Simply defined as “delightfully charming or attractive,” the term “enchanting” is really open for interpretation. A specific look can evoke feelings of enchantment for some, while for others it may be a particular characteristic that does the trick. But no matter your rating system, I think you’ll agree that there is something so enchanting about these 11 lesser-known places in Mississippi.
1. Eckie’s Pond, Starkville
Located on the campus of Mississippi State University, this pond was designed by horticulture professor A.B. McKay in order to demonstrate the use of natural irrigation in farming. The pond was originally named “Echo,” which was a nickname given to McKay since he was hard of hearing. Over the years, the name has been shortened to “Eckie.”
2. Noxubee Wildlife Refuge, near Starkville
This wildlife refuge encompasses tens of thousands of acres, giving visitors access to fishing, hunting, hiking, wildlife photography and observation, and environmental education.
3. Ship Island, Biloxi
Located just miles from Biloxi’s coastline, this tropical gem is home to some of the state’s best beaches, which explains why it is a top destination for swimmers, snorkelers, and boogie boarders. The island also has some historical significance as it is the site of Fort Massachusetts, which is available for touring.
4. Melrose Plantation, Natchez
Melrose’s magnificent Greek Revival exterior is equally matched by a luxurious 15,000-square-foot interior, complete with period décor and mostly original furnishings. Today, visitors can tour the mansion as well as the stunning formal garden, landscaped park, and the exhibits housed in the old slave cabin.
5. Roosevelt State Park, Morton
Overlooking the Bienville National Forest, this state park is known for its picturesque setting. And in addition to great views, Roosevelt State Park has a lot to offer in the recreational department. Visitors can enjoy the park’s picnic pavilions, playgrounds, disc golf, softball field, swimming pool with waterslide, tennis courts, nature trails, and Shadow Lake, which is perfect for fishing, boating, and water skiing.
6. The McLeod House, Hattiesburg
Built in 1896, this historic home was the creation of a young businessman by the name of John McLeod. And apparently, the city of Hattiesburg owes McLeod, as the Camellias he had planted on the home’s front lawn are believed to be the first specimen of that kind in the Hattiesburg area. Today, the architectural masterpiece serves as the home of the Deakle-Couch Law Firm.
7. DeSoto National Forest (located between Hattiesburg and Gulfport)
If you’re looking for solitude, the 378,538 acres that make up this national forest should do the trick. The sprawling terrain includes two wilderness areas, Black Creek, which is the state’s only national scenic river, and hundreds of miles of trails for hikers, bikers, ATV riders, and horseback riders.
8. The Jackson Zoo, Jackson
Okay, a zoo may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of enchanting locales; however, this amazing photo proves otherwise. Centered in the middle of the zoo, this majestic old oak definitely surpasses “enchanting.”
9. Natchez City Cemetery, Natchez
Established in 1822, the Natchez City Cemetery spans approximately 100 acres and is the final resting place of numerous historic figures, builders of the city’s infamous antebellum homes, and everyday people. The charming cemetery is rich with history, and through tours, offers a unique glimpse into the River city’s colorful past.
10. The Chickasaw Village Site, Tupelo
Located along the Natchez Trace Parkway, this village site dates all the way back to the 1700s, and was home to a tribe of about 2,000. The National Park Service took control of the historic land in 1961, and has since added interpretive panels and concrete curbing, which outlines the site of a fort and other structures that were part of the original site.
11. Ferris Falls, Eastabuchie
The dreamlike waterfall just screams tropical paradise; however, it’s located right here in Mississippi just off of the Leaf River.
What are some other enchanting locales that can be found in the state? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.