Oxford, Mississippi: Things to Do

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.

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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.

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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.

4 thoughts on “Oxford, Mississippi: Things to Do”

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