Rather than winding down, attendees can get ready for action when the sun sets on Mississippi. It’s the perfect time of day to enliven a group agenda with any of the many outings that incorporate area arts, casinos, and great food and drink.
There is still time after hours to plan a fun add-on activity in Mississippi’s group-friendly destinations. From a bowling tournament at Fun Lanes in Vicksburg to a sunset cruise on the Betsy Ann Riverboat off the shores of Biloxi, there is an array of entertaining nightlife opportunities awaiting groups throughout the Magnolia State.
The Powerhouse in Oxford, a community arts center that accommodates group events, hosts the interactive Oxford Art Crawl from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month.
According to Jessica Lynch, partnerships manager for Visit Oxford MS, groups could hop on the Oxford Double Decker Bus (imported from Oxford, England) and visit different art venues.
Meanwhile, when meeting in Tunica, groups can check out local listings for live music, including staged blues, rock and country acts.
“You’ll find the biggest headliners at our premier concert venues,” said Mary Catherine Webb, sales manager for the Tunica CVB. “And our intimate casino stage bars and local diners also host some of the hottest regional and local artists on a nightly basis.”
Marquee comedians such as George Lopez and live sporting events are also on the calendar to entertain groups in Tunica.
Beach fire, gulf coast | Credit: Danny Turkel
Nightlife in Tunica is practically limitless, as the city is also home to eight casino resorts where groups can play games of chance, see shows and grab dinner at the end of the day.
Vicksburg has an abundant amount of nightlife as well, including at its four casinos: Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg, Lady Luck Casino Vicksburg, Riverwalk Casino & Hotel, and WaterView Casino & Hotel.
“You can have your group play in a slot tournament and enjoy a great meal and entertainment at one of our gaming facilities,” said Ashley Gatian, sales manager for Visit Vicksburg.
One of the best ways to unwind after a day that’s jam-packed with meetings is to book a reservation at a local restaurant that accommodates private dining.
In Jackson, which is home to some 300 restaurants, there are many contenders to host group meals, including The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen.
Located in Jackson’s historic Belhaven Heights neighborhood, Manship offers a rustic chic atmosphere and a menu that mingles the Mediterranean with classic Southern fare. The dinner menu here includes seared fish, spit-fired chicken, pasta dishes and pizza, as well as craft cocktails and a wine list that received a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.
In Oxford, in the historic Oxford Square area, groups will find several nightlife possibilities, including Proud Larry’s, a restaurant/live music venue that hosts private events for dining or entertainment, or a combo of both.
“Visitors tend to want to venture where the locals are and they are spot-on with Proud Larry’s,” said Visit Oxford MS’s Lynch.
Groups meeting in Natchez should check out the restored circa-1789 King’s Tavern, where the menu includes wood-fired flatbreads, sustainable fish and meats and handcrafted cocktails. Charboneau Distillery, a purveyor of rum, is located on the same property and offers tours and tastings.
Proud Larry’s Pizza, Oxford
“When having a meeting in the South, it’s great for groups to try out the cuisine in a restaurant that has over 200 years of history,” said Jennifer Combs, executive director at Visit Natchez. “Topping off the night with a rum tasting is a great way to have some fun while visiting local businesses.”
In Tupelo, groups can arrange an after-hours tour and tasting at the award-winning Queen’s Reward Meadery, Mississippi’s first meadery.
“Hang out on the patio, sip mead and enjoy food truck fare for a fabulous Tupelo evening,” said Jan Pannell, sales manager-meetings for the Tupelo CVB.
Also located in Tupelo, which is best known as the birthplace of Elvis Presley, is the Becoming statue overlook at the Elvis Presley Birthplace.
“After the sun has set, enjoy a private group event at the Birthplace with live music and great Southern food,” Pannell said. “This unique nighttime experience offers groups special access to the Birthplace after dark and makes for a memorable evening in the King’s hometown.”
The perfect way to end a day of meetings along the Mississippi Gulf Coast is to have a bonfire on the beach while watching the sun set over the Mississippi Sound.
Ameristar Casino Hotel, Vicksburg
“Public bonfires can be found across our 26 miles of beautiful white-sand beaches, and can be set up in advance, ready for your group to enjoy,” said Janice Jefferson, director of sales at Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast. “All you have to do is bring the s’mores ingredients!”
Mississippi CVB Information
Greenville and Washington County CVB
Visit Meridian Tourism
Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast
Visit Oxford MS