Hanging uptown in Fondren? Midtown eats near the fairgrounds? Downtown at the Mississippi Museum of Art? Service just about anyplace is great - super speedy and super friendly - the 'burb are more likely to have stinky service than trendy neighborhoods in the city.
I'm not sure why, but it's a local custom in Jackson to get horrible service nearly everywhere.
Go to a restaurant and you'll be lucky to get your order; actually, you'll be lucky to get anything. Go to a gas station and you might here the attendant utter a single word. Visit a Walmart and there is a decent chance that three functional illiterates are working in management.
What I'm trying to say is this: nine out of ten times, the customer service in Jackson is just horrible.
I'm talking 30 minute waits at Taco Bell and McDonalds. Be prepared.
There are a few areas of the city you may want to consider avoiding, or be aware of your surroundings. Amongst the major streets you should be aware of your surrounds are: Ellis Ave, Robinson Rd., Hwy 80, McDowell Rd., and Hanging Moss Rd. Use common sense in and around these areas, as these areas are not the worst places in Jackson, but you do have to consider your safety (more so at night time).
The major streets of Jackson you should consider avoiding all together are: Bailey Ave, Fortification St., Medgar Evers Blvd., Terry Road, and W. Northside Drive. These are the streets you?ll usually hear on the news at 10:00 PM where a crime occurred on these.
Generally speaking, west Jackson and south Jackson are historically the high crime areas of the city. Near the Thalia Mara Hall (255 E Pascagoula St) sometimes you?ll have a beggar or two that might pester you for money, but that?s about it. As always, use common sense. If it looks like a run down and poor part of the city, then you really shouldn?t be there.
Recently on the local news station (www.wlbt.com) it was reported that group participating in a cheerleading event at the Mississippi Coliseum stayed at the Red Roof Inn (at the corner of Vine and Larson - west side of I-55 at the High street exit) was robbed at gunpoint in their hotel rooms. Luckily, no one was hurt. Nonetheless, use the same common sense you would in any large city with a crime problem (i.e. lock your doors, don't advertise you have money, and don't make eye-contact with strangers).
Make sure that if you rent a car, or are using your own car, that you have uninsured motorist protection to protect yourself. Although auto liability insurance is required in Mississippi (and the minimum coverage requirements are a joke), the law isn't enforced until you are involved in an accident (which is usually too late to get insurance). Usually, the person who doesn't have insurance will not go to jail, unless they have a warrant for their arrest (or if they are driving on a suspended license). And good luck trying to sue the person who wrecked your car, as it will be next to impossible to get the person who damaged your car to pay to get it fixed (that’s if you didn’t need to go to the hospital, then you're really in trouble).
There are only about three months out of the year when mosquitos are not prolific in the South, and last summer one of the areas with the most reported cases of West Nile was Hinds county, where Jackson is located. Be sure to take every precaution against mosquito bites such as using insect repellent, wearing light-colored clothing, and staying indoors at dusk.