Flying into Jackson, MS

January 26th, 2010

**DISCLAIMER**  All the wedding pages were written for our 2010 wedding.  They provide a great, brief view of travel to Natchez, MS and in Jackson, MS, my childhood home.  That’s why I’m keeping them up.

I know that at least half of our guests have never been to my home state.  As much as I loved growing up there, I realize there are few reasons to visit unless you are going to something like our wedding.

Some special things about Mississippi:

  • The food (Why do you think we’re the fattest state?)
  • The music (The Blues was born in the Mississippi Delta, Elvis is a Native Son, W.C. Handy, Robert Johnson, BB King, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bo Didley, Jimmy Buffet, Jimmie Rogers,  Conway Twitty, Faith Hill, Lee Ann Rimes, Britney Spears-and boy are we proud- Lance Bass, Brandy, Ozzy’s Drummer)
  • The art (Walter Inglis Anderson, George Ohr, Jim Henson-Yes I Mean Kermit-Native American, Folk Art)
  • The history (Native Americans-Choctaw, Chickasaw-Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, The “Teddy Bear”-most famous of all ;)
  • The literature (William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, John Grisham, Margaret Walker Alexander, Richard Wright, Walker Percy, Willie Morris)
  • The casinos {grin, just kidding}

To aid your experience, here are a few travel suggestions.  Some of them come from my own life (favorite spots, must-see areas and a special “Jackson” section that highlights where I literally spent the first 26 years of my life, minus the first two).

I strongly recommend you follow the links to the tourism websites that are located on the following pages.  You can find anything you will need in these links, including maps, hours of operation, descriptions and pictures of the places to visit.  Or just google it (which is what I did, I just happen to be able to “weed out” the suggestions having lived there most of my life (:

First off, if you have never been ANYWHERE in the South, and this is your ONLY chance to see it,  I suggest you fly into New Orleans and drive up from there.  I do love my state and there is so much history there, but New Orleans is a truly magical place and should not be missed.  If you think you’ll have a reason to go back to New Orleans, then by all means take this time to visit Mississippi:  you may never have the chance again!

Flying into Jackson:

If you fly in on Thursday, I suggest coming in the morning.  Spend half a day to a full day visiting Downtown Jackson and possibly the Bellhaven/Fondren area (see individual pages).  Eat at one of the recommended restaurants and then make sure you head to the 930 Blues Cafe to experience a slice of the Blues!

On Friday, you have a couple of options.  If you are up for a slightly prolonged drive and some history, drive west to the riverside bluffs of Vicksburg to see one of the largest military park in the U.S. along with the first place the CokeTM was bottled.  Drive south from Vicksburg, through numerous small Mississippi towns including Port Gibson (“too pretty to burn” YOU MUST SEE WINDSOR, don’t miss the golden hand pointing to God on top of the Presbyterian church), down to Natchez.  You will arrive on Friday evening and will have Saturday and Sunday morning to explore Natchez.

You could skip Vicksburg and take the Natchez Trace Parkway down to Natchez, taking your extra time on Friday and Saturday.  You can still take side stops through the numerous rural parks (Rocky springs was a childhood favorite).  You will still drive through (or near) Port Gibson going this route.  I have never been to the “ghost town” of Rodney, but the link tells an interesting story and connects some historical dots to the striking Longwood Plantation (which you definitely should see in Natchez).

If you are simply driving through and have little interest in actually stopping off at the museums and parks on the way, you can do all of this in a day and a half.   However, if you like exploring history and museums, or especially if you like the outdoors, then you can easily stretch this into two extra days.  Simply touring the individual homes in Natchez will take a day or so in itself.

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    Professional Gastroenterology Fellow

    Amateur Martha Stewart/Bob Villa/Julia Child/Collette Peters