Voted by Lucky magazine as a small town with big style–it doesn’t take long to realize why Oxford, Mississippi, located off Interstate 55 about an hour from Memphis, Tennessee, is a shopper’s paradise. Read on for our top picks when it comes to the ultimate souvenir shopping.
- Flanking the Square, which was incorporated in 1837, find boutiques, independent bookstores, art galleries and eateries. A historical point of interest, Neilson’s–founded in 1839, is the oldest department store in the South.
- Be inspired with decorative findings at Stash by the Weathervane home store. Try Jones at Home Interiors, opened in February 2014 by mother and son Christy and Charles Jones, for classic, contemporary solutions that make a house a home.
- Square Books, voted “Bookstore of the Year” in 2013 by Publisher’s Weekly, is the perfect resting place for exploring literary works, many written by authors who call Oxford home.
- Antique stores abound in Oxford, as do options for customized gifts–making the town a go-to destination when it comes to finding something for everyone on your list. Utilize the Southern stamp–the monogram–at Olive Juice Gifts for a personalized souvenir. Other can’t-miss stops include Oxford Floral, specializing in floral needs, fine gifts, accessories for the home and a full bridal registry of crystals, china and linens, as well as Katherine Beck, featuring unique gifts and trendy home decor.
- No shopping outing is complete without posh pursuits at the ultimate clothiers. In Oxford, this means a visit to Village Tailor for fine jewelry, clothing, shoes and handbags, Therapy for trendy fashions and impeccable service and Cicada for brands like Rag and Bone and Chanel.
TIP: While shopping the Square, don’t miss the Mississippi Blues Trail marker, which commemorates many of Oxford’s musicians and the blues heritage that exists in the Mississippi Hills.
Stay energized between shopping excursions with bites from these area eateries:
Big Bad Breakfast (719 North Lamar Boulevard): House-cured Tabasco and brown sugar bacon, crispy Southern fried chicken or the Anson Mills steel-cut oatmeal has you coming back for more before you’re even finished.
Bouré (110 Courthouse Square): Housed in the old Leslie’s Drug Store, the renovated space reflects the upscale, downhome fare offered at Bouré.
Snackbar (Mid Town Shopping Center, 721 North Lamar Boulevard): Combines the flavors of a French bistro with a North Mississippi café, resulting in a “Bubba Brasserie” cuisine with offerings like the Gumbo Salad, combining crab meat with fried okra and accented with a sassafras vinaigrette.
City Grocery (152 Courthouse Square): Makes for a winning combination with linen draped tables set amidst exposed brick walls and heart of pine plank flooring. Shrimp and Grits or Chilled Crab Meat Succotash round out a menu as special as the ambiance.
Fat Eddie’s (1309 North Lamar Boulevard): A place all about the sauce, serving up old school Italian favorites–think rigatoni, fettuccine and spaghetti–in a memorable setting.
Saint Leo (1101 East Jackson Avenue): When Northern Californian Emily Blount put roots down in Oxford, she combined her love for big city style and small town hospitality with the earthy simplicity of wood-fired Italian cooking resulting in satisfying dishes like Pork Belly, Kale and Ricotta.
Ajax Diner (118 Courthouse Square): Soul food favorite with offerings like red beans and rice with grilled Andouille, fried okra and mashed potatoes.
Canoodle by Oxford Canteen (1006 Van Buren Avenue): Brings classic Vietnamese sandwiches and noodle bowls to downtown Oxford.
Bottletree Bakery (923 Van Buren Avenue): Promises a bright start to every day with Raspberry Raisin Swirl Bread and fresh-baked cinnamon rolls worth their weight in calories.
McEwen’s (1110 Van Buren Avenue): Offers traditional American fare with an upscale twist and wows with dishes like Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass and Truffle Lobster Mac and Cheese.
Holli’s Sweet Tooth (265 North Lamar Boulevard): Top off your visit with sugary temptations from an Oxford treat.
TIP: After an Ole Miss football game, make like a local and visit the Chevron on the corner of University Boulevard (502 South Lamar Boulevard) for the much touted chicken on a stick, a fan food favorite.