Known as the “City with Soul,” Jackson, Mississippi if the perfect place to spend the summertime. Filled with festival and events, historical sites and museum, patio dining options, and spots to enjoy nature, there’s always something to do or see in and around the city. Whether you’re planning on taking a day trip, want a weekend getaway, or are planning a night out, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to summer fun in Jackson.
Jackson’s Most Popular Summer Festivals and Events
Summer is Mississippi is hot. Many families and friends try to find indoor activities, but festivals are the exception to that search. You’ll find delicious food, arts and crafts, family fun, and more at this summer’s most popular festivals and events.
- Mississippi Comic Con 2019. This year’s Comic Con takes place from June 29-30 at the MS Mart. The event will bring together a diverse list of guests, artists, and vendors in a family-friendly environment.
- The 9th Annual Independence Showdown. This battle of the bands event takes place on June 29 at Hughes Field. Bands will be coming from Michigan, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
- Jackson Zoo Safari Sunset June. This after-hours event at the Jackson Zoo is for all ages. On June 29, attendees can see animals, listen to special keeper chats, take a ride on a train or carousel, and take part in a variety of other family-friendly activities.
- Jackson’s Fireworks Extravaganza. On June 30 you can visit the Smith Wills Stadium for the Fireworks Extravaganza. In addition to the fireworks show, you and your family can enjoy live entertainment and food vendors.
- 2019 Farm Bureau Watermelon Classic. The Annual Farm Bureau Watermelon Classic takes place on July 4 at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum. You can take part in the 5k Run/Walk and the Blue Shield of MS One Mile Fun Run.
- Jackson Summer Gun and Knife Show. The Jackson Summer Gun and Knife Show happens twice this season. The first event runs from July 27-28. The second takes place on August 10-11. Both events are held at the state fairgrounds.
- Campbell’s Bakery Cheesecake Challenge. On August 1 you can take part in the first-ever Campbell’s Bakery Cheesecake Challenge. The best local restaurants and bakeries will provide their homemade cheesecakes. The event benefits the Good Samaritan Center
- Bright Light Belhaven Nights. This annual street festival features music, children’s activities, food, and more. The year’s event takes place on August 10.
- Mississippi Book Festival. The Mississippi Book Festival is a nonprofit event. It draws thousands to what’s considered to be a literary lawn party near the Mississippi State Capitol. There will be hundreds of authors, panel discussions, book signings, booksellers, Capitol tours, food trucks, and family-friendly activities on August 17.
- Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues Festival. As summer winds down in September, be sure to hit up the Annual Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues & Heritage Festival. On September 7, you can listen to blues music, try a variety of local foods, and see cultural exhibits.
The Best of History and Culture in Jackson
From 1821 when the city was founded on the west bank of the Pearl River, to the present, there’s so much to learn about Jackson’s rich history. Whether you’ve lived in Jackson, MS your whole life or you’re visiting for the first time, the area is filled with museums and historic sites. The museums are also great spots to cool down when the summer heat gets to be too much!
- Mississippi Museum of Art. The Mississippi Museum of Art is the largest museum in the state. Visitors can see exhibits, create works of art in The Museum School, join in museum events, and check out the Art Garden.
- Medgar Evers House. The Medgar Evers House is a national monument. It’s a historic house museum that was built in 1956. It was home to African-American civil rights activist Medgar Evers at the time of his assassination.
- Mississippi Children’s Museum. The Mississippi Children’s Museum strives to provide visitors with opportunities for discovery, knowledge, and learning. It has interactive exhibits, activities, and programs for kids that focus on history, arts, health, and science.
- Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum documents and displays exhibits on the American Civil Rights Movement in the state between 1945 and 1970.
- Old Capitol Museum. The Old Capitol Museum served as the statehouse from 1839 until 1902. When you visit the museum, you can learn about the roles of the legislature, governor, and high court. The building is a National Historic Landmark.
- Mississippi Blues Trail. When you explore the Mississippi Blues Trail, you’ll be learning about the most important root source of popular modern music. The trail markers tell the stories of the bluesmen and women and the places that influenced their music. The sites run from city street to cotton fields, train depots, clubs, churches, and more.
- Eudora Welty House and Garden. The Eudora Welty House and Garden belonged to the author Eudora Welty for 80 years. The home can be toured Tuesday through Friday by reservation.
- Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. The Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1961. The museum officially opened in 1996. It houses the achievements of Mississippi state athletes.
- Museum of Mississippi History. Located in the heart of downtown Jackson, the Museum of Mississippi History explores 15,000 years of history. Visitors can see exhibits, attend educational programs, and look through hundreds of artifacts.
- Mississippi Agricultural & Forestry Museum. This living-history farm is a recreated 1920s cotton-economy-era town. Visitors can explore the small town, nature trail, farmstead, general store, and aviation museum.
Outdoor Dining Options in Jackson
Jackson’s entire metro area has a lot to offer in regard to outdoor dining options. There’s no better time of the year to enjoy outdoor dining on restaurant patios than the summertime, especially in the evenings. Below are some of the most popular al fresco dining options our city has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or are planning on celebrating a special occasion, there’s something on the list for you.
- Babalu Tacos & Tapas. Voted Best Restaurant in 2018 by Best of Jackson, Babalu Tacos & Tapas serves a variety of Latin American-inspired dishes. They focus on inspiring conversation, encouraging camaraderie, and promoting good times. Guests have the option of dining on the patio.
- Pig & Pint. Pig & Pint features BBQ plates with global influences. They also have a lengthy craft beer list. If you sit out on their patio, they are a dog-friendly establishment.
- Keifer’s. Kiefer’s is a Mediterranean restaurant that serves up pita wraps, salads, and more. Established in 1980, this restaurant has a dedicated following.
- Apló Located in the Courtyard of the vibrant shopping center of Highland Village, Aplós serves cuisine inspired by places like Italy, Greece, and the Middle East.
- Fine & Dandy. Fine & Dandy provides a modern venue for diners to enjoy burgers, Southern snacks, and craft cocktails. They focus on using fresh, local ingredient.
- The Manship. The Manship fuses Mediterranean food and Southern cuisine to create delectable dishes in a chic and rustic environment. The menu changes seasonally, as they only feature the freshest ingredients.
- Sal & Mookie’s. Sal & Mookie’s is a New York-style pizza and ice cream joint. They also feature a patio and an adult-only lounge.
- Saltine. Saltine is a modern oyster bar and restaurant featuring Southern cuisine, fresh seafood, seasonal vegetables, and craft cocktails.
- Rooster’s. This longtime, family-owned, counter-service restaurant located in the heart of Fondren serves burgers and Southern dishes. Rooster’s also offers a number of catering options for luncheons, meeting, office parties, and more.
- The Crawdad Hole. The Crawdad Hole is the place to get Cajun and Creole fair. From crawfish to tamales, they’ve got you covered. And they have plenty of outdoor seating.
Hiking and Walking Trails in and Near Jackson
Stress doesn’t always come to a halt when summer arrives. To cope with everyday stressors and reconnect with nature, there are a number of hiking and walking trails in and near Jackson. The trails vary greatly in length and environment. Whether you’re looking for a spot to take a quick walk to clear your head or you want to immerse yourself in nature for the day, we’ve got the spots for you to check out.
- LeFleur’s Bluff State Park. This public recreation area is located on the banks of the Pearl River within the city limits of Jackson. LeFleur’s Bluff State Park houses a 50-acre lake, 9-hole golf course, and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Sciences.
- Roosevelt State Park. The Roosevelt State Park surrounds the 150-acre Shadow Lake, which sits between Jackson and Meridian. There are six nature trails throughout the park that total nearly five miles.
- Cypress Swamp. When you visit Cypress Swamp, you can explore the boardwalk trail that leads you through the area’s tupelo and bald cypress trees. Be on the lookout for animals like frogs, snakes, and alligators.
- Clinton Community Nature Center. The Clinton Community Nature Center features miles of shaded walking trails. The Nature center preserves the area so guests can enjoy it all year round.
- Flowood Nature Park. The Flowood Nature Park features a one-mile trail that runs around the lake into a wooded area at the rear of the park. There are also open-air pavilions to enjoy lunch at.
Wishing You a Happy and Healthy Summer
From all of us at Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, we hope you can utilize the list above to have unforgettable experiences this summer. Attend a festival, learn something new, try something tasty, and spend time outdoors with those you care about the most. We’ll be sure to see you around this summer to take advantage of all our city has to offer.