Vacationing Via “The List” – Using the Mississippi List to Eat, Stay, and Play
March. It’s already March. Where are you going for vacation this year? (insert Jeopardy theme) It’s okay if that decision hasn’t been made yet. It’s even more okay if the budget is requiring a close-to-home agenda. Staycations are ideal for so many families. And now, deciding where to go and what to do just got easier.
Thanks to the folks at Eat Jackson, Eat MS Coast and Eat Y’all, The Mississippi List (www.MississippiList.com) has just been released and it contains this year’s Bucket List of the best 201 places to go and eat and to visit, all over our beautiful state. And, for us here in central Mississippi, making day trips out of any destination in the state is not only doable, it also keeps right in line with the idea of a staycation. As a busy and easily distracted mom, having a great idea list already put together is super valuable and makes for some great conversations, and the fact that it’s split up into the various geographical regions makes life just that much smoother.
So, this list is obviously heavy on places to eat. The majority (if not all) of the restaurants and eateries listed are locally owned and operated, with many of them boasting some world-class chefs that make eating out more of an experience rather than just a meal. Now, while this writer would have a great time making an entire vacation out of visiting restaurants, that would make for a pretty dull time for most kiddos. But, The List also suggests some great places to visit that can accommodate those kids as well as their parents.
A day trip to the Hills region of Mississippi might start with a visit to Tishomingo State Park. Get there early to have time to do “all the things” like swimming, fishing, and taking full advantage of the playgrounds and hiking trails. Maybe you could bring a picnic lunch, but be sure to leave in time to stop at one of the many restaurants from The List on your way back home for the evening. And whether you want fried chicken, BBQ, or fine dining, that area of Mississippi has so much to offer.
If you have a music loving family, then the Delta region has some fantastic museums that will delight the senses and the soul. The Blues are truly the indigenous music of Mississippi and the B.B. King Museum is a must-see. Make a List Stop for lunch and then head over to the Grammy Museum to soak in even more musical history. And eat again on your way home!
The Pines region might include a fun day trip to Lake Tiak-O’Khata for fishing, swimming, tennis, or pedal boat exploration. Eating out can be casual or refined, depending on your mood after playing all day.
Central Mississippi has so many fantastic restaurant suggestions. Hang out for the day in Vicksburg National Military Park, do some shopping in Jackson, go play at the Children’s Museum or the Museum of Natural Science, or get in a round of golf. In between all the fun things to do, you can tempt your tastebuds with just about any manner of cuisine you can imagine. Really good pizza? Done. Brilliant fine dining? Done. Cheeseburgers to die for? Done. If the restaurant is on The List, then it’s sure to please.
Mississippi’s Coastal area is one of those that may make you want to forego the staycation rules and spend the night, but that’s just a risk you’ll have to take. Seafood must be on eating agenda, right? But even if fresh ocean fare isn’t your thing, there are so many other options. What to do? Spend the day at Ship Island, play at Infinity Science Center, or really get out in nature with an Eco Tour of South Mississippi. Activity options truly abound and they will work up a big appetite for the huge variety of mouth-watering culinary options. (But still – seafood!)
Mississippi has places to please all manner of staycation agendas, and narrowing down The Mississippi List might just feel like trying to pick your favorite kid. Just throw a dart to decide if you must, and what you don’t get done on your 2017 Staycation can turn into some outstanding weekend excursions. Go ahead and check out Mississippi’s official “Bucket List”, and let those vacation plans fall right into place. Successful Summer 2017 is just The List away!
Leah O’Gwynn Kackley is the homeschooling mom of three in the Rez/Fannin area. She and her husband, Jason, are big fans of the Staycation and The List has just made planning way more fun. She will admit that some of her favorite restaurants aren’t on The List, but The List will change every year!
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