Jackson travel guide

Jackson Tourism | Jackson Guide

You're Going to Love Jackson

Jackson has always attracted music fans, and it's still a wonderful place to hear authentic southern blues or experimental jazz, but it's more than just a quick stop on the Mississippi Blues Trail.

The city is also an international ballet center, regularly hosting the International Ballet Competition at Thalia Mara Hall. The Downtown area is packed with museums and historic sites like the Medgar Evers Home Museum. There's live music every week at the Alamo Theater, great southern soul cooking at restaurants like Bully's, and galleries galore in hip Fondren.

Currently experiencing a cultural, gastronomic, and economic renaissance, the "City with Soul" is a fantastic vacation destination.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Jackson

1. It's One of the Great Centers for Blues, Soul, and Jazz Music

Jackson's place in American history is all about music. From the early 20th century, musicians in the city pioneered the Blues, then jazz, then soul - an incredible legacy that the whole world now enjoys. Visit the site of Trumpet Records (which recorded legends like Sonny Boy Williamson), catch a gig at Johnny T's Bistro & Bar, and soak up the atmosphere in one of the homes of American music.

2. There's Nowhere Better to Sample Delicious Southern Soul Food

If you love southern-style BBQ chicken, collard greens, cornbread, and hushpuppies, restaurants like Tay's, Bully's, and Pearl's Southern Cooking are some of the best in the South. And, after dinner, don't miss local craft breweries like Lucky Town in the center of the city.

3. Jackson Is Undergoing an Arts-Led Urban Renaissance

Jackson has always been a creative city, and if you love art, Fondren is the neighborhood to visit. This bohemian area hosts galleries, photography stores, artisan restaurants, indie music venues, and vintage boutiques.

4. Historical Sights Are Around Every Corner

Historical sights abound in Jackson. There's the elegant State Capitol, the historical museum at the Old Capitol, the homes of writer Eudora Welty and civil rights activist (and murder victim) Medgar Evers, and the beautiful, somber War Memorial.

5. Jackson's Full of Great Family Attractions

Families will also fall in love with Jackson. Kids can learn all about science at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (with its simulated swamp full of live alligators) or the city's Planetarium. There are the enchantingly illuminated Cascade Falls and plenty of hands-on exhibits at the Mississippi Children's Museum.

What to do in Jackson

1. Mississippi Capitol Building: The Political Stretch

Fittingly located on Mississippi Street, the State Capitol stands stoic and commanding at the heart of Jackson. Its neo-classical dome and pillars are consistent with the world-famous government building in Washington DC, and it sets the tone for the surrounding historical district. Visit the Old Capitol Museum for a detailed rundown of the state's past, and the War Memorial Building next door to commemorate local veterans. The Governor's Mansion is the luxurious cherry on top of the whole area.

2. Mississippi Museum of Art: American Aesthetics

With an emphasis on local artists, the Mississippi Museum of Art is one of the state's most renowned cultural institutions and home to stimulating artworks in every medium. Modern and contemporary American art dominates the collection, with galleries boasting enthralling works by artists the likes of Georgia O'Keeffe and Andy Warhol. You can catch world-class traveling exhibitions here too. Just outside, beauty of another kind awaits with a trip to the stars at the Russell C Davis Planetarium.

3. Lefleur’s Bluff State Park: A Wealth of Attractions

North of the city center, the urban capital turns into a green sprawl at LeFleur's Bluff. Nature and culture meet in this park, which hosts both the popular Children's Museum and the Museum of Natural Science. So between picnics, bike rides, leisurely walks, or even a stint in a canoe, fascinating galleries await as well. And if the scenery and flora here are of particular fascination to you, the unique Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum nearby will have the answers to all of your questions.

4. Eudora Welty House and Gardens: Preservation of the Past

Quaint and welcoming, this house museum is one of the most peaceful and engaging stops in Jackson. The childhood home of 20th-century author Eudora Welty, this institution preserves the unique literary history of the state. This makes it an undeniable local treasure, offering a snapshot into the life of an inspired author who shared succinct insights into life in the American South. The historic home is surrounded by its original gardens, featuring delightful roses and camellias.

5. Jackson Zoo: Into the Wilderness

For nearly a century, the Jackson Zoo has welcomed millions of visitors to get up close and personal with its collection of beautiful and exotic creatures. Found at the heart of Livingston Park, the zoo invites city-slickers of all ages to get out into nature for the day. With habitats from the rainforest, to the savannah, to the very local landscape of Mississippi, the diversity of species here is staggering. There is even a petting zoo!

1. Mississippi Capitol Building: The Political Stretch

Fittingly located on Mississippi Street, the State Capitol stands stoic and commanding at the heart of Jackson. Its neo-classical dome and pillars are consistent with the world-famous government building in Washington DC, and it sets the tone for the surrounding historical district. Visit the Old Capitol Museum for a detailed rundown of the state's past, and the War Memorial Building next door to commemorate local veterans. The Governor's Mansion is the luxurious cherry on top of the whole area.

2. Mississippi Museum of Art: American Aesthetics

With an emphasis on local artists, the Mississippi Museum of Art is one of the state's most renowned cultural institutions and home to stimulating artworks in every medium. Modern and contemporary American art dominates the collection, with galleries boasting enthralling works by artists the likes of Georgia O'Keeffe and Andy Warhol. You can catch world-class traveling exhibitions here too. Just outside, beauty of another kind awaits with a trip to the stars at the Russell C Davis Planetarium.

3. Lefleur’s Bluff State Park: A Wealth of Attractions

North of the city center, the urban capital turns into a green sprawl at LeFleur's Bluff. Nature and culture meet in this park, which hosts both the popular Children's Museum and the Museum of Natural Science. So between picnics, bike rides, leisurely walks, or even a stint in a canoe, fascinating galleries await as well. And if the scenery and flora here are of particular fascination to you, the unique Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum nearby will have the answers to all of your questions.

4. Eudora Welty House and Gardens: Preservation of the Past

Quaint and welcoming, this house museum is one of the most peaceful and engaging stops in Jackson. The childhood home of 20th-century author Eudora Welty, this institution preserves the unique literary history of the state. This makes it an undeniable local treasure, offering a snapshot into the life of an inspired author who shared succinct insights into life in the American South. The historic home is surrounded by its original gardens, featuring delightful roses and camellias.

5. Jackson Zoo: Into the Wilderness

For nearly a century, the Jackson Zoo has welcomed millions of visitors to get up close and personal with its collection of beautiful and exotic creatures. Found at the heart of Livingston Park, the zoo invites city-slickers of all ages to get out into nature for the day. With habitats from the rainforest, to the savannah, to the very local landscape of Mississippi, the diversity of species here is staggering. There is even a petting zoo!

Where to Eat in Jackson

Leading restaurants include the Pig and Pint (which blends great BBQ with great beer), the Iron Horse Grill, Parlor Market, and Two Sisters Kitchen, as well as family-run joints like Tay's and Bully's. But there are also great pizza restaurants, Mexican places, and Chinese takeouts on offer as well. Prices should be cheap too, at around $15 for a good sit-down meal.

When to visit Jackson

Jackson in July
Estimated hotel price
C$ 102
1 night at 3-star hotel
Jackson in July
Estimated hotel price
C$ 102
1 night at 3-star hotel

When you visit depends on what you intend to do during your stay. If you want to attend cultural festivals, summer is usually the best time to go, but the summer heat can be fairly intense in July and August. If you just want to see the sights comfortably and still enjoy open-air dining, try May and June or September for the best weather conditions.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Jackson

Plane

Jackson-Evers International Airport (JAN) has excellent connections to the rest of the United States. When you get there, shuttle services like JAN Airport Shuttle Service and GO Airport Shuttles are the best way to reach your hotel and shouldn't cost more than $30. Car rental is also an option. Branches at the airport include Avis, Alamo, and Enterprise.

Train

Jackson's Union Station is a stop on Amtrak's City of New Orleans route from Chicago to New Orleans, so getting there by train is a possibility. Union is also the main bus station in Jackson, so getting to Downtown isn't a problem.

Car

Handily, Jackson is located at an interstate junction. If you are driving into Jackson from the north or south, I-55 is the best road to take, while visitors coming from the east or west should take I-20.

Bus

Greyhound run buses into Union Station from all over the American South (and beyond), making bus travel an excellent affordable alternative to flying if you have the time.

Airlines serving Jackson

United Airlines
Good (2,854 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,395 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (2,178 reviews)
KLM
Good (355 reviews)
Air France
Good (403 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (3,061 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,439 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,219 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,456 reviews)
Aeromexico
Good (817 reviews)
ITA Airways
Good (126 reviews)
Korean Air
Excellent (255 reviews)
Copa Airlines
Good (512 reviews)
Gulf Air
Good (53 reviews)
Qantas Airways
Good (180 reviews)
WestJet
Good (482 reviews)
Virgin Atlantic
Good (344 reviews)
Air New Zealand
Excellent (77 reviews)
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Where to stay in Jackson

Downtown Jackson - Mississippi's political hub, Downtown is where you'll find attractions like the State Capitol and the Old State House, cultural centers like Thalia Mara Hall, and the Mississippi Museum of Art. It's also home to plenty of shopping malls and markets along with event venues like the Mississippi Coliseum.

Popular Neighborhoods in Jackson

Fondren - known as Jackson's hippest neighborhood, Fondren is just north of Downtown and is the place to head if you like vintage stores, small galleries, intimate restaurants, and lively indie venues.

West Jackson - the west of the city sprawls a little into the Mississippi countryside, but is home to some of Jackson's best family attractions. Most importantly, it's where you can find the City Zoo and Jackson State University, where the Tigers compete in the NCAA Football Championships.

Where to stay in popular areas of Jackson

Most booked hotels in Jackson

The Westin Jackson
Excellent (8.9, Excellent reviews)
C$ 313+
Holiday Inn Pearl - Jackson Area
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
C$ 161+
Sleep Inn and Suites Airport
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 106+
Hilton Garden Inn Jackson Pearl
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 163+
Candlewood Suites Pearl
Good (7.9, Good reviews)
C$ 123+
Best Western Airport Inn
Good (7.8, Good reviews)
C$ 120+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Jackson

Public Transportation

Local buses are provided by JATRAN. While they have pretty good reach across Jackson's neighborhoods, they can be unreliable at times. Then again, with a basic fare of $1.50, they are easily the cheapest way to get around.

Taxi

Taxis in Jackson are a handy option if you don't want to rent a vehicle of your own. Rates average around $4 for the meter drop, then $2.20 per mile, so taxis aren't cheap. Uber offers an alternative that can cut the costs of getting around, with a basic rate of $1.75, then a cost of $1.15 per mile.

Car

Jackson is a sprawling city and there are attractions in the suburbs like the zoo and Lefleur's Bluff State Park, so having your own car makes perfect sense. You can rent from outlets at the airport or branches of Enterprise and Alamo near the city center. Expect to pay around $20-25 per day.

The Cost of Living in Jackson

Shopping Streets

Jackson has plenty of conventional shopping malls if you need to shop at major labels, with highlights including the Metrocenter in the western suburbs and the huge Outlets of Mississippi mall in the north. However, a better bet for tourists is to shop at more atmospheric places like the Antique Market on N State Street or stores in Fondren like Treehouse Boutique, the eco-friendly Green Room, and the huge vintage collection at Orange Peel.

Groceries and Other

If you need to shop for basic groceries, local supermarkets in Jackson include Save-a-Lot, Whole Foods, Piggly Wiggly, and Kroger, so there is plenty of choice. Prices tend to be reasonable, with a gallon of milk costing around $3.40 and 12 eggs about $2.90.

Cheap meal
C$ 16.35
A pair of jeans
C$ 55.62
Single public transport ticket
C$ 2.73
Cappuccino
C$ 5.92
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