Most walkable cities in Mississippi. See where they are (2024)

Ross ReilyMississippi Clarion Ledger

Towns and cities with a built-in walkability infrastructure offer a unique experience. They allow people to conveniently park their vehicles and stroll to various shops and attractions on foot, free from the congestion of heavy traffic.

That not only promotes a more relaxed and enjoyable outing, but also contributes to a healthier and more sustainable urban environment. The ability to leisurely stroll through the cityscape provides a sense of freedom and connectivity, enhancing the overall experience for both residents and visitors.

In Mississippi, many such places exist that are perfect for spending hours finding hidden gems. Mississippians often use those places to make friends, reconnect with old friends, enjoy great meals, shop for our loved ones or just find something for themselves.

The Clarion Ledger has identified nine places throughout the state where a few minutes can turn into hours or one night can turn into a few nights exploring the unique atmosphere that only Mississippi towns and communities can provide.

Ocean Springs

Turn off U.S. 90 and make your way to The Springs Hotel in Downtown Ocean Springs. Once you park, you may not use your vehicle again for a couple of days. Everything you could possibly want or need is within a 5 to 10-minute walk under the canopy of century-old live oaks.

As you walk the downtown along Washington Avenue, you can lose yourself in the Walter Anderson Museum or find a bevy of locally owned boutiques, art galleries, antique stores and gift shops.

The culinary experience is like no other. You can stroll to have a drink at the Red Apple Lounge. From there, make your way to Government Street Grocery or The Lady May for an appetizer. Follow that with an amazing meal at somewhere like Maison De Lu or Vestige and then take a few steps more for dessert at Kilwins before heading back to The Springs.

Ocean Springs is like nowhere else in Mississippi and should be enjoyed by everyone from the Magnolia State at least once.

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Bay St. Louis

Now drive 30 miles or so west along U.S. 90 with the beach and the Mississippi Sound to your left and you will come across Bay St. Louis. Take a left and you will be in the heart of downtown.

Park and stay at the Pearl Hotel, the Bay Town Inn or any number or rentals and you never have to get back in your vehicle again. The Pearl Hotel is a new, chic 59-room boutique hotel nestled on the beachfront in the heart of scenic downtown Bay St. Louis. The Bay Town Inn, with 12 unique rooms and suites, is short walk to all the bay has to offer.

From either place, just walk a few steps and enjoy the best dining the Mississippi Coast has to offer in the iconic Sycamore House as well as the Blind Tiger or the Thorny Oyster with views of Bay of St. Louis.

From there, grab dessert or an after-dinner drink. While you're there take advantage of any of the dozens of shops that offer everything from men's and women's wear to the best beach offerings anywhere. Bay St. Louis is easily one of the great towns that Mississippi has to offer.


The boutique hotels The Graduate and The Oliver bookend the historic square and provide visitors a location in which a short walk will provide everything they could possible want, including a trip to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium to watch Lane Kiffin's Rebels make a run at the College Football Playoff.

Famously, the late author and long-time Oxford resident William Faulkner found Lafayette County so rich with Southern life that he included it, disguised as the fictional "Yoknapatawpha County," in his writing.

A statue of Faulkner sits waiting for guests on a bench on the edge of Oxford's historic Square. The Square includes some of the state's oldest and most-loved restaurants such as City Grocery and Ajax as well as newcomers like St. Leo and Tico's.

Square Books also sits on the Square and frequently hosts famous authors for book signings.

Every fall, the city is filled to the brim with excited tailgators as they cover every inch of the grove at Ole Miss, the university that sits in the heart of Oxford.

Mississippi writers, Southern cuisine and high-energy football games are just some of the reasons people enjoy the city. Oxford has something for any visitor looking to experience the best of the South.

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Cleveland is a bustling community and home to Delta State University, great restaurants, shopping, entertainment and more to do than one might expect.

Just a few steps into Cleveland’s historic downtown is the Delta Meat Market on the first floor of the Cotton House Hotel. James Beard Award nominee Cole Ellis serves his world-famous grits and steaks, chops and more.

Just across the street from the Cotton House Hotel is the funky, down-home Hey Joe’s Restaurant that serves one of the best hamburgers on the planet. Adults and children alike will enjoy their collection of vintage video games and an excellent skeeball game in the corner.

Cleveland is also known worldwide for its entertainment value and is home to the only Grammy Museum outside of Los Angeles that has been educating and fascinating visitors for more than 10 years.

In that spirit, Cleveland hosts up-and-coming local artists in a Friday series called Deep Roots, with live music played along the train tracks of Cotton Row.


Tupelo is the home of Elvis Presley but it is so much more to offer than that.

A stay at the swanky Hotel Tupelo puts you across the street for the Cadence Center convention center and within walking distance to virtually anything you could possibly want.

There's Papa Vanelli's for fans of Italian food or Mugshots Grill or the Grillehouse next door to The Toast co*cktail and Piano Bar.

All that is close to MLM Clothiers, Reed's Department Store, the historic Gumtree Book Store in addition to coffee shops, amazing spots for sweets and desserts and any number of boutiques that you could hope for.

There is no need for anything else. Park, eat, sleep and shop all weekend without getting back in your car.


One of the nicest hotels in all of the Mississippi is in the heart of Downtown Jackson, The Westin.

From there, it is a short walk to many of the best restaurants in the state as well as Jackson Convention Center and shopping.

Eat at one of best barbecue restaurants just steps away from the historic Old Capitol. There is also the Old Capital Inn as well as an easy walk to the Two Museums complex.


The historic town of 22,000 is likely best known for the Civil War’s Battle of Vicksburg, which was a turning point in the conflict.

TheVicksburg National Military Parkbrings more than 500,000 visitors to the city annually. The park itself is a beautiful place to see and can take at least a half-day, if not the entire day.

However, drive to Downtown Vicksburg and lose yourself in an array of shops, hotels and restaurants.

And there is even more for the history buff. TheOld Courthouse Museumis an excellent repository for information and is entertaining for anyone.

The Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museumon Washington Street is educational and entertaining, and theBiedenharnCoca-Cola Museum is a good stop during your trip.

Great places to eat are Walnut Hills, Main Street Market (lunch only), Rusty’s Riverfront Grill, Cottonwoodand Relish Bistro.

Solly’s Hot Tamales has been a fixture in Vicksburg since 1939 and offers a Cuban flair to what is generally considered a Mississippi Delta staple.

TenSouthRooftop Bar & Grill downtown offers terrific food and the best location for a view of the sunset over the river.

Key City Brewing Company and Cottonwood Public House offer a great beer selection and another fantastic restaurant to try.

Washington Street has excellent shopping, including Petersons, Sassafrasand the Cinnamon Tree.

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Ifever a place in Mississippihas perfected the art of melding the old with the new, it is theCity of Natchez.

One of the oldest towns in the magnolia state, Natchez has found a way to highlight its antebellum history as the former wealthiest city in America while showing off its modern business structure that brings in tourists for shopping, dining and much more.

Olivina, the women’s boutique has opened eyes throughout the South. It has people traveling to Natchez from hundreds of miles away specifically to walk through and pick out trendy collections.

TryFat Mama’s Tamales, as ownersJimmy and Britton Gammill have nearly perfected the historic Mississippi tamale recipe in more than 20 years in business. Also, don’t leave Fat Mama’s without trying the Knock-You-Naked Margarita and the Fire and Ice Pickles.

The Magnolia Grillis also a good bet for dining, but a great place to put on your checklist is The Donut Shop.


At the crossroad of I-20 and and I-59 and just 92 miles from the Jackson metro area,Meridianoffers a rare combination of entertainment, shopping and dining that few in Mississippi can rival.

Meridian has rediscovered and is reviving several grand downtown buildings. You must visit the rooftop at theThreefootBuilding, a gorgeous Art Deco skyscraper newly reborn as a hotel.

No matter the arrival time, visitMeridian's Civil Warand Civil Rights Trails. At each marker, a QR code provides access to a short video about the location. Specific details for each trail and a detailed map are available on the city's website.

If arriving close to lunch, enjoy a traditional Southern meal atJean's Restaurantlocated at 820 22nd Avenue. There is also the amazing restaurant Fare on Eighth recently opened by April Sellers and Kaki Knight that could be the highlight of any trip.

Continue to Highland Park with a visit to the Dentzel Park Carousel, in operation since 1909. This National Historic Landmark is the only two-row stationary Dentzel menagerie carousel in the world. Rides cost only 50 cents.

Staff writer Mary Boyte contributed to this report.

Ross Reilycan be reached by email at or 601-573-2952. You can follow him on Twitter @GreenOkra1.

Most walkable cities in Mississippi. See where they are (2024)
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