Staycation On A Dime In Jackson

Just because you're on a budget doesn't mean you have to sacrifice fun for the whole family!

Jackson has plenty of stops, bites, and wonders to enjoy without breaking the bank. Here are some of our top picks for a budget-friendly staycation.

Find fun at the Mississippi Museum Natural Science
Credit: Lindsay McMurtray

Where To Stay

Downtown Jackson boasts several museums, attractions, and public art installations, all within walking distance from each other. One of our top economical hotel picks is the Hilton Garden Inn Jackson Downtown, which is located in the historic King Edward Hotel building and sits within a mile of Jackson State University, the Mississippi Coliseum, and the Old Capitol Museum. Room rates regularly run at or below $100/night, and amenities include an indoor pool, fitness center, and pet-friendly rooms. Plus, the King Edward Grille serves a hot breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily for hungry guests.

Visit a Free Exhibit

Plenty of museums in Jackson offer little-to-no-cost admission, including the Old Capitol Museum, Mississippi's most historic downtown building that's been restored to its original grandeur and features multimedia and interactive exhibits exploring the state's history and government. The Mississippi Museum of Art is always free to visitors and features permanent and rotating exhibits of world-class local, national, and international art. The Art Garden at MMA is another gem, where patrons can take a relaxing stroll through local flora and grab a cafe table to read or enjoy a meal.

On Sundays, experience Mississippi's powerful stories at the Two Museums - Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and Museum of Mississippi History - for free - and stop by chef Nick Wallace's Nissan Cafe for a bite between visits. Down the road is the LeFleur Museum District, where four top-notch museums offer everything from wildlife and plants at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science to hours of entertainment for young minds at the Mississippi Children's Museum.

Grab Some Cheap (And Good) Eats

Aladdin Mediterranean Grill in Fondren is a great stop for fresh, affordable, and delicious Mediterranean fare. If you're looking for a caffeine hit, The Bean is down the road and offers both specialty coffee and lattes alongside a lunch and breakfast menu. Sunflower Oven in Belhaven Heights is one of Jackson's newest go-to sandwich stops, with daily rotating specials made with their signature sourdough and artisan bread. Lastly, if you're looking for something sweet, stop by Mayday Ice Cream in Belhaven Town Center for sweet scoops and homemade waffle cones and sprinkles (check out their $2 Tuesdays).

Things To Do

Go On a Public Art Tour

Whether you're an artist, art enthusiast, or simply want to add some beauty to your day, taking a self-guided public art tour through Jackson has become a pastime for locals and visitors alike. Blank walls don't stand a chance throughout the city, with local muralists and artists adding color and vibrancy to buildings and structures big and small. For an extensive list of murals and maps, check out our interactive Public Art Map.

Play, Walk, Bike, or Hike

Right outside of the Mississippi Children's Museum is LeFleur's Bluff Playground, a fun-filled, 21st-century playground that's open to the public and features 80 activities, 73 of which are inclusive to children with accessibility needs. At LeFleur's Bluff State Park, enjoy a full day of camping, fishing, picnic spots, and nature trails, all for $2 (kids five years of age and younger are free). The free Belhaven Mountain Bike Trails are located along the 5-mile, multi-use Museum Trail and feature trailheads for all levels, even if you just want to stroll through nature.

Anne Marie Hanna


Anne Marie Hanna