17 BEST Things to do in Jackson, MS [2021!]

Updated - June 5th 2021

Aching for a sweet and memorable getaway to a charming Southern town? Do yourself a favor, and visit the historic and beautiful capital of Mississippi. Whether you’re traveling alone or with your family, you’ll surely have a blast exploring the fascinating attractions in Jackson, MS. 

Home to a plethora of museums and historic buildings, Jackson beckons travelers who want to uncover the state’s African-American culture, Civil Rights history, and natural sciences. What’s more, the city hosts tons of colorful year-round events, like the Mississippi Blues Marathon. 

Inspired to travel to Jackson? Guess what? We’ve rounded up the best things to do in Jackson, MS, to make planning your trip a breeze.

• The 17 Best Things to Do in Jackson, MS •

#1 – Mississippi State Capitol

Mississippi State Capitol
One of the best free things to do in Jackson (Photo Credit – mycanopy.org)
  • Free tours on weekdays 
  • Stunning architecture 
  • Full of fascinating history 

Established in 1903, the Mississippi State Capitol is a must-see spot in Jackson. Not only is it a historic wonder, but it also flaunts a gorgeous Beaux-Arts classicism architecture. Moreover, it has colorful interiors with mezzanine floors, domes, and tons of dazzling artwork. 

Of course, the Mississippi State Capitol is also a paradise for history buffs. We recommend taking a free guided tour to learn more about the history of the building and the entire state.

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#2 – Mississippi Children’s Museum

Mississippi Children’s Museum
A great thing in Jackson to do with kids (Photo Credit – ccdarchitects.com)
  • Educational programs for kids 
  • Inspires children and encourages curiosity 
  • Interactive exhibits 

The Mississippi Children’s Museum reveals the world’s mysteries to your kids by featuring a variety of educational exhibits. The museum is divided into six zones exploring topics that inspire children and encourage curiosity. 

The “Healthy Fun” area, for instance, teaches kids about nutrition and health through an assortment of activities and displays. While the kids are playing and learning, parents can take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee.


#3 – Mississippi Museum of Art

Mississippi Museum of Art
A very cool thing to do in Jackson for history buffs! (Photo Credit – visitridgeland.com)
  • Over 5,000 artworks 
  • Offers art classes 
  • Features educational programs 

From contemporary paintings to pre-Columbian ceramics, the museum is home to over 5,500 fabulous works of art. Also, the central galleries of the museum are open to the public for free; they focus on highlighting regional and local artists. 

Other permanent collections include photographs and 20th-century American artworks from legends like Georgia O’Keefe and Andy Warhol.

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#4 – Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
One of the best things to do in downtown Jackson with kids (Photo Credit – TripAdvisor)
  • Fascinating exhibits 
  • Perfect for rainy days 
  • Kid-friendly attraction

The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science houses fossils, plants, animals, and habitats that detail the state’s whole natural history. You can spend hours here exploring exhibits that include amphibians, reptiles, and fish. 

Kids will adore the incredible dinosaur exhibit, too. Additionally, the museum has displays that offer kiddos a chance to learn more about the creepy crawlies.

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#5 – LeFleur’s Bluff State Park

LeFleur’s Bluff State Park
Offers plenty of exciting things to do in Jackson this weekend (Photo Credit – brianwdowns.com)
  • 305 acres of fun
  • Nature escape
  • Plenty of activities 

Home to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, this 305-acre state park offers a variety of activities to suit everyone. There’s a 9-hole golf course, picnic areas, playgrounds, and places to shop and eat. 

While it’s surrounded by the city, it’s still a refreshing oasis with tons of nature trails. There’s even an array of campsites available, including RV sites, if you want to stay a little longer.


#6 – Russell C Davis Planetarium

Russell C Davis Planetarium
A ‘cool’ thing to do in Jackson in winter (Photo Credit – visitridgeland.com)
  • Sophisticated gadgets 
  • One-of-a-kind exhibits 
  • Educational experiences 

Learn more about space voyages, astronomy, and celestial navigation by visiting this state-of-the-art planetarium. Equipped with sophisticated gadgets, it’s one of the country’s best and largest facilities of its kind. 

As a bonus, it hosts several events, including fashion shows, festivals, and film screenings.


#7 – Jackson Zoological Park

Jackson Zoological Park
One of the most fun things to do in Jackson! (Photo Credit – TripAdvisor)
  • Animals from around the world 
  • Has a splash pad 
  • Has kiddie attractions 

The Jackson Zoo is home to more than 200 animal species from five continents. Highlights include African primates and big Asian cats, such as the Amur Leopard and Sumatran tiger. 

Handily, the zoo houses a few attractions for kids, like a splash pad, train rides, and a kid-approved carousel.


#8 – Mississippi Governor’s Mansion

Mississippi Governor’s Mansion
One of the best cheap things to do in Jackson, MS (Photo Credit – mississippiencyclopedia.org)
  • Greek-Revival architecture 
  • Free morning tours
  • National Historic Landmark 

A National Historic Landmark, this grand mansion lures visitors with its majestic columns and gorgeous Greek architecture. Built in 1839, this striking building is still used for official state functions. 

This is the country’s second-oldest continuously occupied governor’s residence. Visitors can join a free tour of the mansion in the mornings on a limited basis, when not in use.


#9 – Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum
One of the more unique things to do in Jackson (Photo Credit – mcrm.mdah.ms.gov)
  • Details Civil War history 
  • Compelling exhibitions 
  • Unique architecture 

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum has eye-opening films, memorials, and exhibits detailing the sorrows, triumphs, and struggles of the Civil War. As you visit the museum, you’ll have an opportunity to read quotes and see photos from those who risk their lives for their rights. 

There also theaters showing films about the most pivotal moments of the Civil War, such as the murders of Medgard Evers and Emmett Till.


#10 – Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Museum

Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Museum
One of the best things to do in Jackson for sports-lovers! (Photo Credit – msfame.com)
  • Scores of sports memorabilia 
  • Friendly and knowledgeable staff
  • Stadium-like architecture 

Sports connoisseurs will find their bliss at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Museum. From numerous Super Bowl MVP trophies to Olympic gold medals, the museum boasts an outstanding collection of sports memorabilia linked to Mississippi. 

You’ll find plenty of exhibits celebrating sports legends from the state, including Brett Favre, Archie Manning, and Jerry Rice.

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#11 – Lamar Life Building Clock Tower

Lamar Life Building Clock Tower
Architecture fan? You’ll love this site (Photo Credit – sah-archipedia.org)
  • Listed as a Historic Place 
  • City’s oldest skyscraper
  • Free experience 

The Lamar Life Building Clock Tower, built in 1924, is Jackson’s version of the Big Ben in London. Although it’s not as iconic as Big Ben, it’s still a remarkable attraction, especially if you’re into 1920s architecture. 

It’s also a Historic Place and is officially the oldest skyscraper in Jackson. On top of it all, it’s free and isn’t flocked with tourists.


#12 – International Museum of Muslim Cultures

International Museum of Muslim Cultures
A must-do for culture vultures (Photo Credit – muslimmuseum.org)
  • Showcases the beautiful Muslim culture
  • Educational displays 
  • Special workshops 

Take a guided tour of this enthralling treasure trove and see a bevy of educational exhibits. Here, you’ll discover interesting nuggets of information about Ramadan, Moorish Spain, and the Legacy of Timbuktu. 

The museum hosts insightful special workshops related to the exhibits. Keep in mind, though, that you have to schedule an appointment if you’re visiting on a weekend.


#13 – Mississippi Agricultural & Forestry Museum

Mississippi Agricultural & Forestry Museum
Fun for the whole family! (Photo Credit – msagmuseum.org)
  • Family-friendly attractions 
  • Informative displays 
  • 39 acres of exhibits 

The Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum brings the state’s agricultural history to life with 39 acres of fun, family-friendly attractions. You can enjoy a tour or spend the whole day exploring the sections of this museum. 

A can’t-miss zone in this facility is “Small Town Mississippi,” which showcases replicas of the 1920s towns. The National Agricultural Aviation Museum, set inside the facility, also examines the role and importance of the planes in the travel industry.


#14 – Greenwood Cemetery

Greenwood Cemetery
A one-of-a-kind sightseeing experience (Photo Credit – onlyinyourstate.com)
  • Free tour
  • Unique sightseeing tour
  • Historic site 

A cemetery isn’t normally the first place that comes into mind when you think of must-see attractions in Jackson, but Greenwood Cemetery is not your typical burial ground. 

Photogenic and scenic, the cemetery boasts gorgeous landscaping and flaunts southern touches such as wisterias and magnolias. It also has a rich history, especially since it was built in 1823.


#15 – Eudora Welty House and Garden

Eudora Welty House and Garden
More than a bookworm’s nirvana (Photo Credit – TripAdvisor)
  • A National Historic Landmark
  • A visual treat 
  • Full of literary treasures 

There’s so much to see and explore in this historic literary house, including art pieces, rugs, photos, and thousands of books. Even better, bookworms will have the chance to read some of the celebrated fictions and essays of the internationally renowned Eudora Welty. 

You may also check out the lovely gardens and watch a film to learn more about Eudora Welty and her house.


#16 – Brent’s Drugs

Brent’s Drugs
A historic malt shop loaded with goodies
  • Old-school retro vibe
  • Soda fountains 
  • Delightful cocktails 

Satisfy your taste buds with a smorgasbord of sumptuous culinary treats at this historic malt shop. Our favorites include the Texas-style chili, melt sandwiches, and its signature Brent Burgers. Additionally, it has soda fountains and offers sundaes, floats, and classic shakes. 

After enjoying the goodies of Brent’s Drugs, head to the “entrance” at the back and step inside the Apothecary. Once there, indulge in its special drinks, which include classic and exotic cocktails. 


#17 – Fondren District

Fondren District
An art lover’s paradise
  • Jackson’s art district 
  • Plenty of entertainment options
  • Fun to explore 

Fondren District is an artsy and hip neighborhood filled with entertainment venues, bakeries, cocktail bars, local shops, and small businesses. 

What really makes it enticing for visitors, however, is the neighborhood’s astounding collection of art galleries, where artists showcase their masterpieces and creative pieces. The gallery regularly hosts events, from book signings and food tastings to concerts and art shows.


Final Thoughts on Things to do in Jackson, MS

As you can see, there’s no shortage of amazing things to do in Jackson, MS. With an eclectic mixture of attractions and diverse cuisines, Jackson will satisfy your wanderlust in so many ways. From foodies to culture vultures, the city will appease all kinds of travelers. 

The charming “city with soul” offers a world of fun and is an exhilarating adventure for anyone who ventures into its streets. Plus, Jackson has retained its small-town feel, making it an excellent getaway for people who want to escape their busy city life. 

Whether you’re into music, food, culture, history, or nature, there’s something awesome to experience in this beautiful city.

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Clair Ricketts
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