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.
The Capri Theatre and Pop Culture in the Fondren Business and Entertainment District
From food to music, art and recreation, Jackson has a lot to offer! When you are looking to get off campus, here are ten places to check out around Millsaps College.
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, visit the nearby Old Capitol Museum and the Smith Robertson Museum, or visit 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 Lefleurs-Bluff Park, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, the Mississippi Agriculture Museum, and the Mississippi Children’s Museum.
Just a short drive from campus you’ll find trails perfect for biking or running at Ridgeland Multi-Purpose Trails and the shores of the Barnett Reservoir, a state-of-the-art equestrian center, and the shores of the Ross Barnett Reservoir, perfect for afternoon picnicking (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 Rankin County.
Annual events such as Hal’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade (the nation’s fourth largest), Fondren’s Zippity-Doo-Dah® Weekend, Belhaven’s Bright Lights, Belhaven Nights, Jacktoberfest, 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 J. Crew, 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, Kate Spade, and Whole Foods.
Millsaps students at Brent’s Drugs and Soda Fountain
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. Or, try Deep South Pops, located right across North State Street from campus.
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, fancy burgers at Fine & Dandy, gyros at Keifer’s, tacos and tapas at Babalu, oysters, poboys, and Southern fare at Saltine, upscale Italian at Bravo!, a 50’s soda fountain experience at Brent’s Drugs, and many other diverse restaurants, all right on the edge of campus.
The Flaming Lips Perform at Duling Hall
(photo courtesy of Find It In Fondren)
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’s First Thursday, 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, Hal & Mal’s Restaurant and Pub (located in Jackson’s old train station and featuring four venues for live music; also on Tuesday nights: Pub Quiz!) or Underground 119 (located literally underground, in the basement of a historic building) in downtown Jackson.
Mal’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade
- Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership
- Explore LeFleur (LeFleur East neighborhood)
- Fondren Renaissance Foundation
- Find It In Fondren
- Belhaven Neighborhood Association
- Midtown Partners
- Downtown Jackson Partners
- Jackson Free Press
Mississippi State Fair
- 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
- One of the American Cities Beating the Recession – The Huffington Post
- 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!