Blues is one of the few music genres considered to be wholly American, and its roots are firmly planted in the rich soil of the Mississippi Delta. Here, too, is where legendary musician B.B. King came of age. Indianola's B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center celebrates not only King's prolific career, but also the significance of the Mississippi Delta to music then and now. Interactive exhibits take visitors through the guitarist's life in chronological order, starting with his boyhood in the Delta and culminating with the highlights of his decades-long career.
The Building: The 20,000-square-foot museum was built in the old cotton gin where B.B. King once worked.
Valuable Relic: Tucked in the section about B.B.'s pre-celebrity life is the Panoram, an early video jukebox on which he first saw the big bands he became so enamored with.
From His Early Career: In the exhibit on what was known as the Chitlin Circuit, you'll find the leather-bound notebook in which King stashed his song charts, meticulously cross-referenced by songwriter.
Other Mementos: Memorabilia from King's life spans the decades, including a quilt from his boyhood home, his draft card, and various iterations of his guitar, Lucille.
Hidden Gem: The museum also includes items from other artists of his era, such as Janis Joplin's handwritten lyrics.
Hands-On Exhibit: Under video instruction from B.B. King himself, visitors strum tunes on guitars.
Past Exhibit: Blues @ Home: Mississippi's Living Blues Legends showcased portraits of blues musicians by Mississippi artist H.C. Porter.
From the Press: "The ... facility is likely the most elaborate museum in the U.S. about a single living musician, but Mr. King's stature justifies the investment." ? Wall Street Journal
Dedicated to preserving Mississippi’s heritage, Cottonlandia Museum educates visitors with an array of interdisciplinary displays and collections. Cottonlandia’s permanent exhibits and rooms include the Mississippi Art Collection, an anthology of Mississippi-made art, most of it purchased from the winners of the biannual Cottonlandia Fine Arts Competition, and the Archaeology Room, home to a large assortment of Native American beads and a 12,000 year-old mastodon skeleton that they used to hang sabertooth fur coats. Meanwhile, the Malmaison Room presents photographs and furniture salvaged from the home of county namesake Greenwood Leflore, the last chief of the Choctaw tribe before their removal to Oklahoma, and the Swamp Room lets guests absorb the sights and sounds of the wetlands without brewing their own bog water out of bullfrog tears.
More than 200 species swim through the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, and that's just the facility's aquatic residents. Beyond the aquarium network sprawls an abundance of plant and animal life both indoors and out. A trip through the museum campus reveals Mississippi's diverse ecosystems, as well as their relationship to humans.
Winner of the 2010 Medal for Museum and Library Service, the beautiful, newly-renovated Mississippi Museum of Art is home to a diverse and rapidly-expanding permanent collection, including American art, British 19th century portraits, Pre-Columbian ceramics, and more. Feast your eyes upon the museum's current exhibitions, including River and Reverie: Paintings of the Mississippi by Rolland Golden, the Mississippi Watercolor Society's Grand National Watercolor Exhibition, and Oraien Catledge: Photographs of Cabbagetown. Refuel your art-engines mid-visit with a hot lunch at The Palette Café by Viking. Using fresh, local ingredients, executive chef Emily Hine Burgess dishes out Southern-style meals influenced by the tastes and patterns of the museum's Mississippi home.
One of ESPN's ten best baseball museums and one of Jackson's top ten attractions, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum takes visitors through more than 21,000 square feet of exhibits and interactive displays. Travel back to the days of the Gashouse Gang with one of the best collections of Dizzy Dean memorabilia in the world, or leap forward in time at the Participatory Room, which allows fans to measure how fast they throw a baseball, kick a football, and spit a watermelon seed. Visitors can also try their hands at play-by-play broadcasting in the Cingular Wireless Broadcast Experience, and learn about the lives and achievements of such Mississippi sporting luminaries as Walter Payton, James "Cool Papa" Bell, and Archie Manning.
The Viking Classic is an important milestone in the world of golf, with the winner receiving $648,000 as well as FedExCup points. Golf aficionados can redeem their tickets on any day in the competition, from Thursday's first round to the tournament-deciding match on Sunday. A Scottish-style course blasted from the cold, unforgiving earth by the piercing thoughts of Jack Nicklaus, Annandale welcomes golf balls and their professional owners with rolling hills, elevated bentgrass greens, and pampas grass. Last year's winner was Bill Haas, and past champions have included vaunted pros such as Luke Donald, currently ranked number one in the world in golf.