Girls Gone Greenwood
Quick update from our own Delta girl Elizabeth Adams on a recent trip to Greenwood, MS.
When we first received the RFP for the Greenwood Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, I was super excited! Greenwood is close to my hometown of Indianola, MS, and Greenwood is where my parents still commute to work. Since I was familiar with this town and what it had to offer tourists, our Creative Director Cece Shabazz and I packed up and headed north so I could show her the uniqueness of this charming Delta town.
I told Cece to pay attention to the landscape once we got past Yazoo City because she wouldn’t see anything but flat land and farms for miles. During the farming season, cotton is the staple product that comes from around the Greenwood area. I’ll have to take her back around August so she can see “Delta Snow”.
Once we arrived in Greenwood, we grabbed lunch at the Delta Bistropub, a contemporary restaurant serving Southern cuisine with Delta flare. Greenwood is a popular as a world-wide culinary hot spot due to Viking Range Corporation’s headquarters being located there with an amazing test kitchen where chefs like Tory McPhail from Commander’s Palace in New Orleans have cooking demos and hands on lessons with guests!
We finished our wonderful lunch so Cece and I began to make our way through Greenwood’s downtown district. We popped in a few of the boutiques and shops where one of my favorites is the Mississippi Gift Company. It features art, gifts, and gourmet goodies all produced in Mississippi. The next stop on the list was the Museum of the Mississippi Delta. Formerly known as Cottonlandia, this museum has morphed from cotton farming and production, into a history of the Delta from the early Native American settlements through present day.
After visiting the Museum of the Mississippi Delta, we checked into the Alluvian Hotel. #Funfact, the Alluvian s considered to be one of the first boutique hotels in the Mississippi Delta. Since it was Thursday, the happy hour was hopping! We happened to be there during the Spa happy hour, so Cece had to take a few minutes to relax with a manicure. Just a couple of blocks away, Greenwood was celebrating the Lighting of the Courthouse to kick off the Christmas Season. After that much excitement for one day, it was time to eat!
We dined at Giardina’s next door to the hotel and we were fortunate to have my parents joined us. My father is quite the history buff so he gave us our Greenwood history lesson over an amazing dinner of filet mignon topped with lump crab meat followed by a homemade bread pudding with bourbon sauce. Side note about Giardina’s – they are also a stop on the Mississippi Gulf Seafood Trail, so big thank you to them for serving domestic and locally sourced seafood!
Friday’s adventures included all things Blues. We visited Baptist Town which is a neighborhood of Greenwood and home to Legendary Bluesman, Robert Johnson. If you’re not familiar with Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton called Robert Johnson “the most important blues singer that ever lived.” Robert is also the guy that infamously sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads in exchange for fame, success and the ability to play the guitar.
Robert is famous in Greenwood for having multiple grave sites while Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church is the most recognized grave location. People still leave flowers, beers and other tributes to the Blues legend, you never know what you may find adorning his headstone. Robert’s death is as mysterious as his multiple grave sites. It’s a widely held rumor that Robert was poisoned at a juke joint after he flirted with a married woman who’s husband spiked a bottle of the bluesman’s favorite whiskey. Truly, a tragic end to one of the most influential musicians of the all time.
On our last day in Greenwood we took a drive down Grand Avenue to view the historical and architecturally stunning homes with some dating back to the 1800s. Continuing down Grand Avenue, the avenue turns into Money Road once you cross the Tallahatchie Bridge. #Funfact – this is the famous Tallahatchie Bridge that was referred to in Bobbie Gentry’s hit song “Ode to Billy Joe”. Continuing on Money Road we also visited the Mississippi Freedom Trail Marker at Bryant’s Grocery before heading to the outskirts of Greenwood to view the rustic shacks at Tallahatchie Flats. Looking for a classic rustic stay on the river? They have flats you can rent to get away for a few nights, a day or take a full month to get-away and unplug for a while.
Being a “Delta girl”, being able to work with Greenwood is near and dear to my heart. Greenwood shines like a diamond because of its wonderful assets, and we can’t wait to share Greenwood’s many stories with people all across the world.