Weekend Getaway in the South via Northern Mississippi

If you live in the midwest, a Weekend Getaway in the South via Northern Mississippi might be just what you need to experience some of the best the south has to offer.

weekend getaway in the south via northern mississippi 1 shows a bottle cap mural at corkeys

The above image is of a bottle-cap mural at Corky’s in Olive Branch, Mississippi.

I love to visit northern Mississippi. I called the area home for seven years, and I still have family and friends there. When the local printing plant in Illinois closed back in 2001, my husband was transferred to Olive Branch, Mississippi. I thought I would live my entire life out in the small town I had grown up in. But sometimes life takes you down a different path than what you had planned and expected. Since I called this area home, I believe I can make a few recommendations for fun things to do in the area.

DeSoto County, Mississippi is located just across the Tennessee border. The communities consist of Walls, Horn Lake, Southaven, Olive Branch, and Hernando to the south. This is basically a suburb area of Memphis. There are also many things to do and see in Memphis including Beal Street, Graceland, the Pyramid (which is now Bass Pro Shop) and blues music, just to name a few. But that is a post for another time.

If you know me well, you know I am all about the food. So I will start with some of the best barbecue anywhere–Corky’s. There are many locations in the south, but this particular one is located in Olive Branch. Most southerners eat their barbecue with the slaw on their sandwich. So I guess I am not a true southerner because I do not want the slaw on my sandwich. Be sure to let them know your preference.

Weekend Getaway in the South via Northern Mississippi

My barbecue dinner at Corky’s:

weekend getaway in the south via northern mississippi 2 shows barbecue dinner

Another top-notch barbecue spot is The Rendezvous in downtown Memphis. I have to admit, this is excellent barbecue and is probably worth the 2-hour wait on the weekend if you have never tried it.

If shopping is your thing, you are going to love the Tanger Outlet in Southaven. Some of the stores you will find there include Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, H&M, Under Armor, Express, Guess, Chico’s and many, many more really cool stores. You will want to give yourself at least a couple of hours to experience this mall.

Weekend Getaway in the South via Northern Mississippi

Tanger Outlet:

weekend getaway in the south via northern mississippi 3 shows tanger outlet mall

If you love to gamble, Tunica is just a short 30-minute ride away. I think of Tunica as the second Las Vegas. It’s the casino capital of the south. There is currently a total of eight casinos within about a five-mile stretch. The Casino Strip Properties consist of Hollywood Casino, Resorts Casino and Sam’s Town Casino–all within walking distance of each other. The Casino Center Properties consist of Gold Strike Casino, Horseshoe Casino and Tunica Roadhouse Casino–all within walking distance of each other. The North End Casinos consist of 1st Jackpot Casino and Fitz Casino. They are in close proximity, but you would need to drive between the two.

Weekend Getaway in the South via Northern Mississippi

Horseshoe Casino:

weekend getaway in the south via northern mississippi 4 shows horseshoe casino

The first casino, Splash, opened in Tunica in 1992. Tunica County went from being one of the most poverty-stricken counties in the country to generating billions in revenue. I know they got some of my money. There has been many changes to the casinos in the 25 years since they were built. Some have changed hands and some have moved to different locations. In the first decade, the casinos were very popular and generated mega profits. However, on a recent visit we could definitely see a decline in patronage. This could be a good thing for you. This means that they must do more to get you into their casino by offering more incentives for you to come.

Weekend Getaway in the South via Northern Mississippi

Sam’s Town Casino

weekend getaway in the south via northern mississippi 5 sams town casino

If you love to eat buffet, the casinos are the place to be. When we visited on a Saturday, we went to Horseshoe Village Square Buffet for their crab legs.  In addition, there are stations representing China Town, Home Cookin’, Hickory Grill, Rio Grill and Little Italy plus the Sweet Temptations dessert bar. The all-you-can-eat crab legs were wonderful, but I have to admit, I was a little disappointed in the quality of the rest of the buffet. The quality is not like I remembered when I lived in the area. However, the dessert bar was still pretty amazing. Since I wanted to get another dining experience for reference, we went back on Monday to try the late breakfast/early lunch at the Great Buffet at Sam’s Town. In my opinion, the quality at this buffet was better.

I have not had much luck when it comes to gambling at the casinos. I go there knowing that I will lose money. But if you pace yourself and leave with a full belly, you are still a winner. Make it an occasional form of entertainment rather than thinking you are going to strike it rich.

Northern Mississippi has grown so much since I left the area in 2008. I hold fond memories of my experiences living there. If you need a fun jaunt, you can’t go wrong with a Weekend Getaway in the South via Northern Mississippi. For more on travel, see my Crucial Cruise Tips and Tricks.

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