SEE AND DO IT ALL
Cotton House is situated in the heart of the Mississippi Delta on the Highway 61 corridor, where cultures are rooted in celebrating the heck out of friends and family, food and drink, a good story, and music for the soul. Aside from on-property destinations including Balance Fitness and pop-up retailers, iconic attractions such as The GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi, Dockery Plantation, and Delta State University sit right at our doorstep. Cotton House is the perfect place to rest your head while sightseeing the region.
EXPLORING THE DELTA
Step outside Cotton House’s front door and you’ll fall in love with the relaxed atmosphere of Downtown Cleveland’s historic Cotton Row, with its brick-paved sidewalks, landscaped walkways and Victorian lighting. The street is lined with notable antique shops boasting timeless treasures, while boutiques and specialty shops offer one-of-a-kind items you can’t overlook, regardless of whether your taste leans toward funky or classic. This main drag is also home to a variety of restaurants, offering something to please even the pickiest eater’s palate. Cotton Row plays host to special events throughout the year as well, including live music and a holiday light extravaganza not to be missed.
Delta State University
Providing Cleveland with a lively and youthful “college town” atmosphere, the University serves as a center for culture and the arts for the Delta. Points of interest include The Bologna Performing Arts Center (which brings world-class entertainment to the region), The Hazel and Jimmy Sanders Sculpture Garden (located on the grounds of the Arts Center), and the Charles W. Capps, Jr. Archives Building (home to the “Boo” Ferris Museum, which chronicles the native son of the Delta and his fabled Boston Red Sox career). Delta State also has spawned many national championship sports teams, and is home to a world-class aquatic center that hosts both regional and national events.
Railroad Heritage Museum
With its mission to preserve and promote the history and the culture of the railroad and its impact of the establishment, growth, and development of Cleveland, Bolivar County and the Delta Region, the Railroad Heritage Museum houses and displays many railroad artifacts that capture the history of railroading — from tools used by crews known as “Gandy Dancers” to the timetables and schedules used in the depots and railroad offices. Offically opened in 2009, the museum is home to thousands of artifacts, photographs and documents, as well as a 1941 Illinois Central caboose and one of the largest O gauge model railroads in the entire southeastern United States.
Bologna Performing Arts Center
The Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State University brings together artists and audiences to celebrate the arts, to enrich the cultural life of the Delta community, to educate and deepen the appreciation of the arts, and to explore the richness of our world heritage through artistic expression. Proudly offering a variety of cultural and educational programming, Main Stage performances include celebrity concerts, national Broadway tours, dance companies, theater, and family-friendly performances. The Bologna Performing Arts Center also presents School-Time Matinee Series as well as many events hosted by Delta State University and community organizations.
The Grammy Museum
The GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi is an exciting and interactive celebration of the power of music occupying a vibrant new space in Cleveland. Cutting edge exhibits, interactive experiences and films provide a one-of-a-kind visitor experience at once engaging, educational, celebratory and inspirational. The 26,000+ square foot facility is the first of its kind located outside of the original museum in Los Angeles and pays homage to Mississippi’s noted reputation as the “birthplace of American music — blues, country, rock, gospel, pop” and the history of musicians and songwriters nationwide.
Dockery Farms was established in 1895 to produce cotton, America’s biggest export at the time, and it is widely regarded as the place where blues music was born. This 25,600-acre cotton plantation and sawmill sits on the Sunflower River between Ruleville and Cleveland (about 7 miles west of Cotton House). The site serves as an excellent example of the Mississippi Delta plantation, an institution whose complex economic, racial, and cultural worlds nurtured the blues in uniquely powerful ways. Explore the beautifully restored buildings at Dockery year round from dusk to dawn, unless closed for a private event.
Mississippi Blues Trail
Created by the Mississippi Blues Commission in 2006, the trail markers tell the stories of the most notable historical sites related to the birth, growth, and influence of the blues throughout the state of Mississippi. Now is your chance to experience the blues where they were born. Cleveland markers include The Enlightenment of W.C. Handy, Gospel and the Blues, Chrisman Street, and Dockery Farms. Whether you’re a die-hard blues fan or a casual traveler in search of an interesting trip, you’ll find facts you didn’t know, places you’ve never seen, and you’ll gain a new appreciation for the area that gave birth to the blues.
Lee and Pup McCarty began making their famous pottery in 1954, making use of a clay deposit in a ravine on William Faulkner’s property. The McCartys artistic vision, unique style, experimental trademark glazes and incredible work ethic lend to the collectability of their pottery. Concentrating on both artistic and functional pieces, their works adorn homes around the globe in the form of platters, casserole dishes, lamps, hanging planters, dinnerware and a large variety of sculptures. While in the Delta, don’t miss the opportunity to tour the studio and enjoy a leisurely stroll throught the internationally-acclaimed gardens.
Turn east off Highway 61 between Clarksdale and Cleveland to the unassuming building on the west edge of the small town of Mound Bayou. Here you will find a Mississippi Delta treasure — Peter’s Pottery — home of a vast assortment of pottery in every form, from delightful animals to stunning bowls and candlesticks, unique tableware, lamps and more. Crafted from rich “Mississippi Mud”, the pottery is not just beautiful but also functional, and the artists’ keen attention to detail is evident in every one-of-a-kind piece. Stop by, peruse the pottery, and meet the family of artists behind the thriving business.
B.B. King Museum
Considered by many to be the only truly indigenous American music, the blues are deeply rooted in Delta soil, as is the man who helped spread the blues as its foremost ambassador. The B.B. King Museum may be the most inspiring stop you’ll ever make. There’s nothing else like it in Mississippi. The Museum opened in 2008 to rave reviews and delivers an unparalleled experience, with exhibits that include thousands of rare artifacts, award-winning films, computer interactives, and a story that will give your emotions a workout. Services for tour operators include group rates, reservation assistance, suggested itineraries, photographs, step on guides, FAM tours, and welcome bags.
Ground Zero Blues Club
Located in the heart of historic downtown Clarksdale, Ground Zero Blues Club opened in May 2001 to celebrate the area's rich blues heritage and to provide a forum in which it can continue. With a mission to showcase the best of today's Delta Blues musicians — those living in the Mississippi Delta and continuing in the tradition of their musical forefathers Charley Patton, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker — this is the place for anyone looking for an authentic blues experience. A “down Home” menu offering everything from juicy hamburgers to crispy fried catfish and slow-cooked pork barbecue is also available.
Delta Blues Museum
Established in 1979 by the Carnegie Public Library Board of Trustees and re-organized as a stand-alone museum in 1999, the Delta Blues Museum is the state’s oldest music museum. Since its creation, the museum has preserved, interpreted, and encouraged a deep interest in the story of the blues. Since 1999, it has been housed in the historic Clarksdale freight depot, built in 1918 for the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad. The building was designated a Mississippi Landmark Property in 1996. The former freight area and the adjacent Muddy Waters expansion — about seven thousand square feet of ground floor space — is devoted to permanent and traveling exhibits.