An Endless Adventure Through Jackson’s Culinary and Cultural Experiences
When it comes to today’s travel trends, culinary experiences and cultural getaways are dominating every millennial’s vacation plans. Great news: the bustling, historic city of Jackson is brimming with delicious eats and enlightening experiences.
Nomadic travel vloggers Eric and Allison, the couple behind the popular YouTube channel “The Endless Adventure,” recently stopped through Jackson during a cross-country road trip through the South and spent some time soaking up all of the culture, cuisine and Southern charm that the City with Soul brings to the table.
Did you follow their adventure via their Instagram team and vlogs? Read on below to get a look into some of the must-see hotspots that Eric and Allison visited during their trip to Jackson and how to level-up your own road trip through the South with a two day (or more!) stop through town.
Day 1: Lattes, Liberty and Libations
Get Your caffeine fix at Urban Foxes Coffee
To get a jump start on their first full day in Jackson, Eric and Allison paid a visit to Urban Foxes, a local favorite for small batch pies, scones, muffins, cookies and more. Opened by Jackson-based musician and record label owner Cody Cox, the cozy bakery and coffee house is all about making things from scratch and is inspired by Cox’s late grandmother who owned a restaurant in Lexington, Mississippi. Run – don’t walk – to Urban Foxes if you’re hoping to score a fresh-made sweet treat as Cox only prepares a few dozen of each item per day.
One of Eric and Allison’s favorite spots in Jackson, the couple noted, “Urban Foxes is this amazing 1940s home that’s been remodeled. It’s literally like we’re in someone’s living room. It’s beautiful and old on the outside, you walk inside and it’s filled with pastries and coffee: how much better does that get?”
Step into the past at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum
Whether you’re a dedicated history buff or simply interested in learning about Mississippi’s storied past, no visit to the City with Soul is complete without stopping by the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.
Jackson is synonymous with the Civil Rights era, and the colorful and interactive museum illustrates Mississippi’s complicated history of slavery and segregation through interactive exhibits, engaging historical artifacts and heartfelt stories.
Following their visit to the museum, Eric and Allison described the experience as “amazing” and highly recommend that anyone visiting Jackson check it out for themselves.
Take a trip around the world at Cultivation Food Hall
Food halls are the perfect solution for couples or groups of friends who can’t agree on what they want to eat and that’s where Jackson’s carefully curated Cultivation Food Hall comes in. Jam-packed with culinary talent, Mississippi’s first food hall emphasizes local, chef-inspired concepts guaranteed to please even the pickiest of eaters.
After roaming around the food hall trying to decide which of the food hall’s diverse cuisines to try, Eric and Allison settled on Fete au Fete’s indulgent “trash grits” (a mouthwatering combo of cheese grits, pulled pork, smoked gouda, sriracha and a poached egg) and an authentic “Pepperoni” pizza from Bocca Pizzeria.
An added bonus to this already wow-worthy establishment? Cultivation’s on-site bar serves up a menu of creative cocktails that visitors to the food hall can carry with them as they stroll the premises.
(Cultivation Food Hall vendors change periodically, Check the link above for the latest listing).
Imbibe with a tour and tasting at Cathead Distillery
A must-see for anyone interested in tasting some local libations during their road trip through the South, Cathead Distillery was established following the end of prohibition in the 1960s and is the oldest distillery in the state of Mississippi.
Today, locals and visitors alike come together to enjoy tastings, tours and various events at Cathead throughout the year and have the opportunity to sample many of the distinct liquors that are definitive of the distillery.
Eric and Allison sipped a range of house liquors, including barrel-aged bourbon, honeysuckle vodka and pecan vodka. Upon sampling the honeysuckle vodka, Eric noted, “It’s sweeter than I thought it would be! I don’t know if I’ve ever tasted a vodka and wanted to taste more of it, but I want to with this one. It’s good!”
Day 2: Culinary, Culture and Chords
Get your brunch on at Brent’s Drugs
For a colorful, unique lunch spot with history, don’t miss the delectable menu at Brent’s Drugs. A former pharmacy and soda fountain opened in 1946 (and featured in scenes from “The Help,”) Brent’s Drugs has been a local gathering place for food and good times for over 70 years and still features the original soda fountain and bar stools. If you know where to look, be sure to check out The Apothecary – a prohibition-era speakeasy tucked in the back of Brent’s Drugs with a creative list of cocktails dubbed “prescriptions.”
Overflowing with Southern charm and hospitality, Brent’s Drugs was a favorite of Eric and Allison where they enjoyed a fried chicken biscuit and a full order of fluffy pancakes with sausage. Yum!
Pay a visit to the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion
First occupied in 1942, the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion is a true piece of Jackson history. Though photos and video are not allowed inside of the mansion, the stunning structure’s grand front steps are an Instagrammer’s dream. If a tour of the historic mansion is a must-do on your itinerary, be sure to get there early: tours are offered every half hour between 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.
Following their tour of this Mississippi landmark, Eric and Allison reflected on the stateliness of the mansion, saying, “It’s really neat; they take you through this front part of the mansion which is set up almost like a museum. It’s filled with museum-quality furniture and pieces. Unfortunately, I think they lost a lot of the original furniture (during the Civil War), but it’s done really well and it’s beautiful inside.”
Find your muse at the Mississippi Museum of Art
A community-supported landmark institution for over a century, the culture-filled Mississippi Museum of Art allows visitors to step back in time for a look into the city and state’s past, present and future through its extensive collection of photographs, pictures, paintings and more. Featuring rotating exhibitions and hands-on creative activities, visitors can also attend community events such as art therapy and live musical performances.
Be sure to check out the museum’s events page to find out what’s happening during your visit.
Delight your taste buds at Babalu
Located in the heart of the Fondren, Jackson’s trendiest neighborhood, Babalu marries Latin American cuisine and Mississippi soul with upscale fusion dishes that are sure to blow you away. Home to a fun, energetic ambiance and mouthwatering unique dishes, Babalu is a must-see foodie destination for anyone paying a visit to the City with Soul during a road trip through the South.
Eric and Allison enjoyed several dishes from the extensive tapas menu and imbibed “amazing” craft cocktails from the creative beverage menu.
“The restaurant game in Jackson has blown us away. I would come here just for all of the unique dishes and stuff,” Eric commented after scarfing down a decadent plate of grilled artichoke hearts.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at Deep South Pops
With house-made Popsicles, a full coffee bar and beer on tap, Deep South Pops (in Highland Village and Belhaven) has everything you need for an afternoon pick-me-up on a hot Mississippi day. Try unique flavors like grapefruit rosemary and Arnold Palmer, or stick to the classics and enjoy flavors like chocolate and cookies and cream.
Feeling adventurous? Order a porter from the beer tap paired with a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Popsicle! Similar to a root beer float without all the sweetness, this unexpected combo will leave your taste buds dancing. Upon trying this unique treat, Eric described it as “surprisingly very, very delicious!”
Editor’s Note: Deep South Pops closed in November 2019
Dinner and dancing at The Iron Horse Grill
No visit to the City with Soul is complete without experiencing the local live music scene and the famous Iron Horse Grill is one of the best places to do just that. A local favorite, the iconic Jackson establishment provides its visitors with the perfect trifecta: tasty beverages, an extensive and delicious food menu and roaring live music. Don’t miss the museum upstairs, which gives a look into the history of Mississippi’s music scene!
The Iron Horse Grill was one of Eric and Allison’s favorite foodie destinations during their trip, where they enjoyed dishes like crab-stuffed catfish and authentic Mississippi tamales. “The food here is amazing – this was the perfect way to end our day,” they said.
Ready to hit the road to Jackson? Be sure to leave any questions you have for Eric and Allison about their adventure through Jackson in the comments below!
Use the hashtag #FollowMeToJackson during your trip to be featured on our homepage!
Originally published Fall 2019. Check with individual properties for current opportunities and availability.