(a 4 minute read)

A Southern Mississippi road trip takes me through Hattiesburg, Natchez, Vicksburg, and Jackson, with a few surprise backroad encounters along the way!


A Mississippi road trip has been on my bucket list for eons, and not long ago my wish became a reality. When I learned that a drive from my home in Central Florida to Hattiesburg was inevitable, I reached out to my friends at Visit Vicksburg and Visit Mississippi, who in turn contacted their friends at Visit Natchez and Visit Jackson, and together they designed a perfect week-long itinerary of Civil War and Civil Rights historical sites through the Central and Southern regions of the state. As their guest, I enjoyed some of the best experiences Mississippi has to offer!

In this round-up of my 6-part Southern Mississippi Road Trip series, I have organized all of the articles sequentially so that readers may follow my experiences in the order in which they occurred.

Part 1: Hattiesburg

The first leg of my journey took me from Central Florida to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and more importantly to the University of Southern Mississippi where I delivered my books and author papers to the archive of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection. This experience was a defining moment in the transition from my first chapter as a public school teacher to my second chapter as a travel writer.

How my Books Landed in the de Grummond Collection at USM Backroad Planet

Part 2: Natchez

Leaving Hattiesburg, I headed west to Natchez where I would tour four antebellum homes and encounter the cultural side of this historical city situated on a bluff overlooking the Mighty Mississippi.

Visit Historical Natchez Mississippi Backroad Planet

Part 3: Mississippi Backroads

The route between Natchez and Vicksburg would take me along a section of the Natchez Trace Parkway and ultimately on some of Mississippi’s most remote backroads to explore a ghost town, walk among ancient ruins, and eat the world’s best fried chicken.

Mississippi Backroads Between Natchez & Vicksburg-77848

Part 4: Vicksburg

Arriving in Vicksburg, I checked in at a historical B&B, visited two museums, ate more fried chicken, and toured Mississippi’s most haunted house.

How to Spend 36 Hours in Vicksburg Mississippi Backroad Planet

Part 5: Vicksburg NMP

But the highlight of my time in Vicksburg was a guided tour of the National Military Park where we drove the Union and Confederate lines, experienced the USS Cairo Gunboat & Museum, and visited the National Cemetery.

The Best Way to Visit Vicksburg National Military Park Backroad Planet

Part 6: Jackson

The final destination on my itinerary was Jackson, where I sampled highlights of the city’s historical and literary driving tours, including visits to the homes of southern writer Eudora Welty and slain Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers.

Civil Rights and Literary Driving Tours in Jackson, Mississippi

Bonus: Rodney

A supplement to our Southern Mississippi Road Trip series is a magnificent photoessay by Mississippi photographer Ashleigh Coleman that explores the ghost town of Rodney and its haunting history.

The Haunting Town of Rodney, Mississippi: A Photo Essay Backroad Planet

Let there be no doubt . . . I LOVE Mississippi! Its rich history and culture intrigue me to this day, and I cannot wait to return and explore even more of this amazing state!

More Mississippi Destinations

We have visited even more amazing Mississippi destinations since that first Southern Mississippi Road Trip. Read all about them at the links below.

Elvis in Tupelo: Discover the King’s Mississippi Roots

Brices Crossroads & Tupelo National Battlefield: Mississippi’s Final Stands

Two Mississippi Museums Chronicle State & Civil Rights History

Searching for Emmett Till: A Mississippi Delta Pilgrimage

Explore African American Heritage Sites in Hattiesburg MS

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We Would Love to Hear From You

We enjoy dialogue with our readers, especially when they share off-the-beaten-path destinations and useful travel tips. Have you ever roadtripped Mississippi? If so, we would love to hear about your experience. We invite you to leave your comments and questions below, and we always respond!

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A Southern Mississippi Road Trip 1
Howard Blount is founder and editor of the travel web site Backroad Planet. He has traveled internationally since boyhood and lived abroad in Mexico, Chile, and Paraguay. Now his passion is navigating the roads-less-traveled of this amazing planet in search of anything rare and remote.

On the stuffy side, “Mr. Blount” has been a writer, consultant, and published author with the likes of Simon & Schuster and McGraw-Hill. Recently retired from a 35-year career as a middle school teacher, Howard enjoys spending his time on anything that includes mountains, waterfalls, dachshunds, gospel choirs, books, restored classic movies on Blu-ray, HDTV, autumn, sandhill cranes, hot springs, Florida springs, rain and other gloomy weather, log cabins, cracker shacks, abandoned sites, unearthed history, genealogy, museums, documentaries, To Kill a Mockingbird, scenic and historical sites, castles, cathedrals, the Civil War, cold sheets, National and State Park Passports, quotes, the Rambos, Dionne Warwick, Steely Dan, Doobies, Diet Pepsi, Fish City Grill, anything Apple, all things British, Jesus, and lists.

And on a random note, Howard is a fourth cousin once removed to Truman Capote.