As temps start to (ever so slightly) cool, there’s no better time for a road trip to the Mississippi Delta, roll the windows down, and take a deep breath of fresh air. The flatlands of the Delta hold a mystique unlike anywhere else; it’s where the blues was born, where agriculture reigns supreme, and the whole place pulses with history.

But while the Delta is a place that shows that some great things, like hospitality and roots stay the same, it’s exciting when some things change. New to the region is the Cotton House Cleveland, a new boutique hotel that honors the spirit of the Delta. Located in the heart of the Delta on the Highway 61 corridor, it’s here that culture is rooted in celebration—celebration of friends, family, food, drink, storytelling, and of course, music.

Your stay at the Cotton House won’t be complete without some signature Delta delicacies from James Beard Award-nominated Chef Cole Ellis’ beloved Delta Meat Market, located in the hotel. Delta Meat Market is not only a premium grocer of specialty meat, cheese, and artisan goods, but a casual, full-service restaurant serving dishes rooted in the culinary traditions of the Mississippi Delta. Here, you can grab breakfast, lunch, dinner, or grab-and-go specialties. On the rooftop of the Cotton House sits Bar Fontaine. Here, you can take in the Delta sunset with small plates, housemade pasta, and Delta-inspired cocktail concoctions like the appropriately named “Catfish.”

The hotel sits right on Downtown Cleveland’s historic Cotton Row. This hotbed of community is lined with antique shops, boutiques, specialty shops, a variety of restaurants, and frequent live music events.

While in Cleveland, don’t miss the Grammy Museum Mississippi, a state-of-the-art interactive museum on the campus of Delta State University. The first Grammy Museum located outside of Los Angeles, this is the spot to take in the rich history of Mississippi music. Here, dive into the reasons why Mississippi is dubbed the “birthplace of American music.” It’s not just the blues—you’ll find a bevy of information on country, rock, gospel, and pop.

Take a quick trip to nearby Merigold, home to the nationally famous McCarty’s Pottery. Here you can take home a piece of the Mississippi Delta in the form of pottery creations fashioned from Mississippi clay. Grab a seat at The Gallery, a beloved serene lunch spot. Venture north on Highway 61 to find another hot spot for Mississippi earthenware, Peter’s Pottery.

It’s back to school season, so that means Delta State University will be alive with the energy of a new year. The University serves as a center for culture and the arts for the region. Enjoy a show at the Bologna Performing Arts Center, see one-of-a-kind art at The Hazel and Jimmy Sanders Sculpture Garden on the grounds of the campus Arts Center, or learn more about the baseball career of Delta native and fabled Boston Red Sox player Boo Ferriss at the Boo Ferriss Museum.

Head to the Delta to simply slow down, or to pick up the pace. The possibilities are endless.

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