Traveling to Mississippi is akin to traveling to another planet. Mostly rural in scenery, Mississippi is something of a no man’s land. Trees and forests cover the majority of the landscape, even in the wettest regions. In the northeast, a small edge of the Appalachians runs through the state, creating a slightly mountainous area known as the Mississippi Hills Region. To the west, the Mississippi Delta is home to expansive cotton fields and marshes. Southern Mississippi and its coastal region are infamous for backwater bayous and sandy beaches. It’s a lightly populated state full of intriguing natural landscapes.
Of course, Mississippi is also steeped in history and culture. The state is home to several Native American tribes that operate casinos on their reservations. Natchez, named for the Natchez Tribe, is one of the most historic destinations in the state and attracts millions of visitors each year. Plantations in the Mississippi Delta and throughout the state remind us of Mississippi’s tempestuous and dark past, juxtaposed by the beauty of antebellum architecture. The coastal regions and beach towns in Mississippi have a more relaxed way of life and offer a friendlier, community-centered vibe.
Mississippi’s warm climate makes it a prime RV destination during the colder months. There are dozens of wild National Parks and RV parks in Mississippi, all of which are worth a visit. With long, hot summers, and rainy winters, the best time to visit is in early spring and late fall. These are also the safest times of year, as late spring and summer bring tornadoes, and early fall is usually hurricane season. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), most of Mississippi’s camping and outdoor expos take place during the pleasant, comfortable months.
There isn’t a vast selection of RV shows in Mississippi, but there are a handful of exciting outdoor shows and hunting expos. If you’re traveling through the state, why not stop by one of these shows and see something new? They have all the energy and entertainment of an RV show, but with a watersports and hunting-focused twist. Here, we’ll cover a few of the best shows in the state.
Biloxi Boat and RV Show
The Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center is home to this pre-season show. It sits just a block away from Biloxi’s beaches. Biloxi is a gorgeous place to visit, with miles of beaches, ancient oak trees, and delicious southern seafood. It’s also one of the oldest communities in the nation and offers a host of historic sites and landmarks to explore. The Convention Center is convenient to downtown Biloxi and many area restaurants and casinos. Fox’s RV Park is adjacent to the building, so be sure to call ahead and reserve a spot if you’re traveling in an RV!
What You’ll Love About the Biloxi Boat and RV Show
The Biloxi Boat show is not known for having a large selection of RVs; they mostly have boats. But you can’t visit Mississippi – one of the wettest states in the nation – without going to a boat show! Even if you can resist the temptation to buy a boat or a jet ski, there’s still a lot of fun to be had at this show. Kids will love watching divers swim with sharks in the on-site tank, hanging out at the Fetch-N-Fish Dog Show, and watching the Biloxi Slam tournament. There are educational seminars throughout the weekend as well, covering everything from kid’s fishing lessons to adult fly fishing and new technology in the marine industry.
Information About the Biloxi Boat and RV Show
Location: 2350 Beach Blvd., Biloxi, MS 39531
Dates: Feb 2nd-4th, 2018
Contact: (251) 478-7469
Tickets: $8 for adults, free for kids 12 and under.
The Mississippi Spring Samboree
Each year, Good Sam members in each state get together and hold a rally, also known as the Samboree. The Mississippi Good Sam chapter alternates its rally locations between the northern half of the state and the southern half. This year, the rally is set to be held in northern Mississippi. The last time the rally was in northern Mississippi, it was in Verona. There were enough spots for 160 rigs, all with water and electric hookups. Odds are, the rally will be held in Verona again this year.
That You’ll Love About the Mississippi Spring Samboree
Samborees aren’t RV shows, per se, but they certainly have plenty of reasons to attend. Aside from mingling with Good Sam members and checking out their rigs, there are also tons of activities. Golf tournaments, live events and music, and a weekend full of entertainment await you. Saturdays are usually seminar and activities days, where you can learn about all things RVing and camping. You’ll also be treated to a home-cooked community meal, as Samborees tend to either have catering or potluck dinners. Best of all, it’s the chance to make new friends who love RVing as much as you do!
Information About the Mississippi Spring Samboree
Dates: March 2018
Contact: (601) 798-5551
Tickets: Some rallies require that you’re a Good Sam Member to attend. Contact for details.
Gulfcoast Yacht and Boat Show
This annual show takes place right on Gulfport Harbor in Gulfport. Jones Park is a waterfront park with a marina, complete with a pavilion and a picturesque lighthouse (so, make sure to have your camera ready). There are walking trails throughout the grounds, so when you’re not busy at the show, you can take a stroll and check out the other boats in the marina. Gulfport itself is a lovely vacation spot with miles of beaches, a large water park and Sportsplex, dozens of outdoor recreations areas, and of course, mouth-watering local seafood.
What You’ll Love About the Gulfcoast Yacht and Boat Show
This is not only the biggest boat show in Mississippi but also the biggest show on the entire Gulf Coast! There are more than 700 boats for you to peruse, ranging in length from 8 to 100 feet in length. Forty of the biggest dealers and brokers from Mississippi and beyond come to this show, which offers a diversity of both selection and price ranges. Throughout the weekend, it seems there are events happening around every corner, like the Sea Lion Show, Shark Encounter, Sky Board Show, and many more. The Gulfcoast Yacht and Boat Show garners tons of praise each year – it’s truly an event you don’t want to miss!
Information About the Gulfcoast Yacht and Boat Show
Location: 805 W. 20th Ave., Gulfport, MS 39501
Dates: April 2018 (TBA)
Contact: [email protected]
Tickets: Unlisted. Contact for details.
Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza
Well, it may not be an RV show or a boat show, but the Wildlife Extravaganza is certainly worth attending, especially if you have kids or love the outdoors. It’s hosted by the Mississippi Wildlife Federation, and all proceeds go toward preserving wildlife and natural habitats in Mississippi. The Extravaganza is held at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in Jackson. Jackson is not only the state’s capital but also its largest city, so you can be sure you won’t run out of things to do here. If you’re looking for a dose of culture, you can tour the State Capital or one of the countless museums or historic homes in the city. The Jackson Zoo is another popular attraction, as are LeFleur’s Bluff State Park and the Mynelle Gardens.
What You’ll Love About the Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza
This show is a fun way to start off hunting season. It’s full of exhibits, demonstrations, events, and more. The show features 200 exhibitors from across the country. Kids will enjoy the archery exhibit and lessons, ATV demos, Fetch-N-Fish show, and many other activities. You’ll find a vast array of camping and hunting gear, apparel and accessories, and information on lodges and campgrounds throughout the country. Special guests come to the show each year as well, giving you a chance to meet and greet award-winning hunters and outdoorsmen. There are contests and prizes throughout the weekend, including the Big Buck contest, Duck Calling contests, and raffles.
Information About the Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza
Location: 1207 Mississippi St., Jackson, MS 39202
Dates: August 2018 (TBA)
Contact: (601) 605-1790
Tickets: Unlisted. Contact for details.
Start Planning Your Next Adventure in the Magnolia State
While it’s true that Mississippi may not have many events dedicated to RVing, we’d be doing you an injustice if we didn’t tell you about the other shows and events that we included on this list. After all, the Gulf Coast is one of the best places to go boating, so why wouldn’t you want to attend a few of the area boat shows? Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up buying a jet ski to toss in the back of your toy hauler for your next lakeside camping trip! One thing to be said though, is that from boating shows to wildlife expos, life in Mississippi is all about the outdoors. As an RV lover, that’s sure to resonate with you on some level.
There’s lots more to do in Mississippi than the handful of annual events, too. Soaking up the sun on sandy white beaches, exploring ancient wetland forests, and touring historic homes and plantations are just a few of the activities that draw so many tourists each year. Then, of course, you have the abundant nightlife, 24-hour casinos, and classic southern seafood joints. No matter whether you choose to take the urban route or the outdoorsy one, you’ll be treated to a true southern experience.
As with any state, one of the best ways to explore Mississippi is on wheels. RVing lets you take it slow and really absorb all your surroundings, both natural and cultural. You’ll have the freedom to pick up and move on to the next location whenever you please, all while having the comforts of home at your fingertips. If you don’t have an RV already, don’t worry! Renting an RV is affordable and easy. RVshare has a massive, nationwide inventory that includes RVs of all shapes and sizes, for all budgets. Check out our list of RV rentals in Mississippi here. Happy trails!