JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi is home to beautiful landscapes like coastlines, rivers, lakes, forests, farmlands and more. Some of the best scenery around the state is outlined by established scenic routes, which drivers can take to appreciate the state’s natural beauty and history.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) manages the Mississippi Scenic Byway Program, which is a grassroots effort to increase the focus on Mississippi’s history and intrinsic resources.
The routes cover hundreds of miles around the state. If you’re a fan of long drives and good views, consider making a trip to one of the following scenic byways:
Beach Boulevard Scenic Byway
- Beach Boulevard travels along the Hancock County coastline for 13 miles from Cedar Point in Bay St. Louis to the fishing village of Bayou Cadet. This route offers a view of the coastal community and the wildlife that lives along the water.
Brice’s Crossroads Battlefield-Chief Tishomingo Scenic Byway
- Brice’s Crossroads covers 12.4 miles in Lee County. History derived from the Civil War, the Native Americans and early African Americans creates a historically-rich area along the byway.
Byways to Space Scenic Byway
- A set of six different routes near the Stennis Space Center make up the Byways to Space Scenic Byway in Hancock County. The roadways are often canopied by oaks as drivers make their way through the countryside.
Delta Bluffs Scenic Byway
- This byway is made up of three separate segments that allow visitors to view Desoto County’s most valuable resources. Drivers will see four historic districts in the City of Hernando and farmlands.
Grand Gulf-Raymond Scenic Byway
- Grand Gulf-Raymond Scenic Byway stretches 50 miles through the loess bluffs bordering the Mississippi River. The roadway ducks under the canopy of live oaks and bald cypresses that are layered with Spanish moss. Drivers see deer and flocks of wild turkeys along the route.
Great River Road National Scenic Byway
- This byway runs 275 miles along the Mississippi River and U.S. Highway 61. The route is part of the Great River Road, which runs on both sides of the river from the headwaters at Lake Itasca in Minnesota to the mouth of the river at the Gulf of Mexico.
Gulf Coast Scenic Byway
- This route stretches 18 miles through the cities of Pass Christian, Long Beach and Gulfport. Some sections of this byway are listed on the National Register of Historical Places. It’s a primary access road for each city’s downtown areas.
Getaway to History Scenic Byway
- This byway spans 32.8 miles through Madison County. Drivers can see the historic downtowns and tree-lined streets of Madison, Flora and Canton.
Highway 67 Scenic Byway and Highway 605 Scenic Byway
- Highway 67 Scenic Byway runs for 20.68 miles through a diverse mixture of native fauna and flora in primarily forest and agricultural areas. It runs through Harrison County and bisects the Desoto National Forest.
Lower Mississippi Historic Scenic Byway
- The Lower Mississippi Historic Byway runs along U.S. Highway 61 from Warren County through Claiborne, Jefferson and Adams counties and ends at the Louisiana state line in Wilkinson County. This byway connects four of the oldest settlements along the river. Those include Natchez, Port Gibson, Vicksburg and Woodville.
Mississippi Delta Great River Road Scenic Byway
- This byway runs for 175 miles along the Mississippi River starting at the Helena Bridge and ending at the Issaquena-Warren County line. It’s part of the Great River Road, which runs on both sides of the river from the headwaters at Lake Itasca in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.
Natchez Trace Parkway
- The Natchez Trace Parkway runs for 444 miles through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. The route starts in Natchez and continues for 312 miles in Mississippi
Noxubee Hills Route Scenic Byway
- This byway passes through Choctaw, Oktibbeha, Winston and Noxubee counties. It reaches Choctaw Lake, Tombigbee National Forest, Bluff Lake and more. The route is filled with history, hunting, fishing, birdwatching and more.
William Faulkner Scenic Byway
- This 15 mile stretch of Highway 30 is almost entirely inside the Holly Springs National Forest. Key spots along the route include the Tanglefoot Trail, the Puskus Lake Recreational Area and the Little Tallahatchie River.