The weather may already be warming up, but we still have some time before the excruciating summer heat begins, which means it’s the perfect time for a picnic. Between state and city parks, the Natchez Trace Parkway, historic architecture, and natural wonders, the Magnolia State is practically overflowing with amazing picnic spots; here are 12 of them.
1. Rowan Oak (916 Old Taylor Rd, Oxford)
The former home of William Faulkner, Rowan Oak sits on 29 acres and includes a forested area known as Bailey’s Woods. The beautiful grounds are free to explore and make a lovely picnic spot.
2. Bluff Park (Broadway St, Natchez)
Take in views of the Mighty Mississippi and soak up some history while picnicking at this Natchez park. Located on the city’s famous bluff, the picturesque park overlooks the river and includes a picnic area, gazebo, and historic markers that provide information on the city’s past.
3. Cole’s Creek (milepost 17.5 on the Natchez Trace Parkway)
Located on the Natchez Trace Parkway halfway between Natchez and Port Gibson, this is by far one of the prettiest picnic areas along the famous trail. Shaded by dozens of towering trees and situated next to Cole’s Creek, it’s a great spot year-round.
4. River Bend (milepost 122.6 on the Natchez Trace Parkway)
Situated east of Canton and north of Jackson at milepost 122.6 on the Natchez Trace, River Bend is not only one of the most popular stops along the parkway, it’s also a great picnic spot. Named one of the top 30 picnic areas on the parkway, it features a large pavilion, which overlooks the river.
5. Rocky Springs (milepost 54.8 on the Natchez Trace Parkway)
Once a bustling community, Rocky Springs now features a picnic area as well as a 22-site campground, restroom facilities, a portion of the old Trace, and walking trails, which wind through the old town site and pass by the pristine spring, for which the area is named.
6. Roosevelt State Park (2149 Hwy 13 S, Morton)
Head to this state park, and in addition to 20 picnic sites with grills, you’ll find a 150-acre lake, nature trails, campsites, and cabins. And since the park borders Bienville National Forest, it’s the perfect place for some hiking.
7. Persimmon Hill Recreation Area (264 County Road 39, Enid)
Hidden in the forests of northeast Mississippi, this recreation area is situated along the banks of Enid Lake. Aside from being a great spot for waterfront picnicking, Persimmon Hill is the perfect place for some outdoor fun, including hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing. Extend your visit by taking advantage of one of the area’s 72 campsites.
8. Laurel Street Park (1841 Laurel St, Jackson)
This park is situated in Jackson’s Bellhaven neighborhood, which means there are plenty of restaurants nearby to grab some grub for your picnic. Not only conveniently located, the park is pet-friendly and has a quirky playground for the little ones along with porch swings for the adults.
9. Sculpture Garden at Delta State University (Highway 8 West, Cleveland)
Named the best picnic spot in Mississippi by the website Mental Floss, this sculpture garden features both permanent and temporary exhibits. Formally known as the Hazel and Jimmy Sanders Sculpture Garden, it sits outside the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the Delta State University Campus and is open year-round.
10. Riverfront Park (4100 Washington St, Vicksburg)
The perfect place for a waterfront picnic, this park is situated on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi and features several picnic tables and charcoal grills, which are available on a first come, first serve basis. There’s also a playground, walking trail, and pavilion, making it perfect for an entire day of fun.
11. Fairpark (71 Troy St, Tupelo)
Sprawling 50 acres, this picturesque park is located in downtown Tupelo. Aside from plenty of benches and shaded areas, it’s the easily accessible grub that makes it a great place for a picnic. Several local food trucks set up in the park throughout the week, with most beginning lunch service at 11 am.
12. Tishomingo State Park (105 CR 90, Tishomingo)
In addition to hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, and camping, Tishomingo State Park has been nationally recognized for its amazing picnic spots. After some outdoor fun, enjoy a bite to eat on the large rocks near Bear Creek or underneath the huge rock formations that fill the park. There are also plenty of picnic tables, which are available on a first come, first serve basis, as well as large pavilions with grills that can be rented by the day.