Nowadays if you hear anything about the City of Jackson, located in the Deep South’s most controversial state (Mississippi), you’re likely to hear that it’s up and coming and has so much to offer in terms of culture, art and entertainment. You may even hear that Jackson is known as the “City with Soul” and that would be true.
But Jackson is more than those things to me – it’s the place that I call home – and in today’s blog post I’m sharing a few reasons why you should add Jackson to your “Must Travel To” list ASAP!
It seems like Jackson is in a Renaissance period and has been for the past three or four years. I remember our downtown area shutting down after work hours but now, on any given night, there is sure to be some hustle and bustle in the area whether it’s a late night exhibit at the Museum of Art or a live music performance at the historic King Edward Hotel. I feel proud as I travel throughout the city and its cool neighborhoods because it’s becoming more beautiful by the day.
That brings me to my first reason why you should visit Jackson…
Our city is primarily Black, but we are still a melting pot of all types of cultures, beliefs and history. Mississippi isn’t coined as the Hospitality State for no reason! Regardless of where you visit, you’ll come across someone that you’ll never forget. You’ll meet artisans in Midtown, hipsters and techies in Fondren, students in Belhaven and die-hard Jackson State University fans in the heart of West Jackson. The People of Jackson all have pride in the city for their own reasons and with each friendly and hospitable encounter, you’ll find that there’s something about the City with Soul that’s a little sticky… if you know what I mean.
Jackson has an amazing food scene…my stomach is growling just thinking about it. I live here and I still haven’t had a chance to eat at many of the new (and old) restaurants sprinkled all over the city. I can recommend some though! I love the burgers at Brent’s Drugs, the salads at Room Service, the barbecue at Gator’s and the hummus and gyros at Aladdin. I have to also brag on our favorite local coffee shop brand, Cups. It’s a must that I drink a Blondie at least once a week. For other recommendations and reviews, check out Eat JXN’s website.
The Art scene in Jackson is by far my favorite thing about my hometown. I date a musician so naturally I attend lots of music related events. Outside of that, I love the studio tours hosted annually in the Midtown neighborhood and I really enjoy taking in the murals around the downtown and Fondren area. One of my favorite local artists, Justin Ransburg, is featured in Episode 5 of the Visit Jackson: City with Soul documentary above.
During the summer and early fall you can catch a movie on the lawn of the Mississippi Museum of Art, complete with food truck vendors to indulge in. The movie nights are always kid and pet friendly, which is a plus for families. I love touring museums and our newest attraction, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, is next on my list of places to visit.
All of these things make up the soul of our City. The people, the food, the art, our culture are all components of our soul. These things make Jackson come alive and they also allow Jackson the opportunity to thrive and continue advancing. I see a beautiful future for our city and whether or not I remain here as a resident, it will definitely be the place that gave me a little soul of my own!
Make sure to add Jackson to your 2018 travel itinerary and if you’re a resident, share some food and attraction recommendations in the comment section below!