Where to Eat + Stay + Play During the SWAC Football Championship

The 2021 Cricket Wireless Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Football Championship will be played in Jackson on Saturday, May 1 at 2 pm. The game between Arkansas Pine Bluff and Alabama A & M University will be played at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium.

“We welcome the players, coaches and fans of Alabama A&M University and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff to the City With Soul,” said Rickey Thigpen, Visit Jackson President and CEO.

Before or after the game, here are places to eat, play and stay in the City With Soul!


Johnny T’s

Johnny T’s – downtown
Johnny T’s occupies a beloved spot on historic Farish St., the former home of the iconic Crystal Palace which was the hub of entertainment in the middle of the 20th century. Murals of some of the entertainers who performed there like Lena Horne, Muddy Waters and Redd Foxx show up in murals that decorate the interior and exterior of this stylish cafe. The bar offers premium spirits, and the food menu takes inspiration from classic Southern dishes with a real focus on seafood. A hip lounge upstairs showcases diverse musical acts in a classy showroom with floor-to-ceiling mirrors to make it easier to see and be seen.

The Pig & Pint – Fondren
The “Pint” in the name of this affable barbecue bar refers to the taproom in the back which features one of the most impressive selection of craft beers in Jackson. The bar is lined with trophies from competitive BBQ events, and that’s where the “Pig” comes in. The pitmasters moved from contests to serving their delectable smoked meats to the public instead of just lucky judges. From super smoky cola-glazed ribs to peppery beef brisket to their popular smoked bologna, Pig & Pint is a winner. Try their cheesy Bacon Melt sandwich with pork belly, brisket and collard greens for a taste of Mississippi on toast.

Sugar’s Place – downtown
This tiny wing shack in the historic Farish St. district serves basic breakfast foods along with exemplary fried chicken. There’s no printed menu at Sugar’s, but if you’re looking for wings or chicken and waffles in the morning accompanied by a funky soundtrack, this is your place!

The Iron Horse Grill – downtown
The historic building occupied by The Iron Horse Grill was originally constructed as a smokehouse early in the 20th century. This probably explains why the edifice has burned down twice over the years and definitely inspires the restaurant’s menu of charcoal-grilled meats, seafood, fajitas and burgers. In addition to all that smoky goodness, The Iron Horse Grill also hosts live music performances featuring regional acts playing on the stage in their lounge area. The music can get pretty smokin’, too!

More food…


MS Sports Hall of Fame

Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame – LeFleur East
Named one of the Top 10 “Most Amazing Baseball Museums in America” by ESPN, the museum contains an array of sports-related, interactive exhibits. Touch-screen television kiosks allow museum visitors to access archival footage, achievement data, biographical information and more than 500 interviews with famous Mississippi athletes like Jerry Rice, Brett Favre, Archie Manning, Ralph Boston and Dizzy Dean.

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum – downtown
Few other places in Jackson have as much potential to teach us as the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. This state-of-the-art space features eight distinct galleries guiding visitors from the struggle for freedom through the Jim Crow South and beyond to the present moment. Interactive exhibits invite visitors of all ages to learn with both body and mind, as the stories of those lost to time come alive again in reenacted readings and letters. From days of bondage to this very day, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum spans centuries of struggle.

Jackson Zoo – West Jackson
The Jackson Zoo has one of the finest collections of wild animals from throughout the world. The zoo welcomes guests and members in a limited capacity on the weekends. Hours are Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm, and Sundays from 1 pm to 4 pm, but are subject to change without notice. The Zoo will operate under strict guidelines in light of COVID-19. Purchase advance tickets.

More play…


Homewood Suites by Hilton Jackson Fondren Medical District

Homewood Suites by Hilton Jackson Fondren Medical District – Fondren
Jackson’s newest hotel property, the Homewood Suites is an all-suite hotel – and it’s in Fondren, within walking distance of the stadium. Opt for a balcony view room for an amazing look across this artsy neighborhood. There’s an indoor pool, free parking and, loads of restaurants, bars and shops just outside the front door.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites – downtown
Conveniently located just off I-55 on High Street (exit 96B), the downtown Holiday Inn Express & Suites is an affordable and conveniently located option minutes from Veteran’s Memorial Stadium. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast, plush bedding and free wifi, and in-room coffee and tea.

More places to stay…

To plan more of your trip to Jackson, go to visitjackson.com.

For your safety and the safety of those around you, City of Jackson COVID-19 restrictions require the use of facial coverings indoors and outside when social distancing of six feet or more is not possible. To learn of additional COVID-10 safety measures, visit our Safer Travel page and #VistMSResponsibly.