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Historic and inviting are just two of the words you can use to easily describe Jackson and the surrounding central Mississippi area. Plan your next visit to this eclectic region and plan for fun-filled days across top attractions and landmarks.
Central Mississippi and the Jackson area are rich in culture, history, and a wealth of top attractions. Start your weekend tour of Jackson in Canton, found almost directly to the north. Enjoy exploring excellent attractions, and be sure to spend an afternoon along the Pearl River.
One of the premier attractions to visit as you begin this tour is the Canton Multicultural Center & Museum. Few destinations in Canton offer the wide range of historic and important perspectives. Learn about the entirety of Madison County and it's diverse cultures.
You can find this impressive and can't-miss museum near downtown Canton, on the northwest corner of West Peace Street and North Liberty Street. As you begin your tour of this museum, check out the interactive video kiosk, don't miss the many graphic displays along the walls, and be sure to stop by the exhibit dedicated to Sister Thea Bowman.
Just south of the Canton MCMM – literally across the street – is the Canton Train Museum. Whether you're a mega-fan of the choo-choo, or you simply are in the mood for a fun and unique little museum tour, the Canton Train Museum is the spot for you.
Found in the old Canton Railroad Depot, built in 1890, this train museum will yield a fun and explorative afternoon for you and the whole family. Fully restored in 1999, the Canton Train Museum will give you some insight into how the railway was a major factor in the boom Madison County experienced.
Plan this road trip through central Mississippi and head for the Pearl River State Wildlife Management Area. From downtown Canton, travel south along State Route 43 until you reach Natchez Trace Parkway – a quick swing east and you're there. Pearl River State Wildlife Management rests along lakes like Blue Lake, Moss Lake, and White Lake – all of which help to make this a premier outdoor destination for any visit to Canton.
As you advance along this central Mississippi driving tour, stop off in the charming city of Clinton. From Canton, you'll head south along Interstate 55 until you reach the turn-off for Interstate 220 which takes you southwest into Clinton. Enjoy a quick side trip in Clinton where you'll want to visit and explore the campus at Mississippi College.
Ideal for traveling families who have a soon-to-graduating high school senior in the mix, Mississippi College is the oldest institute of higher learning in the state. Private and Baptist in its affiliation, Mississippi College was founded in 1826, and today is one of the leading schools in the state. Campus highlights include Nelson Hall, and the Provine Chapel.
Sports fans visiting Clinton can check out the Mississippi College Choctaws as they compete across 16 varsity-level sports. The Choctaws participate within the Gulf South Conference. Football games are held at Robinson-Hale Stadium, and Choctaws basketball can be watched at A.E. Wood Coliseum.
Navigating your way into Jackson, your next stop on this trip, won't be complicated. From downtown Clinton, travel east along Interstate 20 until you reach the exit for South Strate Street – this will then take you a short ways north into downtown Jackson.
Plan on exploring the Mississippi Museum of Art – the largest museum in the state. Jackson, the capital of Mississippi, will yield a full day of exploration. From the many historic sites, to the exceptional nightlife and outdoor recreation. The Mississippi Museum of Art is just one of the many must-see destinations.
The Mississippi Art Association was founded in 1911, and by 1978 it was transformed into what you will find today – one of the most exceptional art museums in the country, not just the state. Plan your visit to the MMA and check out a wide-ranging rotation of eclectic exhibitions and installations. Throughout the year, check out the MMA's Third Thursdays, when the museum hosts after hours.
Continue your discovery of Jackson and all it has to offer with a tour of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum. You'll find this premier sports museum just north of downtown Jackson along Highland Drive, east of I-55 and adjacent to Lefleur's Bluff Golf Course.
The hall of fame, as an entity, was established in 1961, but the building where the museum is houses wasn't constructed until 1996. It is also near the Smith-Wills Stadium, home of the Jackson Senators baseball team. Within this expansive hall of fame and museum, you'll find detailed information and artifacts relating to the achievements of Mississippi's best and most decorated athletes.
Before you wrap up your visit to Jackson, head out for full day of fun at Lefleur's Bluff State Park. Consistently proving to be a premier destination for outdoor recreation, Lefleur's Bluff State Park is north of downtown Jackson, and most easily accessed from I-55. The Pearl River runs along it's southern ridge, and it houses some of the top local attractions like the Mississippi Children's Museum, Mississippi Museum of Science, and Lakeland Park.
Before you make your way off to the next leg of this adventurous central Mississippi tour, stop over in Flowood. Known for its charm and welcoming locals, Flowood is home of the Flowood R/C Park – the first of its kind. It's a city-owned venture, where you can tool around on pre-built courses with your favorite R/C car.
Don't forget to pack your clubs when you embark on this road trip – you'll certainly want to book a tee time at the Refuge Golf Course. One of the state's most exceptional courses, The Refuge is a gorgeous 18-hole, par-72 stunner. Playing to a max of 6,635 yards – from the back tees – The Refuge opened in 1998, features a course rating of 72, and a slope rating of 129. It was designed by Roy Case.
Not far outside of Jackson and Flowood, you'll find Pearl. From Flowood, it's less than four miles south along Flowood Drive. If you decided to skip the Flowood side trip and are coming directly from downtown Jackson, you can enjoy a scenic cruise along Old Brandon Road – it's just 4.4 miles away.
Known by many as the "Pearl of the South," the city of Pearl is a quaint and diverse destination, offering some of the most unique local attractions around. Sports fans in the area rarely miss a chance to see their Mississippi Braves in action at Trustmark Park.
As you explore the city of Pearl, make sure to carve out some time to visit the Riverwind Shopping District. Also known as the Outlets of Mississippi, this excellent shopping area features a host of your favorite stores. Whether you're hoping to do some shop-til-you-drop, or maybe you are eager to gather gifts for your friends and family back home, the Outlets of Mississippi should do the trick.
Don't miss a chance to explore the Bass Pro Shop, Sam's Club – two adjoining shopping locations, and you can even catch a movie at the associated Cinemark Theaters. There are few shopping and entertainment destinations in Pearl like Riverwind.
If you enjoyed the golf in Flowood, you'll no doubt have a blast on the links in Pearl. Head for the Pearl Municipal Golf Course, just north east of downtown, and enjoy a round. Call now and book your tee time for Pearl MGC – spring and summer slots book quickly. The course is neatly tucked away between Highway 80 and Interstate 20.
A full 18 holes, the Pearl Municipal Golf Course plays to a max distance of 5,947 yards from the far back tee boxes. With a par of 70, a slope rating of 122, and a course rating of 68.9, this course should provide the challenge you're looking for in Pearl. It was opened in 1990, and designed by Frank Maxwell Jr.
One of Pearl's true gems is Trustmark Park. An ideal destination for sports fans, especially those who love baseball, Trustmark Park is home of the Mississippi Braves. This Braves teams is the Class AA minor league affiliate of the MLB's Atlanta Braves. Opened in 2005, Trustmark Park seats 8,400 fans, and has a natural grass surface.
You can find Trustmark Park just north of I-20 along Childre Road and adjacent to the Lane Bryant. When you visit Trustmark Park, be sure to check out the Farm Bureau Grill, the exceptional on-site restaurant. The Class AA season starts up in early April to coincide with the start of the MLB season. It plays through the summer.
You're nearing the end of this tour of central Mississippi. You've seen some historic sites, played golf on exceptional courses, and witnessed exceptional minor league baseball – and the fun is far from over. Your next stop on this trip is Richland – it's on the way to your final destination.
Found just south of Pearl by a bit more than four miles, your best best for driving into Richland is the Old Highway 49. From downtown Pearl, head west a shirt distance along Highway 80, then head south along Hwy 49. And bingo, you're in Richland.
One of the can't-miss sites in Richland is the Eureka Masonic College, also known as the Little Red Schoolhouse. A third name some might now this as is the Richland Literary Institute, which was it's original name. This site is historically significant as the birthplace of the Order of the Eastern Star, a leg of the Freemasons.
Built in 1847, the Eureka Masonic College was fully restored in 1979 – a nearly 20-year project. Today, the Eureka Masonic College is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for tours – don't miss the gift shop. There is also never an admission fee to enter and explore.
You've reached the grand finale of this trek through central Mississippi and the Jackson area. Magee, just about 41 miles southeast of downtown Richland, will be your last stop. Old Highway 49 is, again, your best bet for the drive.
Though it is within Simpson County, and more than 43 miles out of Jackson's city limits, Magee is still part of the Jackson Metropolitan Area. During your visit, you'll have a chance to see some excellent local attractions, and won't want to miss a hike through the very popular and stunning Bienville National Forest.
Of the many different and unique sites to check out during your stay in Magee, the City of Magee Sportsplex might just be on the top of the list. Most frequently used as a little league baseball park, the Magee Sportsplex also offers some room for the little ones to get out and play. Maybe they're getting a bit restless – there has been a lot of driving during this trip – or maybe you're up for a fun afternoon picnic under the gorgeous central MS sky. The City of Magee Sportsplex is the place to be.
Continue your exploration around the city of Magee. It does an exceptional job of blending the small town charms of central Mississippi, with a modern flare associated with bigger cities. Don't miss out on a visit to the Magee Community Center.
Sit in on a local meeting, rent some space for a meet-up of your own, or utilize the area for a small party. Within the Magee Community Center there is also a theater which, throughout the year, hosts a range of live productions. The Magee Community Center Theater seats 200 people.
For those visiting Magee who seek the thrills and spill associated with hiking and other outdoor fun, the Bienville National Forest is just the ticket. Head north just a few miles along State Route 35 and you're there. The Bienville National Forest was established in 1936, and was named in honor of Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville – the Montreal-born colonizer, and one of the earliest governors of Louisiana.
You'll find a wealth of exciting and attractive outdoor fun within Bienville National Forest. Two of the most popular and must-see spots within Bienville are Shongelo Lake and Marathon Lake. During the late spring and throughout summer, these two lakes prove to be ideal destinations for aquatic adventures. If you're into hiking, don't miss the Shockaloe Trail.