The Best Entertainment in the Southern States

Mississippi and the surrounding states such as Louisiana and Tennessee have a reputation for producing great music, great artwork and great food, and they certainly deliver when it comes to entertaining their guests. On a trip to the Deep South, you won’t be stuck for entertainment whether that’s in the form of country music, an independent film or the best slap-up meal of your life. Rock ‘n’ roll, country and blues music cut their teeth here, whereas the world-famous Cajun, Creole and soul food modes of cooking hail from the kitchens of the Southern states. Newcomers to the area, read on to find out how Mississippi justifies its nickname as The Hospitality State and how its sister states put in a good bid for the title.

Go Mississippi!

With a southern border on the Gulf of Mexico and a western border formed by the great Mississippi River, you won’t be surprised to hear that this state has water on its mind. The Gulf Coast has plenty of activities to keep you occupied, from paddle boarding to exploring the island chains to birdwatching and, of course, fishing. Whilst you’re there, be sure to sample the mouth-wateringly fresh surf and turf menus found at all the best eateries or even cook up a meal with your own catch.

A visit to Mississippi would not be complete without delving into the art and history of the area. A great place to start is the capital city of Jackson, where you’ll find the Mississippi Museum of Art, the Boyd House, the Old Capitol Museum and LeFleur Museum District amongst many others. Staying in this city makes for a fascinating journey through the different times and troubles of a turbulent state, and a plunge into the pleasures of the present via the cool hipster neighbourhood of the Fondren District.

Once the sun sets, you’re in for a real treat as bars, restaurants, theatres and music venues come alive with the sounds of Mississippi’s greatest arts and performance talent. If you’re keen to give James Bond a run for his money, you can head to one of the state’s many luxury casino establishments for a game of roulette, or if you’d rather keep things casual, I would recommend simply spinning the wheel online from the comfort of your own hotel balcony. Whether you’re in the mood to socialise or sit back and relax, the Hospitality State will happily cater to your every need.

A Mardi Gras parade float

Louisiana, You Are My Sunshine

Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette: these names are legendary for their connection to the riotous, colourful, celebratory nature of the Creole and Cajun cultures in Louisiana. A fusion of African, American, French and French-Canadian traditions makes this a truly unique destination and one that can fulfil all of your desires for art, parties, food and so much more. Of course, one of the most spectacular times to visit is during the festival of Mardi Gras when carnival celebrations are held to celebrate Shrove Tuesday. This is when the true spirit of the city of New Orleans in particular comes alive in the streets, with parades filled with people wearing costumes, dancing, playing music and even holding masquerade balls.

However, you don’t have to visit in February in order to tap into the excitement and creativity of the Pelican State. Louisiana is full of thrilling activities all year round, like haunted tours of famously spooky monuments, food festivals, blues music gigs, dancing, art exhibitions and outdoorsy fun too such as kayaking and horseback riding. You can explore any of the big cities at your leisure and sometimes it’s fun to put down the itinerary, instead seeing where the day takes you as you explore the lively streets.

Tennessee is America at its Best

Of course, Tennessee is home to two of the greatest pilgrimage places in music history: Memphis and Nashville. Millions of music fans and tourists visit these two cities every year to pay homage to the greats like Johnny Cash, Faith Hill, Dolly Parton, the Cyrus family, Taylor Swift and of course the King, Elvis Presley. Even if you’re not a die-hard country music fan, you’ll enjoy the buzz that these musical hotspots hold and find attractions such as The Country Music Hall of Fame and Ryman Auditorium fascinating for the history attached to them.

There are also some surprising sights dotted around this state such as a full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Nashville, the giant wind chime in Memphis and an imitation Titanic at Pigeon Forge. But once you tire of gazing at the weird and wonderful, it’s time to settle down for meat and three at one of Tennessee’s greatest restaurants. Arnold’s Country Kitchen is legendary for serving traditional local dishes, but if that doesn’t tickle your tastebuds you could try out some other regional delicacies like catfish, cornbread, banana pudding and everybody’s favourite, mac ‘n’ cheese. You certainly won’t be going home hungry!