Now that we’re halfway through the summer, it’s time to take a look at your bucket list. Have you had a chance to experience all the amazing places that Mississippi has to offer? If not, it’s not too late to get out there and visit these 10 destinations.
1. J.P. Coleman State Park
This gorgeous park features a 47,000-acre lake with a huge waterfall - perfect for cooling off during hot summer days. Enjoy boating, swimming, fishing, or just relaxing in this beautiful place. Located at 613 CR 321 in Iuka.
2. Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo
Hop on the Monster Bison Bus to get up close and personal with more than 300 bison and other animals including camels, zebra and giraffes. Don’t miss other exhibits such as the reptile exhibit, petting zoo, and Chickasaw Indian Village. 2272 Coley Rd, Tupelo.
3. Gulf Islands Natural Seashore
You might want to schedule an entire week for this stunning Mississippi destination. Explore the historic fort and the several barrier islands. The Davis Bayou Area is three miles from Ocean Springs at U.S. 90 and Park Road. Access West Ship Island from Gulfport's Jones Park 1022 23rd Avenue, Gulfport. The other islands are only accessible by private or charter boat.
4. Strawberry Plains Audubon Center
This 3,000-acre sanctuary offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, photography and bird watching. 285 Plains Rd, Holly Springs.
5. All American Rose Garden
There’s nothing like taking a stroll through 800 beautiful rose bushes. The scent alone will have you dizzy with summer sweetness! Don’t pick the roses, though - there’s a fine of up to $500! The All American Rose Garden is located on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi.
6. Mississippi Petrified Forest
Wander along the nature trail at Mississippi Petrified Forest to see many examples of petrified trees. Some are so close to the trail that you can touch them! Them museum offers many other examples of petrified wood from all over the country. 124 Forest Park Rd, Flora.
7. Dunn's Falls
The main feature of this picturesque place is the 65-foot man-made waterfall, but you’ll also want to check out the grist mill. Go fishing or swimming, float along in a canoe, and enjoy a picnic lunch. Meander along the nature trails, where you’ll have a good chance of seeing wildlife. 6890 Dunn’s Falls Road, Enterprise.
8. Tishomingo State Park
You definitely need to clear your calendar for an overnight stay at Tishomingo State Park. The park offers cabins, 62 RV campsites and 17 primitive sites, where you’ll be surrounded by the lush, green beauty of this park. Canoe on Bear Creek, take a hike or swim in the pool. 105 C.R. 90, Tisomingo.
9. Pep's Point Water Park
Cool off on the waterslides at Pep’s Point. There’s tons to do here: swim in the lake, paddleboard and canoe. When you’re ready to dry off and take a break indoors, you can play video games, pool or golf. 382 Peps Point Rd., Hattiesburg.
10. Tour the Biloxi Lighthouse
This 64-foot-tall lighthouse is a Mississippi icon. Take a guided tour, climbing the 35 steps to the top. The tour is just $5 for adults; $2 for children. Walk along the pier, enjoy the gulf views and learn a little about the history of this gorgeous lighthouse. 1050 Beach Blvd, Biloxi.