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8 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Mississippi

1 Vicksburg National Military Park

Vicksburg National Military ParkVicksburg National Military Park Ron Cogswell View slideshow

During the Civil War Vicksburg was a thorn in the flesh of the Union forces, since from there the Confederates controlled shipping on the river. After several unsuccessful attempts to take the town, Union troops, commanded by General Grant, finally captured it in 1863 after a 47-day siege. Its fall was one of the bitterest defeats of the Confederates. These events are commemorated in the Vicksburg National Military Park and Cemetery. It was one of the most decisive battles of the Civil War. Over 1,300 monuments and markers, reconstructed trenches and the Vicksburg cemetery are found within these boundaries.

2 Gulf Islands National Seashore

Gulf Islands National SeashoreGulf Islands National Seashore

The Gulf Islands National Seashore extends from Cat Island in Mississippi to the eastern tip of Santa Rosa Island in Florida. Most of the seashore is actually submerged but the barrier islands offer white sand beaches, coastal marshes, and dense maritime forests. Davis Bayou is located on the mainland at Ocean Springs and can be easily accessed. There are hiking trails, camping and picnicking areas, old forts, as well as other recreational opportunities.

3 Vicksburg National Cemetery

Vicksburg National CemeteryVicksburg National Cemetery Ken Lund View slideshow

Vicksburg National Cemetery contains the graves of 17,000 Union soldiers on its rolling grounds. About 1,300 veterans of other conflicts since the Civil War are buried here as well.

4 Old Capitol Museum

Old Capitol MuseumOld Capitol Museum

This former state capitol building in Jackson dates to the late 1830s and was in use as the state house until the start of the 1900s. Today it functions as a museum on government and justice. The museum, free to the public, is interesting for its history, displays, and architecture.

Address: 100 S State Street, Jackson

5 Ocean Springs

The town of Ocean Springs is located about 2 miles east of Biloxi. It has become a haven for artists and craftspeople, with numerous art shops and studios. The town also maintains a number of historic churches from the late 1800s. Although it was greatly affected by Hurricane Katrina, Ocean Springs has made considerable progress in re-establishing itself.

6 Old Courthouse Museum

Old Courthouse MuseumOld Courthouse Museum jaystout

The Courthouse in Vicksburg was built in 1858 by slaves and has seen many famous people in history come through its doors. The building is now a museum featuring original iron grillwork and southern antebellum items.

Address: 1008 Cherry Street, Vicksburg

7 Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace ParkwayNatchez Trace Parkway Fifth World Art View slideshow

The Natchez Trace Parkway follows the old route between Natchez and Nashville, used mainly during the early 1800s. Today it is a popular tourist route through Mississippi. Along the road are numerous attractions, including a pre-Columbian mound and several historical sites.

8 Rock & Blues Heritage Museum

Rock & Blues Heritage MuseumRock & Blues Heritage Museum JMazzolaa

The exhibits in the Rock & Blues Heritage Museum span the 1920's through to the 1970's. Clarksdale was chosen as the location for the museum as it is considered the place where the first rock n roll record was recorded in 1951. Highlights include signed photographs by many Blues musicians.

Address: 113 East 2nd Street, Clarksdale

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