Downtown is where government buildings, museums, and historic architecture collide in the heart of the capital city, resulting in a growing residential and public art scene.

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A hub of culinary talent, you can find nearly 40 restaurants and nightlife spots to explore, ranging from Southern cuisine to ethnic menus and much more.

Six state-of-the-art museums exist only a few blocks from each other, including the Mississippi Museum of Art, which hosts visiting exhibitions, a permanent collection, and an outdoor garden that's open to the public. At the Two Mississippi Museums - the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and Museum of Mississippi History, rotating exhibits on the rich history of the state and the Civil Rights Movement are on full display. Be sure to stop into notable Chef Nick Wallace's Nissan Cafe in the lobby for a taste of the South with a twist.

A colorful salad
Dine at the Nissan Cafe by Chef Nick Wallace at the Two MS Museums. Image: Drew Dempsey

For a deeper dive into the city's roots and culture, take a tour of Jackson State University's Margaret Walker Center, an extensive archive and museum dedicated to the African American experience. If you're wanting to take in the city on foot, we have several listed walkable tours, including ones for Historical Markers, the Mississippi Blues Trail & Freedom Trail and Public Art spots.The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra exhibits some of the country's best musical talent at places like the historic Thalia Mara Hall, where they perform monthly Bravo, Pops, and Chamber series covering classical concertos to cinematic score favorites like Star Wars.

"Mama Rose Kitchen" by Adrianne Dominick at Farish Street park on Farish Street. Image: Drew Dempsey

Swing by the Mayflower Café, Hal & Mal's, or Martin's Downtown for a taste of authentic Jackson fare. The Shopkeep Co. is a one-stop shop for local and regional gifts, and Thimblepress churns out artistic letterpress favorites for the table, home and office. If you're looking for after-hours drinks or networking space, 4th Avenue Lounge JXN is an upscale cocktail lounge and event venue that provides guests with first-class service.

On downtown's Farish Street, take a tour through the Historic Farish Street District, which has been known as the Black community's cultural and business center since the 1970s. Celebrated sites include The Alamo Theatre and the Smith Robertson Museum & Cultural Center, the first museum dedicated to the African-American experience in Mississippi. Get a famous pig ear slider (trust us, it's good!) at the Big Apple Inn or Southwestern egg rolls at Johnny T's Bistro & Blues.

Eat, Drink, Play and Stay

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