Gracious Hospitality, Dedicated to Maintaining Southern Charm and Gentility
All the best in shopping, dining, sports and culture can be found in historic Oxford and surrounding Lafayette County. Located 70 miles southeast of Memphis, the area offers a delightful abundance of tourist amenities.
A city of approximately 19,000 residents, Oxford is a vibrant university town filled with unique shops and galleries, eclectic restaurants and clubs, historic landmarks and comfortable inns. One of the South’s crown jewels, it is home to the University of Mississippi and hosts an array of exciting Southeast Conference athletic events as well as enlightening and enriching performing arts programs, scholarly presentations, museums and exhibits. The area is dotted with parks and recreation centers that offer tennis, swimming, hiking, fishing, golf and other sports.
While dedicated to maintaining its Southern charm and gentility, the area has evolved into a cultural oasis for the arts and learning. Oxford produced Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner. Other nationally celebrated authors such as John Grisham, Larry Brown, Cynthia Shearer and Barry Hannah have followed Faulkner’s lead by making Oxford their home. Independent bookstore, Square Books, and annual events such as the Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference and the Oxford Conference for the Book have made the town a destination for not only writers, but readers as well.
Awash in the colors of blooming azaleas, wisteria and dogwoods each spring, Oxford celebrates its appreciation of fine crafts, good music and delicious food by hosting the Double Decker Arts Festival on the picturesque downtown Square. Taking its name from the town’s authentic double decker bus imported from England in 1994, the festival brings together visitors and residents alike for a daylong celebration of music, food and the arts. Over 120 selected art vendors from around the region display their creative wares for the anticipated 50,000 attendees. Shoppers can browse to the rhythmic sounds of bluegrass, jazz, gospel, blues, country folk, Cajun and rock-and-roll musical groups, while sampling the variety of culinary treats from local restaurateurs.
Each fall, Oxford doubles in size for nine months of the year when University of Mississippi students enroll in classes. Thousands of fans travel to Oxford to see exciting SEC football as the Ole Miss Rebels take the field. In addition to its nationally recognized athletic program, the University of Mississippi houses the Blues Archive, the world’s largest collection of blues recordings, as well as the University Museum and Historic Houses, whose exhibits include rare Greek and Roman antiquities and 19th century scientific instruments.
An evening’s walk around the Square presents an alluring atmosphere of couples and families strolling by lighted storefronts, with bicyclists and joggers quietly passing by. Overlooking it all is a smattering of ornately trimmed balconies, filled with the faces of young and old as they enjoy the sounds of live blues, jazz, or rock music, the scent of magnolias or the whisper of a southerly breeze.
Dining and entertainment options abound in Oxford and Lafayette County. From gourmet restaurants serving the finest in fresh seafood, steaks and pasta dishes, to chic and cozy cafés featuring ethnic and regional cuisine to family-style eateries combining comfort and charm, there’s a flavor and a style to appeal to every taste.
As for lodging, the Lafayette-Oxford-University community offers an array of facilities, ranging from the recently built Hampton Inn to the historic atmosphere of the Downtown Oxford Inn or cozy bed and breakfasts such as The Z. A current list of facilities can be obtained from the Visitors Center located on the first floor of City Hall in the Courthouse Square. Additionally, a list of rental homes for football and special weekends may be obtained at the Chamber of Commerce on Jackson Avenue West.
Tourism Contact Information:
Oxford Convention and Visitors Bureau