Touted as the "Cultural Mecca of the South," creativity abounds in Oxford as musicians, artists and writers alike find inspiration in Oxford's rich history, small-town charm and creative community. Over the years, Oxford also has been known for offering exceptional culinary experiences and as the home of the University of Mississippi and the Ole Miss Rebels. There is always something here to immerse yourself in when you visit Oxford.
MEET ALYSIA BURTON STEELE
Author of Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother's Wisdom, featuring interviews and photographs of Southern grandmothers and their life stories, Alysia Burton Steele is an assistant journalism professor at the University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism, photographer and author. Steele earned her master's degree in photography from Ohio University and moved to Oxford, Mississippi in 2012. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, NBC.com, USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times, National Public Radio, Free Lance-Star and Southern Living. To learn more about Alysia's favorite spots to eat, relax and work, take a look at her Oxford itinerary below.
A fan of barbecue, beer and live music? Lamar Lounge, Mississippi's only pit-smoked, whole hog barbeque, offers a menu of daily specials, happy hour, a full bar and stage for live music and entertainment.
A retreat from the bustling college town, Lamar Park provides a wonderful outdoor escape. Various walking trails, garden features and a quiet lake dominate the landscape of this Oxford park.
Tour the home of arguably one of America's greatest literary minds, William Faulkner. While residing at Rowan Oak, he wrote such masterpieces as As I Lay Dying, Absalom, Absalom!, Lightin August, and A Fable.
EXPLORE WATER VALLEY
Nestled in the rolling hills of North Mississippi, a little less than 20 miles from college town Oxford, Water Valley is a gem of a small town, chock full of good eats and an emerging art scene. A utopia for the foodie with an appreciation for art, B.T.C Old-Fashioned Grocery, Yalo Studio and Bozarts Gallery can all be found on historic Main Street.
MEET DIXIE GRIMES
Dixie Grimes began her career as sous chef at Oxford's Downtown Grill, but she's made her mark with her own place, the Dixie Belle Café, in Water Valley, Mississippi. Operating from the B.T.C. Grocery building (B.T.C. stands for "Be The Change"), Dixie catapulted the cafe to fame in Mississippi Magazine, the New York Times, Food & Wine and the Wall Street Journal. The restaurant serves breakfast items like sausage gravy and grits, blue plate lunches, burgers, soups, sandwiches, take-home casseroles and made-from-scratch cakes. The B.T.C. Grocery works with local farmers to provide grass-fed ground beef, local eggs, glass-bottled milk, strawberries, blue cheeses, and tomatoes. To see where Dixie hangs out when she's not in the kitchen, take a look at her Water Valley itinerary below.
BOZARTS ART GALLERY
Located on historic Main Street, this gallery brings urban culture to small town Mississippi with special exhibits of works from local, regional and national artists.
TURNAGE DRUG STORE
Reminiscent of a bygone era of simpler times, this drug store includes a gift shop and old-fashioned soda fountain housed in a historic building dating back to the 1800's.
Grab a cold one at this local brewery housed in the former Hendrick's Machine Shop, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Take your pick of five signature ales and pilsners brewed throughout the year along with several seasonal brews.