Jackson is a nexus for talented people who want to work together, whether they are looking for the next big thing or for an opportunity to contribute. The metro area has a population of 539,000 people. With over 35,000 college students, Jackson has been named one of the country’s best communities for young people. Socially networked, dynamic, and affordable, it’s a great place to go to college and launch a career. Jackson is a city on the move—a place of opportunity that’s always getting better.
Just outside the campus of Millsaps College, there’s plenty to see and do in Jackson, whether you choose the creative Fondren business and entertainment district to the north, the resurgent Midtown community to the west, the charming, historic Belhaven neighborhood to the east, or the city’s vibrant downtown south of campus.
Getting here is easy. Jackson is served by five major airlines and is just down the road from Birmingham, Memphis, and New Orleans. For Millsaps students—who inevitably fall in love with the place—it’s leaving that’s hard.
Places of Interest
From food to music, art and recreation, Jackson has a lot to offer!
Into history and culture? Jackson is steeped in history, much of which can be found at the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. While downtown, check out the nearby Old Capitol Museum and the Smith Robertson Museum, or visit the homes of civil rights icon Medgar Evers and the prolific literary mastermind Eudora Welty. The city is also home to the state’s largest art museum, the Mississippi Museum of Art, and the large LeFleur Museum District, which includes Lefleur’s-Bluff State Park, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.
Recreation and Events
Want to experience the great outdoors in Jackson? Just a quick walk or ride from campus, you’ll find the Museum Trail perfect for biking or running. A few miles up the road and close to the historic Natchez Trace Parkway, the Ridgeland Multi-Use Trail offers over 14 miles of paved pathways for biking and running. The shores of the Ross Barnett Reservoir provide an ideal place for swimming, fishing and a game of frisbee before having an afternoon picnic (just ask any student about the Overlook). During baseball season, you can grab a hot dog and catch a Mississippi Braves game at the awesome Trustmark Park arena in nearby Rankin County.
Annual events such as Hal’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade, Belhaven’s Bright Lights, Belhaven Nights, Cathead Jam, CelticFest and the Mississippi State Fair keep the festivities going year-round. You’ll find many of Jackson’s events are free or low cost.
Shopping is abundant, too. Boutiques and art galleries line the historic strip of Fondren, while big name retailers such as American Eagle, Anthropologie and the Apple Store are a short drive from campus at Renaissance at Colony Park. At Highland Village, you’ll find national retailers like Lululemon, Vineyard Vines and Whole Foods.
Want coffee? Think local! Walk into Cups Espresso Café or Sneaky Beans Coffee Shop on any given afternoon and you’re bound to see customers at tables with laptops and headphones. Among them are Millsaps students, cramming for that next test or simply planning for the weekend.
No matter what type of food you are in the mood for, you’ll find it here. We have national brands, like Whole Foods, but the real stars are the local, independent restaurants. There’s pizza nearby at Sal and Mookie’s, gyros at Keifer’s, oysters, poboys, and Southern fare at Saltine, upscale Italian at Bravo!, a ’50s soda fountain experience at Brent’s Drugs, and many other diverse restaurants, all right on the edge of campus.
Visit our local dining page for a detail list of nearby dining options!
Nightlife and Music
After a long week of classes, there are always events where you can unwind. On the first Thursday of every month, businesses in Fondren keep their doors open late for Fondren Live, a neighborhood gathering with live music, art gallery shows, retail and food specials, and more.
Is music and live entertainment more your thing? No problem. Blues, indie, rock, country, and all manner of genres in between—some kind of music is playing nearly every night of the week in Jackson. Duling Hall, in Fondren, hosts concerts throughout the year for all types of musical tastes. If Mississippi Blues, folk, and bluegrass music are your taste, you’ll feel right at home at Iron Horse Grill or Hal & Mal’s Restaurant and Pub (located in Jackson’s old train station ).
Mal’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade
Mississippi State Fair
- The Best City for the Next Generation of Artists – Bloomberg Citylab
- One of the Nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People – America’s Promise Alliance and ING (2011 and 2012)
- 3rd Best Bang-for-the-Buck City in America – Forbes.com
- One of the Most Socially Networked Cities in America – Men’s Health
- 11th Best City in America to Launch a Small Business – CNNMoney.com
- Have only 24–36 hours to tour Millsaps and the surrounding area? Take a cue from The New York Times. Many of these points are only streets away from the Millsaps College campus!