Folks traipsing the Mississippi Delta to soak up the mighty blues--both past and present--have veered into a one-of-a-kind adventure. After a day of paying homage to history at the homesites of W. C. Handy, Ike Turner, and Sam Cooke and an evening of jammin' in juke joints, it seems a letdown to stay in a predictable chain motel.
Unfortunately, that's mostly what the area offers--until you look a bit further. If you go for the quirky but lovable, we've found a bed-and-breakfast in Cleveland we think you'll like: Molly's.
This inn looks like any friendly old house from the outside. But step in the front door, and your eyebrows will jump in wonder. You're surrounded by a multitude of life-size wood sculptures. Intricate in composition and form, each work glistens with a rainbow of golden tones.
If you've ever ventured into chic Gallery 119 in downtown Jackson, you'll recognize these pieces as artist Floyd Shaman's. Molly is his wife, and this is their home. It can be yours too--for the weekend.
You'll stay in one of four upstairs rooms. I have to admit, I'm not won over by three: a cowboy-themed room, one with photographs of belly dancers, and a Victorian room. But the watermelon room--now that's fun. The centerpiece is a bed Floyd built with brilliant wooden watermelon wedges atop the four posts.
In Cleveland, you're about 45 minutes from Clarksdale, the heart of Mississippi's blues. In Clarksdale, you can go to the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival August 9 and 10. You'll also find a fabulous upscale dinner at Madidi restaurant.
Even if you don't care for the blues, Cleveland is still a pleasant getaway. By day, you can shop Cotton Row in downtown. By night, try the Bologna Performing Arts Center for theater, dance, or music.
No matter what lures you to The Delta for a weekend, a stay at Molly's won't leave you singin' any sad ole blues.
Molly's Bed & Breakfast: 214 South Bolivar Avenue, Cleveland, MS 38732; (662) 843-9913 or www.shaman.home.dixie-net.com. Rates: $70, double occupancy.
This article is from the July 2002 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.