Last week, we had the opportunity to travel to Oxford, MS. Oxford is a special place to us, because it was our college home while we each attended Ole Miss. The Good South was also born as a result of our meeting in Oxford while working at Ole Miss. No matter how many times we visit Oxford, we always discover something new to love about one of the top college towns in the nation. Here are some of our favorite spots from our last trip:
We went to the Ole Miss campus first, as we do on every trip. It has been voted the most beautiful campus in the entire country for the past two years.
The Lyceum is the oldest building on campus, and the double decker bus pictured was imported from England, as Oxford, MS is named after Oxford, England.
The Manning family is revered in Oxford and at Ole Miss. The speed limits on campus are set after the jersey numbers of Archie (18) and Eli (10). They both own homes in Oxford and are often seen around town.
A trip to Ole Miss isn't complete until you visit the Grove. The Grove is a 10 acre green space in the middle of the Ole Miss campus. Students love the Grove, because it is used for a multitude of things. At any given time, you can find students studying, having picnics, throwing the frisbee or football, taking naps, or just hanging out with friends. There are also concerts in the Grove, (Nelly was the most recent) and it is the site of commencement each year.
Seven Saturdays a year, the Grove turns into the number one tailgating spot in the country. USA Today, The New York Times, Tailgater Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and many more have listed the Grove as the premiere tailgating spot in the country. Every square inch is covered in pop-up tents filled with students, alumni, and friends.
Tailgating at Ole Miss is like nothing you've ever seen. It's a tradition to dress in your Sunday best for football games at Ole Miss, so you'll see bow ties everywhere. We approve! You can learn more about tailgating in the Grove by watching this video, (you may recognize our model, William, throughout the video!) but it is impossible to fully explain. It's something you have to experience for yourself.
Pictured L to R: Steven (Colonel Reb 2010), our friends Blake, Ms. Lila, Grandma Lila (Miss Ole Miss 1946), and Jason
We can (and do) spend hours on the Historic Oxford Courthouse Square each trip to Oxford. It is filled with great restaurants, live music, and shopping.
To be a small town, Oxford will blow your mind with some its amazing food. Here are some places we ate this trip:
Ajax. Have you been to Ajax? If you have, we know your mouth is watering just from looking at the picture of the door. It's the place to go in Oxford. We're talking meatloaf, country fried steak, pot roast, any vegetable you can imagine, and so much more. Nom.
The "Thanks, Archie" bumper sticker on the Ajax door. Again, Oxford loves the Manning family.
John Currence, James Beard Award winning chef, has five restaurants in Oxford, and they all worth mention in this blog. Here we go:
City Grocery is a staple in Oxford. The food is amazing, (try the shrimp and grits) but make sure you check out the bar upstairs as well. Friendly folks and great drinks. Esquire Magazine named it one of the best bars in America.
Bouré is one of our favorites. Excellent food, and the second floor balcony has one of the best views on the Square.
Speaking of the second floor balcony at Bouré...We had a photo shoot there for Invitation Oxford while we were in town. The Good South will be featured in the September "Football and Fashion" issue. Keep a lookout for us!
Snackbar is right off the Square. Everything on the menu is worth its weight in gold, but it's the place you want to go for a great cocktail. They have an extensive drink menu, full of unique drinks. We recommend Mordecai's Medicine.
Big Bad Breakfast (it connects to Snackbar) will make you wonder why you have ever eaten breakfast anywhere else. Seriously.
The Lamar Lounge is the newest John Currence restaurant, and it is the only pit-smoked, whole hog barbecue in Mississippi. The coolest thing about the Lamar Lounge? All profits are donated to not-for-profit organizations in Mississippi.
We tried Oxford Canteen for the first time this trip. It's a great new spot for a quick bite on the Square.
If you have room for dessert, there are tons of great spots to choose from in Oxford. We love Holli's Sweet Tooth and YaYa's, but we opted for a "Big as Yo head" ice cream sandwich this trip from Mississippi Madness. (Ok, we're lying. We went to all three but only took a picture at one.)
Oxford is also home to everything William Faulkner. His home, Rowan Oak, is now owned by Ole Miss, and he is buried close to the Square.
A statue of Faulkner is in front of City Hall.
Our friends, Josh and Nick, recently opened a design studio for Blue Delta Jean Co. in Oxford. It's beautiful. If you're looking for a great pair of jeans, check them out.
The Lyric is the Square's largest music venue and hosts a variety of acts each year.
Square Books is everything you could possibly want in a bookstore. Great selection, great location, and great book readings. It has been named the best independent bookstore in the country, and it only takes one visit to see why.
Other things we love in Oxford but didn't get photos of this trip: Volta, Thacker Mountain Radio, Taylor Grocery, and Bottletree Bakery.
We may be biased about Oxford, MS because it's our college town, but it really is one of the greatest places you'll ever visit. It's a place that feels like home, a place you can bump into anyone from a college student or professor, John Grisham or Eli Manning, to a state senator or governor, and it's a place you'll want to visit time and time again. If you've never been, please go. Oxford never disappoints.