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Day Trips from Vicksburg, Mississippi

Day Trips from Vicksburg, Mississippi


By avatar  Stacy
Posted On 06/20/2019 16:50:20
Trip Date 04/13/2019  

Destinations | Mississippi | Vicksburg | Jackson | Flora | Lorman | Mississippi Petrified Forest | Windsor Ruins | Famous Restaurants near Vicksburg



Since our style is to pack in as much sightseeing as possible when traveling, we used every bit of our time during our stay in Vicksburg, Mississippi. We drove both north to Jackson and Flora as well as south to Lorman to explore the surrounding areas. We even had the opportunity to get a "taste" at some of the famous restaurants near Vicksburg.

If you can squeeze in some additional time while visiting Vicksburg, there's definitely more to see in the nearby cities. Take a look at this post for an overview of easy day trips that include both dining and sightseeing. Pick and choose from destinations including the Mississippi Petrified Forest and the Windsor Ruins, or experience all five places just like we did. The choice is yours ... depending on your available time, and your interests of course!



Mississippi Petrified Forest

The only Petrified Forest in the eastern United States is located in Flora, Mississippi about 50 minutes north of Vicksburg. The Mississippi Petrified Forest is open daily except for major holidays. Both the nature trail and museum are included in the $7.00 per adult admission fee ($6.00 for seniors and students in grades 1 - 12).


Entrance to Mississippi Petrified Forest

Entrance to Mississippi Petrified Forest

Mississippi Petrified Forest's National Landmark Plaque

Mississippi Petrified Forest's National Landmark Plaque

Entrance to the 36 million year old forest is through the gift shop where you can browse the petrified wood and other items available for sale. You'll also have a second opportunity to make purchases as your self-guided tour will end in the gift shop as well.

The approximately six block long winding Nature Trail is partially paved and relatively easy to maneuver on foot. Walking the entire trail while reading the Trail Guide as we approached each numbered point of interest (and taking photos) took us about 35 minutes. We encountered some rain along the way, however the canopy did provide some protection so we didn't really rush in order to avoid a possible downpour.



It is believed that the petrified logs which lie within the forest today were once trees that lived millions of years ago. Experts estimate that some of the trees were over 1,000 years old and 100 feet or more in height. Multiple floods in the earth's early ages left the trees buried under numerous layers of sand and silt causing decay and petrification. As time marched on, new growth eventually covered the forest. Once the layers finally began eroding as wind and rain washed them away, the logs were uncovered one by one leaving us with today's Petrified Forest.


Petrified Logs originally part of a Single Tree

Petrified Logs originally part of a Single Tree

Petrified Log estimated to Weigh 14,940 Pounds

Petrified Log estimated to Weigh 14,940 Pounds

Caveman's Bench, the most Photographed Log in the Forest

Caveman's Bench, the most Photographed Log in the Forest

Hollow Petrified Logs originally part of a Single Tree

Hollow Petrified Logs originally part of a Single Tree

Hollows used as "Dens" by Smaller Wildlife

Hollows used as "Dens" by Smaller Wildlife

Bark-like Appearance caused by Rain and Wind

Bark-like Appearance caused by Rain and Wind

Yesterday a 100 Foot Tall Tree and Today a Petrified Log

Yesterday a 100 Foot Tall Tree and Today a Petrified Log

The trail ends at the entrance to the Earth Science Museum. Although the museum is relatively small, it is packed with an interesting collection of fossils, minerals and petrified wood from all around the world.


Earth Science Museum at Mississippi Petrified Forest

Earth Science Museum at Mississippi Petrified Forest

Mississippi River Basin Model

I wouldn't recommend heading north from Vicksburg for the sole purpose of seeing the Mississippi River Basin Model. If, however, you happen to be near the cities of Clinton or Jackson with a little spare time, you might find a visit to the model in Buddy Butts Park quite interesting.



Beginning in 1943, the US Army Corps of Engineers used a combination of soldiers and prisoners to build the model. Covering a 200 acre area, the Waterways Experiment Station was completed in 1966. Just seven years later, computer simulations were already beginning to replace modeling designed to understand river flooding. Although it was abandoned going on 50 years ago, the landmark is a piece of pre-computer era history.

The model today is open to the public, however I feel certain that it looks nothing like it did when it was in use. While some signage can be found, the model is rather hidden by the overgrown woods in the park. Many of the cracks and crevices within the model have weeds poking through. We really had to watch our steps in order to avoid the holes throughout, the screws protruding through the model and the deserted building materials piled on top.


Mississippi River Basin Model

Mississippi River Basin Model

Located around the 6600 block of McRaven Road in Clinton, Mississippi, Buddy Butts Park has also probably seen some better days. While the park appears to be the home for outdoor sports including hiking, soccer and disc golf, there are also several dilapidated structures and some roads in need of repair.



Brent's Drugs

Open seven days a week (with limited Sunday hours), Brent's Drugs serves breakfast, lunch and dinner at 655 Duling Avenue in Jackson, just under an hour north of Vicksburg. Breakfast entrees include eggs, pancakes, sandwiches, tacos and yogurt. In addition to a small kid's menu, soups, salads, burgers and other sandwiches are offered for lunch and dinner.


Brent's Drugs

Brent's Drugs

Pharmacist Alvin Brent opened Brent's Drugs in late 1946. Originally a pharmacy and soda fountain, both "businesses" were popular from the start. After being sold to pharmacists in 1977 and again in 1995, the pharmaceutical operation was finally sold off in 2009. Several months later a local resident purchased the soda fountain. Renovations during the succeeding years made necessary updates yet maintained the fountain's classic appeal.



If you have the opportunity to dine at Brent's Drugs, be sure to order something from the fountain. In addition to our Single Brent's Burgers, we both loved our shakes! The menu was filled with some rather unique flavors, so Scott had a Dreamsicle and I a Bananatella shake. Yum!


Single Brent's Burger with Dreamsicle and Bananatella Shakes

Single Brent's Burger with Dreamsicle and Bananatella Shakes

Windsor Ruins

The Windsor Ruins, all that remains of the Windsor Plantation, can be found about an hour south of Vicksburg. Located west of US Highway 61 near Alcorn State University, signage will lead you to the site currently surrounded by fencing during the preservation project underway.


Windsor Ruins

Windsor Ruins

Built in 1861, the wife and children of Smith Coffee Daniell II lived in the mansion after his death just weeks after it was completed. Still standing after the Civil War, the home (and virtually all of its contents) was destroyed by fire in early 1890. The home remained in the Daniell family for over 110 years until 1974 when it was donated to the State of Mississippi. The 45 foot tall columns still stand on the mansion's site and an iron staircase is now located at the nearby university.


Windsor Ruins

Windsor Ruins

Old Country Store

Located in the middle of nowhere in Lorman, Mississippi just under an hour south of Vicksburg, the Old Country Store offers fried chicken served buffet style along with a variety of sides. Although the buffet is open seven days a week, hours are limited (10:00 AM - 4:00 PM most days; 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays).


Old Country Store

Old Country Store

People come from all over ... literally all over the world ... to dine here. During our visit, we found notes from people who had traveled from as far away as Australia to enjoy a meal. Priced at $15.95 for adults ($10.95 for kids) including drinks, there's plenty of food available at the all-you-can-eat buffet. If you can save a little room, the taste of dessert cobbler that we split for an additional $2.89 was an excellent end to our meal.



If you're lucky, owner Mr. D (Arthur Davis) will break out into song during your visit. I felt privileged to have him serenade me with "I Can't Help Myself" (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) just as we were about to depart.


Buffet Dinner with Mr. D!

Buffet Dinner with Mr. D!

Natchez, Mississippi

If you still have more time to spend in the area, the city of Natchez is just over an hour away and filled with plenty of sightseeing. Our post, Relive Days Gone By during the Natchez Spring or Fall Pilgrimage, is full of information on what to expect while touring the city's beautiful antebellum homes. There are plenty of inexpensive (and even free) attractions in the historical city as well. Check out our post titled Free (and Low Cost) Sightseeing in Natchez, Mississippi for more ideas to fill your time exploring this charming southern city.

Mississippi Sightseeing

If you were to recommend "must see" attractions to someone planning to travel in Mississippi between Natchez and Jackson, what would make the top of your list and why?




Weather:68F Rain


Day Trips from Vicksburg, Mississippi











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