Jackson, Mississippi

A- Overview:
Jackson, Mississippi is a fascinating blend of the old south and the 21st century. Jackson is a city of well preserved historic buildings, from the governor’s mansion to City Hall. Baptist and Presbyterian churches stand alongside antique shops and flea markets. Interspersed with Civil War memorabilia and plantations reminiscent of years gone by, are landmarks from the Civil Rights Movement. The Medgar Evers statue, the Woolworth sit-in site, and the Smith Robertson Museum attest to the active participation of local residents.

The state’s capital city is home to more than 184,000 people with a proud history that includes the world’s first heart and lung transplants, the first federal building in the country to be named after an African-American, and the home town of literary giants Eudora Welty and Margaret Walker Alexander. Founded in 1822 on the site of a trading post on the west bank of the Pearl River, the city was named to honor Major General Andrew Jackson who later became the seventh President of the United States. The city’s history has been turbulent. During the civil war, Jackson was ravaged and burned three times by Union troops under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman. More recently, Jackson played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

In 2004, Jackson was named one of America’s Best Places to Live, Work and Play and one of the 30 most livable communities in the United States. The city’s motto “Best of the New South” is appropriate for a city that offers traditional southern hospitality alongside high-tech telecommunications. The Southeast’s most advanced state-of-the-art conference center is located in downtown Jackson, and the metro area boasts seven colleges and junior colleges, and 11 hospitals, including the nationally renowned University of Mississippi Medical Center. Jackson’s performing arts and cultural offerings are unparalleled for a city its size. They include the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the Mississippi Opera, the New Stage Theatre and the country’s self-guided Civil Rights Driving Tour.

Jackson is a major distribution center served by the Jackson International Airport and Hawkins Field as well as rail provided by Canadian National Gulf and Kansas City Southern. With its temperate climate and recreational options which include golf, tennis, swimming, and regional and national sporting events, as well as a professional baseball team, Jackson is an ideal location for both indoor and outdoor sports enthusiasts. Jacksonians take pride in their city and others are beginning to discover it as well. Committed to creating “The Best of the New South,” Jackson continues to renovate its historic homes and neighborhoods while working to maintain the downtown center as a thriving business and cultural center.

Mississippi’s Capital City is conveniently located at the crossroads of Interstate 55 (north-south) and Interstate 20 (east-west) in the heart of the “Hospitality State.” As the center for the Metro Jackson area, which is home to more than 425,000 people, the city of Jackson is steeped in history, music, performing arts, sports, and a truly Southern way of life.

Northeast of Jackson, off I-55, is the Natchez Trace Parkway. This scenic highway follows the historic trade route that once ran from Natchez to Nashville. Many Virginians and Carolinians passed through the area as they followed the Old Natchez Trace toward the Southwest. Named for Andrew Jackson, the city, sadly, earned the nickname Chimneyville when Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman burned it in July 1863. The Confederate trenches can still be seen in Battlefield Park.

Jackson is a city of beauty and charm. The Mississippi State Capitol, bordered by High Street to the north and President Street to the east, is the centerpiece. Built in 1903, this stunning structure was modeled on the United States Capitol in Washington. Two blocks to the south, on the corner of Congress and Capitol, is the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, a fine example of Greek revival architecture and one of the few buildings to survive the Civil War. In addition to its own historical value, the Old Capitol building contains the country’s most comprehensive museum on Mississippi history and culture.

Downtown is home to most of Jackson’s cultural outlets. Two blocks from City Hall is the Russell C. Davis Planetarium, one of the largest in the Southeast. It stands next to the Mississippi Museum of Art, where the world’s largest collection of folk art and crafts by regional artisans is displayed.

Recent restoration projects in Jackson’s historic downtown include beautiful Congress Street with its inlaid bricks, benches and period lighting, the Multi-Modal Transportation Center, and the Farish Street Entertainment District.

Two other buildings are worthy of note. The Governor’s Mansion, authorized in 1839 and completed in 1842, is the second oldest residence of its type in the nation and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Jackson’s City Hall, built in 1846, is still the working seat of municipal government after more than 140 years. The massively-columned three-story building and the gardens that surround it are two of the most photographed locations in the city. Due west of the Old State Capitol is the Mississippi State Fairgrounds, the regular site of many exhibitions, livestock shows and the annual State Fair.

Community support is strong for the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the Mississippi Opera, and a professional baseball team, along with the Mississippi Museum of Art, the Natural Science Museum, Agriculture and Forestry Museum, and the Smith-Robertson Museum and Cultural Center and other venues.

In association with Varna, Bulgaria, Tokyo, and Moscow, Jackson hosts the world-class International Ballet Competition at the beautiful municipal auditorium, Thalia Mara Hall. The city-center arts complex also includes the Mississippi Museum of Art and the nation’s 10th largest planetarium. The Mississippi Arts Pavilion is home to the International Commission for Cultural Exchange, which has hosted several exhibits, including Palaces of St. Petersburg, the Splendors of Versailles, the Majesty of Spain and The Glory of Baroque Dresden exhibition.

Gourmet dining and nightlife sparkle on the Jackson scene. Many races and ethnic groups provide the city with cuisine that is truly international. One can choose Greek, Continental, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, French, Mexican, Thai, Mexican, Russian, or down- home, traditional Southern cooking.

A warm welcome and a walk through history await, in the pleasant Mississippi capital of Jackson.

B- City Information:
Population: 196,637

Elevation: 286 feet

Time Zone: Jackson is in the Central time zone. When it is 12:00 noon in New York City and 9:00 AM in Los Angeles, California, it is 11:00AM in Jackson, Mississippi. Daylight saving time is observed.

Average Temperatures:














Holidays Observed in Jackson:

Robert E. Lee’s Birthday Jan. 1

George Washington’s Birthday 3rd Monday in February

Confederate Memorial Day last Monday in April.

Jefferson Davis’s Birthday 1st Mon. in June

Independence Day July 4

Labor Day 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve Dec. 31

How to Get There:

By Air

Jackson International Airport (JAN)

Location: The airport is 5 miles (8km) from Jackson. (601) 939 5631.

Transfer between terminals: The terminals are connected by covered walkways.

Transfer to the city: Taxis are available for transport to Jackson city centre and surrounding areas. Shuttle van companies also provide shared door-to-door services and can be booked in advance.

By Train

Amtrak Station

300 W. Capital Street

Jackson, MS 39201

The City of New Orleans train runs through Jackson, providing service to Chicago, Memphis and New Orleans.

By Bus

Greyhound Station

300 W Capital Street

Jackson, MS 39201

(601) 353-6342

By Car

Jackson is centrally located at the junction of US Interstate Highways 20(E/W) and 55 (N/S). From Hattiesburg, take Route 49 north.

Getting Around the City

Public Transportation: JATRAN provides Fixed Route and Handilift services throughout the city of Jackson. JATRAN’S Fixed Route Service operates 13 routes, Monday through Saturday from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. JATRAN’S Handilift Service provides transportation to citizens with disabilities Monday through Saturday from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

C- Attractions/Things To Do:

Downtown is a lively place from dawn to dusk. It is the site of many museums and the magnificent State Capitol building. It is the center of business and commerce in Jackson.

Ridgeland, located just a few miles from the city center, contains many shopping, eating and lodging opportunities, along with some nightlife. Tougaloo College is in the Ridgeland area. Tougaloo’s historic Woodworth Chapel was the site of many important meetings and events during the Civil Rights Movement.

Natchez Trace Parkway, bypasses Jackson through Ridgeland and neighboring Madison. The Trace was originally a trading route for Native Americans and is now part of the National Park Service. Ridgeland is also home to one of Jackson’s most popular recreational facilities, the 33,000 acre Ross Barnett Reservoir, created by the damming of the Pearl River. It serves as a summer playground for boaters, swimmers, fishermen and picnic-goers.

Mid North Mid North is home to many museums and recreational outlets, including LeFleur’s Bluff State Park. Offering fishing, camping and even a nine-hole public golf course, the park also houses the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Across the street, a large, state-owned complex is home to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Museum. Minor league baseball is played at Smith-Wills Stadium.

Farish Street The Farish Street Historical District comprises roughly 60 square blocks just to the west of downtown Jackson. In the years of racial segregation that followed the Civil War, this neighborhood became a center of African-American culture, politics, religion and business. At its peak, Farish Street was a thriving and vibrant community, and landmarks such as the Alamo Theater regularly hosted Louis Armstrong and many others. There are nearly 700 historical landmarks inside its boundaries, including churches, buildings and Civil Rights sites.


Battlefield Park

Porter St And Langley Ave

Jackson, MS

Site of Civil War battle; original cannon and trenches.

Davis Planetarium/McNair Space Theater

201 E Pascagoula St

Jackson, MS 39201

(601) 960-1550

Daily; closed holidays

Programs change quarterly; 230-seat auditorium.

Manship House

420 E Fortification St

Jackson, MS 39202

(601) 961-4724

Tuesday-Friday 9 am-4 pm, Saturday from 10 am; closed holidays

Restored Gothic Revival cottage (circa 1855), was the residence of Charles Henry Manship, mayor of Jackson during the Civil War. Period furnishings provide excellent examples of wood graining and marbling.

Medgar Evers Home Museum

2332 Margaret Walker Alexander Dr.

601-977-7839. (Office of EDC at Tougaloo College)

The Civil Rights Movement leader was slain here, in the driveway of his home and represents just one of the thousands in Mississippi who sacrificed so that change could take place. For an appointment to visit the Medgar Evers home, telephone contact number listed above.

Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum And National Agricultural Aviation Museum

1150 Lakeland Dr

Jackson, MS 39216

(601) 713-3365

Toll-Free: (800) 844-8687

Monday-Saturday 9 am-5 pm; closed January 1, December 24-25

Complex, covering 39 acres, includes museum exhibit center, forest trail, 1920s living history town and farm. Picnicking.

Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

1152 Lakeland Dr

Jackson, MS 39216

(601) 982-8264

Open Mon-Sat 10 am-4 pm

A variety of interactive exhibits can be found here, such as touch-screen television kiosks that access archival sports footage. Through interactive technology, visitors can play championship golf courses, soccer, or pitch horseshoes.

Governor’s Mansion

300 E Capitol St

Jackson, MS 39201

(601) 359-3175

Open Tue-Fri 9:30am-11am

In January 1833, the Mississippi legislature appropriated funds to build a capitol building and a “suitable house for the Governor.” Delayed by the Panic of 1837 and the ensuing Depression, construction of the Governor’s Mansion was not begun until 1839, the same year that the Capitol building was completed. Architect William Nichols (1780-1853), a native of Bath, England,designed the Mansion. Architectural historians consider the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion to be one of the finest surviving examples of the Greek revival style in the United States.

Mississippi Museum Of Art

201 E Pascagoula

Jackson, MS 39201

(601) 960-1515

Monday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm, Sunday from noon; closed holidays

Exhibitions of 19th- and 20th-century works by local, regional, national, and international artists. The museum’s collection includes African-American folk art; photographs. Special exhibitions; sculpture garden; hands-on children’s gallery; restaurant, gallery programs, films; instruction, sales gallery.

Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

(601) 354-7303

2148 Riverside Dr

Jackson, MS 39202

Monday-Friday 8- 5; Saturday 9- 5; Sunday 1- 5.

The striking expanses of glass and octagonal skylights set the tone at this state-of-the-art facility. Life-size habitat displays include a 100,000-gallon aquarium system that houses over 200 species of native fish, reptiles, amphibians, and aquatic invertebrates. A 1,700-square foot greenhouse is home to alligators, turtles, and fish. A lush native plant garden, and over 2.5 miles of walking trails wind through the 300-acre natural area, extending the experience to the outdoors. Outdoor exhibits feature The Liberty Garden honoring the memory of those who perished on September 11, 2001 and The Millennium Grove which insures the perpetuation of America’s famous and historic species of trees.

Jackson Mynelle Gardens

(601) 960-1894

4736 Clinton Blvd

Jackson, MS 39209

Hours: 12-5:15 March-October; (8-4:15 November-February)

Mynelle Gardens typifies the southern garden. It began as a private garden created by Mynelle Westbrook Hayward and was acquired by the City of Jackson in 1973. It is a seven acre collage of distinctive gardens, with winding pathways, cascading pools, and uniquely designed bridges which lead across a pond to an island oasis. It is also a wildlife sanctuary and a haven for songbirds. Mynelle Gardens is accessible to the handicapped.

Oaks House Museum

823 N Jefferson St

Jackson, MS 39202

(601) 353-9339

Open Tuesday-Saturday 10-3.

This Greek revival cottage, built of hand-hewn timber by James H. Boyd, former mayor of Jackson, was occupied by General Sherman during the siege of 1863. Now owned by the National Society of Colonial Dames of America, the museum is furnished with period furniture throughout, including a sofa from Abraham Lincoln’s law office in Springfield, Illinois.

Old Capitol Museum

100 S. State St

Jackson, MS

8:00am – 5:00pm, Monday – Friday; 9:30am – 4:30pm, Saturday and 12:30pm – 4:30pm, Sunday.

Built in 1833 and used as the state seat of government until 1903, this building is a National Historic Landmark. One of the country’s most elegant examples of Greek revival architecture, the museum houses exhibits that detail every significant period of Mississippi’s history. It also features the first permanent exhibit in the country on the Civil Rights Movement.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Jackson Zoological Park

2918 W. Capitol Street

Jackson, MS 39209

(601) 355-5475

9:00am – 5:00pm, daily.

a 40-acre tract designed to recreate each animal’s natural habitat. Discovery Zoo, was rated one of the top five children’s zoos east of the Mississippi by the New York Times Travel Guide. It educates through entertaining and imaginative hands-on exhibits, such as Turtle Crawl, Ant World, and Create an Animal.

Davis Planetarium/McNair Space Theater

201 E Pascagoula St

Jackson, MS 39201

(601) 960-1550

Open Daily; closed holidays

Programs change quarterly; 230-seat auditorium.

Jackson’s impressive planetarium is one of the largest in the world, with a huge wrap-around screen that presents regular Sky Shows on astronomy, astronauts and space exploration. The planetarium, situated in the downtown cultural district, also features laser light concerts accompanied by the music of contemporary and classic rock and roll artists combined with the imagery of a powerful indoor laser system.

Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum And National Agricultural Aviation Museum

1150 Lakeland Dr

Jackson, MS 39216

(601) 713-3365

Toll-Free: (800) 844-8687

Monday-Saturday 9 am-5 pm; closed January 1, December 24-25

Complex, covering 39 acres, includes museum exhibit center, forest trail, 1920s living history town and farm. Picnicking.

Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

1152 Lakeland Dr

Jackson, MS 39216

(601) 982-8264

Open Mon-Sat 10 am-4 pm

A variety of interactive exhibits can be found here, such as touch-screen television kiosks that access archival sports footage. Through interactive technology, visitors can play championship golf courses, soccer, or pitch horseshoes.

Mississippi Petrified Forest

124 Forest Park Road

Flora, MS (45 minutes north of Jackson)


Take a peek into a distant age 36 million years ago at what some call the “Grand Canyon of the Mississippi.” Thirty-six million years ago, a raging river deposited a grove of trees in this out-of-the-way spot, and there they still remain in the present day, petrified in their positions for posterity. A paved trail weaves through the petrified trees and is suitable for all levels of mobility. In the Earth Science Museum, there is a collection of fossils (including dinosaur footprints!), petrified wood, (of course), and minerals.
E- Events & Entertainment:

Late January-mid-February

Dixie National Rodeo and Livestock Show

1207 Mississippi St, Jackson, MS 39202

Featuring some of the best cowboys and the rankest rough-riding stock in the region, this national rodeo is a favorite among Mississippi locals. But rodeo is not the only thing happening during this 24-day extravaganza. Nearly every sort of livestock you can imagine are shown here, and growers compete for top prizes. The prize animals are then auctioned to buyers seeking the finest beef, pork, poultry and lamb. Judging and penning competitions are also held, along with performances by top entertainers. Some events charge admission.

Late February

Gem and Mineral Show

Location: A & I Building, Mississippi State Fairgrounds

Members provide exhibits and demonstrations and retailers sell all hobby related items.

Early March

Spring Outdoors Show

Location: Mississippi Trade Mart; Jackson, MS.

Exhibits, seminars and demonstrations on everything outdoors from camping, hiking, photography, fishing to gardening, canoeing, kayaking and turkey hunting. Children activities.



Location: 2918 W. Capitol St.; Jackson, MS

Children test their skills against those of the animals in such activities as the Zebra Kick, the Cheetah Relay. Other activities include clowns, space jumps, face painting and more.

Third week in March

Mynelle Gardens Annual Spring Festival & Plant Sale

Location: Mynelle Gardens, 4736 Clinton Blvd.; Jackson, MS

Celebrate Mother Nature’s floral beauty.

Late March

National Cutting Horse Association Show

1207 Mississippi St

Jackson, MS 39202

(601) 961-4000

Entries from across the US participate in amateur to professional rider competitions.

Late March

Taste of Mississippi

Location: Highland Village; Jackson, MS

A culinary tasting event featuring 35 of Mississippi’s finest restaurants, live music and both live and silent auctions featuring art and products donated by Viking Range Corporation. Proceeds from the event go to fight hunger in Mississippi.


Handworks Spring Market

Location: Mississippi Trade Mart, MS Fairgrounds; Jackson, MS

Arts, crafts and antiques show. Exhibitors from several states create a festive shopping atmosphere.


Zoobilation, “Kidsfest”

Location: 2918 W. Capitol St.; Jackson, MS

Annual celebration for the zoo which involves visits from cartoon and storybook characters. Local media celebrities and friends come out to join the fun.

Late May

Jackson Zoo’s Memorial Day Weekend Celebration

Location: 2918 W. Capitol St.; Jackson, MS

Kids of all ages with enjoy this special weekend with live animals and cartoon characters! Scheduled time is Sat, 11a.m.-5p.m.; Sun, 1-5p.m.

July 4

Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration

Location: Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum, 1150 Lakeland Dr.; Jackson, MS

This family event includes pony rides, train rides, carousel rides, lots of games and prizes, free watermelon, musical entertainment and other fun activities for children.


Celtic Fest

Location: Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum, 1150 Lakeland Dr.; Jackson, MS

Immerse yourself in Celtic music and culture at an event that offers educational workshops and Celtic art. Fun for the entire family includes activities for children and concessions.


Festival Latino

1808 Spillway Road (Rapids on the Reservoir)

Jackson, MS 39047

This annual event is a celebration of Latin American culture. Dancing, food, music and crafts from Central and South American countries, as well as the Caribbean Islands. Free activities for kids. Information: (601) 960-8467

Early October

Mississippi State Fair

1207 Mississippi St, Jackson, MS 3920

(601) 961- 4000

This popular event, one of the largest state fairs in the South, features something for everyone. A mile-long midway, livestock shows, 4-H Village, food and craft booths, and 120,000 square feet of exciting exhibitions make for a weekend of fun. Free concerts are also planned throughout the event. The fair begins the first Wednesday of October each year and runs for 12 days. Admission varies depending on the event.

Early December

City of Jackson Christmas Parade

Downtown Jackson, This annual Christmas parade kicks off the holiday season. A tree lighting ceremony follows the parade, along with musical entertainment. For information: (601)960-1084

Throughout December

Olde Tyme Christmas

Mississippi Heritage Center, Jackson, MS 39205, MS

Agriculture & Forestry Museum


Veteran’s Memorial Stadium

2531 N State St

Jackson, MS 39216

(601) 354-6021

This traditional horseshoe shaped stadium (known to local fans as A.C. Butch Lambert Field) is the home of the Jackson State University Tigers football team and the famous Jaycettes. Besides the standard Saturday football games, the 60, 492 seat facility hosts the high school state football championships. It is also the place where big name national touring acts play in the summertime.


1207 Mississippi St

Jackson, MS 39202

(601) 353-0603

(601) 961-4000

Located at the Mississippi Fairgrounds Complex, the Mississippi Coliseum is one of Jackson’s premier indoor venues. In addition to hosting conventions, public shows, and musical concerts, the Coliseum is home of the Jackson Bandits professional hockey team. It has a permanent seating capacity of 6,500, with an additional capacity for 2,650 temporary seats. Special amenities such as light and sound facilities, comfortable dressing rooms, and ample parking make this a top-flight venue for all sorts of special events.

Arts and Entertainment

Alamo Theatre

333 N Farish St

Jackson, MS 39202

(601) 352-3365

The Alamo theatre opened in 1942 seating 406. It was built in the African-American professional and trade community of Farish Street. It originally screened westerns and African- American films and also hosted acts and performing artists such as B.B King, Nat King Cole and other top African-American performers.

In 1960 the Alamo closed and remained shuttered until 1992. A community effort at that time completely restored the interior to its original Art Deco style and refurbished the exterior. The marquee and the vertical sign were restored to their original design, including all the neon. It took several years to complete the project, and the theatre re-opened in 1997. It is now hosting all forms of art, music, dance and theatre.

Mississippi Arts Center

201 E. Pascagoula St.

8:00 – 5:00, Monday – Friday.

This cultural center hosts art and cultural organizations, including ballet Mississippi, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, and the Mississippi Museum of Art.

New Stage Theatre

1100 Carlisle St

Jackson, MS 39202

(601) 948-3531

(601) 948-3533

New Stage is one of Jackson’s most celebrated cultural institutions. The theater produces a wide range of plays and musicals, from classic Shakespeare to hit musicals. The season includes a Christmas show and several children’s shows. The theater showcases original work in its Eudora Welty New Plays Series and in its free offerings at “Late Nite at New Stage”.