In Jackson, "The City with Soul," you can trace Mississippi's evolution from before the Civil War, through the Civil Rights Movement and to the hub of music and culture it is today. The capital city offers world-class arts and entertainment at Thalia Mara Hall and the Mississippi Museum of Art. There is a large variety of dining options ranging from down-home to upscale. Jackson also has a growing craft beer and spirits scene fueled by Lucky Town Brewery and Cathead Distillery.
MEET TENEIA AND BEN EICHELBERGER
Teneia and Ben Eichelberger are a folk/soul wife-and-husband duo. Their music combines elements of folk, soul, Southern gospel, blues, and easy-listening pop. In 2015, the couple sold most of their possessions, bought a travel trailer, and transitioned to a life on the road. They had one goal: spread a message of love and equality through great music. They currently travel the U.S. playing their original songs for audiences across the nation. Teneia is originally from Jackson, Mississippi, and Ben was born and raised in Iowa. To see where Teneia and Ben like to spend time when they're home, take a look at their Jackson itinerary below.
Another Fondren-area staple, this coffee shop was founded by a local couple seeking a laidback retreat to enjoy coffee and community. Peruse the display of local artists' work with coffee cup in hand.
Before becoming a concert and event venue, Duling Hall was an elementary school, built in 1928. Now, it has become the center of Jackson's live music scene, hosting talented artists from across the country.
Whole Foods on a local level, this independent organic grocery is a staple of the funky Fondren community. Indulge guilt-free at the grocery's High Noon Café, a gourmet vegan restaurant.
Vicksburg is a place bursting at the seams with local culture, character, art, entertainment and outdoor adventure. With sweeping views of the Mississippi River, Vicksburg blends Southern culture and heritage with exciting modern-day attractions. From four world-class casinos and upscale shopping, dining and spas to some of the most fascinating historic sites, architecture and antebellum mansions in the nation, Vicksburg offers an authentic Southern experience you don't want to miss.
MEET GILBERT ROSE
Gilbert Rose is president and executive director of Tara Wildlife in Vicksburg, Mississippi. With 8 miles of Mississippi River frontage and 9,000 acres of oxbow lakes and bottomland hardwood forests, Tara is a destination for hunting, fishing, camping, birding, biking and kayaking. A native of northern Australia, Gilbert moved to the United States in 1990, originally settling in Virginia. He's been living in Mississippi and working with Tara since 1992. Gilbert grew up on the land and has a love of the outdoors. Ask him what his favorite part of the job is, and he'll talk about his love of being in the woods and how much he enjoys meeting the people who come to Tara. For Gilbert's top city-life recommendations, see his Vicksburg itinerary below.
HIGHWAY 61 COFFEE
Reboot with a stop at this coffee stop with a full espresso bar. Hot coffee not your thing? Try the local favorite, a Highway 61 Frozen Mojo, or one of the other fruit smoothies available.
THE TOMATO PLACE
Go back in time and visit the Tomato Place, an old time fruit stand where home-cooked food, baked goods, fruit smoothies, fresh squeezed lemonade and brewed iced tea await.
VICKSBURG MILITARY PARK
Get a real life history lesson with a visit to Vicksburg National Military Park, where 1,325 historic monuments and markers dot a 16 mile road tour commemorating the siege of Vicksburg, the turning point of the American Civil War.