A marvel is defined as “a wonderful or astonishing person or thing.” Full of wonders, both man-made and natural, Mississippi is teeming with sites that definitely qualify as
marvels. From impressive works of architecture to some of Mother Nature’s best creations, these 15 awe-inspiring sites in Mississippi must be seen to be believed.
1. Prospect Hill Plantation, Lorman
At first glance, Prospect Hill may not look like much but once you learn its history, you’ll quickly change your mind. The plantation belonged to Captain Isaac Ross, who upon his death freed his slaves. After years of trials and tribulations, a group of 300 of Ross’ slaves were transported to Africa, where they eventually founded Liberia.
2. Windsor Ruins, Port Gibson
Considered the “most imposing ruins in the United States,” the Windsor Ruins are by far one of the state’s most notable sites. At one time, the Windsor Mansion was the epitome of opulence and included luxuries, such as indoor plumbing and a rooftop observatory. Sadly, Windsor was destroyed by a fire in 1890. Today, all that remains is 23 of the home’s original 29 columns, cast iron stairs (which have been relocated), and a few pieces of cast iron balustrade.
3. Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, Holly Springs
The nearly 3,000 acres that make up this nature sanctuary are filled with restored hardwood forest, providing the perfect environment for bird watching, wildlife viewing, and hiking.
4. Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway
Constructed with trade in mind, this waterway connects the Tennessee and Tombigbee Rivers. After 12 years, nearly $2 billion, and more digging than what was required for the Panama Canal, the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway was completed in December of 1984.
5. Blackland Prairie Trail, Tupelo
The Blackland Prairie Trail is part of the Natchez Trace Parkway and is located just north of Tupelo. Open year-round, the trail traverses a river and beautiful fields of prairie flowers and offers access to interesting sites, such as the Chickasaw Village.
6. Sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico
The 62-mile shoreline that makes up Mississippi’s Gulf Coast is perfect for both recreation and amazing vistas, especially at sunset.
7. The University of Southern Mississippi Rose Garden, Hattiesburg
Attracting visitors from all over the country, the University of Southern Mississippi’s rose garden is made up of 800 bushes filled with the vibrantly-colored flower.
8. Chapel of Memories, Starkville
This stunning chapel is located on Mississippi State University’s campus, and was actually constructed from bricks salvaged after the Old Main Dormitory burned down in 1959.
9. 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.”
10. St. Mary Basilica, Natchez
Built in 1842, St. Mary Basilica is the oldest Catholic building still in use in Mississippi. Now a Natchez landmark, the church is a perfect example of Gothic-revival architecture. The interior has been restored and is “stunning in its artistry and color.” St. Mary Basilica is open daily for touring.
11. Sardis Lake, Lafayette, Panola, and Marshall Counties
Sardis Lake is located within a 98,000-acre recreation area, which is perfect for everything from picnicking to hunting, making it easy to see why thousands of visitors flock to the lake each year.
12. Homochitto National Forest, Franklin County
One of six national forests in the state, Homochitto spans almost 200,000 acres, is rich in wildlife, and boasts a ton of recreational opportunities, including hiking and fishing.
13. Noxubee Wildlife Refuge, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, and Winston Counties
Located just south of Starkville, this refuge was created in 1940. Hardwood and pine forests, lakes, ponds, and an array of wildlife fill the 42,500 acres that make up this ultimate outdoor recreation area.
14. 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.
15. Petrified Forest, Flora
The only one of its kind in this part of the country, Flora’s Petrified Forest has been millions of years in the making, and offers visitors the chance to get close up views of ancient trees that have been transformed into stone giants. Exploring this natural wonder is a breeze thanks to a self-guided nature trail, which includes many points of interest and informative markers.
Wow! Mississippi is home to some pretty amazing sites. Have you visited any of the places listed above?