The USS Cairo is a historic Civil War-era naval ship that's located on the ground of the equally-stunning Vicksburg National Military Park. If you love nature and military history, a day at Vicksburg should defiantly be on your bucket list and a visit to the USS Cairo is a must!
The USS Cairo is one of the famous "ironclad" gunboats of the 19th century. It was originally sunk during the battle of Vicksburg and laid at the bottom of the Mississippi river for over a century. The wreck was re-discovered in the 1950's and since then it was been excavated, fully resorted, and converted into a museum. At the park, you can walk around the actual rebuilt ship and see the cannons and then there's a museum inside that has plenty of artifacts like clothing, silverware, ammunition, and guns recovered from the wreckage.
The USS Cairo is one of the more important ships in American naval history and the fact that it has been restored and put on display at Vicksburg makes it possible for everyone to come and learn more about this important era in America's history.
Rowan Oak is the original home of the great American author William Faulkner, the genius behind As I Lay Dying and The Sound and The Fury. The mansion was built in the mid-1800's and restored by Faulkner himself in the 1930's. Today, it has been fully resorted and decorated with period furniture and the public can tour the site to learn a little bit more about one of our greatest writers.
A good way to visit is to begin at the Ole Miss campus, a historic attraction in its own right. From there, you can take a 15 or 20 minute walk through the woods before ending up and the beautiful walkway leading to Rowan Oak. There's no need to schedule a tour (unless you're a large group), but you can explore the gardens around the house and see some of Faulkner's personal effects on display in the interior. Don't miss the chance to check out his personal library!
A tour of the interior is $5 and it' honestly worth it as it' just en empty home without the guide to fill you in on the history and life of William Faulkner. If you just want to admire the home from the outside and explore the garden, the visit is free!
Beauvoir is the name gives to the historic home of the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis. Unfortunately, the site suffered heavily during Hurricane Katrina but has since been resorted to its prior glory and is now back open to the public. The Jefferson Davis Presidential Library was actually so damaged during the hurricane that it had to be demolished entirely and rebuilt!
The house itself, though, is back in perfect condition complete with original artifacts from the days of the Confederacy, period furniture, and plenty of photos. I'd suggest taking the guided tour as the explanations and anecdotes of the guides help bring to life what is otherwise an ordinary, if not pretty, home. One the guides put the various rooms and objects in context it actually makes for a fascinating visit.
After your tour of the home and exploration of the pearly-white Presidential Library are complete, try settling down in one of the rocking chairs which look out over the Gulf and you'll feel like a true Southern gentleman (or gentlewoman!).
The Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum the place for Elvis-fanatics to discover the early roots of the King of Rock'n'Roll. Most of us think that Elvis is from Tennessee, but he was actually born in a small shotgun house in Tupelo, Mississippi and moved to Memphis when he was a teenager.
The house itself is quite small (can you believe it only cost $180 at the time!?) but has been lovingly restored with period furniture. Nearby, there's the Elvis Presley Memorial Chapel in honor of the great singer and the Elvis Presley Museum, a fully-renovated modern museum housing personal artifacts from Elvis and some general history about the town of Tupelo.
While both the attractions are rather small, the whole complex around his birthplace is filled with statues, fountains, walkways, and gardens and makes for a fun, quirky, and interesting morning in Tupelo. It costs $6 for a basic one-hour tour of the area.
The Mississippi Governor's Mansion is a beautiful and historic mansion in Jackson, Mississippi. it has the distinction of being one of the oldest continuously-occupied governor's mansions in the United States and is considered a Historic Landmark in the state of Mississippi. It was originally built in 1842, it is still used today as the private residence of the Governor of Mississippi, something you need to take into account when visiting.
Since it's still a private residence, you can only tour the historic parts of the mansion and you're not allowed to explore the grounds at your leisure. The mansion, however, is open to the public for two and a half hours every morning at 9am and they conduct free guided tours every 30 minutes. Architecturally, the mansion is done in the Greek-revival style (very popular in the Antebellum south), but the real attraction here is the masterfully-restored period furniture.