Situated in the southeast part of the country, Mississippi is the 32nd biggest state by area and the 34th biggest in terms of population. It shares borders with Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, and Tennessee, as well as having a small stretch of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. The state of Mississippi is strongly linked with the iconic Mississippi River, which flows all along the western border. The river has played a significant part in the development of Mississippi, with many of the state's big cities being located beside or near the river. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
2.Cajun RV Park
3.Sunroamers RV Resort Park
4.Ameristar RV Park
3 Best RV Parks in Mississippi
- Overview, Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com
- Cajun RV Park, Photo: cegli/stock.adobe.com
- Sunroamers RV Resort Park, Photo: Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
- Ameristar RV Park, Photo: Apiwat/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: arinahabich/stock.adobe.com
Attraction Spotlight: Delta Blues Museum
Located in Clarksdale, MS, the Delta Blues Museum celebrates the history of American indigenous blues music through collections of music industry artifacts and public music education and performance events. The city of Clarksdale, Mississippi has been known as a cultural hub for Delta Blues music culture since the 1920s, due to its status as a major transportation hub in the American South making it a prime location for traveling musicians and nightlife entertainment.
Many of the genre’s early influential musicians, including W.C. Handy, Muddy Waters, Ike Turner, and Sam Cooke, were residents of the Clarksville area, earning it the nickname “the land where the blues began.” In 1979, the Carnegie Public Library Board of Trustees established the Delta Blues Museum for the purpose of preserving the area’s unique musical and cultural history. The museum was reorganized as a standalone organization in 1999, when it moved into the city’s historic 1918 freight depot building, the former home of the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad. In 2013, the museum was awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Services, the highest honor awarded to American museums.
Today, the museum is run by a five-member board and funded with private and public funds, including funds from the city of Clarksdale. A large assortment of blues-related artifacts and memorabilia comprises the museum’s main collection, which is displayed in exhibits housed within the historic depot building and its 7,000-square-foot expansion. Most notable is the Morganfield plantation shack that blues musician Muddy Waters lived in during his youth, which was restored and recreated by House of Blues owner Isaac Tigrett. A lifelike statue of Waters is showcased inside the shack, along with a “Muddywood” guitar crafted from salvaged wood from several rooms of the shack that were lost before restoration.
Instruments played by famous blues musicians are highlighted throughout the museum, including one of B.B. King’s trademark Lucille guitars, a piano and harmonica owned by Chicago blues veteran Charlie Musselwhite, and a collection of early Stella guitars, a popular favorite model of many formative Delta Blues musicians. Memorabilia connected to notable blues concerts is also displayed, including an original sign from the Three Forks store where Robert Johnson played his final gig before being allegedly poisoned. A large collection of art and sculpture works related to blues culture is displayed, including pieces by Floyd Shaman, and a collection of photographs by Birney Imes serves as a visual history of the genre. Original sheet music, recordings, stage costumes, and gig posters are also featured.
Along with items from permanent collections, a number of temporary and special exhibits are featured throughout the year, focusing on notable artists and cultural topics connected to Delta Blues music. In August, an annual exhibit honors John Lee Hooker, known as the “King of the Boogie.” An exhibit created in 2012 chronicles the legacy of the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival, with new items added yearly, including a section allowing visitors to document their personal photographs and experiences. Other temporary exhibits have included retrospectives on the careers of Ike Turner and Son House, art and photography exhibitions of works by Terry Abrahamson, Billy Johnson, Anthony Mostrom, and Scott Cawood, and examinations of aspects of local Clarksville culture that contributed to the development of the blues as a musical genre.
Photography and video recording is not permitted within the museum, with the exception of arranged credentials for researchers and press and event photographers.
Ongoing Programs and Education
Educational programming for area elementary and secondary students is offered in connection with Mississippi curriculum standards, including group tour opportunities and a traveling trunk program that brings Delta Blues artifacts directly into classrooms. Teacher resources are also offered on the museum’s website, including curriculum-incorporated profiles of major 20th-century blues masters. A variety of blues-related workshops and programming is also offered, including an Arts and Education program that allows students to receive private instruction on blues instruments and perform with small band ensembles. In 2014, the museum’s educational programming was the recipient of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.
Several Clarksville area blues festivals are sponsored annually by the museum in cooperation with area organizations, including a Deep Blues Festival and 5K Run/Walk and a Cruz'n the Crossroads Car and Truck Show in October. Public programming is offered in conjunction with local blues events, including instrument workshops and oral history lectures from notable blues musicians. Special performances by major national artists are sponsored by the museum, presented at venues throughout the Clarksville area. The museum may also be rented for private concerts and special events through written requests to museum staff.
Blues Alley Ln, Clarksdale, MS 38614, Phone: 662-627-6820
Attraction Spotlight: Mississippi Children’s Museum
Located in Jackson, Mississippi, the Mississippi Children’s Museum is a 40,000-square-foot educational facility featuring five galleries of interactive STEM, art, and history exhibits for children, including a 13,000-square-foot outdoor Literacy Garden. The idea for the Mississippi Children’s Museum stems back to 1994, when a group of community volunteers began to advocate for a children’s museum facility to improve literacy and education among area children, inspired by similar children’s museum movements throughout the country.
In 2003, the community group partnered with the Junior League of Jackson, which embarked on a $26 million campaign to find a permanent facility for the museum project. Museum exhibits were designed over the course of the next seven years in collaboration with educational partners, community leaders, and citizen volunteers. In December 2010, the museum opened to the public, and in 2014, major expansions included the opening of a sixth outdoor gallery, the Literacy Garden.
Permanent Exhibits and Galleries
Today, the Mississippi Children’s Museum is recognized as a national leader among children’s museums, receiving awards from the Association of Children’s Museum, Parents and Kids Magazine, and other leading educational organizations and publications, including recognition as a KidsCount Program of Promise. The museum has also been designated as a Let’s Move Museum, as part of the Let’s Move Initiative by Michelle Obama. More than 225,000 visitors explore the museum annually, including tourists from all 50 United States.
Science, technology, industry, and mathematics are the focus of the museum’s World at Work Gallery, which features exhibits encouraging children to explore concepts related to STEM careers. Mississippi industries, including agriculture, construction, forestry, and energy production, are a major focus of interactive activities. Exhibits also encourage role play among children to emphasize career responsibilities and collaboration.
At the Healthy Fun Gallery, health and nutrition concepts are introduced, focusing on body systems and healthy food options. Many exhibits are the result of partnerships with local health experts and educators, showing the food cycle through the human body and how healthy choices affect growth and development over lifetimes. Built-in active components also emphasize physical activities such as bike riding and climbing, encouraging exercise habits. In the Exploring Mississippi Gallery, the museum’s home state is honored with interactive exhibits, including a climbing map of the state emphasizing local geography and culture. State geographical and historical features, such as the Natchez Trace and Mount Woodall, are highlighted.
Cultural arts are emphasized in the Express Yourself Gallery, which offers hands-on visual and performing arts activities designed to foster creativity and exploration. Music and dance rooms are offered, as well as an Inspirations Studio, which contains a drafting table, audiovisual equipment, and workstations for painting, sculpting, and crafting. An Outside the Lines Gallery also encourages freeform collaboration and messy projects, including spin art and soft sculpture.
Literacy is the focus of two galleries, including the Wild About Reading Gallery, which teaches reading and writing basics about sounds, letters, and parts of speech. Inspired by a poem by Sherry Norfolk, the Museum’s new 13,000-square-foot Literacy Garden is an outdoor learning space also focused on literacy education for children up to eight years old, featuring literary-inspired structures, an edible garden, and other play spaces designed to encourage imagination and storytelling skills. In addition to permanent exhibit galleries, a number of temporary gallery exhibits focus on familiar storybook characters as well, including the 2017 Curious George: Let’s Get Curious touring exhibit.
Ongoing Programs and Education
The Mississippi Children’s Museum offers a variety of educational programming for children, tailored to Mississippi state curriculum standards at all levels. An ABC Come Play With Me group meets on Wednesday mornings for infants and toddlers, featuring storytime, stretching, and a group art project. Once a month, a Shake out the Sillies movement group encourages exercise through dance and yoga forms. Saturday morning Know to Grow programming at the Literacy Garden also encourages hands-on movement and activity, featuring storytime and gardening activities, and a Fueled for Adventure program at the museum’s Red Rocket Cafe teaches participants how to prepare healthy recipes.
A monthly Question It? Discover It! program is held for children and families to encourage healthy habits, sponsored by the Children’s of Mississippi hospital. Tinker with Tuesday maker workshops focus on STEM principles and creativity, and monthly visiting artist sessions, sponsored by the Mississippi Arts Commission, provide an opportunity for children to work directly with local artists and crafters inside dedicated studio space. A weekly Farm Bureau Spotlight lecture and discussion program also emphasizes the role of food and agriculture in daily life.
2145 Museum Boulevard, Jackson, MS 39202, Phone: 601-981-5469
Attraction Spotlight: Tupelo Automobile Museum
Located in Tupelo, MS, the Tupelo Automobile Museum displays more than 100 antique and celebrity cars dating back to 1886, formed from the personal collection of local car collector Frank Spain. Frank Spain, a Tupelo-area electrical engineer and entrepreneur, began his work in the radio and television industries as a teenager, when he helped to start an AM radio station, WELO, at his high school. Following graduation from Mississippi State University at the age of 19, he worked as an engineer for the National Broadcasting Corporation in Washington, D.C. and aided with the construction of the city’s WNBW television network and assisted with the broadcasts of major White House and Capitol events, including the presidential inauguration of 1949.
Upon returning to the Tupelo area, Spain started the city’s first television station in 1957 with hand-built antennas, transmitters, and camera equipment. He formed the Microwave Service Company two years later to provide signals to CATV systems in 12 states, and with the help of Jack Goeken and Bill McGowan, formed telecommunications corporation MCI, now a subsidiary of Verizon. Until his death in 2006, Spain owned and operated the NBC-affiliated WTVA and WMDN television networks in Tupelo and nearby Meridian, Mississippi.
In 1974, Spain purchased his first antique car, which spurred a love of antique car collection and restoration. With the help of close friend Max Berryhill, Spain acquired more than 150 rare automobiles from throughout North America and Europe, including a number of celebrity-owned vehicles. Until the late 1990s, the collection was stored at various locations throughout the United States, but through the assistance of the Tupelo Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Spain and Berryhill were able to secure a permanent location to display the collection as a public museum. In 2002, the Tupelo Automobile Museum was opened to the public, and the following year, it was declared the official state automobile museum of Mississippi.
Permanent Exhibits and Collections
Today, the Tupelo Automobile Museum displays a collection of more than 100 cars, including notable holdings of rare antique and celebrity cars. The 12,000-square-foot gallery is located in downtown Tupelo at 1 Otis Boulevard, across from the city’s BancorpSouth Arena, and is operated as part of a nonprofit educational organization. Open-viewing restoration bays throughout the museum showcase the progress of restorations of additional vehicles, which are continually added to the museum’s collections.
The museum’s collections are valued at over $6 million, presented as a showcase of the progress of the American automobile industry over the late 19th and 20th centuries. All museum holdings are displayed chronologically, beginning with an 1886 Benz designed by German engineer Karl Benz, credited as the creator of the first petrol-powered three-wheeled cart. Other notable early prototypes include an 1899 Knox and a 1908 Glyde, which was praised by Automobile Review for its industry innovations in assembly and powerplant mounting. Early automobile industry forerunners such as the 1929 Duesenberg J are showcased, along with luxury vehicles such as the 1928 Hispano Suiza and unique models such as the 1916 Owen Magnetic, which utilized a crank starting system and an engine switching system with a generator feeding output to a rear electric motor.
A large array of cars from the mid-20th century are presented, including a rare 1948 Tucker sedan, hailed as the “car of the future” at its introduction, a 1963 Special Leslie, modeled after entrants into a 1908 New York Times-sponsored intercontinental race and used in the feature film The Great Race, and a 1964 Ford Mustang, first showcased at that year’s New York World’s Fair. The ubiquitous Chevrolet Corvette is also represented by a 1957 model. Later holdings include a never-driven 1994 Dodge Viper and a 1982 Barrister Corvette once owned by pianist and popular musician Liberace.
Several vehicles connected to local rock music legend Elvis Presley are showcased, including a 1976 Lincoln Mark IV purchased as a gift by the musician for Denver police captain Jerry Kennedy, who served as a chief security officer for a concert Presley held in the city. The original check to the dealership, signed by Presley for a sum of $13,386.69, is displayed alongside the vehicle, along with photographs of the gift presentation. A 1939 Plymouth is also displayed as a donation by the nearby Elvis Presley Birthplace site, the same model which was driven by Presley’s father Vernon when his family moved from Tupelo to Memphis.
Visitors may explore the museum at their leisure on self-guided tours seven days a week, with facilities open every day except for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and New Year’s Day. Private tours are available for groups and organizations, including school tours for elementary and secondary students tailored to Mississippi curriculum standards. Rotating museum exhibits focus on special automobile industry topics such as farming equipment and automobile racing. An annual Christmas lights display is also presented at the museum during the winter holiday months.
1 Otis Blvd, Tupelo, MS 38804, Phone: 662-842-4242