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Oxford Mississippi

Cultural Mecca of the South Small-Town Charm and Literary Destination

Oxford was founded in 1837, on land that had once belonged to the Chickasaw Indian Nation and named after Oxford, England. The Mississippi Legislature voted in 1841 to make Oxford the home of the state’s first University which opened its doors in 1848 to 80 students and has since become one of the nation’s finest public Universities.

Ole missFrom the Civil War to Cultural Mecca in 1864 Union troops set fire to the Courthouse, most of the Square and many homes. During the Civil Rights movement, James Meredith entered the University of Mississippi as the first African American student. The city is now known as the home of Nobel Prize winning author William Faulkner and has been featured as a literary destination in publications such as Conde Nast Traveler, Southern Living and Garden and Gun.  Many writers have followed in Faulkner’s footsteps, making Oxford their home over the years adding to the literary reputation Oxford has become renowned for including: Larry Brown, Barry Hannah, Willie Morris, and John Grisham.

Rowan OakGeography the city is-located-in the North Central Hills region of Mississippi, known for its heavily forested hills and red clay. Downtown Oxford sits on one ridge and the University of Mississippi sits on another one, while the main commercial corridors on either side of the city sit in valleys.

The Square has remained the cultural and economic hub of the city and is home to a variety of shops, boutiques, the south’s oldest department store and a famous independent bookstore. Around the Historic Downtown Square there are restaurants ranging from down-home southern cooking to elegant haute cuisine.

Oxford Ventress HallThe Circle Historic District is located at the center of the Ole Miss campus with eight academic buildings arranged on University Circle, including the Lyceum Building, Brevard Hall, the Croft Institute for International Studies, the Carrier, Shoemaker, Ventress, Bryant, and Peabody dormitory halls. The district also includes the flagpole, the Confederate Monument, and University Circle.

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Mississippi Sights Sounds and Food Traditions

Mississippi Regions

Mississippi Monmouth Mansion NatchezDelta As diverse as the crops that grow here and the music that made it famous, the Mississippi Delta is a melting pot of cultures – from African to Italian to Asian.

Capital-River from a mighty river and antebellum mansions to downtowns with restaurants featuring soul food, authentic ethnic dishes and modern culinary delights.

Pines barbecue and bakeries, cheese and cheesecakes, the tastes of this region take their influences from their Native American heritage and the railroads that brought lumber, cotton and other goods.

Hills home to William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams and Southern fiction characters, platters of fried chicken, skillets of cornbread, and delicacies such as pecan pie.

Coast a little of everything:  golf, gambling, art, architecture and great food. Immigrants from all over the world – Croatian, Vietnamese and French – a blend of cultures and culinary traditions.

Sights and Sounds

GracelandThe B.B. King Museum is a tribute to one of Mississippi’s most famous sons and the land that inspired his music. With its sleek, linear design, the 20,000-square-foot museum carved out of an old cotton gin is a convergence of old and new and is a cornerstone of Mississippi’s blues heritage.

The Birthplace of Elvis Presley in Tupelo, Mississippi is the only location in the world where you can see, feel and touch where the King of Rock & Roll began his musical journey.

Delta Blues Museum in the land where the Blues began, just 90 miles south of Memphis, is dedicated to exploring the history and heritage of this unique American musical art form.

Vicksburg National Military Park commemorates the campaign, siege and defense of Vicksburg. Its surrender on July 4, 1863, coupled with the fall of Port Hudson, Louisiana, divided the South, and gave the North undisputed control of the Mississippi River. It includes 1,330 monuments and markers, a 16-mile tour road, a restored Union gunboat, and a National Cemetery.

Natchez’s historic district is of the oldest permanent settlement along the Mississippi. It boasts over 500 historic homes and sites, seasonal trees, unique courtyards, five historical churches and roof top views.

Numerous antebellum mansions, many of them private residences, open their doors to visitors during the five-week Pilgrimage every spring and fall.

Food and Drink

Food FarmersThe Mississippi Story can be told through heirloom recipes, family-owned restaurants and farm-to-table menus full of celebrated dishes. From catfish to comeback sauce, from tamales to traditional Southern sweets, from shrimp to slugburgers to sweet potatoes, Mississippi’s culinary heritage is home to award-winning chefs, noted national food writers, as well as some of the best home cooks and out-of-the way diners to be found anywhere.

Mississippi is a true melting pot of regional, ethnic, national and international cuisine

African-American Influence what has come to be known and loved nationally as “soul food” runs through virtually all culinary styles. Traditional Southern fare such as barbeque, comfort food and sweet tea; a cooking style that Mississippi can truly call its own.

In the early twentieth century, migrant workers from Mexico left their mark on the Mississippi Delta with the ever-popular tamale. Italians, Chinese, Lebanese and other immigrants also reshaped the course of Mississippi cuisine. In Jackson, the Greek influx of the mid-twentieth century remains a dominant force on the local restaurant scene. Along the Gulf Coast, newcomers from Croatia, Italy and Vietnam settled in to enrich and expand upon traditional Gulf seafood dishes.

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Lower Mississippi River Itineraries

a melting pot of cultures ethnic groups and international cuisine

The Lower Mississippi River flows downstream from Cairo, Illinois and the confluence with the Ohio River, for 1600 Kilometers – 1000 miles – to the Gulf of Mexico. It is the most heavily travelled component of this river system. Unlike on the upper rivers, there are no locks and dams on the Lower Mississippi. The river is, however, constrained by levees and dams that control flooding and secure the navigation channel for barge traffic.

MississippiA Melting Pot of Cultures, ethnic groups and international cuisine – from African to Italian to Asian. Capital-River from a mighty river and antebellum mansions to downtown with restaurants featuring soul food, authentic ethnic dishes and modern culinary delights. Pines barbecue and bakeries, cheese and cheesecakes, the tastes of this region take their influences from their Native American heritage. Hills home to William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams and Southern fiction characters, platters of fried chicken, skillets of cornbread, and delicacies such as pecan pie. Coast golf, gambling, art, architecture and great food.

Mississippi River leveesNavigation the Corps of Engineers maintains channel depth of 9 feet from St. Louis to Baton Rouge. On the lower Mississippi, from Baton Rouge to the Gulf, the navigation depth is 45 feet, allowing for container ships and cruise ships to dock at the port of New Orleans.

Nashville has been the subject of many books, movies and songs. But, while music is the lifeblood of this city, you will also find here culture, history, haute cuisine, sports, natural beauty and Southern charm.

Blues Rock ’n’ Roll BBQ Pork Capital Cotton Row and Graceland

Memphis is a city with a rich and eclectic history. Some of the city’s traditions and milestones include: Graceland, Home of Elvis Presley, the Memphis Zoo, the Indie Memphis Film Festival, Sun Studio, National Civil Rights Museum, Stax Museum of American Soul Music and Beale Street Music Festival.

french quarterNew Orleans the oldest neighborhood in the city is the French Quarter. Established by the French in 1718, the location continues to be a valuable site for trade due to its strategic position along the Mississippi River. Jackson Square, originally known as the Place d’Armes, was renamed to honor Andrew Jackson, the hero of the Battle of New Orleans. The square is flanked by historic structures such as the St. Louis Cathedral, the Presbytere and Cabildo, which house the Louisiana State Museums, and the Pontalba Apartments – the oldest apartment buildings in the United States.

 

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