Monday, October 24, 2011


Monmouth Plantation – 36 Melrose Avenue; 601-442-5852 or 800-828-4531;; luxe antebellum accommodations.
Sights & Sites
Natchez Trace – Natchez Trace Parkway;; cutting from Natchez, MS, through AL, to Nashville, TN, this 444 mile, 2-lane road follows what was once buffalo, then Indian, then trader trail. Make sure to see: (1) Sunken Trace – milepost 41.5 (outside Port Gibson, MS), offers “enchanting” hike; (2) Cypress Swamp – milepost 122 (Canton, MS), hike through bald cypress and tupelo swamp; (3) Tupelo – milepost 266 (Tupelo, MS), Elvis birthplace; (4) Rock Spring Nature Trail – milepost 330.2 (Cherokee, AL), in late summer, this 20-minute loop is surrounded by blooming jewelweed, which attracts 100s of ruby-throated hummingbirds; (5) Jackson Falls – milepost 404.7 (Shady Grove, TN), named for Andrew Jackson, these are Trace’s most stunning waterfalls; and (6) Loveless Café – milepost 444 (Nashville, TN), half mile after Trace ends, stop by for red-eye gravy and biscuits.

Bars & Nightclubs
Po’ Monkey’s Lounge – Poor Monkey Road (take Highway 61 to corner store and get directions);; juke joint.
Crawdad’s Restaurant – 104 Park Street; 662-748-2441;; smoke-y steaks.
McCarty’s – 101 Saint Mary Street; 662-748-2293;; ceramics.

Port Gibson (includes Alcorn, Lorman & Rodney)
Canemount Plantation – 3999 Highway 552 (Lorman); 601-877-3784 or 800-423-068.
Rosswood Plantation – 2513 Red Lick Road (Lorman); 601-437-4215;
Old Country Store – 18801 Highway 61 South (Lorman); 601-437-3661; built in late 19th Century; classic Southern buffet; this is no movie set, or modernized, made-to-look-old theme restaurant; pay at cash register.
Sights & Sites
Bethel Presbyterian Church – Mississippi Highway 552 (north of Alcorn);; original congregation organized in 1826 under Dr. Jeremiah Chamberlain; during North’s campaign to take Vicksburg, General Grant landed troops east of Mississippi River just few miles from here at Bruinsburg, passing Bethel Church on April 30, 1863 moving to Port Gibson on Rodney Road.
Rocky Springs – between Old Port Gibson Road & Natchez Trace Parkway, mile post 54.8;; ghost town and historic site located in Claiborne County; can be viewed by public during daylight hours.
Shaifer House – take Highway 552 (Rodney Road) south from Port Gibson 1.1 miles, left on Bessie Weathers Road (Magnolia Church at intersection), south 1.3 miles, then right onto unmarked gravel (Shaifer) road, after 1 mile, will come to Old Magnolia Church historical markers, and continue .4 miles to Shaifer House; Confederate Gen. Martin E. Green, on April 30, 1863, posted his brigade near Magnolia Church, with outpost here; shortly after midnight, rode forward to check on pickets; found Mrs. A.K. Shaifer and other ladies piling household effects on wagon; Green assured women there was no need to hurry, since Yankees couldn’t possibly arrive before daybreak; hardly had he spoken before musketry crashed, pickets having exchanged shots with Union vanguard (21st Iowa soldiers); women leaped into wagon and headed for Port Gibson; Green returned to Magnolia Church to alert his troops; Confederate pickets fell back before federal advance; during Battle of Port Gibson, Shaifer house served as Gen. John A. McClernand’s GHQ and union hospital.
Sunken Trace – Natchez Trace Parkway milepost 41.5 (north of Port Gibson and just north of Highway 18);; walk short portion original Natchez Trace though deeply eroded trail; trace appears sunken due to Ks travelers walking on easily eroded loose soil.
Windsor Ruins – 15095 Rodney Road (about 10 miles southwest of Port Gibson, near Alcorn State University); 601-437-4351;; Mississippi’s largest antebellum Greek Revival mansion; at one time covered 2.6K acres; Smith Coffee Daniell II constructed 1859-1861 (designed by David Shroder who also designed and built Rosswood, located in Lorman); labor by slaves; 29 45' columns (with iron Corinthian capitals) supported projecting roof line; galleries encompassed house at 2nd & 3rd levels; skilled New England carpenters finished woodwork; iron stairs, column capitals, and balustrades manufactured in St. Louis and shipped down Mississippi River to Bruinsburg Port (several miles west of Windsor); mansion cost about $175K (equal to $4.5M today); Smith Daniell lived in home only few weeks before died (age 34); contained over 25 rooms, each with fireplace; among other innovations, interior baths supplied with water from attic tank; during Civil War, used by both Confederate and Union troops; on February 17, 1890, guest left lighted cigar on balcony, causing fire that burned from top to bottom, making it impossible to extinguish; house completely destroyed; only remnants today are 23 columns & wrought-iron stairs.

Bars & Nightclubs
Ground Zero Blues Club – 387 Delta Avenue; 662-621-9009;; owned by Morgan Freeman.
Red’s Lounge – 395 Sunflower Avenue; genuine juke joint.
Lofts at Five & Dime – 121 East 2nd Street; 662-645-8874 or 888-510-9604;; 6 rooms; above old Woolworth’s.
Shack Up Inn – 1 Commissary Circle; 662-624-8329;; bare-bones “bass camp” (guitar camp & hotel).
Madidi – 164 Delta Avenue; 662-627-7770;; owned by Morgan Freeman; Southern soul food.
Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art – 252 Delta Avenue; 662-624-5992;; books and music emporium.
Sights & Sites
Delta Blues Museum – 1 Blues Alley; 662-627-6820;
Rock & Blues Museum – 113 East 2nd Street; 662-605-8662;

Interstate BBQ – 150 Stateline Road West; 662-393-5699;; surly staff, great barbecue.

Sights & Sites
Beauvoir – 2244 Beach Boulevard; 228-388-4400;; notable as historic post-war home (1876-1889) of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis; construction begun in 1848 and purchased in 1873 by planter Samuel Dorsey and his wife Sarah Dorsey; after her husband’s death (1875), widow learned of Davis’ difficulties and invited him to plantation, offering him cottage near main house where could live and work at his memoirs; he ended up living there for life’s remainder; ill with cancer, in 1878, she remade her will and bequeathed Beauvoir to Davis and his surviving daughter, Varina Anne Davis, who sold it in 1902 to Mississippi Chapter of Sons of Confederate Veterans, stipulating that it be used as Confederate veterans home and later as Davis memorial; barracks built and property used as home until 1953, when adapted as museum; in 1998, Presidential library completed and opened on site; badly damaged (partially destroyed) during Hurricane Katrina (August 29, 2005); restored and re-opened; work continues on library.
Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art – 386 Beach Boulevard; 228-374-5547;; African-American art.

Hilton Garden Inn Jackson Downtown – 235 West Capitol Street; 601-353-5464;; restored historic building.
Big Apple Inn – 509 North Farish Street; 601-354-4549; pig-ear sandwiches and history as Civil Rights Movement’s “cradle.”
Mayflower Café – 123 West Capitol Street; 601-355-4122; institution; celebrities, lawyers, and politicians.
Palette Café – 380 South Lamar Street (at Mississippi Museum of Art); 601-960-1515;; operated by Viking and easily best place for lunch downtown.
Sights & Sites
Agriculture & Forestry Museum – 1150 Lakeland Drive; 601-713-3365;; rustic; spread among several buildings designed to resemble small Mississippi town, complete with blacksmith’s shop and general store.
Lefleur’s Bluff State Park – 2148 Riverside Drive; 601-987-3923;; nice hiking trails; includes Museum of Natural Science (see below).
Mississippi Museum of Art – 380 South Lamar Street; 601-960-1515;; includes everything from folk art and photography to pre-Columbian art and American landscapes; also, Art Garden and Palette Cafe.
Museum of Natural Science – 2148 Riverside Drive (at Lefleur’s Bluff State Park); 601-354-7303;; indoor-outdoor exhibits; aquariums.
Old Capitol – 100 State Street; 601-576-6920;; described as “without question, state’s most historic building.”
Smith Robertson Museum – 528 Bloom Street; 601-960-1457;; housed in Mississippi’s 1st public school for African American children; Richard Wright’s alma mater; traces African American cultural history.
Eudora Welty House – 601-353-7762; 1119 Pinehurst Street;; have to arrange in advance (tours 9 & 11 am and 1 & 3 pm, Wednesday-Friday); Tudor Revival house in which Welty lived for over 75 years; lovely garden.

Sights & Sites
Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge – 7200 Crane Lane; 228-497-6322;; established in 1975 to safeguard endangered Mississippi Sandhill Crane and its unique disappearing wet pine savanna habitat; consists of more than 19K acres 4 units; part of Gulf Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Bars & Nightclubs
Ajax Diner – 118 Courthouse Square; 662-232-8880;; excellent Bloody Marys.
City Grocery – 152 Courthouse Square; 662-232-8080;; rowdy bar upstairs.
Lamar Lounge – 1309 North Lamar Boulevard; 662-513-6197;; full bar.
Proud Larry’s – 211 South Lamar Boulevard; 662-236-0050;; bar and live music venue.
Blue Creek Cabins – 535 Highway 30 East; 662-238-2897;; liveable historical piece; hand water pump in kitchen; 19th Century relic is humble but comfortable.
Castle Hill Resort – 120 Castlehill Drive; 662-234-3735;; old South mansion replica; massive; 4-poster beds in rooms.
5 Twelve – 512 Van Buren Avenue; 662-234-8043;; perhaps highest ceilings around.
Inn at Ole Miss – Ole Miss campus; 662-234-2331 or 888-486-7666;; Oxford’s only full-service hotel; offers shuttle service into town.
Inn at Ravine – 53 Pea Ridge Road; 662-234-4555;; decor is tad Cracker Barrel; worth staying if only for fantastic breakfasts.
Z Shanty – 1015 South 11th Street; 713-927-1295;; 80s decor includes 2 silver lame couches.
Ajax Diner – 118 Courthouse Square; 662-232-8880;; classic Southern comfort food.
Big Bad Breakfast – 719 North Lamar Boulevard; 662-236-2666; try “cathead” (house-made biscuit with fried chicken and slice cheddar cheese).
Boure – 309 North Lamar Boulevard; 662-234-1968;; Cajun-Creole food.
City Grocery – 152 Courthouse Square; 662-232-8080;; elegant dining downstairs.
Ravine – 53 Pea Ridge Road; 662-234-4555;; 2 outdoor patios surrounded by woods for secluded dining experience; contemporary Southern food emphasizing locally raised beef, pork, and seafood, as well as freshly made pastas; uses herbs & vegetables from own gardens, as well as produce from farms in surrounding area.
Lamar Lounge – 1309 North Lamar Boulevard; 662-513-6197;; for brisket; also only pit-smoked, whole hog barbecue in Mississippi.
Oxford Canteen – 1006 Van Buren Avenue; 662-234-5343;; modern take on breakfast & lunch counter.
Ravine – 53 Pea Ridge Road; 662-234-4555;; sophisticated, warm restaurant few miles outside of town.
Snackbar – 721 North Lamar Boulevard; 662-236-6363;; edgier Southern food, such as pig’s ear stirfry.
Taylor Grocery & Restaurant – County Road 338; 662-236-1716;; catfish tradition on Sunday nights; BYOB.
End of All Music – 1423 North Lamar Boulevard; 662-281-1909;; record store (vinyl) but clean & well-lit.
Green Door Company – 1501 Molly Barr Road; 662-380-5074;; distinctive, reclaimed wood furniture.
Off-Square Books – 129 Courthouse Square; 662-236-2828;
Square Books – 160 Courthouse Square; 662-236-2262;
Sights & Sites
Courthouse Square – bound by Jackson Avenue East & Van Buren Avenue;; town hub that dates back to Civil War.
Rowan Oak – 917 Old Taylor Road; 662-234-3284;; open every day except Monday; William Faulkner’s house.
Whirlpool Trails – at end of Coliseum Drive, across Highway 6;; miles long trail on University of Mississippi campus has almost everything for trail rider, from race-pace riders to weekend warriors, even to 1st-timers out on their brand new hybrids; expert trail building (trained by IMBA) yields excellent topography usage, as well as fun use of sustainable features.
Woodson Ridge Farms – 110 County Road 2068; 662-719-5305;; fresh, local produce.

Sights & Sites
Elvis Presley Museum – 306 Elvis Presley Drive; 662-841-1245;
Tupelo Hardware – 114 West Main Street; 662-842-4637;; where Elvis Presley bought his 1st guitar.

Alluvian – 318 Howard Street; 662-453-2114 or 866-728-6700;
Giardina’s – 318 Howard Street; restaurant began life as drive-in; ask to be seated in curtained booth; pronounced “Gardeena’s.”
Spooney’s Trail Bar-Be-Que – 404 Pelican Street; 662-709-1465;; great ribs.
Sights & Sites
Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church – Money Road; 662-455-0004; humble wooden church set under oak trees; small graveyard holds Robert Johnson’s tombstone; 2 other graves are in Quito and Morgan City.

Morgan City
Sights & Sites
New Zion Cemetery – Highway 49E (Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 507 4th Street); 985-385-4019 (church); Robert Johnson grave; 2 other graves are in Greenwood and Quito.

Sights & Sites
Payne Chapel Cemetery – County Road 167; 662-494-2500 (Church, 10052 Payne Field Road, West Point); Robert Johnson burial site; 2 other graves are in Greenwood and Morgan City.

Sights & Sites
Cypress Swamp – Natchez Trace Parkway milepost 122;; walk on raised, wooden boardwalk through bald cypress and tupelo swamp.

Holly Springs
Phillips Grocery Store – 541-A East Van Dorn Avenue; 662-252-4671; hamburgers.

Holly Ridge
Sights & Sites
Holly Ridge Cemetery – Holly Ridge Road (Sunflower Co.); where Charley Patton buried; John Fogerty re-installed tombstone in 1990; road to Holly Ridge intersects Highway 82 about half-way between Leland and Indianola (easy to miss little road), 1 mile from Highway 82 to “T” intersection in Holly Ridge; about 100 yards before intersection, cross railroad; stop at “T” intersection, then turn left (west) and go about .25 mile; on left is huge, tan-colored cotton gin, cemetery lying beside and just past cotton gin; walk to cemetery’s read (toward railroad tracks) and will find Charley Patton’s grave.

Club Ebony – 404 Hannah Street; 662-887-2264;; historic blues club from 1948 where Ray Charles, Count Basie, and B.B. King, among others, headlined; good place for burger; live jazz on Saturdays.
Po’ Monkey’s – off Highway 61 (near Merigold, 45 minutes northwest of Indianola); 662-748-2254; classic juke joint; looks like will blow down but has looked that way since 1950s; owned by Willie “Po’ Monkey” Seaberry; R&B every Thursday night.
Sights & Sites
B.B. King Museum & Delta Interpretive Center – 400 2nd Street; 662-887-9539;; tour ends in guitar studio.

Ahern’s Belle of Bends – 508 Klein Street; 601-634-0737;; sits atop bluff overlooking Mississippi River; among Mississippi’s best preserved historical homes.
Rusty’s River Front Grill – 901 Washington Street; 601-638-2030;
Walnut Hills – 1214 Adams Street; 601-638-4910;; must-visit, Southern cooking restaurant.
Sights & Sites
Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum – 1107 South Washington Street; 601-638-6514;
Vicksburg Battlefield Museum & National Park – 4139 North Frontage Road (museum) or 3201 Clay Street (national park); 601-638-6500 (museum) or 601-636-0583; (museum) or (national park).

Sights & Sites
Highway 61 Blues Museum – 307 North Broad Street; 662-686-7646;

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