Steve and I had a chance to spend some time in Meridian, Mississippi recently and loved it. Always before, it was a place we saw the signs and exits for from the interstate, but this time we went into the middle of downtown and looked more closely. We found a beautiful hotel, a magnificent museum, a fabulous restaurant, and lots of painted carousel horses.
THE THREEFOOT HOTEL
No, it's not a miniature replica of a hotel, as the name might suggest. Instead, The Threefoot Hotel is a Tribute Portfolio Hotel within the Marriott brand. What was once a 1929 Art Deco building in a prominent downtown location has been recently restored to gleaming glory with every conceivable modern convenience wrapped in historic touches and rich heritage. The name "threefoot" is derived from the German word "dreyfuss or dreyfus," meaning a tripod or a cooking pot with three legs. Drey=3, and fuss=legs.
Rooms are very comfortable, the location places many attractions within walking distance, and the onsite restaurant serves a great full breakfast. The rooftop bar was closed to a private party when we were there, but the views must be wonderful.
MISSISSIPPI ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCE
Oh my goodness, what a treasure for Mississippi and Meridian in particular. This complex is much more than a museum. Mississippi Arts & Entertainment Experience truly IS an experience highlighting notable Mississippians from chefs to authors to actors to musicians and anyone else who has made a significant contribution. The exhibits are interactive and immersive.
It is closed on Sunday and Monday but open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 to 5:00. Trust me. You do NOT want to miss it. Adult admission for ages 14-64 is $14. For 65+, it's $12. Well worth it.
Weidmann's has been serving hungry diners in Meridian since 1870. Do you realize that is a mere five years after the Civil War ended??!!! Having a reservation at Weidmann's is a prize, especially on weekends. It is popular for very good reasons. The service is outstanding, the food is great, AND it offers a Black Bottom Pie that puts it over the top. Steve and I both ordered fish and shared the pie. So good.
I heard rave reviews about Weidmann's Sunday Jazz Brunch. That's on the must-do list for our next visit.
Meridian's fascination with painted carousel horses stems, no doubt, from the vintage Dentzel Carousel found inside a house made specifically for it in Highland Park. The carousel was first made by Gustav Dentzel somewhere around 1895 or 1896 to be featured in the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. Later, it was bought by the city of Meridian and placed in the spot where it has resided since 1909. The carousel is still in good working condition, and you can purchase a ticket to ride for a dollar. Why not have cotton candy or popcorn while you ride? Those items and more are for sale at the carousel house.
When the town was deciding on a representative symbol, carousel horses were the logical choice. More than 60 can be found around town with at least 13 of them being within an easy walk of Threefoot Hotel, the MAX, and Weidmann's. All are different, and each one has its own name and theme. They provide a great excuse for exploring Meridian on foot.
Other places to visit when you're in Meridian include the Mississippi Children's Museum and the Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum. And for another dining recommendation, head to Squealer's for great barbecue.