A Summer-Loving Guide To The City With Soul
While Jackson is known as the “City With Soul” year round, summertime is a great time to explore the city with the family, with some added pool and ice cream breaks, of course! See what YouTubers Terrell and Jarius did on their visit to Jackson:
A dip in the pool, a southern BBQ and enjoying the city come alive are some of the best parts of the summer. If you share the belief that summers are meant to unfold at a leisurely pace with friends, family, good food and memorable experiences, we know a couple that has the perfect itinerary for a long summer weekend in Jackson. The City With Soul offers a plethora of summer activities for visitors of all ages and interests. That’s why YouTubers and dads Terrell and Jarius Joseph came down to Jackson with their two little ones, Ashton, 2, and Aria, 1, to experience the sunshine, southern eats and family and couples activities that the city has to offer this time of year. Growing up in Louisiana and residing in Atlanta, the couple are native Southerners, and it’s the great food, friendly people and outstanding hospitality that these two say keeps them coming back.
“Growing up in the South makes you appreciate the smaller things in life like southern hospitality, amazing food and stories that would blow your mind!” they said.
If you’ve followed Terrell and Jarius’s trip on Instagram and YouTube, you know they had plenty of fun exploring the city with the kids. Whether you’re a couple, new parents, or simply looking for a southern getaway with the people you love – make sure to check out this Terrell and Jarius inspired itinerary to the City With Soul.
Day 1: Pool time, tunes and endless pizzas
Check in at the Residence Inn
Comfort and convenience is key at the Residence Inn in the District at Eastover, a property with spacious rooms and suites that come with separate living areas, fully equipped kitchens, complimentary grocery services, free wi-fi and a free breakfast to kick-start your morning. With a large pool, fire pit and grill, this hotel made for the perfect summer stay in Jackson. This made for a perfect home base for the Joseph’s, who were right in the middle of some of Jackson’s best options to dine, shop, and enjoy outdoor space.
Live @ Lunch at the Mississippi Museum of Art
Is lunch with some live tunes sounds like your kind of thing? Each Friday, the Mississippi Museum of Art opens up the Art Garden for visitors to enjoy live music, delicious food and Mississippi sunshine. During the Josephs’ visit to Jackson, they enjoyed putting down a blanket on the lawn, soaking up the sun and enjoying their lunch while blowing bubbles with the kids.
In addition to enjoying the spacious, renovated garden, visitors can also stroll through the museum free of charge. With knowledgeable guides who can explain the history and culture behind the photographs and paintings, Jackson’s Art Museum is a great place to stop by while in the Museum District with the family. Keep an eye on the museum’s calendar to see what events are happening during your visit.
Take a dip in the pool at Residence Inn
One of the most underrated aspects of a trip down South is the down time. The Mississippi heat and sunshine lend itself perfectly to some time by the pool, an activity for all ages. In between exploring the city and eating copious amounts of delicious food, pool time is a must. The large open outdoor pool at the Residence Inn is a perfect option, but the city has various properties for those looking to take a dip.
Indulging in a kid-and-parent favorite – Sal & Mookie’s
New York-style pizza and an endless variety of ice cream make Sal & Mookie’s every child’s dream dinner spot. The handmade pizzas start with 100 percent natural ingredients and you can watch the pizza makers hand toss the dough through the viewing window.
In the mood for something other than pizza? In addition to the many pizzas and ice cream flavors, Sal & Mookie’s kids menu features fan favorites like chicken parmigiana and grilled chicken with a side of salad.
Fried ravioli, calamari, a variety of pastas and pizzas and, of course, the ice creams were a few of the favorites for Terrell, Jarius and the kids.
“The food at Sal & Mookie’s was amazing but, remember, you have to have room for ice cream,” they said.
If you’re looking for an indulgent milkshake for dessert, take note from Terrell and Jarius, who opted for a make-your-own milkshake swirled pieces of Snickers, Butterfinger and cowboy cookies, and topped with buttercream frosting and whipped cream.
Day 2: Museums, festivals and a night on the town
Breakfast at The Bean
If you agree that breakfast in Mississippi should start with freshly brewed coffee, The Bean (formerly Sneaky Beans) is the place to start your day off with a southern breakfast and a cup of joe meant to be savored.
Explore the MS Museum of Natural Science
Like a jungle oasis in the middle of a city, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science offers 300 acres of natural landscape that’s home to over 200 living species, a 1,700-square-foot greenhouse and numerous events like NatureFEST, Park After Dark, and more. If your kids want bragging rights to a sight none of their friends have seen, be sure to check out the two-headed snake that lives in this museum. To see what’s going on while you’ll be in town, see the events calendar.
“We had so much fun. Make sure you check this place out – you will not be disappointed,” Terrell said.
When Terrell, Jarius and the kids visited, they enjoyed learning about and even touching some of the animals native to Mississippi, like alligators, owls and possums.
“No matter how old your kids are, always feel inclined to take them to museums. This is an amazing experience for our entire family,” Jarius said.
Wander through the Mississippi Children’s Museum
When a museum’s tagline is “we take fun seriously,” you know it’s going to be a good time. This nationally acclaimed children’s museum is found in LeFleur’s Bluff State Park at the center of the city. The museum is enormous, spanning 40,000 square feet and containing five galleries of educational, interactive exhibits. Every week, there are enrichment events and programs focused on science, technology, culture, literacy and health and nutrition.
The museum’s interactive exhibits are designed like a playground for learning, which makes it a fun and engaging place to stimulate kids’ creativity. Every year, the museum welcomes 225,000 visitors from over 80 countries and all 50 states. During Terrell and Jarius’s visit, Ashton had fun dressing up like a construction worker and pretending to operate a tractor.
The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. Take a look at the events calendar while planning your trip to see what kind of unique programs are taking place during your visit.
Crawfish Boil Lunch at Barrelhouse
A uniquely southern take on the modern gastropub, Barrelhouse is a can’t-miss restaurant whose menu includes both modern takes, like the sushi burrito, and classic southern dishes, like shrimp and grits. Occasionally, Barrelhouse hosts events like its Crawfish Boil, which includes live music, beer specials and fresh seafood galore. To keep up to date with events, check out the Facebook page.
Dinner and Tunes at Johnny T’s Bistro and Blues
Perfect for date nights or a night on the town with friends, Johnny T’s is where a laid-back vibe meets vibrancy in of one of the city’s most loved spots for dinner and live music. Make the babysitting plans in advance, as this is a great place to do a parent’s night — without the kids!
Day 3: Animals, history and the new and old iconic Jackson restaurants
Breakfast at Cultivation Food Hall
Conveniently located near the Residence Inn, this is a great spot within walking distance of your hotel where you can take a pastry to go and sprawl out on the grass or enjoy the lawn games of Highland Village.
If you’re not into pastries the food hall features all types of cuisine, from pizza to fresh bowls of poke and more.
See your favorite animals at the Jackson Zoo
This year, the Jackson Zoo is celebrating 100 years since its opening. Ashton and Aria came to see the giraffes, but the zoo now has nearly 400 animals, representing 200 species from exotic locales all over the globe. The Jackson Zoo also works with other accredited zoos and wildlife organizations to protect and raise awareness for endangered animals around the world, ensuring their protection for years to come (In 2020, the zoo is open on Saturdays and Sundays by reservation).
Lunch at Brent’s Drugs
Fun fact: Did you know that “The Help” was filmed here? For a colorful and inviting lunch spot that also has a drool-worthy menu for every time of the day, Brent’s Drugs is a must. As a former pharmacy that opened in 1946, Brent’s has a rich history that makes it one of Jackson’s most famous eateries.
Snap a picture, grab a milkshake and ask for board games before you order your meal so you can play while you’re there.
For some sweet and refreshing treats, Terrell and Jarius recommend the strawberry lemonade and the decadent ice cream sundae.
Explore the MS Civil Rights Museum/Museum of MS History
Jackson is synonymous with the civil rights era — an integral part of American history that can’t be missed when visiting the state. To understand Mississippi’s past, present and future better, don’t miss out on a trip to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, no matter your age or understanding of American history. The colorful and interactive museum has something to offer all ages, as it illustrates the tales of slavery and segregation, and aims to tell the complete and often-negated tale of the state’s involvement in this important era.
Eat your way through the menu at Fine and Dandy
Classic American food finds an upscale twist at this beloved, modern restaurant in Jackson’s Eastover district. The eatery features an extensive lunch and dinner menu starring American classics like burgers, meatloaf, chicken spaghetti casserole and “the worst ribs in town” (hint:). You can also find more unconventional offerings like bahn mi meatballs, smoked trout caviar deviled eggs and more.
Day 4: Time traveling and savoring southern cuisine
Breakfast at Broad Street Baking Co.
Come to Broad Street for fresh and local favorites including the buttermilk chicken biscuits, cheese grits and country sausage quiche as well as a plethora of pastry items and sweet favorites. The fully loaded French toast is a favorite of Terrell and Jarius.
Get in a time machine at the Agriculture and Forestry Museum
History comes to life at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, also known as the “Ag” museum. This quirky place offers unique insights into the past, present and future of agriculture in Mississippi. Step back in time at the “living-history farm,” a recreated 1920s cotton-economy-era town that’s packed with local historical artifacts. Exploring this museum is a trip in a time machine back to the beginning of the 20th century, when agriculture ran the country.
See what’s going on at the museum while you’re in town by checking out the events page.
Enjoy games, laughs and unmatched Southern BBQ at The Pig and Pint
Blessed with delicious food and a cozy outdoor patio, Pig and Pint is an award-winning barbeque joint located in the Fondren District and the perfect place to bring a hungry family looking for a laid-back dinner spot.
Place your order, grab a craft beer (or Louisiana root beer for the kids) and enjoy the Mississippi sunshine. It’s the perfect setting to indulge in some smoky barbeque or run around and play with hula hoops on the wide open lawn.
On a quest to take their family to meaningful destinations, Terrell and Jarius came to Jackson to enjoy the laid-back Southern summer vibe and show their children the incredible travel destinations that the South has to offer. The couple says, “It’s all about traveling and making memories as a family. Our kids will have traveled to so many places before their 2nd birthdays.”
Interested in planning your own trip to Jackson? Check out Terrell and Jarius’s Jackson vlogs as well as our other itineraries on how to make the most out of a long weekend in the City With Soul.