Take a trip across the state line to Columbus, MississippiBy Emily Williams | 10/18/2015 2:08pm
Photo courtesy of Emily Williams.
Somedays, you just need to get away. For an escape that’s just far enough to clear your mind but close enough to be home for dinner, look no further than Columbus, Mississippi – a charming old-southern town just across the state line.
Tennessee Williams Birthplace and Welcome Center 300 Main Street
Visit the house where America’s most iconic 20th century playwright was born and raised. Although Williams only lived in Mississippi seven years, the state held a special place in his heart and continued to influence his writing for the rest of his life.
Just behind the Welcome Center, the neighborhood south of Main Street features some of the cities oldest homes. Drive around between 1st and 9th street to see antebellum Greek Revival mansions. Some of the homes are open for tours by appointment only; others are only open certain days of the week. For home tour schedules, call 662-328-0222.
Mississippi University for Women
Tour the campus of the first public women’s college in the United States located, appropriately, off College Street.
Café on Main – 101 5th Street South
This local favorite is the go-to for a classic southern plate lunch. Each day features a different set menu. Walk in, grab a table and a menu print out, and circle your choice of meat, sides, bread and drinks. With so many classic homemade choices, from fried chicken and mashed potatoes to catfish and hush puppies, you can’t go wrong. Try the chicken salad, mac and cheese, collard greens and cornbread. Save room for desert – their bakery menu is even more extensive than their lunch offerings: Heath Bar Cake, Oreo Ice Cream Cake, Carmel Fudge Pie, need I say more? Open Monday – Friday from 11a.m.-2 p.m. and Sunday 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Hollyhocks 204 5th Street South
A New Orleans-style façade complete with green wrought iron balcony is the cornerstone of 5th Street. Hollyhocks is a unique gift shop with everything from handmade soaps and Christmas ornaments to college game day attire and decorations. Although you’re in Mississippi, you’ll be surprised how much Alabama gear you can find in town. You may even get a “Roll Tide” or two (I did).
Although the drive is short, just over an hour, it never hurts to have good music for the ride. Columbus is a stop on the famed Mississippi Blues Trail, which highlights important sites in the state’s rich musical heritage. Here’s a playlist of Mississippi Blues to get you in the spirit: