In the past few years I’ve grown to appreciate a good old-fashioned road trip. While it takes more time than hopping on a flight, it’s an incredible way to see all of the hidden spots in between all of the go-to destinations. Clarksdale, Mississippi is one of those hidden gems. It’s a town steeped in culture and significant for its role in blues history. It’s the place where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads, the birthplace of Sam Cooke and where Morgan Freeman now owns and operates his own blues club, Ground Zero.
Here are a list of must-see’s if you make it to the Mississippi Delta:
Shack Up Inn – With the tagline ‘the Ritz we ain’t’ this former plantation offers your own personal shack on the property. I recommend the ‘Gunny Shack’ complete with an old upright piano and private porch for sippin’ beers.
EAT + DRINK
Larry’s Hot Tamales – Tamales, pulled pork sandwich or rib tips. You can’t go wrong with any.
Ground Zero Blues Club – Grab some fried catfish and okra at the bar during a live blues show. Touristy but worth a visit since you might spot Morgan Freeman if he’s in town.
SEE + DO
Red’s – The most authentic juke joint in town. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the legendary Robert ‘Bilbo’ Walker perform.
Po’ Monkeys – One of the last remaining juke joints whose owner, Willie Seaberry, sadly passed away. Nicknamed Po’ Monkey, Willie would open his house (one of the only ones out in the middle of a cornfield) to the public on Thursday night for parties.
Delta Blues Museum – Museum dedicated to preservation and education of Delta blues music.
Cat Head – Blues and folk art souvenirs, posters, shirts, etc.
New Roxy – Former theatre turned open-air live music venue.