Discover the Best Things to Do in Starkville, Mississippi

Discover the Adventure: A Guide to Top Things to Do in Starkville, Mississippi

As a keen traveler, I always seek destinations that offer a unique blend of culture, history, and outdoor adventure. Starkville, Mississippi, located in the heart of the South, is just that place.

This charming town boasts a rich history, vibrant culture, and a wealth of outdoor activities, making it an ideal destination for a memorable and diverse travel experience.

Whether you’re an art lover, a foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained in Starkville.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to some of Starkville’s must-see attractions and activities and explain why this town should be on your travel radar. So pack your bags, put on your walking shoes, and explore this hidden South gem!

Things to Do in Starkville

A brief overview of Starkville, Mississippi

Starkville is a city located in northeastern Mississippi, United States. It is the largest city and county seat of Oktibbeha County.

Starkville is best known for being the home of Mississippi State University, the state’s largest university and a significant center of education, research, and technology.

The city has a vibrant culture, a rich history, and a growing economy, making it a popular destination for visitors and residents alike. Starkville has something to offer everyone, whether you’re interested in outdoor recreation, arts and culture, sports, or just relaxing.

Starkville, Mississippi
Starkville, Mississippi

Why Starkville is a great place to visit

Starkville is a great place to visit for several reasons, including:

  1. Mississippi State University: MSU is a major center of education, research, and technology and offers a range of cultural and sporting events open to the public.
  2. History and Culture: Starkville has a rich history and cultural heritage, as evidenced by its historic downtown and numerous museums, including the Cotton District Arts Festival and the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum.
  3. Outdoor Activities: Starkville offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking and biking in Yellow Creek Park and Oktibbeha County Lake, fishing and hunting in Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, and John W. Kyle State Park.
  4. Sports and Entertainment: Starkville is home to Mississippi State University Athletics, which includes Davis Wade Stadium and Humphrey Coliseum, as well as local festivals and events such as Starkville Oktoberfest and the Cotton District Music and Arts Festival.
  5. Food and Nightlife: Starkville has a thriving food and nightlife scene, with bars and restaurants offering something for everyone, from the famous Little Dooey to Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern.

These are just a few of the reasons Starkville is a great place to visit.

Starkville, MS
Starkville, MS

Outdoor Activities

Hiking and Biking

This charming town is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts, especially those who love hiking and biking. With its lush parks, scenic trails, and thriving outdoor culture, Starkville is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to explore nature and exercise in the great outdoors.

Starkville has something to offer everyone, whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner cyclist. In addition, Starkville is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves the great outdoors with its beautiful parks, scenic trails, and thriving outdoor culture.

Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge

Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge is a nature lover’s paradise near Starkville, Mississippi. With over 48,000 acres of diverse habitats, it offers various outdoor recreation and adventure opportunities, including hiking and biking.

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For those who enjoy hiking, the refuge features several trails that wind through its lush forests and meadows, offering breathtaking views of wildlife and nature. The trails range in difficulty from easy to moderate, making them accessible to hikers of all skill levels.

Some popular trails include the Cypress Creek Trail, which leads through a swampy area filled with towering cypress trees, and the Red Buckeye Trail, which offers views of the refuge’s stunning wildflower meadows.

The Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
The Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

Biking is also famous at Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. With over 20 miles of bike-friendly roads and trails, the refuge provides ample opportunities to explore its diverse landscapes on two wheels.

Bikers can enjoy scenic rides through rolling hills, pine forests, and wetlands, stopping to observe wildlife and take in the beauty of the refuge.

In addition to its stunning natural landscapes, Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including deer, turkey, waterfowl, and other birds. So, whether you’re a nature lover, hiker, or biker, this beautiful refuge is the perfect destination for a fun and adventurous outdoor excursion.

Oktibbeha County Lake

Oktibbeha County Lake is a popular recreational area located in Starkville, Mississippi. It offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking and biking. In addition, the lake and its surrounding park also allow visitors to enjoy the area’s natural beauty, exercise, and have fun.

For hikers, the park has several trails that offer a variety of terrains and scenic views. The trails range from easy to moderate in difficulty, and they wind through the park’s forest and around the lake, allowing visitors to see a variety of wildlife and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Oktibbeha County Lake
Oktibbeha County Lake

For cyclists, Oktibbeha County Lake has several bike trails that are suitable for riders of all skill levels. The trails offer a mix of terrain, including flat and smooth paths and more challenging routes with rolling hills and tight turns. The park also has a bike park, a dedicated area for riders to practice their skills and have fun.

In addition to hiking and biking, Oktibbeha County Lake offers various outdoor activities, such as fishing, boating, and camping. So whether you are looking for a peaceful retreat or an active outdoor adventure, you can find something to enjoy at Oktibbeha County Lake.

Fishing and Hunting

Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge

The Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge near Starkville, Mississippi, offers a variety of outdoor activities for the nature enthusiast. One of the most popular activities is fishing and hunting.

This refuge allows anglers to fish in its diverse waterways, including the Noxubee River, woodland streams, and oxbow lakes. Anglers can expect to catch various fish species, such as catfish, largemouth bass, bream, and crappie.

The Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge is a perfect destination for those who enjoy hunting. In addition, the refuge is home to various wildlife, including deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit, and dove.

Hunting is only allowed during specific hunting seasons and with a valid permit. In addition, the refuge provides designated hunting areas, ensuring hunters a safe and enjoyable experience.

Noxubee Wildlife Refuge
Noxubee Wildlife Refuge

Visitors are encouraged to follow all rules and regulations while fishing and hunting within the refuge. It includes respecting wildlife and their habitats, conserving, and adhering to all hunting and fishing laws and regulations.

The Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge offers a serene and peaceful environment for fishing and hunting enthusiasts to enjoy and connect with nature. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a first-time hunter, this refuge provides an unforgettable outdoor experience.

Trim Cane State Wildlife Management Area

Trim Cane State Wildlife Management Area is a popular destination for fishing and hunting enthusiasts near Starkville, Mississippi. In addition, the area is known for its diverse landscape and abundant wildlife, making it an ideal location for outdoor recreational activities.

Fishing opportunities abound in the management area’s many streams, lakes, and ponds. Anglers can try to catch various fish species, including largemouth bass, catfish, and panfish. A valid fishing license is required, and anglers should be familiar with the regulations and fishing seasons in the area.

Hunting is also a popular activity in Trim Cane State Wildlife Management Area. The area is home to various game species, including deer, turkey, and squirrels. Hunting seasons and regulations vary depending on the species, so hunters must familiarize themselves with the rules before heading out.

What to do in Starkville, Mississippi

Visitors to Trim Cane State Wildlife Management Area can enjoy the scenic beauty of the area while fishing or hunting. In addition, visitors can take stunning views of the surrounding landscape and wildlife on several trails and observation platforms.

In addition to fishing and hunting, visitors can participate in other recreational activities such as bird watching, hiking, and wildlife observation. The area is home to various bird species, making it a popular destination for birders.

Overall, Trim Cane State Wildlife Management Area is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to enjoy the great outdoors near Starkville, Mississippi. Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or hunter or just looking for a peaceful place to enjoy nature, you’ll find what you’re looking for in this beautiful and diverse area.

Cultural Attractions

Museums and Exhibitions

Mississippi State University Museums

The Mississippi State University Museums in Starkville, Mississippi, offers diverse exhibits and collections for visitors to explore and enjoy. Some of the notable museums within the MSU museum system include:

Mississippi State University Campus
Mississippi State University Campus
  1. Dunn-Seiler Museum of Geosciences: This museum showcases an extensive collection of rocks, minerals, fossils, and geological specimens from around the world. Visitors can learn about the geology and geography of Mississippi and the surrounding regions and see exhibits on earthquakes, volcanoes, and other geological phenomena.
  2. Lois Dowdle Cobb Museum of Archaeology: This museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts from the ancient civilizations of the Americas, including the Mississippi Valley and the Southeast. Visitors can learn about these indigenous peoples’ cultures, lifestyles, and history through interactive exhibits, videos, and hands-on activities.
  3. Mississippi Entomological Museum: This museum showcases the incredible diversity of insects, spiders, and other arthropods native to Mississippi and the surrounding regions. Visitors can learn about these fascinating creatures’ biology, behavior, and ecology and see specimens and displays on entomology research.
  4. Historic Costume and Textiles Collection: This collection showcases a range of historical clothing, textiles, and accessories from the 18th through 20th centuries. Visitors can learn about these items’ styles, fashions, and cultural significance and see the textile design, production, and conservation exhibits.

Each museum offers visitors a unique and engaging experience, with something to interest and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds. So whether you’re a student, researcher, or curious visitor, the Mississippi State University Museums in Starkville is a must-visit destination.

Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library

The Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library is a must-visit for history and presidential aficionados in Starkville, Mississippi. Located on the campus of Mississippi State University, this library is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States.

Visitors can delve into the life and legacy of President Grant through an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents, as well as an array of interactive exhibits and displays. In addition, the library provides an in-depth look into the man behind the presidency, from personal letters to military orders.

Ulysses S. Grant Collection memorabilia
Ulysses S. Grant Collection memorabilia

The library also houses an extensive research collection, including books, manuscripts, and archival materials related to President Grant, the Civil War, and 19th-century American history. As a result, it is an ideal resource for students, scholars, and history buffs.

For those interested in a deeper understanding of President Grant’s life, the library offers guided tours, educational programs, and special events throughout the year. So, whether you’re a history buff, researcher, or just curious, add the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library to your itinerary when visiting Starkville, Mississippi.

Historic Sites

Historic Downtown Starkville

Nestled in the heart of Starkville, Mississippi, is a quaint and charming downtown area steeped in history and character. Whether you’re a local or just visiting for the day, a trip to historic downtown Starkville is sure to be a memorable experience.

From its vintage brick buildings and cobblestone streets to its quaint boutiques and delicious dining options, there’s something for everyone in this charming corner of Mississippi.

Historical Marker
Historical Marker

Stroll through the historic downtown area and discover the architectural beauty of its vintage brick buildings, some of which date back over 100 years.

Then, stop at the local boutiques and specialty shops to pick up a unique souvenir or two, or grab a bite at one of the many delicious restaurants. So whether you’re in the mood for a classic southern meal or a quick bite on the go, you’ll find plenty of options to suit your taste.

So if you’re looking for a unique and memorable experience, be sure to put historic downtown Starkville at the top of your list. Its charming atmosphere, rich history, and endless cultural offerings make it a destination you won’t miss.

Hotel Chester-Starkville MS
Hotel Chester-Starkville MS

Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum

The Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum in Starkville, Mississippi, is a must-visit destination for those interested in learning about this part of the country’s rich history and cultural heritage. Located in the heart of Starkville, the museum provides visitors with a comprehensive and engaging overview of the area’s history, dating back to its earliest settlers.

In addition, the museum offers a unique and captivating glimpse into the past, with exhibits featuring artifacts and memorabilia from the early 19th century through the present day.

One of the museum’s highlights is its collection of local and regional artifacts, including items from the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the rise of the local economy. Visitors can also learn about the area’s Native American heritage, with artifacts and displays showcasing the culture, traditions, and beliefs of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes.

Tourist attractions in Starkville, Mississippi

Additionally, the museum offers interactive exhibits and educational programs, making it an excellent choice for families with children or anyone looking to deepen their understanding of the region’s history.

Whether you are a resident, a history buff, or simply looking for something interesting while visiting Starkville, the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum is a must-visit destination.

With its diverse collection of artifacts and exhibits, engaging educational programs, and friendly staff, the museum provides visitors with a unique and memorable experience that will leave a lasting impression.

Performing Arts

Starkville Community Theatre

Starkville Community Theatre is a vibrant and thriving arts organization in Starkville, Mississippi. The theater is dedicated to providing opportunities for residents to participate in and enjoy live theatrical performances, focusing on providing opportunities for amateur actors, directors, and other theater enthusiasts.

At Starkville Community Theatre, audiences can enjoy various productions, from classic musicals to contemporary dramas. The theater’s talented cast and crew put on regular performances throughout the year, and the intimate setting of the theater provides a unique and engaging experience for audiences.

Starkville Community Theatre is an excellent choice whether you’re a theater fan or just looking for something new and exciting.

With its talented performers, engaging productions, and welcoming atmosphere, the theater is a must-visit for anyone in the Starkville area. So come on down and experience the magic of live theater in the heart of Mississippi!

Starkville-MSU Symphony and Chorus

The Starkville-MSU Symphony and Chorus is a renowned musical ensemble in Starkville, Mississippi. This group brings together talented musicians from the Mississippi State University community and the surrounding areas to perform classical music concerts for the public.

The group’s repertoire includes works from some of the greatest composers of all time, including Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and many others.

Best places to visit in Starkville, Mississippi

The Starkville-MSU Symphony and Chorus have earned a reputation for delivering high-quality performances that are both engaging and entertaining.

In addition to its regular concert series, the Starkville-MSU Symphony and Chorus also participates in community events and educational programs throughout the year. From youth music camps to unique collaborations with local schools, this group promotes the arts and makes classical music accessible to all.

If you want a unique and enriching cultural experience, catch a Starkville-MSU Symphony and Chorus performance. Whether you’re a resident of Starkville or just passing through, this talented ensemble will surely leave you with a greater appreciation for the beauty and majesty of classical music.

Sports and Entertainment

Mississippi State University Athletics

Dudy Noble Field

Dudy Noble Field is a must-visit destination for sports fans in Starkville, Mississippi. This iconic baseball field is home to the Mississippi State University (MSU) Bulldogs baseball team and is considered one of the top college baseball facilities in the country. With a seating capacity of over 15,000 fans, the stadium offers an electric game-day atmosphere that is not to be missed.

Places to visit in Starkville, Mississippi

The field opened in 1967 and has undergone several renovations to enhance the fan experience. From the beautiful turf to the spacious seating and concession areas, Dudy Noble Field has everything you need to have a great time at a college baseball game.

The stadium’s unique design also includes a picnic area beyond the right field fence, perfect for families looking to spend an afternoon at the park.

Whether you are a die-hard MSU fan or looking to take in a game while in Starkville, Dudy Noble Field is a must-visit destination. So grab some peanuts and cracker jacks, and head out to one of the most exciting baseball venues in the country!

Davis Wade Stadium

Davis Wade Stadium, also known as Scott Field, is the home of the Mississippi State Bulldogs football team in Starkville, Mississippi. With a capacity of 61,337, it is one of the largest stadiums in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and is one of the most iconic college football stadiums in the United States.

The stadium, originally built in 1914, has been renovated and expanded to become a modern facility capable of hosting major college football games.

Visitors to Davis Wade Stadium can enjoy the excitement of college football games, including pre-game festivities, tailgating, and the crowd’s roar.

Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field
Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field

The stadium is located on the campus of Mississippi State University. It is surrounded by historic buildings and beautiful landscapes, making it an excellent destination for those interested in college football or sports history.

Whether you are a die-hard college football fan or just looking for a unique experience in Starkville, Mississippi, visiting Davis Wade Stadium is a must. So, grab your friends and family, don your maroon and white, and be prepared to cheer on the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Humphrey Coliseum

Humphrey Coliseum, located in Starkville, Mississippi, is a state-of-the-art multi-purpose arena that serves as the home court for the Mississippi State Bulldogs Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams.

With a seating capacity of over 10,000, this coliseum is one of the largest in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and a hub for sports and entertainment events in Starkville.

Coliseum was opened in 1975 and has become an iconic venue in Starkville. The venue is known for its electric atmosphere, with fans and students coming together to cheer on their favorite teams.

Whether you’re a basketball, volleyball, or concert fan, Humphrey Coliseum is the place to be for exciting events. With its spacious interior, comfortable seating, and modern amenities, the coliseum is a popular destination for fans from all over the state and beyond.

From the crowd’s roar to the electric atmosphere, there’s nothing like experiencing a Humphrey Coliseum game or concert.

In addition to its impressive sporting facilities, the coliseum offers various services and amenities to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. From ample parking to accessible seating and concessions, the staff at Humphrey Coliseum is dedicated to ensuring that your time at the arena is comfortable and memorable.

Local Festivals and Events

Cotton District Music and Arts Festival

The Cotton District Arts Festival in Starkville, Mississippi, celebrates the region’s arts, music, and culture. Held annually in the historic Cotton District, this festival is a must-visit event for anyone interested in experiencing the vibrant cultural scene of Starkville.

The festival features various activities and attractions, including live music performances, artist demonstrations, and food and drink vendors. In addition, visitors can enjoy the sounds of local and regional musicians playing a variety of musical styles, including blues, jazz, rock, and more.

The artist demonstrations are a particularly unique aspect of the festival, allowing visitors to see the creative process up close and engage with artists meaningfully.

Cotton District Arts Festival
Cotton District Arts Festival

Food and drink vendors at the Cotton District Arts Festival offer various delicious options, from local cuisine to classic festival fare. So whether you are in the mood for savory barbeque, sweet treats, or refreshing drinks, you will find something that satisfies your craving.

The Cotton District Arts Festival is not just about the food and music. The festival also offers a range of visual arts experiences, from sculptures and paintings to pottery and jewelry. Visitors can explore the works of local and regional artists, learn about their techniques and processes, and even purchase items to take home with them.

In addition to the art and culture experiences, the Cotton District Arts Festival also provides a range of family-friendly activities, including face painting, balloon artists, and games. These fun and interactive activities make the festival an excellent destination for families with children of all ages.

Charles Templeton Ragtime Music Festival

The Charles Templeton Ragtime Music Festival is a popular event held annually in Starkville, Mississippi, celebrating the rich cultural heritage of ragtime music. This festival is dedicated to preserving and promoting the traditional music genre that originated in the late 19th century.

The event takes place over several days and features a variety of musical performances, including concerts, dance parties, and educational workshops.

Visitors expect to hear talented musicians play classic ragtime pieces on various instruments, including pianos, guitars, and banjos. The festival also showcases a range of vintage costumes, props, and musical instruments, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the ragtime experience.

Whether you’re a music lover or simply looking for a fun and educational experience, the Charles Templeton Ragtime Music Festival is a must-visit event in Starkville, Mississippi.

Bars and Restaurants

The Little Dooey

The Little Dooey is a popular restaurant and bar in Starkville, Mississippi. Known for its mouth-watering BBQ dishes, this joint is a must-visit for anyone looking to satisfy their craving for classic Southern cuisine.

In addition, its casual and relaxed atmosphere makes it the perfect place to hang out with friends and family and enjoy delicious food and drinks.

Little Dooey - Starkville
Little Dooey – Starkville

Whether you’re a resident or just visiting Starkville, you won’t miss the opportunity to sample the delectable food at The Little Dooey.

This place has something to offer everyone, from classic BBQ dishes like pulled pork, brisket, and ribs to sides like mac and cheese and coleslaw. And, of course, don’t forget to try one of their famous BBQ sauces!

In addition to its great food, The Little Dooey is known for its friendly and welcoming staff, who will make you feel at home. So why not gather your friends and family and head to The Little Dooey for an unforgettable dining experience in Starkville, Mississippi?

Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern

Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern is a must-visit destination in Starkville, Mississippi, for locals and visitors alike. Known for its unique atmosphere, friendly service, and delicious food, this bar and grill has been a community staple for many years.

Dave’s has a laid-back environment perfect for catching up with friends over a cold drink. The bar offers a wide selection of local and imported beers and a variety of cocktails and wines. Dave’s has you covered whether you’re in the mood for a classic margarita or something more adventurous.

The food at Dave’s is equally impressive, with a menu that features a range of comfort food classics and creative twists on traditional dishes. Try the famous “Doey Burger,” topped with crispy onion rings, bacon, and your choice of cheese, or sample one of the many specialty sandwiches. Vegetarian options are also available.

Whether you’re a lifelong resident or just passing through, stop by Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern for a taste of what makes Starkville an exceptional place. The warm and welcoming atmosphere and great food and drinks make this spot the perfect place to unwind and connect with others.


Recap of the great things to do in Starkville, Mississippi

Starkville, Mississippi, is a small town that offers various activities for visitors and locals alike. From its cultural offerings, such as the Mississippi State University Museums and the Starkville Community Theatre, to its live events, like the Cotton District Arts Festival and Starkville Oktoberfest, there is something for everyone.

For sports fans, Davis Wade Stadium and Humphrey Coliseum provide opportunities to watch the Mississippi State University Bulldogs play football and basketball, respectively.

Pike House
Pike House

History buffs will enjoy visiting the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum, while those interested in the U.S. presidency will find a wealth of information at the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library.

Visitors can enjoy live music at Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern for a night out or indulge in southern cuisine at The Little Dooey. The Starkville-MSU Symphony and Chorus also offer concerts throughout the year.

Visit Starkville for an enjoyable and unique experience.

If you’re looking for a unique and enjoyable experience, look no further than Starkville, Mississippi. This charming town offers many things, from cultural activities and outdoor recreation to food and drink options.

With Mississippi State University at its heart, Starkville is a hub of education, arts, and sports, and it’s easy to find something to suit your interests.

Lee Hall
Lee Hall

Whether you’re interested in learning about the area’s history at the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum, enjoying a performance at Lee Hall or Starkville Community Theatre, or exploring the region’s natural beauty, you’ll find something to love in Starkville.

So why not plan your trip to Starkville today and discover all the unique and exciting things this charming town offers?

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