Less than 25 miles southeast of Memphis, Olive Branch is a historic city with a charming downtown area and numerous recreational options.
It is home to a variety of outdoor activities such as fishing, disc golf and horseback riding. It also features several public golf courses.
Located just outside of Memphis, this large nursery complex devoted to bonsai is hidden in the serene woods and rolling hills of Desoto County. It’s the largest importer and grower of bonsai in the United States.
The horticultural art of bonsai began thousands of years ago in China and the Japanese refined it a few hundred years later. The miniature trees are grown in pots that mimic the shape and size of full-sized trees, often with a story attached.
Owner Brussel Martin first saw bonsai as a child when his father, an architect, brought back some specimens from California. He started growing them as a hobby and later turned it into a successful business. The nursery hosts an annual event called Rendezvous over Memorial Day weekend where internationally recognized teachers and students come together for lectures, workshops and demonstrations.
The Malco Cinema in Olive Branch is a surprisingly nice movie buffs dream. The theatre boasts 12 screens in the modern age of multiplexing, a la carte dining options, a nifty sized concessions area and a plethora of on site parking options. The best part is you can take your pick from a slew of the latest blockbuster releases. The staff is friendly and the requisite drinks are plentiful. The most difficult part of the experience is sizing up which to see, and where to go next. Its sister theatre in Southaven does not have as many drawees as its counterpart and has been a regular flier.
Olive Branch, located less than 25 miles southeast of Memphis, is home to an old-fashioned downtown and several serene city parks. Set on 135 acres, Olive Branch City Park features three lakes, a fishing pier, tennis courts, sports fields, an eight-lane track and walking trails with exercise stations. Magnolia Park, a half-mile paved trail surrounded by the first urban forest in Mississippi, has a playground and picnic pavilions.
The Mid-South Ice House offers open skating sessions and lessons, figure skating, youth and adult hockey on a regulation-size rink and other winter sports such as curling and broomball. It also has an ice arena that accommodates birthday parties, group outings and fundraisers. It also hosts therapeutic, private lessons and offers an extensive skating school program.
The team at Oak View Stables have been boarding, training and showing horses of all shapes and sizes for almost four decades. They even have their own equine assisted therapy program for veterans. With a swanky 40-stall barn, indoor riding area and broad greens and sugar cube-spreading trees to look out over, it’s no surprise this is the place to go for horse-related activities in Olive Branch. The stables also have a fun-filled Day Camp for kids 5 to 14 and a swanky new facility for hosting the state’s most prestigious horse shows. They’ve got a full line of tack and saddles to get you ready for your first ride. The best part is that they’ll make you feel right at home. With today’s Groupon, you can snag two private horse-related lessons (a $100 value) for just $40!
One of the largest urban parks in the United States and the world, Shelby Farms Park spans 4,500 acres - five times larger than New York’s Central Park. It’s a vibrant community hub and a retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle.
There’s much to do at this massive space for kids, adults and dogs alike. You can take a stroll through Lucius Burch Natural Area, explore Patriot Lake or the Shelby County community gardens.
Then there’s the Woodland Discovery Playground - a place where kids can experience nature through play, centered around a treehouse with swings and gliders.
There are also a variety of ways to enjoy the park, including horseback riding, paintball and laser tag, and renting a boat at Hyde Lake. Plus, there’s the Civil Rights Museum, a thought-provoking collection of artifacts and eyewitness stories that helps you learn about the struggle for equality in America.