its history claimed at various points (and often simultaneously)
by the French, Spanish and British, Mississippi was named for
the river which forms its western boundary. According to Native
American folklore the named derived from the Chippewa words "mici zibi" meaning "great river."
its long and varied history, Mississippi offers visitors a host of historical
landmarks, scenic tours, as well as Gulf shore and summer theme park attractions.
Mississippi is a treasure trove of
Civil War memorabilia starting with
the Vicksburg Civil War Museum.
Throughout the state, the history of Mississippi is alive and well at Civil War battle memorials in Vicksburg and Tupelo (also famous for the Elvis Presley birthplace).
A step further back in time can be had with scenic drives along the Natchez Trace Parkway -- including stops at Chickasaw Village in Tupelo, part of a complete itinerary of ancient Indian mounds stretching from north to south along the historic 300-mile trail.
Of course, Missississippi Gulf Coast beaches and gambling casinos that dot the shoreline remain as popular as ever after recovery from Hurricane Katrina, one of the costliest storms in American history.
The state's No. 1 kid-friendly
attraction: Geyser Falls Water
Theme Park in Choctaw County.
For top family-friendly attractions, the center of the state holds the state's No. 1 summer destination, Geyser Falls Water Theme Park in Choctaw County featuring spectacular water rides, live entertainment, and special events throughout the season.
Heading south to Jackson, year-round fun awaits at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science offering a half-dozen nature trails, aquarium exhibits, and hands-on interactive activities for kids of all ages.
While in Jackson, also don't miss a trip to the Jackson Zoo, one of the state's top-rated, for up-close views of more than 800 animals from around the world.
DID YOU KNOW? Mississippi Travel Fun Facts
Famous Mississippian: Elvis Presley
• Mississippi is the state that first gave us Coca Cola, Pine Sol, rayon, the soft toilet seat cover, and the Flexible Flyer sled.
• Famous people born in Mississippi include Elvis Presley, James Earl Jones, Oprah Winfrey, Faith Hill, B.B. King, Charlie Pride, and Brett Favre.
• Vicksburg National Cemetery is the second largest cemetery in the nation after Arlington in Washington, DC. It is the final resting place of Conferderate soldiers who lost their lives during the Civil War, the most of any state.