Mississippian and Nobel Prize Winning author William Faulkner once said, “To understand the world you must first understand a place like Mississippi.” Some might suggest that to really understand Mississippi, you must get off the beaten path and see where the back roads take you. Travelers who’ve taken that approach often tout that they’ve experienced a raw, unique and truly American experience in the Deep South, filled with great music, warm hospitality and some hearty food. If that’s the Mississippi you’re looking to experience, choosing a place to stay that’s a little bit unconventional might just make your visit to Mississippi as unique as the culture you’re sure to experience here.
Starting in the northern most part of the State, in Faulkner’s home of Oxford, travelers will find a college town, bursting with energy and liveliness. The historic Square is the center of it all, and the Z Bed and Breakfast is the perfect retreat in the heart of downtown Oxford. The quaint, but up-scale bed and breakfast is located just off the Historic Courthouse Square and a short walk to the University of Mississippi Campus. The hospitality (and the delicious cinnamon rolls) you’ll find at the Z will give you a first class taste of a true Mississippi experience.
If you are headed to the Mississippi Delta, you’ll find these flat lands offer an abundance of unique options for lodging. Clarksdale, birthplace of the blues and home to actor Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero Blues Club, offers many funky and fun alternatives to traditional lodging. It could be argued that Clarksdale is a ground zero for unique lodging. The Lofts at the Five and Dime is a great place to stay with its six lofts above the old Woolworth’s Five and Dime in Downtown Clarksdale. The list goes on with funky and fun spots like Squeeze Box, a vacation rental apartment, Delta Digs and Delta Bohemian.
A little further down the road many visitors to Greenwood often find themselves drawn to the Alluvian hotel, where you are sure to find luxury you’d be more likely to expect in a big city, but in this little town, you’ll find it with a Southern twist. But, if you’re feeling more adventurous and looking to find history, head over to the Tallahatchie Flats. Just three miles outside of Greenwood on the banks of the Tallahatchie River, these converted tenant shacks are inspired by the kinds of shacks that many of the best Blues artists were born in, and certainly provide some authentic Delta-style fun for your getaway. It is music, after all, that draws many to Mississippi and particularly to the Delta. Indianola is the home of B.B. King, and the Blue Biscuit Bungalow, housed in a spacious and refurbished cottage complete with heart pine floors and all the comforts of home, is a great overnight spot for wanting to visit the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center and enjoy Indianola.
If you’re headed to Jackson, the state’s capital, The Fairview Inn is a prime location for seeing the many attractions and enjoying the amenities of the state’s largest city. This property is so charming you may not want to leave and won’t have to because their new restaurant 1908 Provisions, named for the year the stately home was built, will arouse your senses with mouth- watering California inspired, but Southern rooted creations.
Located less than an hour from Jackson, Vicksburg offers historical style on the banks of the Mississippi River. A little bit Delta and a lot monumental, Vicksburg’s National Military Park draws visitors from around the world. Cabins, lodges and bed and breakfasts are all available in Vicksburg for those seeking something out of the ordinary, but Anchuca Bed and Breakfast stands out. A beautiful and luxurious B&B, Anchuca is conveniently located to many of Vicksburg’s shops, museums and galleries, and boasts delicious food at Cafe Anchuca. Travelers wanting to experience history in Vicksburg can’t go wrong with this historical home.
Further south, visitors find Natchez to be the “South” they’ve often imagined and read about. Streets lined with gorgeous historical homes with the rolling Mississippi River as a backdrop. Natchez has been called the Bed and Breakfast capital of Mississippi. Many of Natchez’s beautiful homes now operate as upscale bed and breakfasts. One such example is Dunleith, where the breakfast alone is worth the trip. Beautiful and updated guest rooms are nestled in this historic property and it’s hard to find somewhere that feels more Southern. In a town filled with beautiful homes, why not stay a few nights longer and give them all a try.
Furthest south, in the Coastal region of the state, many visitors to Mississippi’s Gulf Coast seek gaming and entertainment at the many casino properties located there. But if you are looking for something else on your visit, head over to Ocean Springs. This artists community offers charm and creativity with a coastal flair and boasts several bed and breakfasts to provide a quaintness to your visit. The Inn at Ocean Springs looks like an artists retreat. With a Southern-style porch where you can relax and recharge your creativity, and a convenient location to the shops, galleries and great restaurants, this is a great way to experience the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s slower side.
Mississippi’s creativity, history and fun spirit bring you a variety of options when planning your getaway. With a little digging, you can find anything from wonderful upscale hotels to down home shacks converted for travelers. Pack your bags, because there is plenty to see in Mississippi, and as Faulkner said, it may just change the way you view the rest of the world.
“To understand the world you must first understand a place like Mississippi.”
— William Faulkner
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