Last-Minute Getaway 4: Oxford, MS
Shop, stroll, and eat 'til your buttons burst in this town that treats strangers like friends. A rock star in the constellation of Delta darlings, Oxford, Mississippi is the small town other towns hope to be. Basking under the glow of Ole Miss's iconic reputation, this stop provides the low-key getaway I crave before summer's end.
Lay Me Down to Sleep
My first choice, the Colonel's Quarters, sits five miles outside of town. It's well worth the extra mileagea since this place goes extra with personal touches. Think antebellum architecture repurposed with large bedrooms, private baths and modern sophistication. You'll see its grandeur jutting off highway 6, before experiencing it. Lit up like a magnolia in the moonlight, the place looks like something out of a John Grisham novel.
My Favorite Shoes: When I want something hot and hip to slip my toes into without breaking the budget this is the place I stop. Known for their affordable brands and funky colored shoes with skinny heels, it's the best local shoe store in town. From hard-to-walk in stilettos to cowgirl boots and Sunday shoes, My Favorite Shoes is on my radar every time I come to town. They also carry an assortment of flip-flops sparkling in jewels, celebrity style clutches, and chunky earrings and arm bangles.
The Chocolate Bar: Since it's basically the fifth food group, chocolate triumphs at this store known for its sipping chocolate, chocolate fountain, gourmet chocolate bars from Europe and anything else sure to assist you in having a massive cocoa-attack.
You Ain't Gonna Go Hungry
Bottletree Bakery: Hangout at this sweet stop on the square where fresh breads and pastries are the main attractions. Sit at the counter and watch as servers pour soup bowl servings of hot cocoa topped with homemade whipped cream. Then nibble on their chunky cinnamon rolls so big they tip the saucer.
L & M's Kitchen and Salumeria (left): Italian cured meats are the foundation of this delicious eatery. Known for its upscale feel with orange hued walls, gallery art, and an open kitchen, L & M promises you'll leave satisfied and stuffed. I love the Rigatoni made from spicy Italian sausage they cure on site.
Yocono River Inn: It's B.Y.O.B. at this rural stop 9 miles from town. Though the menu ain't big its fixings are plentiful and grilled to perfection. The place specializes in steaks of which my favorite is the filet, cooked with a crusty exterior and sopping in red wine.
Ajax Diner: The beefiest burger in town brings me back to this stop again and again. It's called the Deuce and boasts 3/4 pound of Black Angus beef sandwiched between a bun that's crowned with a green olive. I love mine topped with red onions, cheese and local tomatoes.
The Grove: Soak up some school pride with a walk through Ole Miss's historic Grove, home to 10-acres of towering trees and fierce tailgating on football weekends. You'll have it practically to yourself right now as coeds get ready to start classes again. To see the action at its busy-best visit during home games:
- August 30: Memphis
- September 13: Samford
- September 20: Vanderbilt
Thacker Mountain Radio Show: Southern storytelling, wit and music come together during this live broadcast show held Thursday nights from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Off Square Books. Can't make it? When in the area tune the dial to Mississippi Public Radio (WOXD 95.5). Season starts back September 11 for the fall.
Proud Larry's: Stop by for live music on weekends. You never know who you'll see. Elvis Costello has even held court on occasion.