Last weekend we traveled up to Oxford, Mississippi for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, Michael and I sit on something called the Ole Miss Family Leadership Council and our spring meeting was scheduled that Friday afternoon. Secondly, our oldest son attends school there so we obviously wanted to spend some time with him. Our spring meeting also happened to coincide with the annual Double Decker Festival that is held each April in Oxford and if you get a chance to attend, I highly recommend it. Tens of thousands of people from all over the WORLD (we hung out with some visitors from Sydney, Australia) come to check out local artisans and rock out to amazing bands. It’s a two day festival and it’s very well organized and family friendly.
We do find excuses to head up to Oxford as much as we can (it’s just a jewel of a town), and I often get asked for recommendations on where to stay, eat, play and shop. I thought I’d do a quick overview of some of our favorites if you find yourself in The Velvet Ditch (meaning Oxford is a place that is easy to fall into and hard to climb out of…)
FAVORITE HOTELS IN OXFORD
The Graduate Oxford
This is where we stayed last weekend and probably the more family friendly of our top two faves. It’s right off the Square so it’s walking distance to all the great restaurants and shops, but since it’s not RIGHT on the Square it’s a bit quieter. The parking is excellent and it’s extremely pet-friendly. They even give your pet a Bark Box on check-in! They have free shuttles to just about anywhere you want to go (including campus) and their roof top bar is legendary. The vibe is very cool and hip. The artwork is sourced locally and the lobby is user-friendly to students that want to study or parents that want to hang out in the lobby bar until the wee hours!
This is the most elegant hotel on campus and my favorite place to stay when we don’t have a child or pet with us (although they are also pet friendly-they offer mahogany pet crates!!!). They don’t have any grounds per se, so taking the dog for a quick bathroom break is tricky. The rooms are incredibly well appointed, the bathrooms are to die for, and they even personalize the stationary in the room with your name during your stay! I love hanging in the “library” by the fire during the winter months. The Chancellor’s Grille dining room has one of the best meals in town as well.
The Inn at Ole Miss
It’s all about the location (right on campus) and the free breakfast! The lobby is actually rather nice, but it’s truly all about the location. If you’re lucky enough to score a room here on a game weekend, you are about 100 yards from The Grove. You can’t get a better location than that! Breakfast is included with your stay and I think it’s really good! #cheesegritsforlife
FAVORITE BREAKFAST SPOTS IN OXFORD
I could eat breakfast three meals a day, but unfortunately most of these places are not open all day and night. Lines are usually long-either get up really early, check in after noon, or just be really patient!
This is the family waiting to be seated at Big Bad Breakfast…note we are still smiling (the wait was over an hour)!
Fill Up at Billups’s
Right on the Square, the location is excellent and my favorite of all the options
Brick & Spoon
This is a chain but the food is great. If you’re a fan of Bloody Mary’s you’re going to love this place!
Good old-fashioned southern diner food-and great prices. This is where the locals eat. Well, they eat everywhere, but a lot more of them eat here.
Big Bad Breakfast
Probably the most “famous” of the breakfast places…was it worth waiting in line for over an hour? Probably not.
OTHER FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT IN OXFORD
Right off the Square, has great live music and also excellent gluten-free crust!!
If you’re a student you’ll need a car to get here (it’s down near Lamar Park). Great atmosphere and another pizza place with gluten-free crust! Also a chain all over the South.
Did you know that Newk’s was founded in Oxford? Yep!
Southern down-home cooking at its finest. Eli Manning has been spotted here many times (he lives in Oxford). When I could still eat gluten, I would skip breakfast and lunch just to eat their chicken and dumplings with a side of sweet potato casserole.
Their bread pudding changes weekly, but my heart belongs to the fried green tomatoes. Southern cuisine but a bit elevated. Also right on the Square.
Also on the Square-and one of the most amazing meals I’ve ever had. Just go look at the menu.
A Greek restaurant in an old gas station…it’s quirky and it’s yummy and one of our family’s favorites!
Italian dining right on the Square…you feel like you’re in a basement in Rome
It’s a James Beard “Best New Restaurant” semi-finalist. Eating there will not be something you regret.
This is an experience. Chefs in training from the main campus of the Culinary Institute of America in New York come here to train. Reservations are required and eating here is an event!!
FAVORITE SPOTS FOR OLE MISS GEAR
If you want to show your love for Ole Miss, the decal you’re looking for is at Rebel Rags.
Need a hair bow? Rebel Rags has those too!
If you’re looking for something that has “Ole Miss” or “University of Mississippi” on it and it isn’t here, it doesn’t exist. This is the home of the Rebels on steroids.
On the Square, this store has unique takes on Ole Miss tees that aren’t “typical” souvenir type shirts.
This is just a quick look at a few of our favorite spots. I’d love to do another post on my favorite boutiques and other places around Oxford to visit that have nothing to do with the University. Please let me know if you’d like to learn more about one of my favorite places to spend time!
Now come hang out with me as I show you a few highlights of the Double Decker Arts Festival in Oxford, Mississippi!