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The Mississippi River flows along the western border of its much maligned namesake American state. Mississippi has overcome years of negative stereotypes and a recent slew of natural disasters to become one of America’s most underrated tourism destinations. In addition to the Natchez Trace Parkway’s natural beauty and the history of Vicksburg’s Civil War Park, Mississippi also contains a surprising amount of culture. Every four years, the state capital, Jackson, even hosts an international ballet competition.
After they have taken the time to compare car hire before their trip, visitors without major credit cards are most likely to successfully rent vehicles from Budget, Thrifty, and Rent-A-Wreck. Mississippi’s two international airports and all of its major cities have the largest numbers of vehicles to choose from.
Despite their names, neither Jackson-Evers International Airport nor Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport currently offer any international flights, but nonetheless supply direct flights across the southeast United States. Car hire in Mississippi remains the most efficient way to explore this state whose bus and rail services are limited. Several Amtrak routes have closed in Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina. Greyhound and Delta are the state’s two main bus lines.
Driving is frequently not only the easiest, but often the only, way to travel around Mississippi. Mississippi’s major interstate highways are I-10 across the Gulf Coast, I-20 across the state’s lower centre half, 1-59 leading to New Orleans, and I-55 connecting Jackson with Memphis and New Orleans. Night drivers should be extra careful as most Mississippi thoroughfares aren’t lit after dark.
One of the most scenic drives motorists can take with car rental in Mississippi is the 444-mile long Natchez Trace Parkway between Nashville and Mississippi’s original state capital, Natchez. Many of Natchez’s more than 600 antebellum homes are well worth closer inspection. It takes an entire day to fully explore Vicksburg’s Civil War Park, but Clarksdale’s Blues Museum is the best place to fully appreciate the state’s most famous musical genre. Mississippi’s scenic Gulf Coast has recovered dramatically from Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.
Mississippi’s warmest months also bring the riskiest weather. As soon as the state’s early spring and summer tornado season ends, the hurricane season begins and lasts well into autumn. Fortunately, Mississippi’s short and mild winters mean visitors can still experience comfortable weather after the tornado and hurricane seasons are over. Snowfall is a rare sight in this state whose average January temperature is 9°C. July temperatures, on the other hand, regularly soar up to 35°C with high humidity.