Urban Camping in Jackson, Mississippi

Timberlake Corp of Engineer Campground on the Ross Barnett Reservoir offers a convenient location for camping near Jackson, MS.

Jackson, Mississippi is the capital of my home state.  This centrally located city provides a variety of options for camping, dining, and sightseeing.  We took advantage of this capital city for an urban camping adventure for our first trip to 2020.   If you are looking for a new place to visit or might be stopping in Mississippi on a cross country adventure, maybe our experience could help you plan.

Urban Camping in Jackson, MS

Where to stay

Our family prefers state and government campgrounds.  Jackson, MS has two campgrounds that would work well.  Lefleur's Bluff State Park is located within the city limits of Jackson.  It is like a tiny oasis in the midst of all of the action.  Sites offer electric and water with a dump station in the campground.  We originally had reservations for this location, but we had to regroup due to flooding.

The waterfront sites provide a beautiful, peaceful view.  We enjoyed staying our stay at site 2.

Timberlake Corp of Engineer Campground is located just a few miles north on the Ross Barnett Reservoir.  This is where we ended up staying.  The campground has 8 waterfront sites that are a first-come, first-serve basis.  These sites are $35 a night.  I think that sites 1 and 2 are the best of these waterfront locations.

For $30 a night, you can have a site off of the water.  The sites nearer to the back of the campground are the best ones.  They have more privacy and shade.  This is a large campground with quite a few sites to choose from.

All of the sites are full hook up sites with water, electric and sewer.  The campground offers a pool for warm-weather activities.  There is a boat dock there as well.  None of the sites have a fire pit.  Campers should bring their own if they would like a fire.  However, sites do have a grill and picnic table.  

The campground is clean and well maintained.  The sites are level.  And we loved the location and views from this campground.  

What to do

Jackson offers several museums that would appeal to various young ages and interests.  The Mississippi Children's Museum is excellent for children.  Admission is $10 and provides interactive, learning fun indoors with some outdoor options.  Since much of the museum is indoors, this makes an excellent activity for cold and rainy days or even on a day when you need a break from the heat.

The MS Children's Musem offers a variety of activities where children can participate throughout.

Creative opportunities at the museum are fun and provide many different possibilities.  The music area has a stage for performing.

The MS Museum of Natual Science works well for any age group.  Learn about the natural wildlife Mississippi with a mixture of live and still exhibits.  There is a large outdoor playground with picnic tables if the weather is warm.  Enjoy the nature trails behind the museum that connects to Lefleur's Bluff State Park.  Three days each week, watch as a diver feeds the fish and a naturalist answers questions from the group.  Our son really enjoyed this activity.  Check out the museum website to find out about special museum-sponsored activities throughout the year!

The wildlife at the MS Natural Science Museum is exciting provides good opportunities for viewing.

Time your visit to this museum where you can watch the diver feeding the fish.  The naturalist takes lots of questions from the audience including children.

The trails behind the natural science museum are yet another way to enjoy this facility and shouldn't be missed.

In this same area, you can also participate in the Mississippi Agriculture Museum and the MS Sports Hall of Fame.  These are located across the street within the same area as the MS Children's Museum and Natural Science Museum.  The Agriculture Museum has nature trails, outdoor exhibits, and gardens to view.  

If you are interested in participating in all four of these activities, you can obtain a Lefluers Museum District Pass.  This gives you access to the MS Children's Museum, Natural Science Museum, Agriculture Museum and Sports Hall of Fall for $19.50 for adults and $16 for children.  

Visitors can also take part in Two Museums.  These are two museums that tell the unique story and history of Mississippi.  One museum focuses solely on Mississippi History.  One museum tells the story and journey of Civil Rights.  

There is also Thalia Mara Hall where you can take in a show.  These range from rock, country, comedy acts and more.   There is not a bad seat in the house at this venue.  We saw Robert Plant there a few years ago.  As you planning your trip, check the schedule for upcoming events that might interest you.

You may be thinking there all there is to do in Jackson, MS is visit museums.  But, this the farthest from the truth.  And each one of those locations offers something unique and new.  The Children's Museum, Natural Science Museum, and Ag Museum are all much more active and engaging than a typical museum!  Cathead Distillery is located in downtown Jackson as well as area shops.  Jackson also hosts the MS Blues Marathon annually.  Runners might want to plan a trip just for that and take in some sights.  So, there really is something for everyone! 

Where to eat

Jackson offers dining options for everything from upscale foodie locations to down-home cooking.  On our recent trip, our family took advantage of Cultivation Hall.  It is a short drive from the Lefluers Museum District.  This modern twist on a food court provides everyone in your group with a cuisine of your choosing.  We enjoyed the variety and ease at the end of our day.  Having a meal out on our first evening allowed us to explore without having to rush back to our campsite to cook a meal.

If Mexican appeals to your palate, try Babalu's Tacos and Tapas in Fondren.  It is casual, delicious and always a good time.  Walk around Fondren and explore this area if you eat here.  

For local coffee, try one of the Cup's locations around Jackson.  The one in Fondren is my favorite location.  You could walk here for coffer after dinner at Babalu's.  And it is near Brent's Drugs that was featured in the movie the help.  It is yet another fun dining location that shouldn't be missed!

I work in Jackson often, and it is a place that our family knows well.  Camping there was a totally new experience for us that we thoroughly enjoyed.  If you are traveling through Mississippi and looking for a stopping location, stay in our capital city and enjoy some of the sites and food.  You will be glad that you did.

Until next time...

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