From state parks to state landmarks, you’ll definitely want to check out these gorgeous Mississippi sites at least once.
1. The Petrified Forest, Flora
The petrified trees in this forest formed as a result of severe floods, which tore down everything in their paths – including large trees. Over the years, subsequent floods deposited sand and silt over these sunken giants, which were estimated to be about 1,000 years old at the time, and, in turn, the petrification process began, leaving behind amazing fossils that have been millions of years in the making.
2. The Natchez Trace, Natchez to Nashville, Tennessee
This 450-mile foot trail, known as the "Old Trace," was travelled by traders, missionaries, early settlers, and Indians for thousands of years. Today, visitors to the Natchez Trace can select from numerous trails and take a one-of-a-kind historical stroll filled with rocky outcroppings, steep ridges, the “sunken” section of the trace, cypress swamps, Indian villages, and out of this world views.
3. Tishomingo State Park, Tishomingo
One of the most popular parks in the state, Tishomingo offers visitors the chance to ride rapids, climb mountains, immerse themselves in Native American history, and experience scenery like nowhere else in the state.
4. Clark Creek Nature Area, Woodville
Located in southwestern Mississippi, the Clark Creek Natue Area encompasses more than 700 acres. From the mixed hardwood and pine forest to the 50 waterfalls that fill the area, it’s easy to see why Clark Creek Natural area is referred to as one of the state’s “most beautiful outdoor treasures.”
5. Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, and Winston Counties
This refuge spans three counties, is home to a variety of species, and includes two major lakes as well as thousands of acres of forest lands. Offering epic photography opportunities, one-of-a-kind encounters with wildlife, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the state, it’s easy to see why the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge attracts over 150,000 visitors each year.
6. 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!
7. Red Bluff, Foxworth
Created by the natural erosion of the Pearl River, this geologic formation has come to be known as “Mississippi’s Little Grand Canyon.” Red Bluff is approximately 400 feet above sea level and consists of exposed red clay, soil, sand, and other sediments.
8. St. Mary’s Chapel, Natchez
This Gothic-revival chapel, which dates back to 1839, was once part of the Laurel Hill plantation. Although services have been ceased for many years, its enchanting atmosphere has caught the attention of many brides, transforming it into a popular wedding venue.
9. Windsor Ruins, Port Gibson
Set in the middle of a 2,600-acre plantation, the Windsor mansion included luxe features such as cast iron Corinthian column capitals, 25 fireplaces, which came out to one for each room, a fourth floor ballroom, rooftop observatory, and indoor plumbing. In 1890, Windsor was destroyed by a fire, which was reportedly caused by a guest that dropped a lit cigarette. Today, all that is left is 23 of the 29 columns, cast iron stairs (which have been relocated), and a few pieces of cast iron balustrade.
10. Ross Barnett Reservoir, Ridgeland
The 105 mile shoreline of the Ross Barnett Reservoir provides exceptional views, especially since it’s bounded on the north by the Natchez Trace. Attracting thousands of visitors annually, the 33,000-acre body of water and surrounding area are ideal for an array of outdoor activities, including boating, sailing, water sports, camping, fishing, picnicking, and bird watching.
11. Beaches along the Gulf Coast
At 26 miles long and 200’ wide, the beach along the Mississippi Gulf Coast is actually the largest man-made beach in the entire world. The white sandy beaches and beautiful water are perfect for everything from soaking up the sun to parasailing, which provides a one-of-a-kind view of the gorgeous surroundings.
12. Longwood, Natchez
Construction on this Oriental Revival-style home began in the late-1850s. In September of 1861, the workmen at Longwood learned about the start of the Civil War and laid down their tools where they were standing, never to return. The homeowner’s slaves continued to work on the home until 1862 and were able to complete only the basement. The rest of the home remains unfinished to this day, making it one of the state’s most intriguing buildings.
13. Natchez-Vidalia Bridge
Running along the borders of ten states, the Mississippi River is one of the most well-known bodies of water in the United States, and by now, the two parallel bridges that span the Mighty Mississippi are definitely one of the most recognizable sites in the state, which just so happens to offer some of the best views around.
Mississippi is filled with so many amazing sites, this list could easily continue. What would you add?