We visited Greenwood, Mississippi with friends to celebrate their birthday month. We stayed at the Alluvian hotel and took a cooking class at the Viking Cooking School. We knew that we would have fun, but the experience was so much more than we expected! Not only was the cooking class excellent but we discovered great restaurants and plenty of things to do in Greenwood MS!
Table of Contents
About Greenwood, Mississippi
Greenwood is a small Delta city with a painful past. Despite the scars there is a depth and beauty to the town and the surrounding area that must be experienced to be understood. In current day Greenwood you can sense the soul of the south and feel the spirit of the unique heritage that is the Mississippi Delta.
There is both history and culture and plenty of things to do in Greenwood MS. It is a great place for anyone who loves great food, the blues, or sleepy southern towns.
Things to do in Greenwood, Mississippi
You might be surprised to discover all the Greenwood Mississippi attractions!
Take a class at the Viking Cooking School
We came to Greenwood the way over 70,000 people a year come to Greenwood. We arrived to take a class at the Viking Cooking School. Viking is famous for its high quality ranges and kitchen appliances which are made right here in Greenwood, Mississippi.
The Viking Company also offers a well-known cooking school which attracts people from all over to learn to grill the perfect steak or make the juiciest fried chicken. The classes are well run and tons of fun. You can read more about our experience at the Viking Cooking School.
Relax at the Alluvian Spa
The Alluvian Spa is located across the street from the Alluvian hotel. After a morning of cooking or sightseeing you might want to have a massage or get your nails done. They have scrubs, polishes, body wraps, and masks as well as therapeutic baths!
A great way to relax!
Visit the Farmer’s Market in Greenwood MS:
Depending on the season and the day you visit you might be able to visit the farmer’s market in downtown Greenwood. We brought home a jar of delicious bread and butter pickles as well as some of the lightest, prettiest, best tasting honey I’ve ever had.
The vendors were as friendly and hospitable as you would expect from a small town in the south. If you are staying in one of my recommended AirBnb’s and have a kitchen the fruits and veggies at the market looked great.
Tour and Shop Your Way Around Downtown Greenwood
You will definitely want to take the time to wander around downtown Greenwood.
Take a self guided walking tour of downtown Greenwood
The visitor center has done a great job of putting together some brochures that you can use to see Greenwood. Check out their historic downtown Greenwood walking tour brochure. You can use this to take your own walking tour of the downtown area and learn about the historic buildings.
While you are browsing downtown you will probably want to pop into a few shops in the area.
Browse Turnrow Book Co.
I love independent bookstores and Turnrow Book Co. is one of the best! First of all, it is beautiful. Situated in an old building in downtown Greenwood, it has wood floors, blue painted columns, and a tin ceiling that soars two tall stories with a walk around art gallery edging the second floor.
Turnrow hosts authors and book signings and according to their website, “Turnrow has hosted events with 3 Man Booker Prize winners, 4 Pulitzer Prize winners, 2 National Book Award winners, 1 Newberry Medal winner, 1 Caldecott Medal winner, and 3 James Beard Award winners.” Pretty impressive!
A charming cafe at the back of the second story serves coffee and lunch. The gazpacho is a must when it is available.
This is a destination bookstore!
The Mississippi Gift Company
Everything in the Mississippi Gift Company is Mississippi-made. You will find foods, gift items, home decor, and much more. Take the time to poke around in here and find the perfect souvenir for yourself or a gift for those back home.
I especially loved looking at all the locally made pottery. They had an amazing and large selection from the best Mississippi potters. I had to wonder why there was so much pottery. Perhaps because of that famous Mississippi mud?
The Viking Kitchen Store:
Attached to the cooking school Viking has a kitchen store. They carry some Viking products but many other things as well. We didn’t have time to look around the evening of our class so came back the next day to check it out. Lots of interesting kitchen gadgets!
You know how kitchen stores are. You discover so many items that you never knew you needed but suddenly realize you can’t live without. This one was no exception.
There were many other stores to explore. You can find fine antiques, women’s clothing, a really nice outdoor clothing and supply store and many others. Not all the stores were open on the Saturday we were there so you might want to try to arrive on a weekday in order to see everything.
The Mississippi Blues Trail
Greenwood is on the Mississippi Blues Trail which was created in 2006 to place historical markers at the most notable sites related to the birth, growth, and influence of blues in the state of Mississippi. Learning about and listening to the blues is one of the biggest draws for tourism in this area.
There are 8 of the Mississippi Blues Trails Markers in and around Greenwood including the Robert Johnson gravesite and “Baptist town” which was the area of Greenwood where both the blues musician Robert Johnson and actor Morgan Freeman were raised.
There is a brochure for a Robert Johnson self-guided tour that you can check out.
Do a self-guided tour of sites from the movie The Help.
Much of the movie The Help was filmed in Greenwood and you can do a self-guided tour of some of the locations from the film.
We stopped by the visitor center which had a very nice brochure that will lead you to the homes and locations from the movie. Here is an article that will give you some ideas. And here is a map with some of the locations noted.
Walk or Drive Grand Boulevard
During the 1950’s Grand Boulevard in Greenwood was named one of “America’s Most Beautiful Streets.” The Grand Boulevard Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. This is Greenwood’s most architecturally significant residential neighborhood.
It was developed in the late 1890’s by Captain and Mrs. Samuel L. Gwin. The boulevard is shaded by glorious oak trees. Mrs Gwin insisted that hundreds of them be planted to line the road in the neighborhood.
You will discover Spanish Eclectic, Tudor, and Prairie Style residences, as well as some of the city’s finest examples of Neo-Classical Revival and Colonial Revival. Check out the side streets for some quaint bungalows and cottages.
Visit the Tallahatchie Bridge
At the north end of Grand Boulevard you will find the Tallahatchie Bridge. You know…the one that Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off of? This bridge was made famous in the song “Ode to Billy Joe” which was written and sung by Greenwood native Bobbie Gentry. The song is, according to Wikipedia, fiction.
Drive Money Road
County Road 518, known as Money Road, is basically a two lane stretch of road that leads to Money, MS. The history of this road is not a happy one. Besides the song about the Tallahatchie Bridge, you will find the grave of Robert Johnson at the Little Zion Baptist Church. You will also find the remains of the Bryant grocery store where Emmett Till first encountered Carolyn Bryant. Money MS is the site of Emmett Till’s lynching.
Mississippi Freedom Trail and Civil Right Sites
There are two sites on the Mississippi Freedom Trail near Greenwood. There is a memorial marker at the Bryant Grocery store and another at the site of the “Black Power Speech” by Stokely Carmichael.
In addition to these sites on the Freedom Trail there are many more locations in and near Greenwood that were important during the Civil Rights Movement. You can check out this Civil Rights Brochure to learn more. There is a map on the brochure that will enable you to do your own self guided civil rights tour.
Visit the Museum of the Mississippi Delta
The Museum of the Mississippi Delta is a small local museum with a variety of exhibits that will help you to better understand the Delta region. They say that they focus on the five “A’s”: art, archaeology, agriculture, antiques and animals.
Where to Stay in Greenwood MS
I have written a post that goes into detail about some of the best places to stay in Greenwood. The Alluvian is the premiere hotel in town. There are also some well known chain hotels from which you can choose as well as some Airbnb options.
Best Restaurants in Greenwood
You will be surprised at how many good restaurants there are in Greenwood MS. From the great food that you will prepare at the Viking Cooking School to hole in the wall BBQ restaurants to fine dining…I promise that you will not leave Greenwood hungry!
You could spend so much time exploring and experiencing all the Greenwood attractions! I was definitely wishing that we had extra time to see everything. We found ourselves enchanted by Greenwood and the Delta area. We long to return and eat tamales and listen to the blues and I’m sure that we will one of these days!
I hope that you enjoyed learning about all the things to do in Greenwood, Mississippi!
If you want to learn more about another small town in Mississippi check out this post about Laurel. Laurel, Mississippi is the home town of HGTV’s show Home Town and it is a great place to visit.
Another fascinating Delta town is Natchez MS.
Thanks so much for stopping by!