Less than a full day is crazy short in any city, but still doable. Get a taste of a city you have never been to and call it a short and sweet trip.
My 5 hours in Jackson kicked off like this:
The Museum of Mississippi History. Park outside of both museums and decide if you have time to see both this museum and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. For lack of time and because we have previously visited the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, we chose to focus solely on the Museum of Mississippi History. The artifacts found here go as far back as 1902 and cover the history from Native Americans, Black American, slavery, migration from around the world, the great Mississippi flood in 1927 right through to the current status of Mississippi. Be curious and notice the innovation they have created to make this museum interactive and intuitive.
Along Capital Street, you will pass by the beautiful Greek revival mansion. Built in 1842, the architect, William Nichols was going fo plain republican simplicity. Designated a National Historic Landmark this is the second oldest occupied gubernatorial residence in the USA. It is closed on the weekends, so we didn’t get a chance to tour the property. If you arrive from Tues-Fri, between 9:30-11, you can tour for 30 minutes for Free.
As you drive around the city you will embark on The Mississippi Freedom Trail Markers. Each site plays a pivotal role in the Civil Right Movement. Grab a map or guide and plug in the addresses on your GPS. We made a stop at Medgar Ever’s House.
We noticed that Jackson seemed to be quite a depressed city. We believe it is the city of soul, but it is very obvious that they are left behind in terms of care for the roads and infrastructure. It seems like a city lacking funds to take care of municipal requirements. Most times, we weren’t sure if we were in a safe neighbourhood, but we took our chances and followed the GPS.
We went to a quaint part of town called The Fondren District. This historic area is an eclectic mix of shops, cafes, galleries and charming homes. You might want to stop here to eat or even just have coffee.
Every trip requires a comment about food. A friend from Jackson, recommended a few places and we decided to go about 15 minutes outside of downtown and also quite a way from the Fondren District. We wanted a place with the most highly favoured soulful experience, Bully’s Restaurant. There is only one location for this specific restaurant and they have been serving soul food since 1982. Driving up to this restaurant had us questioning if we were going the right way. It seemed like we were driving to a dead end. Just as we thought the GPS was messed up, we pulled up to this little stand alone building with a very small parking lot.
This dine-in soul food restaurant also completes take-out orders. In fact, we saw more locals coming in for take-out than dining in. The longtime staff know their customers and greet everyone with the Southern hospitality we were looking for. The menu includes everything we expected including chitterlings, oxtails, rice and gravy, turkey wings, neckbones, fried okra, mac and cheese, beef ribs, and a whole lot more.
We had the beef ribs, sweet potatoes, cabbage, and cornbread. The owners knew we were tourists, and went out of their way to greet us with joy and check on us more than once. If you want a down to earth experience and nothing fancy, check out Bully’s.
There’s always more to do, but with so little time, that’s all we got to cover.
Have you been to Jackson? What did you see and do?