2010: Beyond Jackson | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

2010: Beyond Jackson

<b>Best Casino for Gaming and Best Casino for Restaurants</b>

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The chiming of slot machines welcomed me with their happy mantra: "Win money. Win money." No, I wasn't in Las Vegas, but at the Ameri star Casino Hotel in Vicksburg. Winner of Best Casino for Gaming and Best Casino for Restaurants, Ameristar houses a variety of fun. I was impressed with the number of tables for gaming and the vast array of affordable slots. (I opted for the penny slots myself.) Without leaving the casino, you can have a "N'Awlins" pizza at Bella's Cafe and Bakery, then head to Bourbons for sweet-potato cheesecake. To round out the evening, mosey on over to the Bottleneck Blues Bar for a beer and some live music. The restaurants offer everything from barbecue to Chinese food at extremely reasonable prices. Opting for pizza was a great choice, but next time, I'll have to try the chocolate fountain at the Heritage Buffet. Located only 40 minutes from Jackson, you won't even have to deal with airport security to get there.
— Eileen Eady

Best Casino for Gaming
Second: Pearl River Resorts (13541 Highway 16 W., Choctaw, 866-447-3275) / Third: Beau Rivage Hotel Casino (875 Beach Blvd., Biloxi, 228-386-7111) / Good Showing: Hard Rock Hotel Casino (777 Beach Blvd., Biloxi, 228-374-7625); Riverwalk Casino Hotel (1046 Warrenton Road, Vicksburg, 601-634-0100)

Best Casino for Restaurants
Second: Beau Rivage Hotel Casino (875 Beach Blvd., Biloxi, 228-386-7111) / Third: Pearl River Resorts (13541 Highway 16 W., Choctaw, 866-447-3275) / Good Showing: Hard Rock Hotel Casino (777 Beach Blvd., Biloxi, 228-374-7625)

Best Place to Fish
Ross Barnett Reservoir
115 Madison Landing Circle, Ridgeland, 601-992-9703

If you're hearing shuffling in the darkened house at 4:30 in the morning, it's probably a man gathering supplies for an excursion. The rod, reel, bait and cooler are all packed into the truck; a neighborhood dog barks at the early morning intrusion as the truck starts up and heads out for a day of fishing. Where is he headed? Jacksonians say it's most likely the Ross Barnett Reservoir, voted the best place to catch a bite. No surprise, the 33,000-acre lake is filled with a multitude of fish. The public boat launch at Brown's Landing makes it easy for avid fisherpersons to put in and head out.
—Eileen Eady

Second: The Gulf Coast / Third: Eagle Lake (Vicksburg) / Good Showing: Pearl River; Calling Panther Lake (Crystal Springs)

Best College Town
Oxford

The hometown of the University of Mississippi, Oxford affords a majestic, southern atmosphere that provides more than just your typical college experience. Entertainment melds with Mississippi tradition downtown, where students can find a serious music scene at annual festivals, like the Double Decker Arts Festival, and lively nightlife in bars imbued with noteworthy architecture from bygone eras. If you're looking for something more historically significant than juke joints, perhaps, Oxford has that, too. The Square houses a plethora of local shops, like J. E. Neilson Co. (opened in 1839) and excellent restaurants including Ajax Diner and City Grocery. In the town Will Faulkner adopted as his own, students can find both a rowdy good time and pastoral relaxation.
—Byron Wilkes

Second: Starkville / Third: Hattiesburg / Good showing: Clinton; Jackson

Best Casino Hotel and Best Casino for Shows
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
875 Beach Blvd., Biloxi, 228-386-7111

Wrap yourself in a warm, moisturizing body cocoon at the spa, and then retreat to your luxurious 1,200-square-foot suite overlooking Biloxi's historic downtown area for a soothing ocean view. Later, head to the Beau Rivage Theatre to catch a national headliner such as Tony Bennett, LeAnn Rimes or Montgomery Gentry. With amenities and attractions like these, it's no wonder that Beau Rivage took first place for Best Casino Hotel and Best Casino for Shows. If the musical acts or headliners are not your style, you can coast into the nightclub for some dancing. Beau Rivage offers a consummate experience in luxury and entertainment. Check out their online specials at http://www.beaurivage.com.
—Eileen Eady

Best Casino for Shows
Second: Ameristar Hotel Casino (4116 Washington St., Vicksburg, 601-638-1000) / Third: Hard Rock Hotel Casino (777 Beach Blvd., Biloxi, 228-374-7625) / Good Showing: Pearl River Resorts (13541 Highway 16 W., Choctaw, 866-447-3275)

Best Casino Hotel
Second: Ameristar Hotel Casino (4116 Washington St., Vicksburg, 601-638-1000) / Third: Hard Rock Hotel Casino (777 Beach Blvd., Biloxi, 228-374-7625) / Good Showing: Pearl River Resorts (13541 Highway 16 W., Choctaw, 866-447-3275)

Best Day Trip
New Orleans

Due south from Jackson lies the 2010 Best Day Trip, a city of intrigue and Mecca of wanderlust: awe-inspiring New Orleans. Only three hours from Jackson, N'Awlins' myriad secrets give you plenty to discover before the sun goes down, but if you're feeling brave, schedule a nighttime graveyard tour to learn about the city's former residents and the places they called home. Want something a little less macabre? Venture to the infamous French Quarter for indulgent, but thoroughly entertaining nightlife and live music, or the slightly hipper Faubourg Marigny next door, or the even edgier and arty Bywater neighborhood farther over. I recommend a trip to the pirate Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Bar, where they keep the lights low to hide patrons' faces. Hundreds of specialty shops, local restaurants and sightseeing "musts" fill the city, making it an ideal one-day destination.
—Byron Wilkes

Second: Natchez / Third: Gulf Coast / Good showing: Vicksburg; Oxford

Best Reason to Visit the Coast
The Beaches

Whether it's to hit the beaches or the casinos, to volunteer your time in rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina, or to spend money at the outlet malls and other fine shops, the Gulf Coast gives you plenty of reasons to grab your travel bag. Personally, I agree with those who voted for the beaches. There's nothing like sand squishing between my toes and the smell of salt in the air as I take in the view of the water and listen to seagulls claim their prizes. Jacksonians say that the second best reason to visit the Coast is the casinos, and some even named their favorites. Of course, one should always take the opportunity to dine on fresh seafood during a visit to the Coast.
—Eileen Eady

Second: Casinos / Third: Seafood / Good Showing: Help rebuild/Volunteer; Outlets/Shopping; Hard Rock Hotel Casino (777 Beach Blvd., Biloxi, 228-374-7625); Beau Rivage Resort & Casino (875 Beach Blvd., Biloxi, 228-386-7111)

Previous Comments

ID
155725
Comment

How can I get my hands on the complete list of all the "best" winners?

Author
Duann Kier Sywanyk
Date
2010-02-03T12:00:37-06:00
ID
155728
Comment

The flip-book of the entire issue is here. Links to all the sections are here. All past Best of Jackson contest winners are linked to this Jackpedia page.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-02-03T14:18:46-06:00
ID
155745
Comment

Superlative thanx! I just downloaded and printed it out for myself. . . .

Author
Duann Kier Sywanyk
Date
2010-02-03T19:13:07-06:00

Thanks to all our new JFP VIPs!

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