Finding meaningful souvenirs in all of the places we travel is always important to us. But, what about our home state of Mississippi? We wanted to share what we think are some great Mississippi souvenirs, but man, was this a tough list to make!
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Souvenirs should be more than just T-shirts and keychains! Remember to look for items that are unique to the area you are visiting. Buy local items that tell the story of the area. These are the Mississippi souvenirs we think you should leave room in your suitcase for!
The Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory
Yazoo, MS | mscheesestraws.com
Address: 741 E 8th Street
Where to find them: Various restaurants, visitor centers, and gift shops around Mississippi
From a recipe that has been passed down through a family in Yazoo City, Mississippi come these spicy, crunchy, cheesy snacks! If you love all things cheese, these baked cheddar snacks will be irresistible!
These aren’t your normal cheese snacks. Move over Goldfish! Cheese Straws have a bit of a kick to them, but it is not overpowering or overwhelming at all. Eat them as a snack or pair with some tomato soup! Yummy!!!
Elvis Salt Water Taffy
The Birthplace of Elvis
Tupelo, MS | elvispresleybirthplace.com
Address: 306 Elvis Presley Drive
So, what does salt water taffy have to do with Elvis? Well, it’s the flavor! Around here, it’s a well-known fact that Elvis loved fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches! This candy is such a fitting tribute! You’ll be sure to think of Elvis and the little white house with the porch swing every time you take a bite!
If these aren’t your favorite flavors or if taffy’s just not for you, you can always pick up a pair of Elvis-inspired sunglasses from the Birthplace… complete with sideburns! Voila! Instant “hunka hunka burnin’ love”!
See Related: Taking the Elvis Tour of Tupelo, Mississippi
Bay St. Louis, MS
Address: 131 Main St D
Yall. This is the best bread I have ever eaten. We visited Serious Bread (named because bread is totally serious business!) for the first time on our most recent visit to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and thought we were doing good to come home with a huge loaf. GONE in no time. The bread is so fresh and just has the best texture and flavor. Check out our blog post on Serious Bread to read more about this awesome bakery!
Mississippi Muscadine Jelly (and other locally-made preserves, salsas, and sauces!)
Where to find it: Various visitor centers and gift shops around Mississippi
Canning is definitely a tradition here in Mississippi. I grew up eating out of Mason jars thanks to the amazing cooking and canning abilities of both of my grandmothers. Why not take some of this tradition home?
Look for preserves at visitor centers and gift shops. Many local restaurants will offer canned salsas and sauces as well.
Knock-You-Naked Margarita Mix and Fire & Ice Pickles
Fat Mama’s Tamales
Natchez, MS | fatmamastamales.com
Address: 303 S Canal Street
Fat Mama’s Tamales was on our list to visit while in Natchez, and we were impressed! We loved the atmosphere, the employees, and, of course, the food! The tamales were delicious, but I believe the Knock-You-Naked Margarita beat them. Insanely good, do you hear me? Luckily, the famous margarita mix is sold all over the state (and various shops across the US!), so it’s easier to get that yummy fix anytime!
We grabbed a jar of the Fire & Ice Pickles to take home with us because we had already tried the award-winning tamales and award-winning margaritas! I mean, you gotta go for the award-winning pickles too, right?! DELICIOUS. More on the sweet side, but perfect for a burger, salad, or straight out of the jar!
See Related: Where to Eat in Natchez, Mississippi
Natchez Trace Completion Patch
Natchez Trace Visitor Center
Tupelo, MS | nps.gov/natr
Address: 2680 Natchez Trace Pkwy
The Natchez Trace runs from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee and was originally a trail used by Native Americans in the area as they followed herds of deer, bison, etc. for hunting.
Today, only pieces of the original trail exist, but you can drive, bike, or motorcycle the 444 mile highway that is now the Natchez Trace Parkway.
The Trace offers frequent stops for travelers interested in the history of the area, including the Native American Emerald Mound (second largest in the US), Confederate gravesites, and former Native American villages.
Once you’ve completed the length of the trace, you definitely need to commemorate your achievement with the Natchez Trace Parkway Patch. The patch above is the general design for those driving, but patches specific to bikes and motorcycles are also available.
See Related: 30 Things To Do in Natchez, Mississippi
Mississippi Literature and Music
Where to find it: Gift shops, music stores, and bookstores around the state. You may even find a great deal at a thrift shop!
With Mississippi being so famous for its contributions to the arts, it only makes sense to take some of that creativity back home with you.
With writers like William Faulker, John Grisham, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, and Willie Morris, you’re sure to find a new favorite book by a Mississippian. Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi is a great place to pick up books by Mississippi authors.
Mississippi is also known for its musicians. Pick up some Elvis music at his birthplace in Tupelo, or grab some Blues when traveling through the Mississippi Delta by legends like B.B. King, Muddy Waters, or Robert Johnson (who famously sold his soul to the devil to be able to play the guitar!).
See Related: Book Review: The Hard Times by Russell Scott
Barq’s Root Beer
Where to find it: Gas stations, grocery stores, convenience stores
Did you know that Barq’s Root Beer was created in Biloxi, Mississippi? Yep! In 1898, Edward Barq made the first Barq’s Root Beer at Biloxi Artesian Bottling Works, a small building that still stands today.
You may also be interested to know that Coca-Cola was first bottled in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1894! Up until that point, it was only sold as a fountain drink.
Take home a Barq’s or a glass bottle of Coca-Cola from good ol’ Mississippi, and educate your friends and family on the history of these sodas!
See Related: 5 Reasons to Visit the Mississippi Gulf Coast
Sweet Potato Treats
Sweet Potato Sweets
Vardaman, MS | sweetpotatosweets.com
Address: 117 E Sweet Potato Avenue
Vardaman, Mississippi just so happens to be the Sweet Potato Capital of the World! Drive past field after field of sweet potatoes and stop in at the hometown bakery known as Sweet Potato Sweets for unique sweet potato treats including pies, cookies, fudge, and ice cream!
MAFES Sales Store at Mississippi State University
Starkville, MS | msucheese.com
Address: 925 Stone Blvd
If you were to casually mention to a Mississippian that you’d like some good cheese, you’d very likely be told to get some “Mississippi State Cheese.” The cheese is made at Mississippi State University (MSU) by both employees and students of the Food Science program.
The most sought-after flavor is the delicious Edam cheese, which was first made at MSU in 1938. Today, 400 balls of the Edam cheese are made per day. The Edam is one of our favorite cheeses. It goes well with crackers or fruit.
The laboratory and dairy processing plant are used for both teaching and research purposes, and you may be interested to know that the dairy plant produces all dairy products used on the university campus! Now you know that’s a lot of milk, butter, and ice cream! Speaking of ice cream, if you get a chance to try the MSU ice cream, try the muscadine!
Barbecue Sauce from your favorite Mississippi BBQ Joint
Where to find it: Grab a bottle from your favorite barbecue joint! Some are also found in grocery stores across the state.
Barbecue is serious business here in the south, and you’re sure to visit a barbecue joint during your visit that will knock your socks off! Take a little bit of that flavor home with you in a bottle of barbecue sauce! Every barbecue restaurant we’ve ever visited has its own sauce concoction, and no two are ever the same.
Where to find it: Gift shops, galleries, and specialty shops around the state
Mississippi is known for its talent, and its artists are no exception. Find a handmade piece from a local artist that will remind you of your trip or the area that you visited. Check out this handmade ceramic oyster shell that we picked up at the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum in Biloxi and the beautiful candle from Oxford Candle Company. We love collecting pieces of art for our home that will remind us of our travels and adventures!
Delta Ridge BBQ Sauces
Where to find it: At markets, gift shops, and restaurants around the state. Check out their Facebook page for more information.
The Delta Ridge sauces are made in Batesville, Mississippi, and they’re popping up in restaurants all around the area (like Neon Pig, home of Thrillist’s pick for America’s Best Burger!). From the unique watermelon flavor made for Water Valley’s 50th Watermelon Carnival to Honey Bourbon made with Maker’s Mark bourbon, these sauces are a party for the taste buds!
Queen’s Reward Wine
Queen’s Reward Meadery
Tupelo, MS | queensreward.com
Address: 1719 McCullough Blvd
These wines, made from honey, come in a variety from dry to sweet, and you’ll want to taste them all! Stop in for a tasting (includes a souvenir glass!), and take home a bottle or twelve of your favorite flavor!
Magnolia Soap and Bath Co.
Locations in New Albany, Oxford, and Tupelo | magnoliasoapandbath.com
If you find yourself walking by the storefront of Magnolia Soap and Bath Co., the smell will entice you to go inside and check it out. With clean, fresh fragrances and all products 100% plant-based, you’ll find soaps, bath bombs, lotion bars, laundry soap and more. For those of us with sensitive skin or skin conditions, these soaps will pamper your skin without worry.
Because the company is based in New Albany, Mississippi, you’ll find shapes and scents that are inspired by Mississippi and the South in general. From Mississippi-shaped soaps to scents like “Kudzu”, “William Faulkner”, and “Mississippi Delta”, these fragrant items make great Mississippi gifts or souvenirs!
Because Mississippi is our home state, we’re sure to come across more amazing souvenirs! We’ll be sure to share them here!
Have you visited Mississippi? What are your favorite Mississippi souvenirs? Did we miss anything? What souvenirs would you recommend from your home? Let us know in the comments below!