Beat the Heat in Cleveland, Mississippi

Soulful sounds, hands-on art, and outside-of-the-big-box shopping: A legit look at all the indoor summer fun to be had in Cleveland, Mississippi.

Scared to travel in the South this summer? You may be sticking to beaches and northern destinations, but you’ll be missing out. In fact, some Southern towns can show off their culture and must-see attractions without having you break a sweat.

In the Mississippi Delta, you’ll find an iconically Southern landscape with plenty of indoor travel activities to balance out your outdoor adventures. Simply head on over to Cleveland. (No you read that right, there’s a Cleveland in Mississippi, and this Cleveland you’ll want to experience.) Known for the blues, the town is dripping with Southern personality and charm that will leave you feeling like a new neighbor instead of a visitor.

To protect you from the sweltering summer, we’ve planned an indoor Cleveland itinerary complete with AC, misters, and patio fans. Start creating your Cleveland itinerary here:

Stop 1 - Cleveland’s Mixtape - Soulful Sounds and Sustenance

Whether you’re a die-hard blues fan, indie rock junkie, or an internally famous lip syncer, you can relive your favorite music memories and make new ones in Cleveland.

The GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi - You’re probably wondering why the second, only to Los Angeles, GRAMMY Museum® chose Cleveland, Mississippi, to set up shop in the south. Well, Mississippi has long been noted by music historians as the “birthplace of American music - blues, country, rock, gospel, and pop.” Mississippi boasts more Grammy winners per capita than any other state, and Cleveland is in the heart of it all.

The GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi recently opened in March. The museum pays tribute to legends and contemporary stars blending your past and present favorites for an immersive and interactive musical experience.

The people of Cleveland know that a destination is only truly a music destination when you can find familiar sounds seeping out of restaurants, trailing down main streets and blending over street corners. From the moment you arrive, you’ll feel music pulsing through the town like a heartbeat. You can find a complete list of music offerings here, or choose from any of these local favorites:

Grover’s Corner – Every Tuesday evening, the corner of Sharpe Avenue and North Street in downtown Cleveland transforms into an old-fashioned summertime hootenanny thanks to the fiddle twang of local favorite musicians, The Tuesday Night Pickers. From 5:30 to 7:30, pick your spot at Grover’s Corner to sing, whistle, or hum along with old school bluegrass and sweet, soulful gospel tunes sure to have you inspired to seek out additional performances throughout town (and Cleveland’s got ‘em!).

Hey Joe’s - This deeply local beers-and-burgers joint has a house rule - no cover bands. You’ll enjoy one of Mississippi’s craft beers while discovering the Mississippi Delta’s next big hit. Hey Joe’s follows Cleveland’s mantra of originality with band posters and music memories covering the walls, vintage arcade games, outdoor/indoor entertainment venues, and menu items honoring their favorite icons.

Delta Meat Market - For a new twist on a classically Southern butcher shop, stop by the Delta Meat Market for specialty grocery store items and lunch on weekdays. Lucky for you, the locals let us in on their Friday night secret - dinner at the Delta Meat Market with drink specials and live music. Drinks come in mason jars and all serving ware is created by local potters. The moon pie bread pudding is knee-slappin’ good, and the live music is perfect to enjoy with friends and family.

Stop 2: Hands-On Art

Unearth Cleveland’s other art forms inspired by the Mississippi Delta’s local resources, musicians, and influences.

McCarty’s Pottery - Even with their global fame, Uncle Lee welcomes every person into The Barn studio, and each piece is made of local clay. When you buy pottery at this down home artsy haven, you get it wrapped it in a newspaper then placed in a brown paper bag with McCarty’s scrawled on the front. Talk about keeping it real!

Cast of Blues - Located inside Delta State University, you can find Sharon McConnell-Dickerson’s Blues Artist sculptures. Blind since the age of 27, she made a career change studying sculpture and chose to honor countless musicians by creating life-casts of them. Her multimedia exhibit has a “please touch” policy sharing her message of inclusivity.

Stop 3: Cooler Family Escapes

Traveling with your family in the summer is great! You have plenty of time to plan long trips and short getaways, but you need to find activities that keep you cool and your kids stay entertained.

Railroad Heritage Museum - Families, groups and train admirers will find the history of the Mississippi Delta and the largest O-gauge model train layout in Mississippi. Admission is free for small parties and large groups.

Summer Movie Series at Bologna Performing Arts Center - Summer vacations deserve summer movies on the big screen. Get your tickets today for the whole family.

Stop 4: Not Your Average Downtown Shopping

Avoid the heat by store-hopping off Mainstreet. You’ll find boutiques, art galleries, frame shops, and more. But we recommend getting lost in the area’s quintessential Southern bookstore, making friends with Cowboy the Bengal shop cat and antique-diving for truly one of a kind gifts.

H Squared Ladies Boutique - Sweet frocks, ruffled tops, and unique accessories are H Squared’s specialty. Their vibe is light and breezy, and you’re certain to find plenty of pretty pieces perfect for every occasion. Whether it’s a low-key day night or a bachelorette getaway with your best girls, H Squared is on hand to help you up your fashion game.

Neysa’s Fireside Shop - Packed full of one-of-a-kind antiques, you’ll leave the store with a new treasure for your home or the perfect souvenir gift for loved ones.

Rosson Co. – From kitschy home décor pieces to glittering bracelets, cookbooks to candles, and just about everything in between, Rosson Co. is a classic choice for finding that special piece you never knew you always needed.

Cotton Row Bookstore - Cleveland is proud of their quaint downtown bookshop filled with the latest best-sellers, familiar classics, and a collection of Mississippi authors. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, ask Mrs. Virginia to look into ordering it for you.

So what are you waiting for? Sing away your hot summer blues and plan your summer getaway to Cleveland, Mississippi. Visit Cleveland can help you complete your Cleveland itinerary here: