From a haunted island to a dinner fit for royalty, here are ten amazing Mississippi secrets you may not have known about.
1. The Cotton District, Starkville
The quaint area known as the Cotton District looks like something straight from a storybook, so much so that it’s one of the most photographed areas in Starkville. Designed with convenience in mind, the picturesque district includes housing, employment opportunities, shopping, and great restaurants.
2. Mint Springs Bayou Waterfall, Vicksburg
Definitely one of Mississippi’s best kept secrets, this remarkable treasure is hidden within the Vicksburg National Military Park. There are several stories associated with Mint Springs Bayou, which got its name because of the wild mint plants that grow in the area. One story claims that the Mint Julep drink was created by a boatman who was floating down this body of water; however, nothing has been confirmed.
*Please note, this waterfall is currently off limits as the terrain leading to it is unstable. Contact the
Vicksburg National Military Park
prior to visiting for an update on its status.
3. Deer Island, Biloxi
One of the closest islands to the coast of Mississippi, the sprawling 400 acres is home to ten different types of endangered species and one wandering spirit. Legend has it that the island is haunted by the ghost of a pirate who still roams the vicinity protecting his treasure.
4. Fillmore Street Chapel, Corinth
Completed in 1871, the Fillmore Street Chapel is one of Corinth’s oldest places of worship. Between the awe-inspiring steeples and beautiful arched windows, this historical landmark is bound to amaze.
5. Moonshine Submarine, Port Gibson
The remnants of a submarine that was once used by moonshine runners during prohibition are on display in the Grand Gulf Military Park. Powered by a Model T engine, the homemade creation was used to bootleg whiskey and rum from Davis Island to Vicksburg.
6. The Walter Place Estate and Gardens, Holly Springs
This extravagant estate was constructed in 1830 for railroad baron Harvey Washington Walter. During the Civil War, Walter Place served as a temporary residence for General Grant. The home's downfall came with the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878, which took the lives of Walter and his three sons. Walter Place was eventually purchased, restored, and put on the market….for $15 million. Once word of the hefty price tag got out, the infamous mansion was dubbed “the most expensive home in Mississippi.”
7. Johnnie’s Bar-B-Q Drive-In, Tupelo
Dining with Elvis may be out of the question but at Johnnie’s you can do the next best thing. The King used to visit this Tupelo restaurant and enjoy cheeseburgers in a booth that is now marked with a gold plaque that reads “The Elvis Booth.” After all these years, Johnnie’s is still open and still serving up some of the best burgers and barbecue around.
8. Rocky Springs, near Port Gibson
By 1860, Rocky Springs was a prosperous community with a population of over 2,500, but by 1940 there wasn’t a single resident left. Between the effects of the Civil War, two Yellow Fever outbreaks, and a boll weevil epidemic, Rocky Springs seemed somewhat doomed. Today, all that’s left of the once prosperous town is a church, cemetery, and remnants of an old post office safe and a cistern.
9. The Underground Café, Hernando
Tucked away in a basement, this is an easy one to miss but you’ll be glad you didn’t. Known for great service and made-from-scratch southern cuisine, it’s no surprise this restaurant has become one of Hernando’s most well-known establishments. If you decide to stop by, be sure to try the banana bread French toast as it comes highly recommended by Guy Fieri of “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” as well as local favorite shrimp and grits.
10. Ruins of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Glen Allan
The Windsor Ruins are most often associated with Mississippi, but the ruins of St John’s Episcopal Church are just as worthy of a visit. In fact, they are one of the most photographed historic sites in the state. The church was built in Glen Allan around 1830, making it one of the first churches in the Delta. During the Civil War, the church’s stained glass windows were removed and used to make ammunition, marking the beginning of its demise. St. John’s was further damaged when a tornado hit the area in 1907.
Did you know about these interesting locations in the state? Have a story about any of the places listed above? Tell us in the comments section below!