People of the South have a reputation for hospitality, and that’s certainly true of Jackson and the surrounding areas. It is a warm, welcoming community to newcomers of all backgrounds. Those who spend time at UMMC commonly create lifelong ties with local residents through friendships built at home, work, and leisure. And, with an affordable cost of living, it’s easy to take advantage of all metro Jackson has to offer.
Jackson has been at the epicenter of some the most important moments in our national life, notably the civil rights era of the 1960s. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, opened in 2017, and the home of civil rights leader Medgar Evers are just two sites Jackson offers that give powerful insight into those critical days.
Other museums include the Mississippi Children’s Museum, Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, and Mississippi Museum of Art. The three are within close proximity of each other and offer interesting things to do and see for all ages.
Mississippi is known for its literary legends as well, and the home of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eudora Welty, a native Jacksonian, is filled with personal memorabilia. Her home and gardens in the historic Belhaven neighborhood are must-sees for fans of her works. Contemporary writer Kathryn Stockett, best-selling author of The Help, also hailed from Jackson, which served as one of the locations for the award-winning film based on her book.
Jackson and the surrounding communities offer a variety of delicious, original, and diverse local cuisine that foodies will savor. Whether it’s down-home blue plate specials, soul food, fast-casual, or fine dining from award-winning local chefs, metro Jackson offers a vast array of excellent dining experiences.
Music lovers of every genre will find performances to enjoy in Jackson’s eclectic music scene. Venues are available for large concerts with major touring stars as well as small, intimate performances by singer/songwriters and up-and-comers. Duling Hall in Jackson’s Fondren area provides a great atmosphere for cozy gatherings, and the Brandon Amphitheater in nearby Rankin County offers an outdoor concert experience. The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, based in Jackson, performs classical as well as pop concerts, including the annual “Pops at the Reservoir.” Thalia Mara Hall is the setting for many symphony performances as well as Broadway musical productions.
In addition to local sights and sounds, Jackson is a great jumping-off place for day trips and long weekends to explore other points of interest in the South. New Orleans, Memphis, and Birmingham are all just hours away. A visit to Laurel, site of HGTV’s “Hometown,” makes an easy, enjoyable day trip. The Blues Trail, along rural highways in the Mississippi Delta, is like nowhere else, and visitors come from around the world to visit sites such as the birthplaces of B. B. King and Muddy Waters.
Sports fans and outdoor enthusiasts will find a calendar full of sporting events that will satisfy both spectators and participants. Trustmark Park is home to the Mississippi Braves, a double-A affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves. For those who want to get into the game, the metro Jackson area offers organized tennis leagues, cycling groups, softball, and many other opportunities to engage in sports. For runners and triathletes, Jackson offers a number of runners’ clubs. Additionally, metro Jackson hosts the Blues Marathon in January and the Heat Wave Classic triathlon in June. Hunting and fishing are both popular outdoor sports. The Ross Barnett Reservoir provides abundant freshwater fishing along with daily boat rentals. Hunters can enjoy game year-round, with seasons for deer, turkey, small game, and migratory bird hunting.