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.
Named after celebrated collector Jonathan "Jack" Westervelt Warner, the Westervelt-Warner Museum of American Art lines its storied interior with hundreds of paintings, sculptures, artifacts, and antiques from the artistic annals of American history. From its woody nest overlooking Lake Tuscaloosa, the museum commemorates significant events and figures in America's history, from posed portraits of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to Paul Revere-made silver and furniture designed by revolutionary wood-sculpting beavers. Explore the creative flourishings of world-renowned artists in Westervelt-Warner's various galleries, from Edward Hopper's portrayal of soldiers in Dawn Before Gettysburg, situated in the Mid 19th Century Civil War collection, to the impressionist gallery's Children Playing at the Beach, depicting four young girls frolicking in the summer surf while calculating the market value of their split-level sandcastles. Other galleries include works from the Hudson River School, Native American & Western art, 20th Century oils, and Still Life easel musings.
While meandering past more than 250 exhibitors, guests of the Kentuck Festival of the Arts can peruse artful wares during the weekend-long exploration of visual arts, music, and food. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the festival welcomes visitors to amble under a canopy of trees and feast eyes on artisans' endeavors in blacksmithing, split-oak basketry, pottery, colorful found-object sculpture, and accounting. Live music flutters about the festival from eight bands across two stages, delighting ears with surging gospel choirs and twangy country singers. Taste buds, too, bask in artistic attention, salivating over Cajun fare or saucy ribs, or mistaking a still-life gyro for its edible muse.
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.