“A cool autumn’s breeze, a good bite to eat and a back-road drive”
By LaKisha Mitchell Buffington/ Photos Courtesy of Holly Springs Tourism & Recreation Bureau
If a road trip is on your mind, stop thinking about it and do it! You don’t need a special occasion or a scheduled event to visit Holly Springs, Mississippi; there’s plenty to do and it’s right around the corner.
Identified by its rich historic heritage and culture, star personality and hill country blues, Holly Springs, once known only to the brave and civilized Chickasaw Indian tribes, has flourished through the ages in commerce, agriculture and equality.
A hometown with a population of about 8,000 residents, where your neighbors are family, Holly Springs offers a seamless opportunity to break away from the day-to-day routine we call life.
If your idea of relaxation involves a log cabin, a trusty reel and some good ole Mississippi night crawlers—you can find it in Holly Springs. Maybe your road trip involves a cozy cottage, a two-seat cart and an 18-hole round, or maybe it’s just the need of a Winchester Model 70, a champion bird dog, and 4,000 acres of wild game—whatever it is, Holly Springs has it!
Experience the finest hunting and hospitality the South has to offer at Fitch Farms, on historic Galena Plantation. At Fitch Farms visitors can take part in the time-honored tradition of quail hunting with full- and half-day pursuits, as well as a true farm-to-table gourmet meal and comfortable
Build a stronger family bond while trudging over 2,600 acres of colonial terrain at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center or reconnect with the countryside on an impressive two-mile trek at Wall Doxey State Park. Holly Springs is waiting to welcome you, so pack the kiddies in the RV and drift into the Holly Springs National Forest. Rejoin nature as you encounter over 155,000 acres of camping and fishing beginning at the Chewalla Lake Recreation Area.
However, if you’re expecting something a little quieter, Holly Springs is the perfect place to visit. Stop over and grab a warm cup of russet from the Smiling Phoenix Coffee Café or relax on the sofa in the comforts of the Little Doll House Cottage Inn. How about an afternoon wrapped in the artistic wonder of the 19th century painter and ancestral native, Kate Freeman Clark, or the pleasure of the Magnolias Mansion, an 1852 circa Gothic revival home built by one of the founders of Holly Springs as a present for his daughter? Don’t rush, while there, allow homeowners Frank and Gena Busby to interest you in the many stage props left on site from the 1999 film classic Cookie’s Fortune starring the late Patricia Neal, Glenn Close, Julianne Moore, Charles Dutton, Chris O’Donnell and Liv Tyler.
Later, familiarize yourself on a personable inventory of the few existing structures recognizing the significance and legacy of slavery through the “Behind the Big House Tour”.
Holly Springs has all kinds of homespun character, which makes a road trip there ideal. Rock and roll enthusiasts can spend the afternoon in the charming company of the town’s homegrown Elvis Presley fanatic, Paul McLeod, owner of Graceland Too, open 24/7 and for a pittance of $5, a lucky patron can tour McLeod’s home, viewing from floor to ceiling, over 60 years of memorabilia commemorating the life and legacy of “The King” himself.
If that tickles the fancy, just a few blocks away on the helm of “Blues Alley” jams the infamous David “Fox” Caldwell, proprietor of Aikie Pro Record Shop. Amongst the clutter of “stuff” you’ll find one of the most amazing blues record collections in North Mississippi. Legends such as R. L. Burnside and David “Junior” Kimbrough graced this establishment, amusing the good people of Holly Springs with hits like “44 Pistol” and “All Night Long.”
Holly Springs’ citizens are proud and passionate to share over 175 years of rich and colorful history, embraced by a diverse culture and heritage.