Free Your Soul: Welty Gardens + More
Tired of being “cooped up” for the past few months? Us, too!
Take in our “Gardens and Grub” itinerary for handful of spots where you can free your soul – safely – in JXNMS.
Eudora Welty Gardens and House
Most people know Eudora Welty as a writer, and her house – available for tours Tuesday – Friday, 9 a.m – 4 p.m. is a fascinating time capsule.
But Welty was also an avid gardener.
Her mother, Chestina, designed the gardens outside the Belhaven landmark in 1925. Until about 1945, she and Welty spent much time with hands in the soil, digging, planting, and weeding.
Both Welty’s prose and personal correspondence are rich with imagery from the natural world. She mentions more than 150 kinds of plants in her stories.
You can tour the gardens for free when the home is open.
LeFleur’s Bluff State Park
An urban oasis in our own backyard, LeFleur’s Bluff State Park “sits at the crux of present and past; of urban development and beckoning wild.”
The park’s 305 picturesque acres of trails, forest, lakes, museums, and fairways are a refuge in the middle of the city.
Hike the park to the tall staircase about a mile in, ascending to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Along the way, native vegetation awaits along with unfiltered views of the Pearl River, the same river explored by Louis LeFleur, Jackson’s original namesake, LeFleur’s Bluff. Detour off the beaten path (follow the “river trail”) and you’ll run into “Belhaven Beach,” a sandbar accessible when the river is low.
And, soon enough, you can set out on a different trail: the Museum Trail, a two-and-a-half-mile path, ten years in the making that will connect the Mississippi Farmers Market and downtown museums to three public parks and the Mississippi Children’s Museum.
A tiny wing shack in the Historic Farish Street District, family-run Sugar’s Place is nestled in the Sterling Towers Apartment Complex across from Mississippi College School of Law. Sugar’s serves basic breakfast foods along with exemplary fried chicken. There’s no printed menu at Sugar’s, but if you’re looking for wings, po boys or fried fish or chicken and waffles in the morning accompanied by a funky soundtrack, this is your place!
Regular items on the menu included catfish and shrimp, chicken wings, chicken tenders, Philly cheesesteak subs, and salads. Daily specials range from baked chicken with veggies to chopped steak and gravy to chicken tetrazzini.
Mississippi Museum of Art’s Art Garden
A 1.2-acre park located in the heart of Downtown Jackson awaits at The Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art.
Featuring a welcoming lawn, seasonal foliage, native garden beds, permanent art installations, soothing fountains, and outdoor terrace dining, this versatile, open, outdoor space is open to the public from daily during daylight hours.
Just open is Leonardo Drew’s “City in the Grass,” an outdoor sculpture that incorporates tactile materials like wood, metal, and canvas distressed by hand. Exposed to the weather, physical use, and the passage of time, the sculpture— measuring over 100 feet long and 30 feet wide—is intended to degrade naturally, connoting life cycles and the potential for regeneration. It’s on view through February 21, 2021. Interaction with the art is encouraged!
Fine & Dandy
Fine & Dandy, a playful modern diner in the courtyard of The District at Eastover, exhibits some of the most striking restaurant design in the city, from stenciled wallpaper featuring local landmarks to colorful milkshakes just begging to be put on social media to intentionally mismatched china that looks like it was inherited from a hundred different grandmothers. The food that goes on those plates is another subject of extreme focus, with re-invented versions of classic comfort food dragged creatively into this century.
Craft cocktails are a huge part of Fine & Dandy’s identity, too, with “forward-thinking, smart, well-balanced cocktails.”
Stay informed of public health guidance on the state level and in Jackson to minimize risk to yourself and others. Facial coverings and six feet of distance are required. #SafelyExploreJXN #VisitMSResponsibly