The good ol’ days may be long gone, but they don’t have to be forgotten. Mississippi is brimming with unique historic sites, so there are plenty of places where you can still catch a glimpse of the past. From entire towns to museums and eateries, here are 12 of our favorite places to experience the days long gone.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
One of the most historic cities in the state, Columbus boasts nearly 700 nationally significant properties! It also has one of the largest collections of antebellum homes in the state, coming in 2nd only to Natchez. To really take advantage of what the city has to offer, consider visiting during the spring pilgrimage, which has been dubbed "one of the best and most authentic home tours in the South."
2. Dunn’s Falls Water Park
This Meridian water park may be most known for its 65’ waterfall, but that’s not all it has to offer. Located at the top at the fall, you’ll find an authentic 1857 gristmill, which is open for tours. Step inside, and you’ll find a variety of historic tools and memorabilia. Visit Dunn’s Falls at 6890 Dunn’s Falls Rd. in Enterprise.
3. French Camp Historic District
A stop along the Natchez Trace Parkway, this historic village includes several buildings from the past, a museum, café, and inn, which means you can easily spend all day (and night) at this hidden gem. Visit French Camp Historic District at 55 Le Fleur Cir., French Camp.
4. Fulmer’s Farmstead
Stepping back in time is as simple as visiting this Richton gem, where you’ll find an authentic farm and quaint general store. Even better, the store includes a café and bakery, which offers home cooked meals and fresh baked goodies on a daily basis. Visit Fulmer’s Farmstead at 510 Wingate Rd. in Richton.
5. The Onward Store
Truly a unique experience, this store is filled with old photos and artifacts, relating to the history of the area. There’s also a variety of merchandise, which includes plenty of bear-themed items since the store is built at the site of Theodore Roosevelt’s famous bear hunt. (You know; the one that resulted in the creation of the Teddy Bear.) Visit the Onward Store 6693 Highway 61, Rolling Fork.
6. H. D. Gibbes & Sons
Return to the past with a visit to this quaint general store, which has been around since 1892! The remote shop also includes a restaurant that’s gained a reputation for its mouthwatering steaks. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore the store, which is filled with everyday items as well as some that are sure to give you a feeling of nostalgia. Visit Gibbes at 140 Main St., Learned.
7. Biloxi Lighthouse
This lighthouse dates back to 1848, but that’s not the only interesting thing about it. In fact, it’s actually unique in a couple of ways. In addition to being one of the earliest cast iron lighthouse built in the South, it has an uncommonly lengthy history of being maintained by females. Aside from its fascinating past, the lighthouse has something else to offer – a spectacular view of the Gulf Coast! Visit the Biloxi Lighthouse, which can be toured daily, at 1050 Beach Blvd. in Biloxi.
8. Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Museum
Don’t let the name of this museum fool you; it has a lot more to offer than information on agriculture’s role in the state. Among the variety of interesting sites and exhibits, you’ll find Small Town, Mississippi – a replica of a standard 1920’s town that includes everything from a schoolhouse to a blacksmith shop. Visit the museum at 1150 Lakeland Dr. in Jackson.
9. Biedenharn Coca Cola Museum
Head to this one-of-a-kind museum, where you’ll find all sorts of exhibits and a variety of memorabilia that tells the story of the classic drink and how it came to be bottled in Mississippi. There’s even a restored candy store, complete with furnishings and displays from the 1890s. Visit the museum at 1107 Washington St. in Vicksburg.
10. River Road Queen Welcome Center and Museum
Named one of the "10 most unique welcome centers in the U.S.," Washington County’s is housed in a replica steamboat that was originally built for the 1984 World’s Fair. Aside from its unique appearance, the Greenville landmark is worth a visit, as it’s filled with exhibits pertaining to the history of the Mississippi Delta. Visit this one-of-a-kind welcome center at Highway 82 and Reed Rd. in Greenville.
Established in the 1700s, Natchez is one historical town! And with over 1,000 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the charming river city is practically overflowing with interesting places from yesteryear. Among Natchez’s must-visit sites are dozens of antebellum homes, historic churches, museums, the city cemetery, and King’s Tavern - a restaurant housed in Natchez’s oldest building.
Stop by Weidmann’s – the state’s oldest restaurant - for a historic experience your taste buds will never forget. In business since the late 1800s, the renowned restaurant has it all – mouthwatering fare, a historic atmosphere, and one truly incredible past. Visit Weidmann’s at 210 22nd Ave. in Meridian.
So, have you ever visited any of these historic spots? Have another to add? Tell us in the comments section!