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22 Fun Things to Do in Jackson MS to Discover the City With Soul


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What does it mean to be the City with Soul?

This is what was on my mind when planning our trip to Jackson, Mississippi. How many fun things to do in Jackson MS would there be? If it’s the City of Soul, we were expecting a lot!

I only knew of Jackson MS because of its Deep South Blues history and complicated slavery and Civil Rights history. And I knew I loved saying Jackson, Mississippi with that Southern Drawl.

State Capitol Building in Jackson, Mississippi
Mississippi State Capitol Building

But what else would we discover? Did it have enough depth and soulfulness to share to fall in love with?

Yes!

The city of Jackson MS has been the most surprising destination so far on our America Unplugged road trip.

We loved it for its diversity of thriving arts and music culture, and open friendly people. I was impressed with how this city has embraced it’s challenging past and is willing to evolve into something better.

Oh, and the food. I can’t forget the food in Jackson!

Brent’s Soda Fountain fun things to do in Jackson, Mississippi
Brent’s Soda Fountain

We had some of the best food we’ve had so far in the US –fresh, creative with a modern twist on some soulful Southern dishes. We loved it so much, it’s included in several of our best USA road trip ideas list!

We visited Jackson on a sponsored trip with Visit Jackson to discover the fun things to do in Jackson MS with kids and to showcase the “City with Soul.”

If you want to learn more about things to do in Jackson MS, check out their amazing docuseries highlighting the lifestyle and travel experiences on offer, which you can see here.

Fun Things to do in Jackson, MS

If you’re ready to discover the “City with Soul” then you’ll want to check out these fun things to do in Jackson MS.

We’ll be categorizing each of these Jackson attractions by history, culture and nature, so you can easily find something that suits your taste and travel style.

Things to Do in Jackson MS for History Buffs

The history and culture of Jackson is complicated, inspiring, humbling and thought-provoking.

The city was founded in 1821 and was named after Andrew Jackson. It quickly became big in political, economic, and social activity, and has a rich civil war and civil rights history.

You can learn all about it and how it has evolved into this exciting destination at the following Jackson MS attractions.

1. The Mississippi Museum of Art

Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson MS attractions
Kid friendly attraction in Jackson

The Mississippi Museum of Art has been a community-supported institution for over 100 years and is one of the most fun things to do in Jackson for families.

It’s not like other art galleries and is more than just the stunning art collection – it’s a vibrant cultural center that offers outside movies, bands, and food trucks, and the café inside is meant to be stellar.

We only experienced the art within the museum, which features a lot of local and national artists and brilliantly tells the story of Mississippi.

I love the blend of old and modern art within each section of the museum, which is broken down into historical timelines.

I was super impressed with the quality of the art collection.

Mississippi Museum of Art family attraction
Gorgeous art pieces

We were led through the museum by two teaching fellow students who helped us gain more from the pieces with the background stories and additional insights those with a trained artistic eye can see.

I love how there are interactive sections for the kids and my girls, not used to art museums, really enjoyed it.

Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson
Interactive displays for kids
Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson
Family Fun a the Mississippi Museum of Art

White Gold by Thomas Sayre is an immersive site-specific installation, which depicts the cotton-filled Southern landscape, Mississippi River area is most known for.

I loved Red April, the tie-dyed canvas artwork that drew you down the hall in the Civil Rights Section depicting the assassination of Martin Luther King.

Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi
Red April

This painting of the relocation of Native Americans is also mesmerizing.

  • Hours: 10.00am – 6.00pm (Closed Monday)
  • Address: 380 S Lamar St, Jackson, MS 39201
Mississippi Museum of Art
Relocation of Native Americans

2. Mississippi Children’s Museum

What to do in Jackson, MS with kids - The Children's Museum
Children’s Museum, Jackson, Mississippi

Looking for fun things to do with kids in Jackson, MS?

Okay, so we’ve been to a few Children’s Museums in our travels. But the Mississippi Children’s Museum in Jackson was by far the best we’ve been to.

Firstly, the spacious, light and bright design of it draws you in and opens the right framework for learning and engagement. I didn’t realize how important this was until I walked in and felt it.

Mississippi Children’s Museum in Jackson, Mississippi
Family fun for hours

The Museum has a mission to improve health, literacy and overall well-being for children and the activities reflect this.

It’s highly engaging, creative and educational.

There are climbing walls, a real car you can pretend drive, a giant scrabble board and cycling skeletons.

There is a music and dance room where you can create and record, and an art room with volunteers teaching art lessons.

Childrens Museum things to do with kids in Jackson MS
Children’s Museum – a must not miss for your Jackson family vacation
Fun things to do in Jackson MS The Children's Museum
Fun things to do in Jackson MS

And there is a large digestive system (i.e. giant tunnel playground) that gurgles and farts as you move through it until you poop out the end in the toilet bowl!!

There’s also a Literacy Garden outside which is a 13,000 square feet garden and playground with artworks, fountains, and climbing towers.

  • Hours: 9.00am – 5.00pm Tuesday – Saturday, 1.00pm – 6.00pm Sunday (Closed Monday)
  • Address: 2145 Museum Blvd, Jackson, MS 39202

3. Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

Natural Science Museum in Jackson, Mississippi
Natural Science Museum displays

We will always remember the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science for the two-headed snake.

Have you ever seen one before? Me neither and it freaked us all out! Definitely one of the most fun things to see in Jackson MS.

The two headed snake Natural science museum - fun things to do in Jackson, Mississippi
Two headed snake!!

Apparently, the snakes were twins in the egg but stopped the splitting process, and so now they are one with two heads.

Just when you thought snakes couldn’t be any scarier. (I love them!!)

There are plenty of cute alligators and turtles, as well as reptiles and amphibians, to look at too. There’s also a great section on energy conservation which lead a discussion on what we can do better in our lifestyle.

If you want to stretch your legs, there is an outside area with a few nature trails to walk around, and some picnic areas too.

  • Hours: 8.00am – 5.00pm Monday – Saturday, 1.00pm – 6.00pm Sunday
  • Address: 2148 Riverside Dr, Jackson, MS 39202
Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
Alligators and turtles

4. Mississippi Agricultural & Forestry Museum

The Agricultural Museum is on a large block of land, and has a small historical town area which features farm animals, a barn, a large indoor model train display, cotton bales, old crop dusters, and more.

The museum also has a Heritage Center where you can learn all about the past, from the construction of the railway and other modes of transport, to how the land was used for agriculture. You can also see historical artifacts.

Mississippi Agricultural & Forestry Museum jackson ms attractions
Mississippi Agricultural & Forestry Museum

My girls enjoyed the printing room the most.

We learned how printing has evolved and they had the opportunity to use an old printing machine. They learned how phrases such as mind your p’s and q’s came from the old style of printing.

It’s just so easy to produce words for others to read now with the online world!

Note to self: Never complain about how hard blogging is again.

  • Hours: 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday – Saturday (Closed Sunday)
  • Address: 1150 Lakeland Dr, Jackson, MS 39216
Mississippi Agricultural Museum Jackson family getaway
Great history lesson for kids

5. Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

If you’re a sports fan, this is one of the best things to do in Jackson, MS.

When I first met Craig, I knew about Jerry Rice about an hour into our conversation. He has been his sporting hero for many years.

So it was quite a thrill for him to visit the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, where Jerry Rice, alongside a few other Mississippi sporting legends, like Brett Favre, Walter Peyton, Archie Manning and Dave “Boo” Ferriss are recognized.

Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum Jackson MS attractions
Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum
Jerry Rice display at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum
Jerry Rice Number 1 fan
Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum
Sports fans celebrate
Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum
Football greats

Start with the short video so you can learn just how important sports are to the state of Mississippi and how many sporting legends come from there.

There are some Super Bowl MVP trophies, Olympic gold medals and more all on display, for you to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at!

The girls liked cartwheeling about in the replica baseball stadium and racing on the short sprint track.

  • Hours: 10.00am – 4.00pm Monday – Saturday, Closed Sunday
  • Address: 1152 Lakeland Dr #4701, Jackson, MS 39216
Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum
So many amazing athletes come from Mississippi

6. Museum of Mississippi History

Again, Jackson Mississippi knows how to put together an engaging and interesting museum.

The Museum of Mississippi History is in the same building as the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, and together they are known as the Two Mississippi Museums.

Museum of Mississippi History
Museum of Mississippi History

They were both only opened in December 2017, which means the displays are modern, engaging and interactive.

You can tell they’ve learned how to do a museum right. They are quickly becoming known as the best things to do in Jackson, MS.

The theme of the Museum of Mississippi History, which covers the entirety of the state’s history, is “One Mississippi, many stories.”

Museum of Mississippi History
Educational attraction for families in Jackson

I was expecting the girls to be whining about being bored as soon as we entered, so I was shocked to see them race from one display to the other taking a keen interest, engaging with the story and interactive exhibits.

Videos share stories of specific historical events throughout the museum if you want to deepen the experience.

The girls loved the Reflections section at the end where you’re invited into the recording room to share your own history stories.

  • Hours: 9.00am – 5.00pm Tuesday – Saturday, 11.00am – 5.00pm Sunday, Closed Monday
  • Address: 222 North St #1206, Jackson, MS 39201

7. Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum, Jackson, Mississippi
Civil Rights Museum, – an important place to visit in Jackson

Be prepared. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum can be a little overwhelming.

There is a lot to take in, much of it traumatic.

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum
Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

There is a section in the museum on lynching, which we were warned about regarding the girls. There’s a curtained section with some disturbing footage about it, which we skipped.

It’s a brutal story that cannot be glazed over though. It’s important to remember the past and use it as a reminder of how to be better.

This monument to the heroes and martyrs of the movement shows how willing the people of Mississippi are to embrace the pain of the past to heal and move forward.

We had been following the Civil Rights Trail a lot on our travels, in Memphis and Montgomery, so it was great to further deepen the story and learn about some civil rights activists and new heroes like Medgar Evers.

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum
Loved this display

If you’re in the city to visit the museums in Jackson, MS, don’t miss this one! It’s one of the best tourist attractions in the city.

  • Hours: 9.00am – 5.00pm Tuesday – Saturday, 11.00am – 5.00pm Sunday, Closed Monday
  • Address: 222 North St #2205, Jackson, MS 39201

Hot tip: Make sure to visit on Sunday and Tuesday as they host special exhibits on how Mississippi started the Civil Rights Movement.

8. Medgar Evers Home

Medgar Evers Jackson Missisippi
Medgar Evers Jackson Mississippi

I was surprised I did not know anything about Medgar Evers, and I am glad that I learned about his Civil Rights activism.

He was a significant and influential Civil Rights leader in Mississippi. He tirelessly worked to overturn segregation and maintain voting rights for African Americans and was the Field secretary for the NAACP.

As a result, his life was constantly under threat, and sadly he was brutally assassinated in his driveway in 1963 by a white supremacist.

You can take private tours of his house organized through Tougaloo University.

Medgar Evers House - Jackson MS attractions
Medgar Evers Jackson Missisippi

His house is now a national historic landmark and a time capsule for middle-class African American life in the 1960s.

Minnie Watson took us through the home and shared details of Medgar’s early life and career, and we saw the bullet holes from when the bullet went through his chest and into the house ricocheting around the kitchen.

You will leave with a heavy heart. Honor those who bravely sacrificed to create a better world.

  • Hours: Tours by appointment only
  • Address: 2332 Margaret W Alexander Dr, Jackson, MS 39213

Hot Tip: Some other attractions in Jackson you may want to consider to learn about the history: Author Eudora Welty House and Boyd House in Jackson come highly recommended as hot attractions.

There is also the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, and the Old Capitol Museum

9. Russel C. Davis Planetarium

If your interested in space exploration, then you’ve got to make a trip to the South’s largest and best equipped planetariums! The Russel C Davis Planetarium is known for its giant hemispheric theater which has a 4k full-dome digital projection system which really makes learning about the stars come to life.

The museum hosts many festivals and film screenings, which offers a fully immersive experience to the land of space.

The Russell C. Davis Planetarium was built to educate on everything space related, but it has since moved on from that. It is also a venue showing comedy shows, fashion shows and so much more.

Make sure to check out their Facebook page to see what’s on before you visit Jackson.

  • Hours: times and programming varies
  • Address: 201 E Pascagoula St, Jackson, MS 39201

Attractions in Jackson MS to Experience the Blues

No to miss on your Jackson Mississippi things to do list – experiencing the Blues. Of course, that’s what makes a city have soul!

There are several places in Jackson where you can find live blues music. These are the family-friendly ones we discovered.

10. Blue Mondays at Hal and Mal’s

This is one of the coolest things to do in Jackson, MS for nightlife.

Hal and Mal’s is a Jackson institution for its food and live music. If your looking for entertainment in Jackson, this should be top of your list.

Hal and Mal's Blue Monday City With Soul Jackson Mississippi
Fun at Hal and Mal’s

It was opened in 1985 by brothers Hal and Mal in a former 1920s GM&O freight train depot building in the heart of downtown Jackson.

Its quirky and retro interior perfectly matches the warmth of a Southern Blues jamming session, which is what you’ll get on a Monday night at Blue Monday (which is held in the red room of the restaurant).

We did not eat here, the kitchen was closed, but we saw plenty of people bringing in their own snacks!

On Mondays for a small $5 cover charge, you can experience a blues jamming session hosted by the Central Mississippi Blues Society.

Blue Mondays at Hal and Mal’s
Blues in Jackson MS

The regular band plays a series of upbeat tunes and then invites members of the audience to get up and sing and play with them. You just never know who might get up. You perhaps?

Blue Monday is friendly, relaxed and fun and suitable for kids.

It is one of the most enjoyable and soulful things to do in Jackson, MS. We loved it.

  • Hours: every Monday from 7.00pm – 11.00pm
  • Address: 200 Commerce St, Jackson, MS 39201

11. BBQ & Blues at Cathead Distillery

Our first introduction to Jackson was the Cathead Distillery, an old airy warehouse that gives it a hip industrial feel.

Wow! Was my initial reaction.

BBQ & Blues at Cathead Distillery
Family friendly Cathead Distillery

This is my kinda place if this is what Jackson is like then I know it’s for me. We arrived for the BBQ and Blues event.

Outside sat a food truck where you could grab your BBQ nachos or tacos, and inside were visiting local breweries and a sampling bar of the Cathead liquor.

BBQ & Blues at Cathead Distillery
Such a great place to visit with kids

Cathead is the first and oldest distillery in Mississippi.

Its name honors the rich musical history. Cathead was a term used by blues musicians as a nod to artists they respect.

Since its beginning, their vodka (including their honeysuckle and pecan versions) and gin have become baseline bottles for any cocktail bars across the South.

The BBQ and Blues event was the perfect place for kids and pets!

With corn hole, giant jenga and connect 4 games there was a playful and relaxed atmosphere and on the stage in front of the giant fermentation tanks and copper-columned still was a five-piece Blues band playing some upbeat tunes.

BBQ & Blues at Cathead Distillery
Fun family activity in Jackson MS

When we went to leave, we randomly started talking to a fellow, who turns out to be the head distiller of the vodka and once lived in Adelaide.

He introduced us to one of the owners, chatted for a bit and gave us a bag of his unique honeysuckle vodka to take home.

Welcome to the warmth and friendliness of Jackson. We’d arrived at the right place. Definitely one of the most family-friendly things to do in Jackson, MS for food and drink.

Check the website for events, like the BBQ and Blues.

  • Hours: General hours 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday – Friday, tours and tastings are Thursday and Friday 3-6pm and Saturday 1-6pm.
  • Address: 422 S Farish St, Jackson, MS 39201

12. Guitar Lesson at Fondren Guitars

Time to get licking and riffing with a guitar lesson at Fondren Guitars.

Owner and local musician, Patrick Harkins sat down with the girls to teach them a few simple E chord strums to bring out the blues sound.

Guitar lessons at Fondren Guitars Jackson MS
A must do in Jackson MS

He was very patient and encouraging and had an artistic, soulful vibe.

The girls had fun, and it sounded great.

Fondren Guitars in Jackson, Mississippi
The girls loved their guitar lessons

I was hooked listening and, after Savannah’s request for a guitar, I was thinking about throwing one in for myself.

Getting a guitar lesson on vacation is something I’ve never considered before.

Jackson, Mississippi, the birthplace of the Blues, is the perfect place to have one and is one of the most fun things to do in Jackson, MS.

It brings a unique and soulful experience to your travels and perhaps introduces you to a new hobby (or potential career).

One of the most fun things to do with kids in Jackson, MS if they are musical.

  • Hours: 10.00am – 8.00pm Monday – Friday, 1.00am – 3.00pm Saturday, Closed Sunday
  • Address: 2771 Old Canton Rd, Jackson, MS 39216

13. How about a little Southern Soul Pampering?

Kalyra and Savannah adored getting a pedicure at the Soul Spa at the Westin Hotel.

I think they were made for Southern living.

Savannah’s fits of giggles over her ticklish feet were highly entertaining for us all.

Soul Spa The Westin Jackson Mississippi (1)
Soul Spa time

Craig and I ducked back to the Spa ourselves with a therapeutic couples’ massage – yes to instant shoulder tension relief and a divine 80 Soulful personalized facial that left my skin feeling soft and looking radiant.

Note to self: do this more often.

Carve out a fair amount of time for your trip to the Soul Spa as they have saunas, a tranquil relaxation room, and the best digital shower ever.

Ramp up the indulgence on a Sunday with unlimited Mimosas. Yes, puhlease!

  • Hours: 9:00am – 6:00pm Wednesday – Saturday, 10.00am – 6.00pm Sunday, Closed Monday and Tuesday
  • Address: 407 South Congress Street Jackson, MS 39201

Things to Do in Jackson MS for Nature Lovers

Of course, Jackson MS has a lot to offer in its historical downtown and by now you’re probably thinking about one or two Jackson attractions to add to your itinerary.

But if you love nature and want to add some outdoor activities in Jackson to your list, then these are what we highly recommend.

14. Mississippi Petrified Forest & Caveman’s Bench

One of the most beautiful sites in Mississippi has to be the Petrified Forest. This 36 million-year-old forest is located just outside Jackson in the town of Flora, just a 30-minute drive from downtown.

The forest is considered a National Natural Landmark and offers walking trails through the mossy green landscape, which gives you a close up look at the petrified logs.

A petrified forest is a sort of fossilized wood – it happens when plant materials are replaced with certain minerals, which preserves the forest in a frozen state. Along the trail, you’ll see logs where nature has decided to put them.

One of the biggest attractions in the forest is Caveman’s Bench, which is a bench-shaped petrified wood where visitors can sit and rest.

  • Hours: 9.00am – 5.00pm daily
  • Address: 124 Forest Park Rd, Flora, MS 39071

15. Lefleur’s Bluff State Park

For outdoor lovers and golf fans, don’t miss a stop by LeFleur’s Bluff State Park. This public recreation area is just within the city limits of Jackson near the Pearl River and is an area of natural beauty.

It is home to the gorgeous Mayes Lake that spans for 50 acres, a 9-hole golf course and driving range, and is also where you’ll find the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.

The area is a lush green space that offers a relaxing escape from the bustling downtown. Visitors can go camping, fishing, or walking around the many nature trails.

  • Hours: 6.30am – 8.00pm daily
  • Address: 3315 Lakeland Terrace, Jackson, MS 39216

16. Jackson Zoo

Another Mississippi landmark not to be missed off your Jackson itinerary is Jackson Zoo. It’s not just a center for wildlife, but it’s also running conservation efforts too.

The zoo houses animals of North American and South American species, from exotic birds to monkeys. There is also a splash pad included in the price, which young kids will love.

Kids will love riding the carousel and train ride, which is an additional fee, but so worth it!

  • Hours: 10.00am – 4.00pm (Closed Monday and Wednesday)
  • Address: 2918 W Capitol St, Jackson, MS 39209

Places to eat in Jackson, Mississippi with Kids

Time to put some Soul in your Stomach

It’s not all about ham hocks, deep fried chicken, and okra in Jackson Mississippi.

The food has depth and soul with delicious contemporary twists. It was fantastic.

Our only disappointment was that we were left with several must not miss recommendations left unchecked.

17. Bully’s Restaurant

Welcome to a soul food kitchen, that has served its community for over 35 years.

From the outside, it’s low-key and humble, but on the inside is some of the best soul food you can have in the South.

Bullys restuarant Jackson Mississippi
Soul food at Bully’s Restaurant

Bully’s Restaurant received the 2016 James Beard Award for America’s Classic Food. That is a restaurant that has timeless appeal and is cherished for quality food that reflects the character of its community.

The Food Network featured their tender and flavorful BBQ ribs and named Bully’s Restaurant #4 on their Top 5 Soul Food Restaurants in the country.

Delicious ribs at Bully's restaurant in Jackson, Mississippi
Jackson soul food

You can go crazy with some Southern delights like chitterlings, oxtails, ham hocks, neckbones, turkey wings, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, and fried green tomatoes.

Due to an immensely full stomach after days of good Jackson eating, I settled on a vegetable plate.

They were the tastiest lima beans, collard greens, and black-eyed peas I’ve ever had. And that cornbread! To die for.

Don’t miss Bully’s.

  • Hours: 11.00am – 6.00pm Monday – Friday (Closed Saturday and Sunday)
  • Address: 3118 Livingston Rd, Jackson, MS 39213

18. Brent Drugs Malt Shop’s Soda Fountain

Brent's Soda Fountain, Jackson MS attractions
The iconic Brent’s Soda Fountain in Jackson

Another one of the most fun things to do in Jackson, MS, if you’re looking for a treat for the kids, and you!

Brent’s Soda Fountain has been operating since 1946, and happily maintains its old-school soda fountain style.

It was originally a pharmacy that served milkshakes to ice cream to the community as they waited for prescriptions to be filled.

In 2009 it opened as a diner serving burgers, hot dogs, and other family favorites.

The soda fountain and classic bar stools remain in the original 1946 location, but the kitchen now sits where the pharmacy once was.

Brent’s Soda Fountain in Jackson, Mississippi
Love the retro look

I loved how Brent’s retains the retro 50’s charm with its turquoise and chrome decor. It oozes southern hospitality. The movie The Help was filmed here.

The hot fudge Sundae was nostalgic to my childhood, and the Nutella milkshake the girls chose was just divine.

Parents, if you can manage to find a sitter for the kids, sneak out the back door to the Speakeasy hidden in the back of Brent’s.

What to do in Jackson MS - Brent's Drugs, fun for kids
Brent’s Drugs

Apothecary is a small, intimate space that maintains its old pharmacy feel with the old medicine drawers making a feature wall behind the bar.

You can order your medicine of choice and sip your libations in what has where you can sip your libations in what has been noted as one of the best cocktail bars in the South. Put it on your Jackson Mississippi things to do list!

  • Hours: 7.00am – 7.30pm Tuesday – Friday, 8.00am – 7.30pm Saturday, 10.00am – 2.00pm Sunday, Closed Monday
  • Address: 655 Duling Ave, Jackson, MS 39216
Apothecary in Jackson, Mississippi
Apothecary magic

19. The Manship

I was hesitant to order duck for breakfast, but I’m so glad I took the plunge to add another dimension to the Soulful food experience we were having in Jackson.

The duck leg over polenta, maple glaze, and fried egg was one of the best breakfast’s I’ve ever had.

I could not get over how something so simple, yet unique could deliver so much intoxicating flavor.

The Manship in Jackson, Mississippi
Delicious restaurant in Jackson
The Manship in Jackson, Mississippi
Duck leg polenta

I snuck a spoonful of Craig’s southern smashed hash browns which were so creamy and delicious.

It’s an eclectic menu that is seasonal and locally sourced where possible.

The food fuses Southern classics with flavors borrowed from across the Mediterranean. Chic, rustic and delightful,

The Manship in Jackson, Mississippi
Smashed hash browns the bomb!

The Manship is in the historic Belhaven neighborhood and is an entirely wood-fired kitchen, because as they say, without flavor how can you ignite?

One of the real local’s favorite restaurants in Jackson, MS.

  • Hours: 11.00am – 9.00pm Monday – Thursday, 11.00am – 10.00pm Friday, 10.00am – 10.00pm Saturday, 10.00am – 2.30pm Sunday
  • Address: 1200 N State St #100, Jackson, MS 39202

20. Iron Horse Grill

The Iron Horse Grill has a rich heritage in Jackson.

Having been built as the Armour Smokehouse in 1906, it became the Iron Horse Grill restaurant in 1986, but mysteriously it burned down twice before being abandoned in 1999.

Iron Horse Grill, Jackson, Mississippi
Iron Horse Grill – family friendly Jackson restaurant

In 2013 it rose from the ashes again when a group of locals committed to restoring its former glory serving up food and music to the people of Jackson.

We went with The Iron Horse signature dish the Navajo Chicken, breast grilled over an open fire with sautéed mushrooms & onions and topped with Monterrey jack cheese.

You can choose from a wide variety of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and fajitas and they have a Sunday brunch of waffles and omelets.

Live music is frequently performed on the stage at the Iron Horse Grill.

We enjoyed some Sunday Jazz over our brunch.

Jazz on Sunday's at the Iron Horse Grill, Jackson, Mississippi
Jazz on Sundays at the Iron Horse Grill

There’s also a Mississippi Music museum on the second floor which is a tribute to the deep roots of blues music in the state.

There’s a timeline hall starting in the 1800s to the current music scene, with unique life-sized wax models depicting the musical story.

It’s a stop on the famous Mississippi Blues Trail and another Jackson tourist attraction for music lovers.

  • Hours: 11.00am – 9.00pm Monday – Wednesday, 11.00am – 10.00pm Thursday, 11.00am – 11.00pm Friday and Saturday, 10.30am – 3.00pm Sunday
  • Address: 320 W Pearl St, Jackson, MS 39203,
Mississippi Music museum Iron Horse Grill, Jackson, Mississippi
Mississippi Music museum

21. Sal & Mookies

Sal & Mookie’s was made for families.

I got this as soon as I walked up the steps to the front door.

Teams of teens crowded around the front patio gossiping and indulging in giant ice creams.

The line was long and the tables full of families happily gorging on gigantic, New York style gourmet pizzas.

Don’t worry if you have a bit of a wait – it’s worth it – but you can pass the time watching the chefs mold, spin and flip the18 inch pizza bases from the window looking into the open-air kitchen.

Sal & Mookies Pizza joint in Jackson, Mississippi
Watching the pizza throw – Sal & mookies

I’m telling you, there is some pizza being made each day at Sal & Mookies as we saw a lot of pizza spinning into that brick-lined oven and there was no time for pausing.

You can be as loud as you like with your kids here, you’ll be right at home, and the service is that warm Southern style you’ve come to expect traveling in the Deep South.

It’s a shame it was raining as sitting out on the deck would have made it a perfect evening.

We recommend the Franklin Street pizza with creamy spinach & artichoke spread, grilled chicken, jalapenos and creole seasoning and the Upper Westside with feta shrimp and sun-dried tomatoes.

Sal & Mookie's New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint in Jackson, Mississippi
Award winning pizza in Jackson MS

And for the kids, you can let them indulge in a Double Stuffed Oreo supreme sundae or line up at the ice cream counter to choose their favorite scoop.

Okay, adults, you can too.

One of the best things to do in Jackson, MS, with kids.

  • Hours: 11.00am – 9.30pm Tuesday – Thursday, 11.00am – 10.00pm Friday and Saturday, 11.00am – 9.00pm Sunday, Closed Monday
  • Address: 200 District Blvd E, Jackson, MS 39211
Double stuffed oreo supreme sundae at Sal & Mookie's Ice Cream Joint in Jackson, Mississippi
Happy family vacation

22. Magic Show at Char Restaurant

Char Restaurant is a classy steakhouse joint that serves contemporary Southern cuisine made from the highest quality ingredients in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

We enjoyed a delicious three-course meal in a private room while host, and local magician, Joe Presto shared some mind-blowing magic tricks.

How did he do that?

The girls loved the show and have since been practicing how to turn a fork into a spoon.

It’s an experience they’ll always remember of Jackson.

  • Hours: 11.00am – 9.00pm Monday – Thursday, 11.00am – 10.00pm Friday and Saturday, 10.00am – 2.00pm and 5.00pm – 9.00pm Sunday
  • Address: 4500 Interstate 55 North Frontage Rd, Jackson, MS 39211

23. Broad Street Bakery

Broad Street Bakery is owned by a family who has been baking bread for generations with old-world recipes passed down from Eastern Europe.

All their pastries, bread, desserts, and cookies are made by hand.

They even bake gluten-free bread!

Broad Street Bakery in Jackson, Mississippi
Broad Street Bakery

You can pop in for a sweet baked treat (such as our girl’s favorite, cinnamon rolls), or for some paninis, burgers, pizzas, and omelets on their extensive menu.

We visited for breakfast and my recommendation to start the day is delicious spinach, Portobello mushroom, and goat cheese omelet!

  • Hours: 7.00am – 3.00pm Sunday and Monday, 7.00am – 8.00pm Tuesday – Saturday
  • Address: 4465 I-55 N Suite #101 Banner Hall, Jackson, MS 39206
Broad Street Bakery in Jackson, Mississippi
cinnamon rolls and omelets

Where to Stay in Jackson MS

If you’re in need of a place to stay in Jackson, we stayed at the Westin. Here’s what we thought of the experience.

Westin, Jackson MS

The Westin Jackson - family friendly accommodation
Great family hotel in Jackson

At only 8 months old, the Westin Jackson is the newest of hotels in Jackson Mississippi.

And like most things in Jackson they have perfected the art of Southern hospitality and style.

We thoroughly enjoyed our four-night stay here. It was comfortable and classy and the service friendly and efficient.

Over the past few months, I’ve morphed into someone who cares about fitness facilities in our accommodation. I’m training hard every day at our local gym so don’t want to lose the routine or habit.

The fitness center at The Westin was large and came fully equipped with everything I use for my fitness and weight training regime.

I was impressed.

There is also an indoor pool that the girls enjoyed, an onsite restaurant, and of course, the divine Soul Spa.

Westin Jackson Hotel
Jackson MS – great family vacation

We’d stayed at several hotels before The Westin in Jackson on our Deep South road trip, and the fitness centers were small and lacking in some of the equipment I wanted.

Other Places in the South To Visit

Are you thinking of visiting other cities in the South? Then you might like to check out our other resources:

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