Category: Mississippi
Author: Michael DeFranceschi • Published

[2024] Is Oxford MS Worth Visiting? A City Explorer Answers.

Even for a college town, I think Oxford can get boring rather quickly...
Mural of author in front of mural in Oxford, Mississippi.

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Mississippi was the 27th state on my journey and was visited on the same trip as my 26th state, Alabama.

To get to this Mississippi college town, we flew into Atlanta, rented a car, and drove from Atlanta to Birmingham and then to Oxford.

As someone who prefers larger cities to small towns, I would have normally visited Jackson, but I was well advised through several folks on Reddit and even locals in Mississippi to avoid Jackson.

Deciding to heed the advice, my friend and I elected to visit two smaller towns in Mississippi instead-- one of those being Oxford, the home to 'Ole Miss', a.k.a the University of Mississippi.

Compared to other university towns, like Ann Arbor, I honestly found Oxford to be a little boring. No disrespect to the town, but as someone who loves thrill of big cities, I'd have to say Oxford is probably not worth visiting unless you have some special reason to visit.

This isn't to say we didn't enjoy ourselves at all-- we did.

Let me show you what we did and saw in Oxford and you can ultimately determine for yourself if you agree or disagree with me on Oxford being worth it to visit in 2024.

IN THIS ARTICLE...

Is Oxford MS Worth Visiting in 2024?

Faulkner Alley

Faulkner Alley is one of the coolest things to do in Oxford, Mississippi. It's one of the things that may make Oxford, MS worth visiting.
Wondering what's behind that door?

When visiting Oxford, one could easily miss Faulkner Alley!

There are two entrances to Faulkner Alley-- one of them being quite close to Historic Oxford Square. This is the way in which we entered!

Faulkner Alley is dedicated to Mississippi novelist William Faulkner, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949. Throughout the alley, you'll see stained glass images pertaining to Faulkner's novels.

The coolest part of Faulkner Alley is the south entrance, where you are surrounded by scuffed white walls and painted bricks, as shown in the above image.

As to what is behind that interesting door in the picture? We didn't go inside it. I think maybe it's a restaurant? Or a bar? If you visit Oxford and enter through the door, tell me what's inside! We weren't curious enough this time to see for ourselves.

Historic Oxford Square & downtown

The Lafayette County Courthouse in Historic Oxford Square in downtown Oxford, Mississippi.
Right in the center of Historic Oxford Square is this gorgeous courthouse.

The Lafayette County Courthouse is in the center of Historic Oxford Square-- known to locals as simply "The Square"-- and certainly something you can't miss seeing.

Both sides of the courthouse are worth seeing. It's easy to do so, as the courthouse effectively is in the middle of a large roundabout.

A statue of a Confederate soldier who died in the Civil War in front of one of the entrances of the Lafayette County Courthouse in Oxford, Mississippi.
The other side of the Lafayette County Courthouse has a large statue in front.

I have nothing else to say about the Lafayette County Courthouse other than we saw it and took some pictures. We then explored Historic Oxford Square and downtown.

Right by the courthouse, you can get a really pretty shot of the Oxford Mississippi Water Tower.

A distant photograph of the Oxford Mississippi Water Tower taken from S Lamar St in Historic Oxford Square in downtown Oxford, Mississippi.
The Oxford Mississippi Water Tower taken from S Lamar St in Historic Oxford Square.

Some other shots we got of downtown include the Lyric Theatre-- which, there was also a theater called the Lyric Theatre in Tupelo as well, and a general shot of the downtown area:

The Lyric Theatre in downtown Oxford, Mississippi.
Lyric Theatre.
Somewhere in downtown Oxford, Mississippi.
Downtown Oxford, Mississippi, near "The Square".

People in downtown Oxford were very friendly. This has been a consistent experience I've had visiting cities and towns in the southern region of the United States.

There were people out and about doing things. For a college town, I felt the energy was rather tame.

The mural wall and 'Greetings From Oxford' mural

A long wall with murals on it at the intersection of University Ave and S 14th St in Oxford, Mississippi.
Not a lot of street art in Oxford but we did find some!

Oxford didn't have a lot of street art. As for the two spots where we spotted some murals, they weren't too bad!

There is a long wall at the intersection of University Ave and S 14th Street where the entire wall is composed of murals. There is a wide and diverse range of color used. Not many colors unaccounted for! The above image is a portion of that wall.

The other mural we spotted is something you'll see in many cities and towns: a mural with the city/town name. Oftentimes, they'll say 'GREETINGS FROM...' and then the city/town name.

A greeting mural with the text 'GREETINGS FROM OXFORD', located on the campus of the University of Mississppi in Oxford, Mississippi
You'll have that many cities have a mural with the city's name featured in it.

In front of the 'GREETINGS FROM OXFORD' mural was an erected patch of fake grass. I chose to not stand on the grass and had my picture taken to the side of the fake grass.

That's about it for the street art I chose to photograph in the downtown area. There may have been a couple more murals but overall, there really wasn't much.

Oxford Water Tower

Somewhere in downtown Oxford, Mississippi.
Closer shot of the Oxford Water Tower.

As I mentioned earlier when talking about the Lafayette County Courthouse, the Oxford Water Tower is something else you can see in downtown Oxford.

Yep, it's a water tower. It's blue. It's tall. I have nothing else insightful to say about this.

Rowan Oak

Rowan Oak, the home of Nobel Prize winning author William Faulkner, located in Oxford, Mississippi.
Probably one of the most visited places in Oxford is Rowan Oak due to the tree-lined path.

Source: Shutterstock

For whatever reason, I must have accidentally deleted the one picture I took of Rowan Oak, so I'm having to use a stock image instead.

Rowan Oak was the furthest attraction from downtown. It took about 20 minutes to walk from Lafayette County Courthouse to Rowan Oak.

Rowan Oak was the home of Nobel Prize winning author William Faulkner-- the same man I wrote about earlier in the article when describing Faulkner Alley. The most prominent feature of the late author's property is the tree-lined path leading to the front door.

The outside of Rowan Oak is open the public until sundown.

You can tour the inside of the house. Even though it is only $5 to enter, they only accept cash, and neither of us had cash in our pockets. Like many millennials, I pay for everything on credit card.

Address: 916 Old Taylor Rd, Oxford, MS 38655
Hours: Tues-Sat 10am - 5pm, Sun 1pm - 5pm, closed Mon

Conclusion

Well, if there's two things you learned from this article, it'd be to: avoid the city of Jackson and that Oxford is most well-known for author William Faulkner.

Of the seven articles I've composed on whether a certain city is worth visiting or not, this is the first article where I'm leaning toward 'no'-- with the exception that you have some special reason to come to town, like visiting family or on business.

Some other cities I've given my opinion on whether they're worth visiting or not are Detroit, New York City, and Minneapolis.

Have you visited Oxford? Do you agree that Oxford is not worth visiting? Or am I way off? Did I miss some year-round attraction that would make a visit to Oxford more worthwhile? Feel free to let me know, as I always am delighted when my readers reach out to me!


Thank you for reading! Like... seriously. So many people just skim sh*t and don't read anything past the headline. You're one of the good ones!

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