Entries in ‘Mississippi’ Journal

Oxford, Mississippi: Things to Do

Friday March 7, 2014 at 6:06 AM | 4 Comments

william faulkner, statue

Get your picture taken with William Faulkner in Oxford, Mississippi

Are you visiting Oxford, Mississippi for the first time? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do in sophisticated little Oxford- (quote from William Faulkner)


When I have a visitor from out of town the first place they want to see is the Historic Downtown Square but I also take them to Rowan Oak, home of Author and Nobel Prize Winner William Faulkner, as well as the University of Mississippi campus for a more local, authentic experience.


walk of champions, oxford, mississippi

The Walk of Champions welcomes University of Mississippi football fans to the Grove in Oxford, MS.

When I want to escape the tourists, my favorite place to visit is the Grove on the Ole Miss campus for a picnic with my family.

If this is a romantic trip, I recommend sitting on the statue bench with Mr. Faulkner in front of City Hall or the Balcony of any square restaurants for kissing with a view.

Are you traveling with pets? The best place to walk the dog is the downtown area.


Museums are wonderful, but if you are traveling with kids, you’ll want to visit Avent Park on Park Street. There’s also a Skatepark in Oxford thanks in part to a grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation.


shrimp & grits, boure

Shrimp & grits from Boure in Oxford, Mississippi.

Oxford, Mississippi food:

If you are looking for typical Southern cuisine, I recommend Boure, Ajax Diner and Snack Bar. Snack Bar is where I had my first taste of grits (with mushrooms.)

The best place to go for coffee & a breakfast treat is Bottle Tree Bakery- they have the best humble pie pastries and an oversized cinnamon roll perfect for sharing.


Looking for cheap food in Oxford? Our teenager loved Ajax Diner. We’ve also heard good things about Handy Andy BBQ.For an expensive, yet quality meal, go to City Grocery


The Snack Bar is the spot for late night dining and is the spill over restaurant when Big Bad Breakfast is filled to capacity. As both restaurants are run by the same owner, we decided not to wait an hour for breakfast at the popular diner when the majority of the same menu was available next door.




Seeing a lot of “hotty toddy” references – this is a popular expression at Ole Miss. I can’t wait to experience a football game and tailgate in the Grove!


When you come to Oxford, get your picture taken with the William Faulkner Statue in front of City Hall.


The best vantage points are taken by walking to the top of Balcony’s on the Square. The balcony off Square Books offers great views and is the best place to watch or experience the Double Decker Arts Festival – held the last weekend in April each year.


In Oxford, outdoor enthusiasts will want to bike and walk. Walking tour brochures are available at Visit Oxford Visitors Center and bike trails are located on the visitoxfordms.com website.


Lucius Lamar

Visit the post-Civil War home of Lucius Lamar in Oxford, Mississippi

Looking for a little exercise? Walk along the Bailey’s woods walking trail between the University Museum and Rowan Oak, home of author William Faulkner. You can also visit St. Peter’s Cemetery and Faulkner’s grave site. Not surprisingly, you’ll see bottles of Jack Daniel’s left in tribune by the author’s tombstone.


If you are a museum lover, Oxford’s best museum is the University Museum. It was also recommended that I visit the post-Civil War home of L.Q.C. Lamar by my guide, Jack Mayfield, a fifth generation Oxonian and history columnist for The Oxford Eagle. The Oxford Eagle will keep you posted on what’s happening in Oxford.Needless to say, I didn’t have time to take in all the sites of Oxford, but mark my words, I will return!


Looking for exciting night life? Go to Proud Larrys or the Lyric for live music.


In the spring you should attend Double Decker Arts Festival – last weekend in April. Also in the Spring- Ole Miss Baseball is a big deal!

Did you know that Oxford is known for Southern Artists Culture? Plan a visit to Southside Gallery on the square in the fall and don’t forget Ole Miss Football and the Grove.


Lafayette County Courthouse

Lafayette County Courthouse in Oxford, Mississippi

Come to Oxford in the winter and tour the University of Mississippi campus (my family visited President’s weekend.)


Insider Tip: Check out the often over-looked Burns Belfry in Oxford. I’ll bet you didn’t know Author John Grisham used this historic church (now a museum) for his law office while living in Oxford, Mississippi.


Just outside of Oxford you can visit Taylor, MS,  have dinner at the Taylor Grocery for the best catfish you’ve ever eaten!

What are your favorite things to do in Oxford, Mississippi?

Photos and YouTube video by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown. Thanks to Visit Oxford for assistance with this post.

Things to See and Do on Mississippi Gulf Coast

Friday March 9, 2012 at 12:12 AM | 1 Comment

"Biloxi Lighthouse"

When you come to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, get your picture taken at the top of the Biloxi Lighthouse.

Are you visiting the Mississippi Gulf Coast for the first time? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do in Bay St. Louis, Biloxi, Gulfport, Long Beach & Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

When I have a visitor from out of town, I take them to the beach and to the Katrina Memorial at the Biloxi Town Green.  When the high water mark from Hurricane Katrina was pointed out to me, the magnitude of destruction became a little easier to comprehend.

Looking for a quiet place to escape and unwind? Check out one of the many casino resort spas. Most offer great deals if you book in advance.

Don’t miss Lynn Meadows Discovery Center if you have kids traveling with you. It was the state’s first children museum and makes its home inside an old school house.   There’s always a great coupon for a discount too: http://www.gulfcoast.org/coupons/

Southern Food:

If you are looking for typical Mississippi Gulf Coast cuisine, I recommend Mary Mahoney’s Old French House in Biloxi. It was established in 1964 and housed in a building that was constructed in the 1700’s. Delicious seafood. On June 21, 1984, the Presidential Platter was served by Mrs. Mary Mahoney on the White House Lawn for President Reagan and guests. The restaurant has been featured in the John Grisham novel “The Runaway Jury” and in the John Grisham novel “The Partner.”  The best item on the menu at Mary Mahoney’s Old French House is the Half Lobster Imperial.

"McElroy's on the Bayou"

I loved the beignets at McElroy’s on the Bayou in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

I loved the beignets at McElroy’s on the Bayou in Ocean Springs and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I tried the apple walnut pancakes topped with brie cheese at Harbor View Restaurant in Long Beach. Dinner at Lookout Steakhouse in Gulfport Downtown District is also a treat. Save room for the chocolate bomb – sinfully delicious.

Looking for inexpensive yet amazing food on the Mississippi Gulf Coast? Visit The Shed BBQ and Blues Joint in Ocean Springs.Great live music on the weekends. Not only do you get to have fabulous BBQ, you get to have quite an experience!

Just inside of Bay St. Louis, with a great beach view, is 200 North Beach…”Comfortable, casual Southern dining at sensible prices!”

Go to Triplett Day Drug Company for a great breakfast treat or coffee. They serve delicious, warm beignets in a unique diner style setting!

For an expensive, yet quality meal, go to thirty-two at IP Casino Resort Spa in Biloxi. Seafood, steaks, fabulous wine selection – and my favorite: Crab Bisque. Yum! Steak lovers will want to visit Mignon’s in the Palace Casino and if you want to experience authentic Southern food – think fried oysters, cheese grits, red royal shrimp (when in season) and fried green tomatoes – try the Half Shell Oyster House in Biloxi.

The 24/7 Grille at the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi is the best place for late night dining. From omelets and bagels to burgers and seafood, 24/7 Grille has a classic, casual diner atmosphere.

"Bay St. Louis"

Stroll the streets of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Seeing a lot of military members while on vacation? The Mississippi Gulf Coast is home to many military installations, including the 81st Training Wing at Keesler Air Force Base, home to the Hurricane Hunters.

When you come to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, get your picture taken at the top of the Biloxi Lighthouse. The Lighthouse is open for tours Monday – Saturday at 9:00, 9:15, and 9:30 am.

The Ship Island Excursions offer great views of Ship Island, the Gulfport coastline, and the sunset.


"Colorized Tree Sculpture Marlin Miller"

Stop and admire the chainsaw sculptures such as this colorized piece of art by Marlin Miller

On the Mississippi Gulf Coast, nature lovers have the chance to bird watch, hike, or bike through many trails. In this sub-tropical climate, outdoor activities are a year-round option for the Gulf Coast vacationers. Whether you take an eco-tour to view the wildlife or rent a kayak and paddle on one of the rivers and bayous, you are certain to unwind while experiencing nature at its most pristine. You might even spy an alligator.

Looking for a little exercise? Walk along the 62 miles of coastline for a scenic view, complete with the Gulf breeze or head to DeSoto National Forest for twenty-one miles of trail for the horseback rider or hiker.

If you are a museum lover, Biloxi’s best museum is the Frank Gehry-designed Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, located next to the Biloxi Yacht Club on Highway 90.

For a night of dancing, go to Coast Nightclub inside Beau Rivage Resort & Casino. The “Beau” as it is called by locals is typical Southern scene with its giant magnolia trees in the lobby.

"Mississippi Gulf Coast Mardi Gras Maids"

In the spring you should come to the Mississippi Gulf Coast for Mardi Gras. Here are the Queen’s Maids getting ready to ride on a float.


The Sun Herald newspaper will keep you posted on what’s happening on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

You can tell a lot about the Mississippi Gulf Coast from visiting in the spring and enjoying the Mississippi Coast Coliseum’s Crawfish Festival.

"Gulf Coast Carnival Association"

Family-friendly Mardi Gras in Biloxi, Mississippi

In the winter, horse lovers  should attend the Gulf Coast Winter Classics – professional equestrian competitions at the Harrison County Fairgrounds.

In the spring you should attend Mardi Gras on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Lots of parades, family friendly.  This was my first time to the Gulf Coast and I had the good fortune to ride on a float at the Gulf Coast Carnival Association Parade. What an experience! I have never thrown so many beads in my life!

In the summer you should attend the Mississippi Gulf Coast Music, Arts, Crafts, & Seafood Festival aka “Party at the Point” in Biloxi.

Did you know that the Mississippi Gulf Coast hosts the annual Cruisin’ the Coast car show? Visit in October to see all sorts of classic cars.

Insider Tip: See how many chainsaw sculptures you can spot on the Gulf Coast. Check out the often over-looked Biloxi Tour Train


"Bay St. Louis"

Walk the streets of Bay St. Louis on the Mississippi Gulf Coast


The best way to see the Mississippi Gulf Coast is to walk on the beach during the sunset.

What are your favorite things to do on the Mississippi Gulf Coast?

Thanks to Mississippi Gulf Coast for assistance with this post. You may also follow Mississippi Gulf Coast  on Twitter or become a Facebook Fan . I was a guest of Mississippi Gulf Coast. Article, YouTube video and photos by Nancy D. Brown

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