Mississippi, located in the southern regions of the United states gets its name from the river thta provides its western boundaries, the Mississippi. The largest city, Jackson, is also the states capital city.

Bordered by Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, and the Gulf of Mexico, major rivers in the area includ the Big Black, the Yazoo, the Pascagoula and Sardis Lake and Grenada lake are also part of the area, which makes it prime fishing territory for the outdoor enthusiast.

Mississippi River barge, and the arch, the gateway to the west

The highest point in Mississippi is the mountain called Woodall, which is only 800 feet above sea level.

Mississippi has a hot and very humid subtropical climate, with long summers nd very short mild winters.

It is often affected by hurricanes in wintertime, however only occasionally by major hurricanes.

Small amounts of snow may fall in the northern aspects of the state but the parts near the river are not usually touched by winter snows.

As part of the south, Mississippi has a rich cultural history, particularly Civil War history,and has some very interesting parks which are part of the US National Parks Service, that are well worth a visit.

Mississippi's humid subtropical climate provides for heavy growth of greenery such as this scene

Among these are

* Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site near Baldwyn
* Gulf Islands National Seashore
* Natchez National Historical Park in Natchez
* Natchez Trace Parkway
* Tupelo National Battlefield in Tupelo
* Vicksburg National Military Park and Cemtery in Vicksburg

Mississippi is heavily forested, with over half of the state’s area covered by wild trees (mostly pine trees, but Mississippi has an abundance of other trees, such as cottonwood, elm, hickory, oak, pecan, sweet gum, and tupelo). Lumber is a prevalent industry in Mississippi.

HIstorically, as cultivation of cotton increased in the Delta, planters hired Irish laborers to ditch and drain their land.

The state took over levee building from 1858-1861, accomplishing it through contractors. In those years planters considered their slaves too valuable to hire out for such dangerous work. Contractors hired gangs of Irish immigrant laborers to build levees and sometimes clear land. Before the war, the earthwork levees averaged six feet in height, although in some areas they reached twenty feet.

Mississippi was part of the Mississippian culture in the early part of the 2nd millennium AD; descendant Native American tribes include the Chickasaw and Choctaw. Other tribes who inhabited the territory of Mississippi (and whose names became those of local towns) include the Natchez, the Yazoo, and the Biloxi.

The first European expedition into the territory that became Mississippi was that of Hernando de Soto, who passed through in 1540.

As the largest city in the state, Jackson is an ideal place to sample a wide variety of Mississippi’s unique culture. This historical center of business and government is also a cosmopolitan city with so much to see and do for visitors of all ages.

Tourism is a big industry in the state and among some of the more interesting things to view, the state site provides these ideas for your entertainment while in Mississippi.

Jackson has two State Capitol buildings—the “old” and the “new.” Tour the new Capitol for an interesting look into Mississippi’s history. Also, make plans to tour the home of Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers. The home and garden of Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Eudora Welty, is now a literary house museum and is available for tours.

Tour the Governor’s Mansion for an up-close look at the second-oldest continuously occupied residence of a governor in the United States. First occupied in 1842, the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975, making it at that time one of only two state gubernatorial residences to receive this honor. The magnificent structure is one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the United States. If you visit during December, you can enjoy the holiday décor.

As Mississippi’s largest art museum, the Mississippi Museum of Art is home to some very extraordinary works of art. With some of the best local and regional art combined with national exhibits, there’s always something engaging and entertaining to be seen here.

Don’t miss a stop at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry/National Agricultural Aviation Museum for an interesting look at how agriculture and forestry shaped the history of the state. Lots of exhibits and displays make this a fun place for children, too. While you’re there, you can also discover a wealth of handmade crafts at the Chimneyville Crafts Gallery, which serves as the sales center for the Mississippi Craftsmens Guild.

For the shopper in your family, they’ll love Highland Village—an upscale, open-air shopping area filled with lots of specialty shops, restaurants and gardens. The eclectic Fondren District in Jackson is home to clothing boutiques, art galleries and antique shops among other cool and interesting stores. Be sure to spend time walking around this fun area of the city.

While you’re in the metro Jackson area, you can enjoy a variety of restaurants from fine dining at local favorites such as Nick’s, Walker’s, Shapley’s and Char to authentic Southern cooking at places like Two Sisters Kitchen or Primos Café.

With the Mississippi Opera, the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, many equestrian events as well as festivals celebrating arts and crafts, food and music, there’s always something happening in Jackson no matter what time of the year you choose to visit.

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