When it comes to southern hospitality, Mississippi is the nation’s premier destination.  With a wealth of sporting, outdoors, cultural, and historical attractions, there’s simply no better place to enjoy a vacation.

Where better to start, of course, than with the state’s most famous river?  The Mississippi River is the longest river in North America, flowing from Lake Itasca, Minnesota, to the Gulf of Mexico, making it the ninth largest body of water in the world.  The river and its many tributaries provide ample room for boating enthusiasts and fisherman, and gave birth to many “river cities” that still thrive today.  Near the top of the state, Tunica has grown beyond its agricultural roots to become one of the top gaming meccas in the nation.  The city is home to the Mississippi River Museum, which is housed at the Tunica RiverPark, and is an excellent resource for learning about this illustrious river and its storied past.  Farther south, Vicksburg offers visitors a staggering number of historical sites commemorating the Civil War.  Likewise, the city of Natchez features a wide variety of historical sites and antebellum homes for the casual visitor and history buff alike.

Mississippi strikes an intriguing balance for today’s golfer, with first class golf courses that are both technically challenging and fun to play, yet also affordable and easily accessible.  Five distinct state regions offer Mississippi golf courses designed to fit the natural lay of the land, truly bringing out the inherent beauty of each course, while still crafting a challenging experience.  With a temperate climate that offers near perfect golf weather year round and over 170 courses across the state, Mississippi golf can accommodate every level of enthusiast throughout the year.

Mississippi history’s rich tapestry of invention, artistic contribution, and natural beauty and diversity demands a record.  Travelers can investigate it for themselves in places like the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, which offers visitors a bird’s eye view of the state’s biological history and diversity with permanent and traveling exhibits.  Music enthusiasts will want to take a walk through Blues history at the Mississippi Delta Blues Museum in historic Clarksdale to witness the birth of a true American art form.  Or visit the Mississippi Museum of Art in downtown Jackson, which houses the state’s finest collection of art from around the country.

Thanks to the state’s temperate climate and a wealth of waterways and wilderness, Mississippi is a great place to enjoy the great outdoors.  Fishermen, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts the world over flock to Mississippi every year to enjoy any number of outdoor activities.  Over 175 different species of freshwater fish reside here in the state, not to mention the abundance of saltwater fish found in the Gulf.   The state’s wilderness offers some of the greatest game hunting anywhere in the country.  Thanks to massive conservation efforts, the game population within the borders of the state is healthy and productive, so Mississippi can offer a hunting experience like no other.  For campers and hikers, multiple state parks and recreational facilities from the Gulf Coast to the northern state line give each visitor the opportunity to experience the wonder of Mississippi’s outdoors for themselves.  Whether with just a tent or a full-on RV with all the amenities, Mississippi state parks and campsites have a place for everyone.

And don’t forget to do some dining!  Mississippi features a wide variety of unique eating and shopping options.  From shrimp and grits to fish tacos and, of course, Mississippi Mud Pie, a full menu of some of the world's most delectable dishes were first conceived between the Mississippi River and the Alabama state line.  When dinner is done, there’s still more to do!  Both the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi and the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson play host regularly to a wide variety of sports and music events.  Also stop by Clarksdale, Mississippi, which is home to the Ground Zero Blues Club, a renowned juke joint owned in part by Oscar-winner (and Mississippi native) Morgan Freeman.  Located right next to the Delta Blues Museum, the club features live entertainment starring blues legends as well as up-and-comers—along with some of the best food you’ll find in the Delta.

So whether its fine dining, incredible music, beauteous outdoors, or simple leisure:  Mississippi is the right place to start your next vacation.