10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Jackson
Jackson, named after Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), seventh President of the United States, is the capital of Mississippi and the economic centre and transport hub of the surrounding area and oilfields. Here in 1861 the Southern states resolved on secession from the Union. Today Jackson is the most populous city in the State of Mississippi. Points of interest include the Old Capitol Museum, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, and a number of historical homes.
See also: Where to Stay in Jackson
1 Old Capitol Museum
Built in 1839, this Greek Revival building served as the seat of Mississippi government until the early 1900s. It is an important historical landmark that has been restored and opened as a museum. On display are exhibits related to the legislature, the governor, and the high court. The building is also a National Historic Landmark.
Address: 100 S State Street
2 Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science focuses on the natural history of Mississippi, including plants, animals, fossils, and habitats. It maintains a collection of fish, reptiles and amphibians, with a greenhouse known as "The Swamp" of live alligators and turtles. The 300 acre grounds also offer nature trails. The facility and grounds are designed to foster an appreciation for nature and the biodiversity of the state.
Address: 2148 Riverside Drive, Jackson, MS 39202-1353, United States
3 State Capitol
The State Capitol building was built between 1901-03 and houses the executive and legislative chambers. The 180 ft dome roof is crowned with a 15 ft high gold leaf-covered eagle. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can take guided or self guided tours, and public galleries allow viewing of the Senate and House of Representatives during legislative sessions.
Address: 400 High Street
4 Eudora Welty House and Garden
The writer Eudora Welty lived for more than seventy-five years in this home on Pinehurst Street in Jackson. She wrote almost all of her fiction and essays here. The garden of the Welty House, featuring roses and other seasonal displays, was the work of her mother, Chestina. In recent years it has been restored to its 1925-1945 appearance. Visitors can take a guided tour of the house and grounds.
Address: 1119 Pinehurst Street, Jackson, MS 39296-5685, United States
5 Mississippi Museum of Art
The Mississippi Museum of Art presents a permanent collection and changing exhibits by national, and international artists. Originally designed to display the works of local and regional artists, the museum still places a heavy emphasis on local and regional art. It is the largest art museum in Mississippi.
6 Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum
The Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum covers 39 acres of land and deals with the history of agriculture and forestry and its impact on Mississippi. Located on the site are the National Agricultural Aviation Museum, Fortenberry-Parkman Farmstead, Ethnic Heritage Center, and the Forestry Auditorium, as well as several other attractions.
Address: 1150 Lakeland Drive, Jackson, MS 39215, United States
7 Mississippi Governor's Mansion
The Governor's Mansion, a white Greek Revival style structure, was built in 1839 and first occupied in 1842. It is known for being the second oldest continuously occupied governor's residence in the USA. Grand columns of the curving portico grace the front of the mansion, which is approached by a long series of steps. The building is today a National Historic Landmark.
Address: 300 East Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39201-3403, United States
8 War Memorial Building
The War Memorial Building was built in 1940 and stands in recognition of Mississippi's veterans. A replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located in the courtyard. Like many buildings in Jackson, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Address: 120 South State Street
9 Jackson Zoological Park
The Jackson Zoological Park maintains a collection of hundreds of animals representing a wide variety of species, including endangered species, such as a Sumatran tiger, a Pygmy Hippo, and others. The zoo promotes itself as an educational facility and hosts schools and children's groups on a regular basis.
Address: 2918 West Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39209-4236, United States
10 Russell C Davis Planetarium
The Russell C Davis Planetarium features sky and laser light shows, and educational programs on astronomy, science, travel, and the arts. The McNair Space Theatre shows films on a 60 foot-wide dome screen.
Address: Corner of Lamar and Pascagoula Streets
Where to Stay in Jackson for Sightseeing
Staying in downtown Jackson is a great option. Here, you'll find the city's top attractions, including the State Capitol and the Mississippi Museum of Art. The LeFleur Museum District, about four miles north of downtown, is another noteworthy area, with four of the city's top museums all within a short distance of each other. Below are some highly-rated hotels in good locations:
- Luxury Hotels: The Jackson Marriott is right in the center of downtown and is a full-service business hotel with well-appointed rooms, many with great city views. Near the LeFleur Museum District is the Hilton, with modern rooms and a spectacular outdoor pool with cabanas. A nice boutique option is the Old Capitol Inn, housed in a fully restored building from 1952. Cozy rooms, a rooftop patio garden, and a koi fish pond make for a pleasant stay.
- Mid-Range Hotels: The Hilton Garden Inn occupies a historic 1923 hotel in downtown and is just a short walk from the Amtrak station. The hotel also has an indoor pool and offers a free shuttle in the immediate area. The Comfort Inn is conveniently located near the LeFleur Museum District and offers rooms with a complimentary breakfast. A short stroll from the Mississippi Coliseum, and ideal for those in town for a large event, is the BEST WESTERN Executive Inn. The hotel has recently been fully renovated.
- Budget Hotels: The Hampton Inn & Suites is near the Mississippi State Capitol and offers rooms that include breakfast. Southwest of downtown is the Quality Inn & Suites Southwest. Basic and clean rooms come with breakfast, and the hotel has a seasonal outdoor pool. Inexpensive, oversized rooms and a free breakfast are available at the Baymont Inn and Suites.