Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Oxford, MS

  • Published 2022/09/30

Oxford, Mississippi, is famous for its small-town charm.

It has a rich history and cultural heritage that will leave a deep imprint on your mind.

The city offers you with oak-shaded streets, charming boutiques, famous restaurants and pubs, and a beautiful town square.

Incorporated in 1837, it was named after the British University Oxford.

The city witnessed huge turbulence during the Civil Rights Movement.

However, it survived all the turmoil and emerged as a well-known destination for education, culture, food, and architecture.

Heavily forested, Oxford, Mississippi, is spread over 26.7 square miles in the North Central Hills region of Mississippi.

Additionally, the city is also known for its music and literature.

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the 2o best things to do in Oxford, Mississippi:

Wander around the University of Mississippi Museum

Exterior of The University of Mississippi Museum

Fredlyfish4, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The University of Mississippi Museum is one of the most exciting places to visit.

There is a vast collection of Greek and Roman antiquities.

Around 20,000 varieties of objects and artifacts from modern history to literature are on display at the museum.

The museum is located inside the University of Mississippi campus, and visitors can benefit from educational programs, including summer camps for children.

The University of Mississippi museum also holds temporary exhibits around the year.

You will be delighted to see how 19th-century tools are still being used to teach physics and astronomy.

Visit Rowan Oak

Daytime view of Rowan Oak

James Kirkikis /

Rowan Oak was home to Nobel laureate William Faulkner.

Set in a quaint 29-acre oak forest, this is one of Oxford’s fascinating places to visit.

Many of Faulkner’s stories are believed to have been inspired by this forest home.

Interior of Rowan Oak

jmanaugh3 /

You should visit this place to see how literary creativity is shaped by the surroundings you live in.

One can visit the Faulkner’s house anytime during the year, except for a few holidays.

The visitors can take a walk in the surrounding of Rowan Oak without special permission.

A bedroom in Rowan Oak

James Kirkikis /

Experience the Night Life at Town Square

Buildings at Town Square

James Kirkikis /

If you want to sit and watch people calmly, visit Town Square.

It is also the economic and social hub of Oxford.

Ruined during the civil war, the beautiful small town was founded again in 1837.

Also known as the heart of Oxford, the Town Square is a favorite destination for food and shopping lovers.

Night scene at Town Square

James Kirkikis /

Visitors can enjoy eating at several restaurants that are present there.

In addition, the art galleries, museums, specialty shops, and boutiques have a lot to offer tourists at the historic town square.

The nightlife at Town Square is quite popular among visitors.

Watch Sports at Vaught Hemingway Stadium

The field of Vaught Hemingway Stadium

James Kirkikis /

The Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford is a favorite place for sports lovers.

It is a large stadium with a seating capacity of around 65,000.

The stadium has been the venue of some of the intensely-fought football matches.

The stadium was the home ground for the Ole Miss Rebels football team.

It represented the University of Mississippi and was also known as Ole Miss.

The chairs at Vaught Hemingway Stadium

James Kirkikis /

You can expect a college match to go on when you visit the stadium.

The stadium underwent renovations and expansions on several occasions.

The recent expansion in 2016 has made it the largest stadium in the city.

It was named after coach Johnny Vaught and professor William Hemingway.

Aerial view of Vaught Hemingway Stadium

Matthew Nichols, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Shop at Oxford Community Market

Next time you visit Oxford, do not miss the Oxford Community Market, which is popular as OXCM.

Kids will have a wonderful time visiting there.

The main attraction of the market is its homemade produce, from vegetables to handcrafts.

Organized by a few small groups, the market also receives support from city-based businessmen.

Visitors or tourists can buy homemade products every Tuesday from mid-April to late November.

It is organized at the Community Pavilion along University Avenue.

Pay a Visit to Gertrude C.Ford Center for the Performing Arts

Exterior of Gertrude C.Ford Center for the Performing Arts

Fredlyfish4, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you love live music, Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts is the best place to visit in Oxford.

On many occasions, entry to the center is free as most programs are sponsored by donors.

A unit of the University of Mississippi, the center provides a perfect destination for holding performing arts events.

Front view of Gertrude C. Ford Center's exterior

Ken Wolter /

More than 150 events are organized annually, and its operation depends on contributions from ordinary people.

If you love performing arts and live music, check out this venue!

Explore L.Q.C Lamar House Museum

LQC Lamar House Museum in Oxford reflects the career and life of LQC Lamar, a representative of the US cabinet.

Visitors can know the life of LQC Lamar well through exhibits at the museum.

Lamar is known as the most essential and respected political person even today.

Lamar also used the house for vacations later in his life.

Lamar is known for playing an essential role during the civil war, and his contributions were recognized by declaring his house a heritage building.

Visitors can also take the help of a guide to understand Lamar better.

Have an Adventure at Thacker Mountain Railtrail

Foliage at Thacker Mountain Railtrail, Oxford MS

Matthew Nichols, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are a biker and want adventure in the lap of nature, visit the Thacker Mountain Rail Trail.

Around 3 miles long, the Mississippi old railroad is one of the favorite places for hikers and bikers.

Taking a walk along the trail can be relaxing and soothing.

Over the years, the trail has become famous for athletes of the local university.

People also call it the South Campus Rail Trail.

It is remembered for the train crash in 1870, which was reported in a popular magazine.

Revisit History at Burns-Belfry Museum

The Burns-Belfry Museum can be the best place to know more about the African-American people living in Oxford.

This is a one-stop information center to learn more about them.

Set up by African-Americans freed from slavery, one can learn their history, from slavery to civil wars.

Located inside a church building, the exhibits on display explain their lives.

Though the admission is free, a donation is welcome.

Dine at Big Bad Breakfast

Getting the right food is always a priority, and the Big Bad Breakfast can be an excellent destination to satisfy your hunger.

All food are prepared by award-winning and the most loved chef, John Currence.

Established in 2008, this eating joint has become quite popular and is always packed with visitors.

The restaurant is designed in old style with a large counter!

There is a long list of foods served at the restaurant.

However, the restaurant promises to make the day memorable with its breakfasts.

Those who miss breakfast here fall in love after the first experience.

It is pretty popular with people from school students to professionals.

The place is also famous for business meetings!

See the Sculpture, Painting, and Ceramics at Oxford Treehouse Gallery

Only seven miles from Oxford Square, Oxford Treehouse Gallery is an art gallery whose owners live on the property.

You can visit the place with an appointment and pretty much anytime.

It mainly showcases works of regional artists.

The exhibition and arts keep changing around the year.

At a time, more than 15 local artists’ works are displayed here, like sculpture, painting, ceramics, and jewelry.

In addition, the gallery is also famous for holding events.

Try Ya Ya’s Frozen Yogurt

Ya Ya’s Frozen Yogurt will change your opinion with over 60 different flavors of yogurts available here.

From crunchy nuts to chocolate sauce, Ya Ya’s Frozen Yogurt has a lot to offer.

Visitors can make a combination of various yogurts of their choice and enjoy them.

The list is long, and one can make choices from uncountable flavors like Vanilla, Butter Brickle, Georgia Peach, and Banana flavors, to name a few.

There are nine unique flavors with low-fat combinations.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Trees at Holly Springs National Forest

Fredlyfish4 /

Want to spend some time outdoors?

There are many places in and around Oxford that offer excellent recreational opportunities.

Nestled amid the iconic pine forests of Northern Mississippi is Holly Springs National Forest, a popular outdoor stop.

If you like hiking or camping, this could be the perfect site.

If you want to spend some time on the water, Sardis Lake is just 45 minutes away from Oxford.

Initially built as a flood control facility, it is a trendy tourist spot.

The waters of Sardis Lake

Feng Cheng /

You can do it all here if you want to fish or boat or just relax on the beach.

If you want something in Oxford, you should visit Avent Park.

It has a walking trail, sports fields, and several quiet spots, perfect for enjoying a picnic with your family.

Planning on visiting the University of Mississippi and Rowan Oak? Ditch the car.

Enjoy a hike on Bailey’s Woods Trail that connects the two sites.

It takes just a few minutes and is an excellent way to sightsee while getting some exercise.

Landscape of Sardis Lake

Feng Cheng /

Spend the Day Shopping

Exterior of Square Books, Oxford MS

James Kirkikis /

Oxford has several specialty shops and boutiques that you can explore for souvenirs and gifts.

If you like books, head to Square Books for everything from bestsellers to rare first editions.

Launched in 1839, Nielson’s is one of the oldest retail outlets in Oxford.

Nielson’s finds its place on the National Register of Historic Places and offers cosmetics, clothing items, and accessories.

Interior of Square Books

James Kirkikis /

If you are looking for upscale gifts, you must visit Katherine Beck.

Looking for something luxurious?

Visit Cicada, which features many designer labels, including Alexis Bittar, Rebecca Taylor, Vince, Helmut Lang, and more.

Stores at downtown Oxford

Feng Cheng /

Host an Event at Southside Art Gallery

Since its founding in 1993, Oxford-based Southside Gallery has shown artwork by mostly Southeast-based artists.

The Mid-Southern modern artists are the main focus of the Southside Art Gallery’s exhibitions.

It is a significant component of Oxford’s art scene dedicated to advancing the art and design into its calendar of regular artist receptions, monthly exhibits, and other open activities.

Private events and functions are held in the gallery area.

Visit the Grove in the Mississippi Campus

Walk of Champions arch at the Grove

Thomas Graning /

The Grove, the school’s main tailgating location, is in the heart of the Mississippi campus.

The oaks, elm, and trees found nearby gave the tourist attraction its name.

When most major pre-game gatherings occurred at the fraternal and sorority homes, getting together at The Grove was a casual tailgating social affair.

The Grove, dubbed “the Holy Grail of tailgate places,” gets going with up to 100,000 people during Ole Miss Rebels football sporting events.

Before 7:30 p.m., which school police tightly observe, fans sometimes arrive about noon the day before the game to reserve their space in The Grove.

Spend the Day Shopping at the Depot Antique Mall

For distinctive, genuine antiques and crafts, Oxford, Mississippi, tourists and locals enjoy The Depot Antique Mall.

With more than 100, there is a booth station for everyone.

Whether you’re seeking a restoration item or are an antique enthusiast, you’ll find it here.

The Oxford Trading Post, housed inside The Depot, specializes in excellent new and secondhand silverware in addition to ancient Native American antiquities.

They have the most incredible collection of antiquities in the state, including objects from all over the country, concentrating on items from northern Mississippi and the nearby areas.

In addition, Oxford Trading Post offers a complete selection of new and secondhand cutlery, including tactical, utility, and vintage pocket knives.

Watch a Live Event at the Lyric Theatre

Exterior of the Lyric Theatre

Lthomes, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of North Mississippi’s top live entertainment venues, The Lyric Theatre is a historic theater located at Van Buren Avenue in Oxford, Mississippi.

It hosts a range of performances.

In the earlier times of the twentieth century, the building was a livery barn owned by William Faulkner’s ancestors.

It was renamed The Lyric Theatre during the 1920s after being transformed into a venue for live events and silent movies.

The Lyric developed into Oxford’s theater with the introduction of motion pictures.

The Lyric completed an extensive reconstruction procedure in 2007, and on July 3rd, 2008, it resumed its former function as a theater.

Walk Your Dog at Lamar Park

Lamar Park is intended to be an outdoor arboretum that visitors may visit for its tranquil lake, peaceful gardens, and verdant landscape.

The park’s purpose is to improve the quality of life for its visitors.

The park welcomes dogs, but they must always be on leashes.

Lamar Park does not accommodate large gatherings, parties, or meetings since many plants are fragile or beginning to develop.

Experience the peaceful outdoor recreation enjoyable for both individuals and families.

Final Thoughts

Oxford is renowned as a fantastic world-class destination, abundant with historical stories, culture, delectable cuisine, stunning architecture, and vast green areas.

Don’t pass up a pleasant day at this tourist destination with friends and family.

Plan your trip with the help of the list of the best things to do in Oxford, Mississippi, and begin saving for your next thrilling getaway!

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