The Best Places To Travel In The U.S. In 2023, According To The Experts





Where to Go: Mississippi


Chosen By: Laura Begley Bloom is a travel expert and the author of this column.


Why: The Magnolia State has everything a traveler could want in 2023, from a cutting-edge culinary scene to buzzing small towns to incredible natural beauty.


In Hattiesburg, take in over 50 pieces of art on the public art trail, tuck into the Hattiesburg Pocket Alley Pocket Museum (a 48×36-inch window display filled with a monthly rotating collection of objects) and thrift your heart out at the Lucky Rabbit, which even has glassblowing demonstrations.


Other hidden-gem towns include Waveland (the only community of the Gulf Coast that prohibits commercial buildings on its beachfront), Bay St. Louis (which has a quaint downtown filled with art galleries and antique shops) and Diamondhead (known for its golf scene and some of the best greens on the coast.


Mississippi has also carved out a signature culinary culture, with high-end dining by celebrity chefs to farm-to-table spots to no-frills establishments. In historic downtown Ocean Springs, Vestige offers a contemporary American menu paired with inspiration of the flavors and techniques of Japan, while at Elvie’s in Jackson, chef Hunter Evans channels his passion for food and hospitality learned in his grandmother Elvieretta’s New Orleans kitchen. The Delta is also known for tamales, and the easiest way to experience this beloved snack is by following the Hot Tamale Trail.


When it comes to nature, Quapaw Canoe Company runs daytrip and overnight wilderness customized expeditions on the Lower Mississippi River via its Back Waters, Bayous, Oxbows and Flood Plain. The Mississippi also offers great birding throughout its forests and sandy beaches, and the Mississippi Coastal Birding Trail helps guide visitors to identifying over 40 birding sites identified by local birders.


Mississippi’s lodging ranges from forest retreats to historic inns and everything in between. The Roost in Ocean Springs is a restored boutique hotel located within walking distance of the beach and the eclectic downtown. Set on 26 acres, the Monmouth Historic Inn in Natchez was originally built in 1818 and is now a National Historic Landmark.