Cleveland, Mississippi: Blues, History, and Hip Spots

Mississippi delta boutique hotel

Hey, fellow explorers and lovers of the great open road, do I have a treat for your wanderlust soul! Buckle up for a ride through Mississippi’s heart, where the rhythms of blues echo through the cotton fields and music history is etched between the delta lines. In our quest for the offbeat and unforgettable, we steer right into Cleveland, Mississippi – a destination that hits the right notes with music fans and boasts a culture as rich as the blues.


The Mississippi Delta Melody

Imagine waking up to the scratch of a needle on a record (remember those?), an artifact that spins you back in time to the birthplace of the blues. That’s the kind of magic you can expect at the Cotton House, a luxury boutique hotel that’s more than just a place to rest your head – it’s a sonic sanctuary and a perfect introduction to the musical soul of Cleveland.


Here, I share my experience of tuneful rooms, where each guitar-tuned corner whisks you to a bygone era of raw, unadulterated music creation.


Charting a Path to the Delta’s Heart

Cleveland imprints the blueprint of blues history, and no trip is complete without a pilgrimage to Dockery Farms, the cradle of blues legends such as Charley Patton and Willie Brown. The communal energy, sharp slide guitar, and heartfelt lyrics born here continue to resonate in the region’s heartbeat.


These historical grounds are unmissable for any Blues enthusiast who wants to connect with the genre’s roots.


The Home of Golden Gramophones

Cleveland’s cultural cred goes platinum with the Mississippi Grammy Museum. Here, the glint of golden gramophones isn’t just a spectacle – it’s a symbol of a profound sonic legacy. This museum isn’t just for fans of the Grammy Awards; it’s a mecca for all things music, offering a rich tapestry of Mississippi’s contribution to the art form that has touched souls worldwide.

You’ll love the interactive exhibits, which include recording your own song and making a dance video.


Around the Delta in Cleveland

When we weren’t letting the blues move us, we were discovering the colorful and delectable flavors along Cleveland’s Cotton Row. This stretch isn’t just a shopping spree – it’s a culinary and historical buffet that speaks to the town’s diverse heritage and mouth-watering modernity.


Dining to the Rhythm of Mississippi

The savory sensations at Delta Meat Market, a local hangout serving James-Beard Semifinalist Chef Cole’s dishes are guaranteed to tempt taste buds and time. The hanger steak fries, covered in Hoover sauce and rich, perfectly cooked meat, are the things dreams are made of.

Breakfast is equally as tasty with all your southern favorites, including excellent biscuits, gravy, and eggs. 


You may also want to find time for Hey Joe’s Burgers + Beer for gourmet burgers and margaritas, plus trivia, and Airport Grocery for epic BBQ.


Treasures Beyond the Tune

But Cleveland isn’t a one-note town. It brims with history and art, evident at nearby McCarty Pottery, which is as much a part of local life as the very earth from which it’s shaped. Escaping the modern rush, I immerse in nature’s serenade, exploring the vast outdoors of Mississippi, and I invite you to do the same.


Finding the Perfect Cadence in Cleveland

Enjoy the train stories and exhibits at King Railroad Heritage Museum, which allows visitors to connect with the town’s broader history and appreciate its growth over time. 

Then, as the sun kisses the horizon, we find ourselves upstairs at the Cotton House Hotel at Bar Fontaine, sipping spirits concocted with Mississippi flair and enjoying the panoramic view of a town that is a testament to resilience and creativity.


Blues, Bourbon, and Beyond

Cleveland, Mississippi, is a town that’s come alive with the sound of old souls and modern spirits in perfect harmony. Whether you’re passing through on a road trip adventure or making it your final stop, Cleveland invites you to join its eclectic symphony, discover the layers beneath the grooves, and weave your own tale into the thread of history that binds this town.

Road Map to Your Mississippi Delta Odyssey

With vistas as vast as the delta, it’s easy to feel like a small note in this expansive score. But Cleveland makes you feel like the star of your blues ballad, with the town rising and falling with you, note-for-note. Our roadmap for this Mississippi Delta odyssey is etched in the very essence of Cleveland’s hospitality, culture, and, of course, the undeniable, soul-stirring blues.


This article was originally written by Chere Coen in Feb 2020. It has been updated by staff in 2024.

Read more of our Mississippi posts:

Corinth: Home of the Slugburger

Mississippi Coast: More than Beaches

Best Bars in Oxford, MS

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