By all accounts, 2021 is shaping up to be a better year starting with the renewal of the family vacation. When it comes to shopping, sporting, scenery, and family togetherness, few places make for a more promising destination than Ridgeland!
Rent, buy, or bring your own bikes for a bit of heart-pumping pedaling on the Chisha Foka Multi-Use Trail—a 10-mile-long paved section of the Natchez Trace winding along pine woods full of the same birdsong that once brought John James Audubon to the trail!
Combat the dreaded brain drain by observing some of the historical sites and markers on the Natchez Trace. With over 8,000 years of history and dozens of famous travelers—including American presidents, native tribes, and iconic explorers—you’ll find a factoid to surprise every member of your family!
Boasting 105 miles of shoreline, restaurants, watercraft, and reliable fishing spots, the Barnett Reservoir (or “the Rez” as locals call it) has become a favorite hub for family fun. Nearby Pearl River Kayaks provides day paddlers and overnight campers with the watercraft they need to discover the ecological wonders of the reservoir, and eager anglers will find abundant fishing opportunities by boat or from the shore!
Grab your to-go lunch from a nearby restaurant and lay out a blanket on any one of the Rez’s gorgeous lawns for an impromptu family picnic!
Finding a perfect gift or souvenir in Ridgeland is as easy as visiting any one of the unparalleled shopping centers or local boutiques!
Located along the Natchez Trace, you’ll find fine art pieces at Mississippi’s pride and joy, the Bill Waller Craft Center. Featuring prime examples from over 400 juried local artists, you’ll browse jewelry, pottery, paintings, sculpture, Choctaw baskets, old-fashioned quilts, and so much more!
In addition to local Ridgeland favorites such as Fleet Feet, Sportique, College Corner, and the national chain Lululemon, you’d be hard pressed to find as much athletic gear in one place as you would at the Northpark Mall. With over 130 retailers, the Northpark Mall offers out-of-this-world shopping opportunities!
Make sure to visit Ridgeland’s local, family-owned boutique scene for totally unique souvenirs. Shop for antiques at Repeat Street or the Antique Mall of the South, children’s clothing and gifts at Gifts by KPEP and Smitten Gift Boutique, the newest in women’s fashion at Hemline, Arco Avenue, and Libby Story, and so, so many others!
A weekend in Ridgeland isn’t complete without a sampling of the brilliant food scene.
Try Cock of the Walk for a taste of downhome country cooking conveniently located along the gorgeous Barnett reservoir. Catfish, hushpuppies, and fried dill pickles are only a few of the classic family favorites you can expect!
If your family makes its best memories over a piping hot pizza pie, then you’ll want to try Soulshine Pizza Factory. With unusual pizza and calzone combinations such as The Alfredo, The Boss Hawg, and The Kitchen Sink (topped with just about everything but), you’ll want to snap a few pictures before tucking into a slice (or ten.)
Exasperated and thirsty parents can find both food and frosty beverages at Sombra Mexican Kitchen. Crisp, expertly assembled local takes on every staple of Mexican cuisine—plus some delicious margaritas and great happy hour deals—make Sombra a must-stop for a good time!
To-go more your style? Hit up Basil’s for flat bread pizza or one of their signature sandwiches and head to the green space for an impromptu picnic at the Renaissance at Colony Park. One of the most kid-friendly areas in town, the green space is nestled between the Malco boutique theater and the show fountain – entertainment options for all!
We might have been stuck together in 2020 (to put it bluntly), but 2021 promises much-missed bonding opportunities and excellent family experiences that make us so very grateful.