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5 Best Things to Do in Meridian, Mississippi

The first Mississippi Country Music Trail marker was placed in Meridian, Mississippi, because of its contributions to country music. Jimmie Rodgers, also known as “the father of country music” hailed from the cultural town. Ornate architecture and more modern additions such as family-friendly activities and enticing dining options have made this little southern town an ideal getaway for a vibrant and enriching weekend.

Visit Bonita Lakes Park Lakeside picnic table at Bonita Lakes Park
Credit: Lakeside picnic table at Bonita Lakes Park by Bonita Lakes Park

Visit Bonita Lakes Park

What Is It? Bonita Lakes Park is a free facility to the public and features a lovely paved pathway that has stunning views of the three lakes it surrounds. Those who visit will also find more wooded nature trails woven throughout the park. Being family-friendly, it is a wonderful place to spend the day while having a picnic, or just going for a quick jog.

Why Do It? Bonita Lakes Park displays some of the most beautiful terrains in all of Mississippi and is particularly stunning at sunset. Go during the fall, and witness Southern fall foliage which reflects off the water.

Good to Know: Locals love this park, particularly since it offers a variety of neutral activities such as fishing, kayaking, and horseback riding. You can also rent a pavilion, for a birthday party or family gathering.

See the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience
Credit: Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience by Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience

See the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience

What Is It? The Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience is an eye-catching accumulation of work from a diversity of artistic trades, with a hyper-focus on Mississippi artists in particular. Traveling exhibits also come through the museum, and you’ll likely recognize many names on the work of famous creators.

Why Do It? This isn’t your typical stuffy museum where you’re afraid to bring the kids. There are plenty of activities for kids to experience and overall, the establishment is quite interactive. Even if you’re just sitting down on one of the many provided spaces, you’ll be enjoying something visually interesting or beautiful.

Good To Know: Inside is a relatively extensive gift shop, with books, pottery, and shirts to take home. Other museums and places to eat are within walking distance of the experience.

Ride the Dentzel Antique Carousel at Highland Park Dentzel Carousel in MS
Credit: Dentzel Carousel in MS by Highland Park Dentzel Carousel

Ride the Dentzel Antique Carousel at Highland Park

What Is It? The Dentzel Antique Carousel at Highland Park was meticulously crafted in the late 1800s in Pennsylvania, then shortly after made its way to Meridian, Mississippi. Much history lies within each detailed character on the light-hearted, relaxing ride.

Why Do It? Riding the carousel not only gives your kids a glimpse of past traditions, but it also lets travelers and visitors experience a piece of Meridian, Mississippi, since it’s been here since 1909. All of the animals, chariots, and canvas oil paintings were restored, down to the unveiling of original paint.

Good To Know: The carousel can be rented out for a birthday party, with balloons, popcorn, and cotton candy included.

Play at the Mississippi Children’s Museum kids museum
Credit: kids museum by mschildrensmuseum.org

Play at the Mississippi Children’s Museum

What Is It? Kids will be learning at the Mississippi Children’s Museum, and they may never even know it! All of the interactive activities will engage young minds while introducing educational ideas in the fields of science, art, literacy, and so on.

Why Do It? Parents can watch their kid’s brilliant young minds unfold, as they navigate through a wide variation of fun activities. Kids can have interactive play sessions at the water table, become entangled in a story in the reading room, or get out excess energy on the climbing tower.

Good To Know: Certain days of the week might bring various events, like Wonder Wednesday, when kids can participate in a hands-on experiment.

Enjoy an Experience at Weidmann’s Slice of pie at Weidmann’s
Credit: Slice of pie at Weidmann’s by Weidmann’s

Enjoy an Experience at Weidmann’s

What Is It? With roots trailing all the way back to the 1800s, when the first Weidmann descendent migrated from Switzerland, this restaurant has maintained a constant presence through its generations. Cozy brick walls and dark detailed ceilings put off a coffee shop feel while oozing with stories of the past.

Why Do It? Southern comforts like fried green tomatoes, catfish, shrimp and grits, and gumbo only partially make up an extensive true Mississippi menu. Dessert offerings are indulgent, from praline cheesecake, to what has been touted as the best black bottom pie in the nation. Black bottom pie is a chocolatey creamy concoction with a heavenly whipped topping. One of the most unique features might be that they serve tiny little crocks of peanut butter, and saltines, instead of bread and butter. This started back during World War II when it was more difficult to obtain butter.

Good To Know: Weidmann’s has a balcony top bar that serves up superb bloody marys and mimosas. Brunch, lunch, and dinner menus are offered, along with a Treasure Chest menu for kids. Wiedemann’s is the oldest restaurant in Mississippi, and also features a display of famous folks who have visited.

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