Guy's Trip - Visit Meridian

Guy's Trip

Guy's Trip

Unwind Outdoors

As a welcoming sign says, you can “splash, grill, play, or chill” at Okatibbee Lake. The fishing is excellent for largemouth bass, bream, crappie, and catfish. You can also opt for boating, waterskiing, and swimming. Lodging options include tent camping, RV camping, and lakeside cabins. Hunters go after squirrels, white-tailed deer, waterfowl, and turkeys — but not the bald eagles or alligators, except with cameras.

Hit the trails at Bonita Lakes Park. The full loop is five miles of wooded paths with exercise stations scattered along the way. Walk, run, or ride; mountain bikes and horses are welcome. For fun on the water, bring your kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. Or just chill at one of the many nooks overlooking the lake, where you will find picnic tables, park swings, grills, and gazebos.

You can sharpen your shooting skills outdoors at Binachi Shooting Sports (sporting clays, skeet shooting, and archery) or indoors at The Range at 601 Sports.

We have great places to eat and other vacation options that men love.

Burgers, BBQ, and Beer: Need We Say More?
Surveys show that men’s biggest vacation spending priorities are food and drink. No surprise, right? For guys, News Restaurant is the real deal. It serves up a good burger, cold beer, and the kind of live music that makes you feel right at home. It has been around forever (or at least since 1935), so it has the comfortable vibe of a great neighborhood hangout.

Other notable burger joints are Mr. Rodgers Hamburgers (also great for home-style breakfast), Brickhaus Brewtique (craft beers), and Mugshots Grill & Bar. at Mugshots, try the signature burgers or build your own. Inside or on the covered patio, the beer is cold, the music is good, and TVs abound.

Squealer’s Hickory Smoked Bar-B-Que serves its pulled pork and other meats with sauce on the side to show off the smoke-kissed flavor. Enjoy the craft beer selections, and get there early on Thursday evenings when live music always draws a crowd. The Rib Shack is an inconspicuous little place with some of the best barbecue you’ve ever had. Or get a slab of ribs at Pappy’s BBQ, located inside a Shell station on Highway 39. (Hey, don’t knock gas station food.) Their pulled pork is also excellent.

A Little Something Extra 
Before a show at the MSU Riley Center or the Temple Theatre, make dinner reservations at Weidmann’s Restaurant or Harvest Grill, both located downtown within five blocks of either venue.

Mississippi’s oldest restaurant, Weidmann’s specializes in fresh Gulf seafood with a Southern accent and New Orleans flair. You can also order a nice steak. Remember to save room for a slice of Weidmann’s World Famous Black Bottom Pie. Then head up to The Balcony Bar for a cocktail.

Amore Italian Ristorante, in a grandly renovated, century-old house, focuses on authentic Italian cuisine. The Rustler, a dressy, date-night establishment, also caters to red meat connoisseurs.


Calling All Motorheads
If you’re a biker, or just want to dress like one, you have to visit Chunky River Harley-Davidson. This enormous shop carries a huge inventory of new and impeccable used Harleys, plus lots of branded clothing and other gear. Check the website’s calendar for special rides and events:

Ride your own dirt bike or all-terrain vehicle through trails and dirt pits at Meridian OHV Park. Want some bigger motorsports action? Watch drag races at Battlefield Dragstrip and dirt track racing, including frequent special events, at Whynot Motorsports Park.

From Soul Food to Seafood and Beyond
Whether you call it soul food, down-home cooking, or just Southern food, you can find it 24 hours a day at Magnolia Restaurant in the Queen City Truck Stop. You can also get a comfort-food fix with blue plate specials from Binke’s Restaurant and Cafe 35. If you're looking for spice, try Aie’s Taste of Thai (where you can specify the degree of spiciness; be careful) and Ta Krai Thai Cuisine.

Bring the Kids or Be a Kid
The new Mississippi’s Arts + Entertainment Experience, known as The MAX, showcases the state’s arts and entertainment legacy through participatory exhibits. You can spend hours playing with all of the hands-on displays. Um, to demonstrate to your kids, of course.

Where the Steaks Are High
Harvest Grill’s menu of multicultural cuisine changes with the seasons. The chef/owner uses fresh, local ingredients in creative ways that delight both foodies and meat-and-potatoes types. Daily specials, interesting beer, and carefully crafted cocktails make meals even more fun.

Try the Local Beer
Sample the local craft beers from Threefoot Brewing and Old Kudzu Brewing. Each produces several intriguing varieties. Some come in bottles or cans. So you can take your favorites home and share a taste of Meridian with friends. Others flow only from taps at beer-loving area restaurants and pubs.

Do You Golf with Clubs or Discs?
Golfers can play 18 holes among the beautiful pines at Briarwood Golf Club (with rental carts and clubs available) and, as a guest of a member, at the private Northwood Country Club. Disc golfers can play at Highland Park and Camp Binachi.

1-Day Stay

Watch an industrial-age factory whir to life at the Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum at Soulé Steam Feed Works. A belt-driven machine shop and a 1930s office take you back to a simpler, brawnier time. Then walk past the 1906 vintage Union Station to The MAX, an interactive way to get the inside story on all kinds of famous (and should-be-famous) artists. Finally, stroll across the street and relax with a late lunch at Brickhaus Brewtique. Enjoy a two-fisted burger and one of the dozens of craft beers on tap.

Fish Camps Fry Up Good Food
Three rural fish camp restaurants near Meridian serve fried-fish dinners Fridays and Saturdays, sometimes Thursdays, sometimes Sundays. Call to ask when they’re open and whether they accept credit cards.

Have an Eventful Visit
Here are a few annual events that guys might especially appreciate:

Make it a weekend

For breakfast whenever you want, 24 hours a day, stop by the Magnolia Restaurant at the Queen City Truck Stop. Head down the interstate to Chunky River Harley-Davidson to check out new and used bikes. Break for lunch at Aie's Taste of Thai before heading across the street to The MAX. Later, heed the siren call of craft beer a few steps away at Brickhaus Brewtique.

On day two, enjoy a round of golf at one of our beautiful 18-hole courses. If water is your thing, head to Okatibbee Lake for a sunset cruise — don’t forget your rod and reel. 

A full day deserves a full belly. So cap off your weekend with a great dinner at Weidmann’s or Harvest Grill.