! There are plenty of hotels and inns to choose from for all budgets.
Jackson makes a great weekend getaway, it’s affordable and worthy of your travel dollars. If you visit — let us know how you enjoy it and what you decide to experience!
Robert & Mary Carey, Hosts
America’s #1 Travel Radio Show
Photo provided by Robert & Mary Carey