Explore the cultural history of the Magnolia State
Words by Ashley Locke
Author William Faulkner once said, “To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi.” The Magnolia State is a cultural hub in the South—home to authors, musicians, artists, and history. The rich culture of the state has inspired several incredible museums. They offer a peek into the past while sparking curiosity for the future—art, history, music, and culture brought to life for all ages.
Elvis Birthplace and Museum in Tupelo
On January 8, 1935, Elvis was born in Tupelo. His father, grandfather, and uncle built the two-room home he was born in. The church the Presley family worshipped in was moved to the museum site, so music-lovers can see where Elvis lived, as well as where he got his first introduction to the Southern gospel music that defined his career.
Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson
An epicenter of the Civil Rights Movement, Mississippi has a lot of important stories to tell from the era. The museum features eight interactive galleries with artifacts, music, and photos that tell the story of Mississippi’s road to equality. The final gallery gives guests an opportunity to look forward—reflecting on the challenges of the past to learn how to navigate the challenges of the future, all while recognizing how far we have come.
Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs
Artist Walter Anderson was inspired by the Mississippi Gulf Coast, known for his landscape, plant, and animal pieces. He dabbled in drawing, painting, wood carving, sculpting, printing, and writing—and his home is a reflection of his life’s work. In his home, you’ll find colorful works covering the walls from floor to ceiling. It’s a completely immersive experience.
The Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale
It’s no secret that the blues have deep roots in the Mississippi Delta. The Delta Blues Museum captures the spirit of the blues, exploring the history of iconic musicians such as John Lee Hooker, Charlie Patton, and Robert Johnson. Visitors also get to see Muddy Waters’ childhood home, which was reconstructed and relocated to the museum grounds.
Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum in Biloxi
The gulf coast is known for delicious seafood, and the museum gives visitors a peek into the action that goes on behind the scenes of their favorite meals. Photographs and artifacts such as a 1970’s shrimp peeling machine provide an up-close look at Biloxi’s maritime history. Extra adventurous guests can book a day sail on one of the authentic replicas of a 65’ double-masted Biloxi schooner.