Jackson highlights Central Mississippi

The land gets flatter along the I-20 route that strings together Meridian, Jackson and Vicksburg, the string of pearls of Central Mississippi retirement.

Jackson (pop.185,000), the state capital, is the center of arts and culture, government, air travel and medicine in the state. While there are some historic sections of Jackson, it - like Columbia, SC - was substantially torched by Gen. Sherman at the end of the Civil War. So, the city did lose much historic architecture and character, as a result.

But, today, Jackson is bustling and growing between the two progressive towns of Meridian to the east and Vickburg to the west.

Meridian (pop. 40,000) is a major east central Mississippi hub. With 4,000 Naval Air Station personnel and family stationed in Meridian, there is a military culture that makes military retirees feel at home. And, the varied experiences of all the enlisted personnel add to the worldliness of the city.

Meridian boasts a wonderful city park, festivals, plenty of golfing and boating opportunities and a local community college that offers retiree classes. Meridian’s hospital services are considered an attribute to the trade area, which stretches into western Alabama.

Looking for a military-oriented small city with outdoor recreation within easy driving distance (90 miles) of the state’s largest city? You may want to check out Meridian.

Sitting on the Mississippi River about 50 miles on the other side of Jackson is the historic town of Vicksburg (26,500). Vicksburg is known for it beautiful antebellum homes and, more recently, its casinos along the riverfront. Vicksburg is known as a true Old South city where the architecture is stunning, the people are friendly and community arts, music and culture is strong.

Take in a show at one of the casinos or take a “learning in retirement” class at Hinds Community College. If you’re looking for big city dining and shopping, Jackson is a short drive.