Check out what the Northwestern side of Mississipi has to offer!
1. Jim Henson Exhibit in Leland, MS
Tip: Don’t visit too close to the time they open or they may not be open quite yet. We went by during the first hour of their normal business hours and the doors were locked and the building empty. Things move at a slower pace in this sleepy town of Leland so wait until they’ve been open an hour or so to go by and visit.
This fun little exhibit focuses on the life of Jim Henson and is a nod to his Mississippi roots. The exhibit is all in a small room and features pictures, anecdotes, and newspaper clippings about Jim and his family. There are also a few muppet displays, a short video, and a small gift shop. I found it fascinating and very well-run for such a small exhibit. The woman running the shop is friendly and helpful. They do accept donations, but for being free it is pretty awesome.
Tip- Wear bugspray!
This lovely preserve taught us about the Cyprus trees responsible for turning the Greenville water brown. Yes, the water coming out of the fossits is brown and perfectly safe to drink–just a bit unnerving when you first see it leave the faucet.
This preserve features a well-kept walking path, brideges, and platforms built right over the water. The trail also has signs describing the names of the plants and wildlife of the area.
I don’t usually like to put stores on lists like this, but this charming antique shop was full of fun items both old and new at reasonable prices. We bought some historical items for Matt’s mom who teaches history and I purchased a few home decor items. Give yourself at least 20 minutes to browse and appreciate all of the interesting items this shop has to offer.
Cost- $10 cash or check only
Tip: Bring cash, the nearest working ATM is a few miles away.
According to their website, Lakeport Plantation is “the only remaining Arkansas plantation home on the Mississippi River.” Yeah it’s technically in Arkansas, but it is about 30 minutes away from Greenville, Mississippi and worth every minute of the drive.
The house is focused on the history of the home, the families who lived within it, and the rich history of the area. It doesn’t contain very much furniture inside, but the information provided was fascinating and enlightening. Features of the house reveal so much about what everyday life was like for the people living there. A blog that recommended I visit here suggested listening to the podcast, “The History of American Slavery” on the drive to the plantation. It helped me think more deeply about the implicatications of this lifestyle on the hundreds of slaves who lived here.
You can go on a self-guided tour and read mounds of information off of signs near items in the house, or you can have a guided tour. I would recommend the guided tour. It takes anywhere from 30 min to 1 hour and really made the house and it’s history come alive, after all in my opinion it’s people and their life challenges which make history interesting and I felt I got more from someone telling me about it, than I would have just reading snippets of information from the signs.
Cost- $10 per person
This plantation was exquisit. It was decorated with period furniture, paintings, books, statues, and even some musical instruments. The manager graciously agreed to take us on a tour and told us a little bit about the history of the house and the uses of each of the many rooms. She even told us a few ghost stories about the property.
The home and the grounds were lovely and well worth the drive. This house was the perfect follow up to the Lakeport Plantation which focuses more on history, while Belmont is more about ambiance. This charming bed and breakfast gives you a small taste of the decadence plantation homes once enjoyed. I wish I would’ve know about it earlier so that we could’ve stayed there. The rooms seemed fairly priced and each was ornately decorated. At least we got to enjoy an impromptu tea party in the parlor before leaving!