The Magnolia State….Doesn’t just the sound of that evoke visions of warm, humid nights with the mosquitoes buzzing lazily by and the air redolent with the heavy perfume of the profusely blooming Magnolia? It definitely brings to mind things southern and lush and slower paced. Such is the land of Mississippi- the state, not the river- but none the less mighty and majestic. Mississippi is a state rich in history and culture that has helped to shape the United States through the past 250 years. It is a part of the Deep South and gets is name from the wide and swift moving river of the same name which runs along its western border. Mississippi means “Great River” and is of Native American origin, most likely from the Ojibwe who live near the source on the river in Minnesota.
Mississippi has a one of a kind combination of towns, cities, rural areas, history and modern day appeal which makes it attractive to all ages. Besides being nicknamed as the Magnolia State, Mississippi is also called the Hospitality State, known for the warmth of its people and the ease with which one is made to feel comfortable whether traveling through for the day or staying for a longer while. It’s a place where relaxation comes naturally. There are many spots to vacation in Mississippi depending on whether you are taking a family get away, a buddies golf trip or even a honeymoon, it has something to offer for everyone.
The resort areas in Mississippi are very economical and often afford great opportunities to partake in exciting casino action, enjoy top name entertainers, sample some of the nation’s most outstanding cuisine or try your luck on one of their premiere golf courses. Whether you chose to vacation in the more northern region of the “piney” woods or book at a resort along the Gulf of Mexico, each area will have a local flavor of culture and traditions that are sure to delight. If resort life is not your cup of tea, you can join the thousands of yearly visitors that come to Mississippi to be a part of gorgeous campground community that can be as modern or as primitive as you desire. The state has hundreds of places for tent camping as well as the more modernly equipped recreational vehicle settings, with hookups for water and electricity. It doesn’t matter which type of camper you are, Mississippi has what you are looking for. Some of the less back water camping areas are also well situated with nearby shopping, restaurants, churches and movie theaters. Going to Mississippi to camp can be the vacation of a lifetime, indeed!
It is nearly impossible to think of Mississippi without reflecting on what a huge contribution its heritage has made to the world of music. The blues were “invented” in Mississippi, or to put it more succinctly, Mississippi is the birthplace of the blues. Since the blues were originally started by the slaves in the cotton fields, the agriculturally rich Delta area of the state was the leader in the number of famous blues singers. Legendary singers such as Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Robert Johnson got their start there and have heavily influenced the style of country music, jazz and modern day rock that we listen to today. For the vacationer to Mississippi that is a fan of music, visiting some of the music clubs and entertainment venues that focus on the local style and talent of the blues and jazz singers will no doubt be a memorable experience.
Who can go to Mississippi without wanting to sample all of the famous recipes that have stood the test of time? Mouth watering barbeque that is home to the famous pulled pork sandwich, famous baked goods like homemade biscuits, cornbread or banana cream pie, southern fried chicken or catfish and what about southern ham casserole or Cajun shrimp Creole. Yum! These and other southern dishes to make your mouth water can be found in the down home cooking style of Mississippi. It would not be fair to mention all these wonderful soul warming foods without shedding equal light on the finer cuisine that is also found in Mississippi. The French influence left its mark with a famous dish known as Crepes Suzette, the freshest coastal seafood dishes imaginable can be found throughout the state and some first class steaks are served with sauces that leave the diner coming back for more. Mississippi is known for its food and music and neither one will leave you disappointed.
Mississippi is loaded with hundreds of outdoor opportunities to take advantage of. Besides the wonderful camping available that was mentioned earlier, there are many lakes, streams and rivers, not to mention the 100 plus miles of gulf coastline that all offer a plethora of boating, swimming, fishing and other water related activities to enjoy. There are literally millions of acres of public land set aside that is earmarked for hunting. Hunting is a widely popular sport in the state and is actively pursued by thousands of participants. Because of this interest in hunting and the large area that is used, there are many hunting and fishing guides that hire themselves out to be of assistance to vacationers when they come down to hunt in unfamiliar territory. Some of the most hunted animals in the state are deer, wild turkey, and many different types of waterfowl. Smaller types of game are squirrel, rabbit, quail and dove. With 38 state wildlife areas, 14 national wildlife refuges and 6 national forests there is plenty of land to go around for all the local hunters as well as the visiting outdoorsmen.
Mississippi is such a beautifully scenic state that it is definitely remiss not to mention the potential for great road sightseeing that is available. The most famous trek to make is called the Natchez Trace Parkway. It is rich in history with tales of highway robbers, bootlegging and as an important commercial route. This nearly 450 mile route stretches from Natchez Mississippi to Nashville Tennessee. The landscape is varied and changes along the way from swampy areas to farmland to lush forests. There are informative noted stops to make along the way that point out specific important landmarks and parts of the old trail are still visible in certain areas. It is a trip well worth making if you enjoy the more leisurely pace of seeing the countryside and learning about American history from the comfort of your own car.
If you are planning to learn more about the early history of this great country of ours, there is much to said about making a trip to the Deep South to do so. Why not start with Mississippi?