If you’re craving adventure and iconic attractions, then head to the great Southern state of Mississippi. Spend your days swimming in Dunn’s Falls in the city of Flora; exploring the mesmerizing Natchez National Historic Park; or dodging the crashing waves in Gulfport. With Mississippi vacation rentals situated right on the beach, as well as tucked away in the tranquil woods, you can find the perfect spot to enjoy much-needed rest and relaxation.

1. Biloxi

Celebrate summer with fresh meals in your vacation rental when attending the Biloxi’s Farmers Market Festival each weekend from late May through mid-October. This festival includes live music, food vendors, and themed activities for kids and families. When vacationing during the summer months, enjoy the serenity of the Tchoutacabouffa River with a fishing excursion or get out on the water with kayak and canoe rentals from Affordable Boat Adventures.

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2. Flora

Beat the crowds and the heat when vacationing in Flora this summer. This Mississippi city is best known for Dunn’s Falls, a 65-foot man-made waterfall that is adjacent to a historic grist mill. Swim in the falls, or glide along in canoes with rentals from Capital City Kayaks. Bring along your fishing ride when wandering the trails that lead to Dunn’s Falls, so you can grab a fresh catch for your dinner back at your cozy vacation rental.

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3. Natchez

Embrace your inner river rat for the summer when making Natchez your vacation destination. Home to the ceremonial mounds in the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, this Mississippi city offers educational and outdoor opportunities for the entire family. Explore Natchez National Historical Park when the weather is cooler in the mornings or evenings, and then see the historic Melrose Estate and Longwood Mansion during the heat of the day to learn more about the city’s culture.

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4. Gulfport

Families flock to Gulfport during the summer time to relax on the beach as the waves crash onto the shore from the Gulf of Mexico. Get out on the water for some fun in the sun with rentals from Everything Kayak, or opt for a chance to see dolphins on a boat ride with Ship Island Excursions. Beat the heat and cool off with an afternoon at Gulf Islands Water Park before retreating back to your beachfront vacation rental.

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5. Oxford

Choose Oxford as your summer vacation destination and feel as if you are walking back in time. This historic city offers a quaint downtown Square with summer flowers in bloom. Check out the attractions, such as the Midtown Farmers’ Market, the grounds of the University of Mississippi, and Baily’s Woods Trail. If the weather is too warm for outdoor adventures, stop in to tour the L.Q.C. Lamar House Museum for a history lesson.

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6. Jackson

Jackson comes alive in the summertime with street festivals, rodeos, and the Mississippi Gospel Awards celebration. Join in the fun with the locals, or explore on your own when opting for an invigorating hike through LeFleur’s Bluff State Park or a tour of the Old Capitol Museum. Treat the kids to a day at the Jackson Zoo to see exotic animals, and then treat the adults to some local brews at the Lucky Town Brewing Co. in the evenings.

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7. Vicksburg

Find a mix of family-friendly entertainment and adult attractions when booking a vacation rental during the summer months in Vicksburg. This historic city is home to the Ameristar Casino for some exciting nightlife. Treat the kids to a day touring the trails at Tara Wildlife or stop by the Vicksburg Riverfront Murals to see local artwork. During the summer months, Vicksburg hosts live Blues music at LD’s each weekend and karaoke at some of the hotspots, such as Beechwood and Monsour’s.

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8. Hattiesburg

Summertime in Hattiesburg can be warm, but the refreshing attractions such as Pep’s Point Water Park help to keep you cool. Let the kids make a splash and then head over to the Hattiesburg Zoo to see the wildlife. This popular Mississippi city is home to Paul B. Johnson State Park, known for its scenic hiking trails. If you want some indoor adventures, treat the family to an afternoon at the UpDown Trampoline Park.

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9. Holly Springs

Get in touch with nature when making the quaint city of Holly Springs your vacation destination for the summer. Holly Springs’ most popular attraction is the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center that features hiking trails, bird watching, and photography opportunities within the 3,000-acre sanctuary. During the summer, you can also spend your days golfing at Kirkwood National Golf Club, or cooling off in Baker’s Pond.

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10. Tupelo

Best known as the birthplace of the legendary Elvis Presley, Tupelo is a small town with big attractions planned for each summer season. Tour the Elvis Presley Center, and then head out to enjoy the warm weather with a stop in at the Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo to see more than 300 bison, camels, giraffes, and zebras. Allow the kids to expel some energy while at the Healthworks! Children’s Museum before retreating back to your rustic vacation rental or cabin.

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