The old southern charms of Brookhaven, Mississippi, will capture your interest in visiting this small city.
Brookhaven is the seat of Lincoln County, about 55 miles south of Jackson, the state capital.
The Choctaw Indians first inhabited the area in the early 1800s and used it for hunting and planting food crops.
Established in 1818, Brookhaven owes its name to Samuel Jayne, a young storekeeper.
He established a settlement along the Bogue Chitto River, naming it after his New England hometown.
You’ll discover much of Brookhaven’s rich history and see its celebrated progress with local museums, parks, recreation spots, and lively events.
Here are the best things to do in Brookhaven, MS:
Engage in Water Activities at Bogue Chitto River
Ole Brook lists exciting water activities your family can enjoy at Bogue Chitto River.
The river’s name coes from “bok chito,” which means big creek in Choctaw.
It also flows to several small streams around the city and is a perfect example of a forest and swamp river.
It's relatively accessible with gravel sandbars seen through most of its course.
Enjoy the river waters on a canoe, kayak, or tube to discover the natural sceneries with forests and wildlife in full view.
Take part in water tubing sports with other tourists who flock to the river area during summer.
You can also enjoy fly fishing and get the fresh catch for the day.
Speed Up at the Mt. Zion Bike Trail
Dubbed as the “The Biggest Little Trail in Mississippi,” Mt. Zion Bike Trail gives you an exciting way to enjoy bike rides.
The single track offers a thrilling challenge to bikers with its variety of climbs and slopes.
You can try the loop for inexperienced riders if you're a beginner.
For the intermediate biker, go to the RC loop, the nine-mile wooden track with several features like the 14-foot seesaw, walls, brims, and bridges.
As a treat, trail finishers get a free popsicle, too.
An open pavilion is also available for bikers to rest and visitors at the trail.
You might also see a cycling competition held here every May.
Discover Rich History at the Lincoln County Historical and Jewish Heritage Museum
Built in 1896, the Lincoln County Historical and Jewish Heritage Museum was first the Temple B’Nai Shalom.
The museum opened in 2011 in a building donated by the Jewish congregation to the Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society.
You’ll see fascinating local artifacts presenting southern culture, the B’nai Sholom Jewish heritage exhibit, and rotating monthly exhibits.
Check out vintage items, antiques, photos, and memorabilia that tells the county's developments throughout the decades.
The museum offers free admission.
Visit the Mansions at the Historic Victorian District
Enjoy the old southern homes and the Historic Victorian District on South Jackson Street and its surrounding area.
Embark on a self-guided tour or drive along to see the classic Victorian mansions and houses.
It’s also considered the most Victorian street in Mississippi, so you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time just strolling the streets.
This Old Towne Brookhaven neighborhood was modeled after the Garden District in New Orleans.
In 1999, the National Register of Historic Places added the Mississippi neighborhood to the list.
Check out the lovely architecture, take memorable snapshots of the remarkable mansions, or visit their scenic gardens to relax.
Know the Story of the Foster-Smith Log Cabin
You'll find the charmingly unique Foster-Smith Log Cabin across the Chamber of Commerce on South Whitworth Avenue.
This log cabin is a distinct and frequent stop for Brookhaven Historic District tours.
The cabin and its furnishings represent the simple life in the pioneering era.
In 1825, John Foster built the cabin in Copiah County.
He and his family settled on the state territory as pioneers in the area.
Foster finished the cabin months or even years before Mississippi’s statehood, making it more than 200 years old.
It's one of the oldest extant structures in the state.
The avid historians Andrew G. and Monelle Smith transferred the cabin to Lincoln County in 1955, complementing their colonial-style home.
You’ll notice the details of this well-preserved structure like the hand-hewn log made of heart pine and dovetailed notching, the gabled roof, and the brick chimney.
See Antiquities at Military Memorial Museum
If you’re a history buff and World War I enthusiast, you should check out the Military Memorial Museum.
Housed in the Old Train Depot, the museum shows intriguing displays of old photos, historical pieces, and personal antique items from war veterans.
You can also view World War I military equipment featured at this museum.
The Depot is also an essential part of the city’s history.
Brookhaven became a railroad hub with routes to Illinois Central, Pearl River Railroad, the Mississippi Central, the Meridian, and Natchez Railroad.
In 1980, the National Register of Historic Places listed the Tudor-revival style brick building in the record.
Bring Your Kids to Ole Brook Jump and Jive
Let your energetic little ones jump around in a world of inflatables at the Ole Brook Jump and Jive.
Kids will have unlimited fun climbing, running, and jumping on the colorful giant slides, bounce houses, and obstacle courses.
Trained staff supervise tots and kids in this indoor facility.
You can also bring younger kids to the safe play area for kids aged three and younger.
While they’re busy with their playtime, stay in the comfortable seating area with snacks and WiFi access.
Spend Time at the Bi-Centennial Playground and Spray Park
One of Main Street’s famous public parks, the Bi-Centennial Playground and Spray Park, is a great place to spend an afternoon.
Stroll the park on the quarter-mile trail, or sweat it out on a jog or bike ride.
Your kids can go skateboarding or skating, and smaller kids can enjoy the modern playground equipment with slides and swings.
There’s also the spray park area where they can cool off on a sunny day.
Other amenities for park visitors include the pavilions where you can have lunch out or snacks and restrooms.
Learn about the Historic Inez Hotel
The Inez Hotel, also called The Inez Apartments, has witnessed Ole Brooks’ progress over the decades.
R. T. Scherck owned the three-story Romanesque Revival-style building built in 1904.
Scherck named the business after his daughter Inez Lenore Pass Scherck.
In 1988, the National Register of Historic Places recognized the landmark by adding it to the record.
The historic hotel was the center of social life during southwest Mississippi’s glory days.
You can ask for a tour of the second floor, which used to function as a restaurant and ballroom for the City Club.
You would see the fine antique furnishings and designs still welcoming you with a homey feel.
If you want to hear some history about the hotel or even notable personalities who came to visit here, staff and former employees are here to share their stories.
Watch Baseball Games or Horse Events at the Lincoln Civic Center
The Lincoln Civic Center is where you can catch some ball games or horse events in Brookhaven.
The center facility includes the Baseball Complex, home to the Dixie Youth League and local league events during the spring and fall.
If you’re a fan of equine events, you can watch the performances and competitions at the Stall Barn and Performance Arena.
There is spacious parking, and the arena is also handicap accessible.
Snacks are also available at the concessions stand while watching the game or events.
Enjoy Family Leisure Time at Fernwood Country Club
The Fernwood Country Club has served members and guests since 1924, providing relaxing leisure activities for everyone.
The Country Club features an 18-hole par 72 golf course lined with trees and designed with challenging greens.
However, the course still accommodates golfers of any level.
You can have a great game of racquet sports at their tennis courts or have sessions at the pickleball courts.
There’s also a Fitness Room if you want a total workout with a variety of cardio and weight training equipment.
Take a relaxing dip at the outdoor swimming pools, one wading pool made for the little ones and a larger one for adults, plus access to showers and changing areas.
The Clubhouse also offers a wide selection on its menu to satisfy any palate and a full-service bar to cap off the evening.
Catch Theater Performances at the Brookhaven Little Theatre
Enjoy great theater performances at Brookhaven Little Theatre, the longest-running community theatre in Mississippi.
Also called BLT, the theatre has staged classic shows from musicals and dramas to modern Broadway productions since 1968.
Local volunteers run and sustain BLT to provide theater entertainment to guests and the community.
They’ve also started to introduce the joys of theater arts through the BLTeen Summer Camp and the Haven Kids Camp.
Shows happen at the historic Haven Theatre in downtown Brookhaven.
Check the schedule and featured plays on their website.
Enjoy watching stunning performances with your family, and you can also support the theater group with generous donations.
Join the Merrymaking at the Exchange Club Fair
Ole Brook residents, and even visitors, look forward to the city’s Exchange Club Fair.
This event features an old-fashioned county fair and has been an ongoing tradition since 1952.
The Exchange Club sponsors the event with volunteer efforts and proceeds to support Brookhaven's youth.
There are many fun, family-friendly activities you can join and enjoy at this local fair, like contests, games, and a range of food vendors.
Feel like a kid again with classic amusement park rides like the Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, swings, tilt-a-whirl, and kids’ cars.
Shop Fresh Produce at the Summer Farmers’ Market
Brookhaven’s Farmers Market is another way to enjoy the city's southern country flair.
The market features vendors showcasing and selling local products for everyone to enjoy.
It opens during the summer months with lines of fresh, farm-to-market goods, homemade baked products, and more items.
You can find freshly picked crops from tomatoes to bell peppers, potatoes, and squash.
Of course, you can enjoy live music entertainment while shopping at the market.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Enjoy a Nature Escape at Lake Lincoln State Park
The Lake Lincoln State Park is one of the city locations you can visit if you’re aiming for a serene nature escape.
The park is nestled in the hardwood forest at Lincoln County’s northeast portion.
Find it in Wesson, Mississippi, 19 minutes from Brookhaven.
You can have a camping night with family at the RV campgrounds, camping grounds, cabins, and cottages.
You can enjoy water activities at the lake, including boating, fishing, water skiing, and swimming.
There’s also a nature trail where you can enjoy the surrounding forest area, picnic areas, shelters, a pavilion where you can eat, and courts for volleyball and disc golf.
Brookhaven may seem just like any small city, but you’ll find its solid southern Mississippi culture and character will fascinate you.
You might also find the charms of Ole Brook very welcoming, especially its local community.
It has a rich history that you can discover in its museums and parks.
Its proximity to rivers and streams makes it ideal for some nature tripping.
So go ahead and discover the beauty of Brookhaven today!