Girls Getaway - Visit Meridian

Girls Getaway

Girls Getaway

Historic Houses

Merrehope and the F. W. Williams House stand side by side as examples of gracious living during Meridian’s formative years. Merrehope began as a Greek Revival cottage in 1858. It was one of the few structures that survived the 1864 burning of the city by Union General William Sherman. Later owners remodeled it into a high-ceilinged, white-columned Italianate mansion.

Members of the Federated Women’s Clubs of Meridian, seeking a meeting venue, saved Merrehope from destruction in the 1960s. In 1979, they moved the Williams House next door. Insurance agent Frank Williams built it for his bride in 1886. The impressive Queen Anne Victorian structure was the state’s first private home with an elevator. It still feels much more modest than the aristocratic Merrehope, illustrating the difference between the merely prosperous and the wealthy.

Williams himself rests nearby in Rose Hill Cemetery, along with at least two of Merrehope’s former owners and many others who shaped Meridian. Gravestones date back to 1853. Gypsy queen Kelly Mitchell, buried here in 1915, still draws frequent visitors who leave coins, beads, wine bottles, and other trinkets.

Escape to a City That’s on the Rise

Meridian’s the Place to Meet
Why get together with the girls in Meridian? Well, for one thing, it’s conveniently located right in the middle of everything, with easy access by highway, air, and even rail. It’s also a compact city that’s a breeze to navigate, especially if you leave the transportation to a local Uber driver.

You can find a lot of fun here, and great food. Also — fair warning — there’s a lot of cool stuff that you’ll really, really want to buy.

Downtown amounts to a museum of 20th-century architectural styles. Many historic buildings remain from Meridian’s 1890–1930 “golden age,” when it was Mississippi’s largest city. The 2006 opening of the MSU Riley Center and its gorgeously restored Victorian theater sparked a downtown renaissance that has spread all over town. So the city itself provides a setting that’s both vintage and vibrant.

The charming Meridian Museum of Art occupies a former Carnegie Library that opened in 1913. Art lovers should also visit the Miller Art Gallery at Meridian Community College. And everyone will want to check out the new and amazing Mississippi’s Arts + Entertainment Experience (The MAX), which celebrates the state’s cultural contributions to the world.

Enjoying the shops, restaurants, and other attractions will make you want to get everyone back together in Meridian to do it all again. These days, Meridian is always coming up with something new.

Grown or Made by Hand
Explore (and buy) things brought to you by hand at two recurring celebrations in downtown Meridian.

On the first Saturday of each month from April through November, Earth’s Bounty, the “local, fresher, better” outdoor market at Singing Brakeman Park, offers produce and other products straight from local farms. You’ll find honey, homemade jams and jellies, beverages, sweet treats, flowers, and such handcrafted items as goat’s milk soap.

A few steps away at Union Station, you can chat with local artists and check out their creations at Meridian Art Walk. Both events run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Fun Ways to Work Out

Avoid guilt on your getaway and give yourself a refreshing dose of Mother Nature at the same time: Hit the trails at Bonita Lakes Park. A full loop totals just about five miles, and exercise stations are scattered throughout. Or take a bicycle ride on the paved path around the lower lake. The MAX offers a variety of classes from hula to hip hop and several other options. Several fitness chain affiliates welcome members and offer day passes to visiting guests, among them Fitness Depot, Planet Fitness, and Club4Fitness. Call for details and the possibility of joining spin, Zumba, and other popular classes.

Elegance Ballroom Dance and Fitness Studio in downtown Meridian present a variety of dance classes covering everything from ballroom to hip-hop. Try swing dancing, the tango, the cha-cha, even belly dancing, plus barre exercises, yoga, Pilates, and tai chi. Beginner or expert, you’ll fit right in. Again, call to check schedules and the availability of private sessions.

Fabulous Finds
Crooked Letter purveys all things Mississippi-related, from food and cookbooks to jewelry and art to soaps and fragrances. It’s just one of the many new shops featuring unique items that are opening in Meridian. The gift shop located in The MAX is another browse-worthy example, and it’s right across the street.

Say Aaah at Spas
Find spa treatments and facials at Pampered Bodies Day Spa & Salon and Skin Care Clinic. For mindfulness meditation, massage, yoga, and more, contact A Point of Spendor.

Let’s Do Brunch
News Restaurant serves a Saturday French brunch featuring beignets. Weidmann’s Restaurant offers a Sunday jazz brunch with seating available on the balcony.

Let’s Do Lunch
For a light lunch (sandwiches, soups, salads — and desserts, of course), think Cater’s Market (which also has a gourmet food section) or The Daily Grind.  Thai choices include Aie’s Taste of Thai (where you can specify the degree of spiciness; be careful) and Ta Krai Thai Cuisine. Meridian also presents lots of good non-chain, local options for Asian and Mexican food (and margaritas!).

The Dish on Dinner
Thinking about a nice dinner, maybe on the fancy side? Weidmann’s Restaurant (traditional with wonderful seafood) and Harvest Grill (more contemporary with lots of seasonal ingredients) are great choices, especially if you’re taking in a show at the nearby MSU Riley Center or the Temple Theatre for the Performing Arts. And Amore Italian Ristorante serves Italian fare in an elegantly restored Victorian house.

We Like the Nightlife
OK, it’s the end of the day. Time to unwind and let loose. The Balcony Bar at Weidmann’s or Aie's Taste of Thai will do nicely. Both feature live music on select nights. At News Restaurant, a longtime favorite for home-style cooking, the Sports Page bar also has live music. Cafe 35 serves soul food with occasional live music and other nighttime events.

What’s New in Shopping? Lots!
Exciting new shops are continually joining old favorites to help historic downtown Meridian challenge the booming retail hub of north Meridian. In both areas, locally owned boutiques offer uniquely selected merchandise: clothes (for women, men, and children), shoes, art, handmade crafts, jewelry, and more. You’ll also want to wander the two big shopping centers: Uptown Meridian Mall and Meridian Crossroads, both in southeast Meridian.

Downtown, visit an old friend (The Liberty Shop, established 1975) and a recently relocated one (Belle G, moved downtown in 2021 after many years in North Meridian) for chic girls’ and women’s fashions. In north Meridian, The Atrium Mini Mall amounts to a collection of several dozen pocket boutiques. Some feature antiques, some clothing, some art, some gifts and housewares, some furniture — all nicely displayed. Click here for more antiquing opportunities. For estate sales, which take place just about every weekend, check

1-Day Stay

Browse boutiques and specialty shops in our charming downtown area. It’s evolving rapidly as trendy new retailers join classic favorites. Head to north Meridian for a quick lunch at Cater’s Market before visiting The Atrium. The vendor mall’s 40-plus booths feature everything from jewelry to clothes to art. Take a break at a coffee shop, then explore the area’s many cute boutiques, salons, jewelry stores, and consignment shops. End your day at Weidmann's with delicious food downstairs, drinks at the full bar upstairs, and live entertainment on select nights.

Make it a Weekend

See why everybody’s talking about The MAX, an exciting new way to connect with Mississippi’s creative legends. Across the street, shop Crooked Letter for Mississippi-made products. Lunch Italian style at Mia's Caffe, a new downtown restaurant, before visiting the stunning Merrehope, a Greek Revival showplace. End the day at Sake Sushi, where showman chefs entertain as they cook at your table.

Gallop into day two with a downtown walking tour of 15 painted carousel horses in the Around Town Carousels Abound public art project (which has 60-plus horses total). Enjoy a decadent meal and live music at Weidmann’s Sunday Jazz Brunch. Then head out in search of the amazing finds waiting at the Meridian area’s many antiques, vendors, and flea markets.