Published: March 2015
Five Things to do in Three Southern Capital Cities  

Regardless of what you may think of politics in general, capital cities can be an attractive destination for everyone. From museums to attractions to unique venues, there are numerous reasons to plan a trip to one.

These three southern capital cities, complete with five things to experience at each one, should be on everyone's travel radar.

Little Rock, Ark.

1. Learn more about the civil rights struggle that occurred September 1957 at Central High School at the Central High School National Historic Site. Hear the first-person stories, and view the documents and photos from this pivotal moment in the south’s and nation’s history.

dale2. The Clinton Presidential Library and Museum is filled with photographs and videos detailing Bill Clinton’s presidency. Be sure to view the exhibits highlighting holidays, state visits and other celebrations. See the Oval Office replica. Marvel at the Crystal Tree of Light that was commissioned by Dale Chihuly at the requested of the Clinton's for the White House Millennium Celebration.

3. Did you know that Heifer International’s world headquarters is located in Little Rock? Tour Heifer Village and become knowledgeable about what they do to eradicate hunger and poverty around the world. Take away additional information on what you can do to make changes in your community as well.

4. The Arkansas Arts Center art museum is home to the largest collection of works by Signac outside of France. See his pieces and more when you visit.  In addition to the art museum, the building also holds a theater and studio school.

5. Rent a bike and explore the Arkansas River Trail. You can start small by exploring the original 16 miles. Don’t worry if you aren’t into biking, because you can also either walk or jog the trail as well. The Big Dam Bridge is the longest bridge in North American built only for pedestrians and bicycles.

Jackson, Miss.

1. Walk it. Check out downtown Jackson with a self-guided walking tour. Sites to be seen on the tour include the Old Capitol Museum and the Governor’s Mansion.

2. Located in the historic Belhaven neighborhood (also where you’ll find Fairview eudoraInn) is Eudora Welty House and Garden. It is said she wrote many of her novels and short stories here. Enjoy a guided tour of the home and the garden, which has been restored to the 1925-1945 period when Welty assisted her mother in the upkeep and care.

3. Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum/National Agricultural Aviation Museum enables you to immerse yourself in the agriculture history and heritage of the state. Situated on 40-acres, there is a lot to see. Don’t miss exploring “small town Mississippi,” visiting National Agricultural Aviation Museum that includes a Hall of Fame, viewing the Fitzgerald Collection and more.

4.  Everyone loves a visit to the zoo. Jackson Zoo is home to around 400 animals, representing 125 species, in natural surroundings. Don’t miss taking a ride on the carousel or the train, or both.

5. Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame tells the stories of top Mississippi athletes through exhibits and recorded interviews. Be a part of the sports world when you become the play-by-play announcer in the “press box.” Work on your pitch or kick with challenging interactive exhibits.

Charleston, W.Va

1. You can say there is always something happening at the Clay Arts and Science Center of West Virginia. It is one of three venues in the country that offers visual, performing and science arts in one place. The art museum hosts about anywhere to three to five exhibits a year that make a connection between art and science. In the science wing, there are three distinctive areas, aimed at different age groups that entertains, engages and educates. As for the performing arts, not only does the Center hosts various live entertainment and musical acts, but they are also home to the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

2.  Take a little bit of West Virginia back home with you when you visit the Capitol Market. Located in a renovated 1800s train station, it offers a variety of indoor shops as well as an outdoor market, April-December. Don’t miss stopping by Holl’s Swiss Chocolatier.

booker3.  Booker T. Washington spent from age nine to 25 in Old Malden, about 10 minutes from downtown Charleston. You can see African Zion Baptist Church, the state's oldest black Baptist church and where he attended, as well as a replica of his boyhood cabin when visiting Old Malden.

4. Discover West Virginia’s vast history and culture at the West Virginia Culture Center and State Museum. The exhibits detail the state's history, people and stories. Even though they have over 60,000 artifacts, only 6,000 are on display.

5. Get outdoors and discover the reason West Virginia is considered “wild and wonderful.” Explore such places as Sunrise Carriage Trail, Cato Park or Kanawha State Forest.

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