Category Archives: Fun Stuff

Coffee Shops of Oxford, MS

Fifth update 9.28.18, Fourth update 9.22.18, Third update 9.9.18, Second update 9.7.18, First update 9.6.18

COFFEE SHOPS: A Progressive Story

Coffee Shops are cool and useful places for many activities.

Whether you go there for people watching, meeting friends or clients, to read a book, plug in your laptop for studying or for work, or just hang out for a cup of joe, you can’t dispute the purpose of the coffee shop as a neighborhood gathering spot.

Each one has it’s one vibe.

Oxford has several great coffee shops and new ones have recently sprung up around town. I set out with friends to see what they all offered.

A coffee shop is not a restaurant that serves great coffee. There are several of them as well. But a coffee shop that I’m looking for sells a variety of coffee, employs a Barista and also sells some treats or a grab-and-go sandwich.  However, coffee and lunch?  Let’s talk about that later.

Coffee with Camille

CRAVE. 800 College Hill

We met at Crave, just north of town on College Hill Road at the 3-way.  Mid-afternoon was perfect because it wasn’t crowded and that’s what I wanted. The inside was comfortable and clean. Lots of windows facing east and south to let the sun in. High ceilings and metal chairs make it light, airy and cavernous, great for producing white noise if that’s something you like. There are plenty of tables to set up your laptop or sit alone and read or meet with friends. 20180905_1603372041835030.jpgCrave has outdoor seating, too, but it was “Oxford-hot” outside so we sat indoors. My iced-latte was perfect. Not too creamy, not to bold and a perfect amount of ice. Camille had the Caramel Macchiato and said it was great.  Crave is known for their desserts but has an extensive coffee menu so it is a coffee shop.  They also sell their own beans. Their signature is the Blueberry Cobbler flavored coffee. I’m not a fan of flavored coffee but it was yummy.  I will definitely drop in again.

TRACK 61 Coffee Lounge. 703 N. Lamar (has since closed)

At Track 61, Camille and I arrived after the rush and sat outside since a cold front passed through the night before. Track 61 has a coffee lounge open til 11 am.  Two large windows allow for plenty of light in the center while keeping the corners of the room cozy and mysterious for quiet conversation. That’s nice though because in the morning, a cup of Joe in a cozy environment, can be a great thing. There are tables and chairs in either end of the lounge, a long bar (open again at night for evening libations) and covered outdoor seating. 20180821_101200-11418471266.jpg I had a cappuccino, and since they only serve 2% milk and almond milk, I chose the 2%.  I’m a skim drinker so this coffee was a little creamier than I usually drink, but oh, so good. I was not disappointed. (Nut allergies kept me from the almond milk).  Camille had a latte which she said was tasty.  The service was excellent and friendly and I loved sitting outside, as it was a perfect place that day for coffee.  It’s definitely not a stay-all-day coffee shop because of the hours but I recommend it as a place to meet friends in the morning or get your business day started.  Head to Track 61 for a table-side coffee or to-go cup.  I’ll be going back.

HIGH POINT OLD TAYLOR. Old Taylor Road (Across from The Mark condos)

High Point opened on Old Taylor Road between the Mark condos and Faulkner Flats apartments. Camille and I went on opening day and was not disappointed. They have an extensive coffee menu with their own roasted beans.  I’m a huge fan of their dark roast and ordered Sumatra.  Camille got her caramel macchiato.  20180831_1104061725746625.jpg

There is ample seating indoors and out, in addition to private meeting rooms where you can go with your coffee and muffin for secluded studying, a private business meeting or distraction-free production space for your YouTube channel. A great location for the residents of the Mark condos, Faulkner Flats and other south-of-town college students. Check it out!

CABIN 82. 400 N. Lamar at the Graduate Hotel.

Cabin 82 has a coffee bar and a great list of caffeine-laced drinks. Camille had the drip coffee and I had a hot cappuccino with skim milk. The indoor seating area was busy with coffee drinkers and business meetings going on. It was a cool, breezy morning so we sat outside on their N. Lamar-side patio in the shade. The atmosphere was vibrant being so close to a busy road but traffic was not overpowering and we sat and talked for a long time. 20180828_090417-1737457107.jpgYou can also grab your coffee and sit in the hotel lobby. There are comfy sofas and a long table with a strip of plugs running the length of the table so you can keep your laptop and phone charged for a day of busy work.  It’s relatively quiet so I don’t see why you couldn’t set up for a while with coffee in hand if you want to escape the office for a change of scenery.  Cabin 82 is a recommended coffee spot.

Coffee with Gary

UPTOWN COFFEE. 265 N. Lamar

My husband, Gary, is a fan of Uptown and their cappuccino.  I’m a strong-coffee drinker and Uptown is a little light for me so I stick to the cappuccino. And it is good. Friends who love Uptown comment on its coffee’s light notes and say it’s the best.  20181003_150903-1856484403.jpgLocated on the north end of The Square, Uptown is a great place to meet friends, read a book, do some work, study, whatever you fancy. Tables, comfy chairs and outside seating offer a lot of options. Uptown has bakery items and sells both ground and whole beans. The walls are decorated with rotating artist’s work.  Currently, my friend Nicole Gladden is featured. Check it out.

Coffee with Polina

CUPS, AN ESPRESSO CAFE. 1501 W Jackson

There is no other place in town that Polina will drink coffee, as far as I know. Cups is a  traditional coffee cafe and a casual place for students and business people alike. Located near Ole Miss campus, the interior is comfortable with an eclectic blend of tables and booth-style work stations in the back.  20180926_142032901110247.jpgThe newly enlarged, wood counter space has electric plugs for each seat so you can enjoy your coffee and open your laptop there as well.  South-facing, prepare for warm sunlight during the winter months. I like sitting up front in the sunshine.  Polina likes the cappuccino while I like the French Roast, but decided to try the cafe americano.  It was good while piping hot but ended up tasting slightly sweet as it cooled down.  You know I’m not a fan of light tasting coffee but this was pretty good.

More Coffee with Camille

Starbucks, 1804 Jackson Ave. West

So, Camille had a mobile coupon for coffee from Starbucks and called me to join her. It was a buy one, get one deal so while she waited for me, she ordered a Maple Pecan Latte for me and a Carmel Frappuccino for herself. Starbucks has indoor and outdoor seating and while it was chilly out, it seemed chillier inside so we hung out on the patio drinking our fall coffees.  Lots of students use the table space inside.  Business people do, too.  I’ve met colleagues and clients there many times, spreading out the laptop or just sitting with a coffee to talk.  Parking can be a hassle depending on the time of day especially since they share a parking lot with a few other businesses. It seems most people go through the drive thru because it’s always long but worth the trip.  And, as for the Maple Pecan Latte…it was yummy.

Eileen Saunders, SRES  REALTOR with Tommy Morgan, Inc., BOF  2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655  662-404-0816/662-234-5344  eileen@tmhomes.com Equal housing

 

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Literary Town of Oxford MS

Oxford literary town

Take a literary tour of Oxford:

According to Wikipedia*, famous writers from Oxford, MS include: Ace Atkins, Howard, Bahr, Larry Brown, Tim Earley, John T. Edge, John Faulkner, William Faulkner, Beth Ann Fennelly, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Richard Ford, Tom Franklin, David Galef, John Grisham, Barry Hannah, Jonathan Miles, Willie Morris, Chris Offutt, JE Pitts, Cynthia Shearer, Neil White III, and Stark Young.   Some were born and raised in Oxford, some are from other places but make Oxford home.  I’ve met many great writers, like Julie Cantrell (not from here but lives here), that aren’t on this list but you get the idea.

The Visitor’s Center and Visit Oxford have a literary walking tour planned out for you. Of course it starts at Faulkner’s beloved Rowan Oak and before it ends you’ll have to get into your car to drive out past Grisham’s former house and also visit a restaurant or two which are part of the literary history of Oxford.DSCN8028

Oh, and the book festivals and writers’ conferences.  During the spring you can participate in the Conference for the Book. Each summer sign up to attend the Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference. No stress…you do not need to know how to pronounce Yoknapatawpha to attend.  I’ve heard a few translations depending on the depth of the southern accent. Yokna is acceptable.  Mississippi hosts a book festival each August but it is not in Oxford. However, it is in Jackson which is a short drive south and makes a great weekend getaway or end to your week-long literary pilgrimage to Oxford.

The Square in Oxford, MS hosts 3 versions of Square Books, our independent and award-winning bookstore. There’s the main store on the corner of the Square and South Lamar, Off Square Books is in the southeast corner and hosts the Thacker Mountain Radio Show.  on the east side of the Square is Square Books Jr.  The University of Mississippi has a Barnes and Noble College bookstore and I’m told they have a children’s reading program.CAM02690

There are four libraries (actually 5 but that extra one is a bar on the Square), which house extraordinary collection of books: J.D. Williams Library , The Blues Archives and Visual Collection and The Science Library on the Ole Miss campus houses many special collections, and the Lafayette County library located on Bramlett Blvd.

Writers’ groups are everywhere. One I’ve participated in is Oxford Writes, but there are others. You just have to ask.

It goes without saying that Ole Miss has a top-notch English department graduating writers of all interests. The Journalism school and Samir Husni aka Mr. Magazine holds an annual conference, through his Magazine Innovation Center for the magazine industry that his students, and others, can attend.  I enjoyed it one year along with my husband and son (an Ole Miss IMC student) since we are in the planning stages of a magazine. Shhhh!! Don’t tell anyone.

Ole Miss also offers, through their Outreach department, a program called Communiversity, featuring workshops of all types which sometimes include writing workshops.

There is so much to do here in Oxford with regards to the literary world.  You definitely need to come visit. Then you’ll want to come back so why not purchase a condo while you’re here so you don’t have to scramble for a hotel or AirBNB?  Let me know when you get here and I can show you the available real estate.

Eileen Saunders, SRES  REALTOR with Tommy Morgan, Inc., Realtors BOF  2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655  662-404-0816/662-234-5344  eileen@tmhomes.com Equal housing
All photos are my own. All rights reserved (c) 2018

* Wikipedia contributors. “List of people from Oxford, Mississippi.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 21 Jul. 2018. Web. 1 Sep. 2018

100 Things To Do Oxford, MS Fall 2108

It’s here: Fall season in Oxford.

Football, pumpkins, arts performances and more.

Here’s my newest issue of “100 Things To Do Oxford, MS Fall 2018.”

Print it out and share with friends.  Can you do all 100?  Be sure to take a picture of yourself on location with each thing you check off this list, post it to Instagram with  #100thingsoxford

100 ThingsTo Do InOxford, MSFall 2018 update pg 1100 ThingsTo Do InOxford, MSFall 2018 pg 2

Eileen Saunders, SRES  REALTOR with Tommy Morgan, Inc., Realtors BOF  2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655  662-404-0816/662-234-5344  eileen@tmhomes.com Equal housing
100 Things To Do Oxford, MS is a publication of OxfordMSLife.com  All rights reserved (c) 2018

100 Things To Do in Oxford MS

Oxford can sometimes have amazing weather in January. Average temps are usually in the 50s. So what do you do when the weather is great? Get outside and enjoy Oxford. Explore. Hike. Walk around the Square. Go to the park. Walk to the museums. Did you know there are 100 things to do in Oxford MS?

There are really over 100 fun and interesting things to do in Oxford but when I compiled a list of things to do for my family, I had to stop my list at some point. This is a list I want to share with you and I publish it 3 times a year: Winter/Spring list, Summer edition and Fall/Christmas.

The Winter/Spring 2018 edition of 100 Things To Do In Oxford MS is available. Download a copy of it here, today or pick up a copy from the Visitor’s Center on Jackson Avenue at the Square.

Here’s just a sampling of some things to do and what events you can participate in this month:

January Events

  • Pop Up Oxford January 22-23
  • Oxford Fiber Festival January 26-28

February  Events

  • Oxford Film Festival February 7-11

GET OUTSIDE

  • Bike or hike the Whirlpool Trails/Thacker Mountain Rail Trail
  • Picnic on the Grove or Rowan Oak
  • Go Geocaching
  • Play golf or frisbee golf
  • Hike the Bailey Woods Trail
  • Enjoy the Parks: Lamar, Avent, Stone and the skating park on Bramlett Blvd.
  • Take a walking tour of Oxford, a tree tour or get a list of haunted landmarks and visit them.

RAINY DAY FUN:

  • UM Museum, Burns Belfry, Cedar Oaks and others
  • Hang with friends at a coffee or yogurt shop
  • Go bowling
  • Catch a movie

MORE FUN:

Click here to download list

Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655  eileen@tmhomes.com  662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344 Equal Housing

Scavenger Hunt Idea Through Oxford, MS

Here’s a way to get a group of friends together and have fun outdoors: hold a scavenger hunt.

There are many things you can put on your list to check off, or find and take back to the group: business card of an attorney, a yellow cupcake, an acorn, an item in a shoe store made of wood.  Tons of ideas can be found on Pinterest.

Did you know there are 43 historical markers in Lafayette County?  Some are on the University of Mississippi campus while others are inside the city of Oxford. More markers exist way out in the county. Why not do a search including all of them?  Benefits of an historical marker hunt include:

  • having fun with friends and family
  • getting to know your county’s geography
  • teaching younger family members how to read a map
  • learning valuable history of the area
  • getting out of the house or dorm room

You can find the list here. Now go find them and read all about why that spot is important to local history.

How long will it take?  Plan to spend the whole day. Start early, take photos of each one. Don’t forget that while most signs are one-sided, some have information continuing on the other side. Since many are within walking distance of each other, consider a walking tour. Stop for lunch to talk about what you’ve found. If you have a large group going in separate cars plan to meet up mid-day to share which ones you’ve located.

As with any scavenger hunt you do, be respectful of property including neighboring property and businesses. Park in designated areas. Be aware of traffic and stay safe when you approach a sign, that sits near a busy road, to get a photo.

The Blues Trail Marker, located in the city of Oxford, is one of many related to the Blues Trail around the state. Finding all of them might be a cool day trip in your region or definitely road trip for several days. Check out the map for a complete list. Plan to visit the blues museums as well.

Have fun and comment below when you’ve done your search. Be For more ideas on what to do around Oxford download the list of 100 Things To Do Oxford MS 2017 #100ThingsOxford

Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655 | 662-234-5344 | 662-404-0816 | Equal Housing

National Go On A Field Trip Month

Field trips are not just for school children.

October is National Go On A Field Trip Month. Field trips are wonderful ways to get outside, go do something different, explore something new. Take a field trip with a friend, family member, group or some kids.

There are plenty of places in Oxford MS to go on a field trip. Here are some:

Outdoor field trips can be educational. Take a journal or art book with you. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars. This month in Oxford go to one of the many parks, tour Rowan Oak, Cedar Oaks, Historic Burns Belfry and more. Take an historic walking tour, a walking tour of haunted landmarks, or walk the tree trail. Get some exercise along the Bailey Woods hiking trail or the Whirlpool Trails.

Indoor field trips can keep you busy, too. Visit the political archives of Mississippi at the University Library. Check out the latest exhibits at the University Museum or investigate the Blues Archives on campus.

Other field trips can include participating in the open nights at the UM Observatory and the monthly art crawl through town. You can always explore history with a visit to St. Peter’s Cemetery.

There are plenty of things to do in Oxford…plenty of field trips to take around town. Pick up the list of 100 Things To Do In Oxford, MS Fall 2017 at the Visitor’s Center on the Square or download and print a copy here.

There are also plenty of day trips outside of Oxford that you can take as well. Find some ideas here.

Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors  2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655 | 662-404-0816 | 662-234-5344 | equal housing