Clarksdale

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Clarksdale[1] is in Mississippi.

Get in[edit]

Downtown Clarksdale

By car[edit]

Downtown Clarksdale is situated a little north of the junction of Highway 61 and Highway 49 (the famous "Crossroads"). Memphis, Tennessee is about 75 miles north of Clarksdale on Highway 61. Jackson, MS is about 150 miles south. It is about 15 miles east of the Mississippi River.

By plane[edit]

Clarksdale is served by a public airport, which is capable of serving large private airplanes. There are no commercial flights into Clarksdale at present, but Memphis International Airport is only 75 miles north of Clarksdale.

The Blues Museum

By bus[edit]

  • Delta bus lines, 1604 N State St., (662) 627-7893. weekly hours Mon-Fri 7AM-5:30PM and 7:45PM -8:30PM Sat 7AM-8AM , 10AM-11AM, 4PM-5PM, 7:45PM-8:35PM Sunday 4-5PM , 7:45-8:30PM.  edit
Ground Zero Blues Club

Get around[edit]

Having a car is pretty much a requirement in Clarksdale. According to one website, 91% of Clarksdale residents drive to work. However, visiting for a short time does not require driving as the downtown is entirely pedestrian-friendly.

Taxi services:

  • Jerry's Cab Co., 662 624-9222.
  • Jolly Cab, 662 624-9256.
  • Pro Taxi, 662 302-0864. At Your Service 24/7 Pro Taxi
Cat Head Delta Blues and Folk Art is a one-of-a-kind store in a one-of-a-kind place

See[edit][add listing]

  • Riverside Hotel - Formerly "The Afro-American Hospital," the Riverside Hotel in Clarksdale was the site of the dedication of the fourth historic marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail. It is where Bessie Smith died after her auto accident on Highway 61 on September 26, 1937.
  • The Crossroads - The intersection of Highway 49 and Highway 61 where Robert Johnson is said to have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for musical genius.
  • The Blues Museum - A museum dedicated to "the blues," which is in the restored Illinois Central Railroad freight depot.
The "stage," where bands frequently perform free for the public

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Clarksdale Film Festival (January 23-26, 2014)
  • Juke Joint Festival and Related Events (April 11-14, 2013)
  • Mini Blues Fest (April 14, 2013)
  • Crossroads Half-Marathon (Look for date)
  • Clarksdale Caravan Music Fest - 7th annual 5/11/2013... always the Sat after the BMAs in Memphis. 10am till in Clarksdale, MS.
  • Pinetop Perkins Homecoming at the historic Shack Up Inn and Hopson Plantation in Clarksdale. ( Oct. 10-13, 2013)
  • Hambone Festival - Free live music fest near Hambone Gallery; Halloween weekend (Sat) each year in Clarksdale.
  • Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival (October 11, 12 2013)
  • Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival FREE festival, downtown Clarksdale (8/9-11, 2013)
  • King Biscuit Blues Festival Across the Mississippi in nearby Helena, AR) (10/10-12, 2013)
  • Quapaw Canoe Company, 291 Sunflower Avenue, Phone/fax: (662)627-4070, email - john@island63.com, [2]. Offers wilderness expeditions on the Lower Mississippi River, its Back Waters, Bayous, Oxbows, and Flood Plain between the levees. Tours can be arranged by the day or the week.
  • Rock 'N Roll & Blues Heritage Museum, 113 E. Second Street, [3].
  • Blues Harmonica Jam Camp', "Shack Up Inn & Hopson Comissary, 001 Comissary Circle, Phone 310-457-8278. [4]If there is one place where you can say the blues was created it is Mississippi Delta. Learn to play blues harmonica in the heart of the Blues Country at a 5 day seminars filled with classes, jams, and friendship. Travel out to Sonny Boy Williamson's grave, visit Muddy's cabin, and learn and play harmonica with some of Americas great teachers and players.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Cat Head delta blues and folk art, inc., [5]. According to its website, "Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art, Inc. is a 6-day-a-week store that features a full selection of blues CDs, videos, DVDs, books and collectibles as well as an affordable mix of Southern self-taught, folk and outsider art. 'It's kind of like shopping in a juke joint,' Roger (Stolle - owner) said, describing the building's rustic interior, colorful artwork and down home music. 'It's the kind of store we always dreamed of finding in our Delta travels but never did.'"
  • Mag-Pie Gift & Art Shop, 253 Delta Avenue, telephone 662)624-8385, [6]. The Mag-Pie Gift & Art Shop has been open for 96 years. It features unique gifts, home accessories and a Bridal Registry. It is located across the street from Cat Head and is within easy walking distance from Ground Zero and other blues venues in the downtown area.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • The Ranchero (know locally as “The Ranch”), 1907 State St. (Hwy 61), [7]. A family-owned restaurant that opened in 1959. On display are photographs and sports memorabilia that the owners have collected over many years.
  • Rest Haven, 419 State Street (Hwy 61), [8]. A Clarksdale tradition for more than fifty years. Middle Eastern cuisine shares the same table with traditional southern food, such as black-eyed peas and turnip greens. The speciality is kibbie, and include stuffed kibbie, kibbie patties, kibbie sandwiches, and even raw kibbie. The coconut and chocolate cream pies that have been popular for almost 30 years.
  • Ground Zero Blues Club, Blues Alley Lane, [9]. So named because of the wide-spread belief that Clarksdale is where “the blues” actually began. The club is partly owned by actor Morgan Freeman, who is a native of the Delta area of Mississippi. He helped open both Ground Zero Blues Club and Madidi’s Restaurants partly because he wanted some to make sure he had good restaurants when he returned home from Hollywood. Ground Zero has pool tables in the front part of the restaurant, exposed brick walls, rough wooden floors, and purposefully mismatched furniture that could have come from a garage sale. In the evening, it is an excellent place to hear live music and drink cold beer.
  • Madidi, 164 Delta Avenue, [10]. Closed in 2012.
  • Abe’s Barbecue, at the Crossroads of Highways 61 and 49, [11]. Opened in 1924. According to its website, entertainers eating there include ZZ Top, Paul Simon, Big Jack Johnson, Thomas Harris, Steve Azar, Charlie Pride, Conway Twitty -- “just to name a few.” Abe’s is famous for its barbecue pork and beef, hot tamales and ribs.
  • Atzimba Mexican Restaurant, 706 S State St. (Highway 61). This has become a popular spot in Clarksdale since it opened about ten years ago. The restaurant is usually filled to capacity, but there is never a long wait. If it’s your birthday, be sure and tell them as they love to put a traditional sombrero on your head and sing “happy birthday” to you in Spanish.
  • Ramon's, 535 Oakhurst Avenue, 662-624-9230. Fried Butterfly shrimp is one of the favorite dishes at Ramon's, which has a full menu of delicious food. Ramon's is only open evenings.
  • Rust Restaurant, 218 Delta Avenue, 662-624-4784. Rust Restaurant is a new trendy, upscale restaurant which was opened in March of 2008 by Randall Andrews, a Clarksdale native who graduated from the Memphis Culinary Academy. Rust Restaurant's fare includes gumbo, crawfish, and seared tuna.
  • Stone Pony Pizza and the brick bar, 226 Delta Avenue (Downtown), 662.624.PONY (7669), [12]. 4PM - Until. Located in a building that has been in Clarksdale since 1912 that has been renovated. The restaurant has five flat screen televisions, Wi-Fi accessibility and a pictorial history of Clarksdale and many of its colorful residents. The food is homemade, hand-tossed pizza. $$.  edit
  • Yazoo Pass, 207 Yazoo Avenue (downtown), (662) 627-8686, [13]. Mon-Sat 7:00am-9:00pm. Yazoo Pass offers fresh coffee and pastry at any time. They are also open for lunch and have fine dining at night with a full menu. It is located in the middle of downtown on the corner of Yazoo Avenue and East Second Street, where a large Five and Dime was located for many years. Yazoo Pass also offers free wireless internet and many young people are often found there reading, drinking coffee and surfing the internet. $1.00-$25.00.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Red’s Lounge, 395 Sunflower Avenue. A genuine blues club.
  • Ground Zero Blues Club, Blues Alley Lane, [14]. So named because of the wide-spread belief that Clarksdale is where “the blues” actually began. The club is partly owned by actor Morgan Freeman, who is a native of the Delta area of Mississippi. He helped open both Ground Zero Blues Club and Madidi’s Restaurants partly because he wanted some to make sure he had good restaurants when he returned home from Hollywood. Ground Zero has pool tables in the front part of the restaurant, exposed brick walls, rough wooden floors, and purposefully mismatched furniture that could have come from a garage sale. In the evening, it is an excellent place to hear live music and drink cold beer.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Best Western Executive Plaza, 662-627-9292, 710 State Street.
  • Comfort Inn, 662-627-5122, 818 South State St., [15].
  • Ground Zero, 662-621-9009, 126 Desoto Ave, [16]. (Click on rental apartments.)
  • Big Pink Guest House, 662-313-0321, 312 Yazoo, [17].
  • Miss Dell’s General Store, 662-624-2381, 145 Delta, [18].
  • Shack Up Inn-Cotton Gin Inn, 001 Commissary Circle, Tel: (662) 624-8329, [19]. For those blues lovers visiting Clarksdale who want something really different, you can have the experience of staying in one of the renovated shotgun shacks or one of the newly renovated bins in the Cotton Gin Inn. These buildings are restored only enough to accommodate 21st century expectations (including indoor bathrooms, heat, and air conditioning. In addition, there are coffee makers, refrigerators and microwaves in all units).
  • Riverside Hotel, 662-624-9163, [www.cathead.biz/riverside.html].
  • Econolodge, 662-621-1110, [www.econolodge.com].
  • Royal Inn (formerly Days Inn), just re-opened; 662-624-4391.
  • Southern Inn, 662-624-6558.
  • Budget Inn (formerly Plantation Inn), 662-624-6541.
  • Uptown Inn, 662-627-3251.
  • Hick's Hotel, 662-624-9900.
  • Blues Hound Flat, 309 Issaquena, 901-272-0230, [20]. A cool place to stay in Clarksdale - Wide open loft space with stained concrete floors, combo living, dining, kitchen, and bedroom area, featuring eclectic decor and local artwork.  edit
  • The Squeeze Box, Second & Delta, 1 732 740-6155, [21]. Decorated in true funky "Delta Style" by local artisans, John Magnusson and Randall Andrews.  edit
  • The Lofts at the Five and Dime, 211 Yazoo Avenue, [22]. checkin: 11:00 AM; checkout: 3:00 PM. These lofts have 1 bedroom, 1-1/2 bathrooms, a kitchen and great room. The full size bathroom has a large marble shower. There is a half bath in the hallway. In the bedroom is a king size bed and a pull out queen size sleeper sofa in the living room. Plasma televisions in living room and bedroom. Each loft is approximately 985 square feet. $150 -$175.  edit
  • Americas Best Value Inn and Suites.  edit

Contact[edit]

Get out[edit]

  • Tunica — Just north of Tunica on the Mississippi River are numerous casinos which are always open. They are about 45 miles north of Clarksdale.
  • Oxford is the home of Ole Miss, and seeing the university is worth the trip to Oxford. In addition, there are many fine restaurants, Square Books, and some good shopping.
  • Memphis, Tennessee is about 75 miles north of Clarksdale and has all the amenities you would expect of a large city.
  • Helena, Arkansas — Just before crossing the bridge into Helena, there is the Isle of Capri casinos. They are about 25 miles from Clarksdale. Helena is also home to the Delta Cultural Center, several bed and breakfasts, and the well known Blues and Heritage Festival.


Routes through Clarksdale
MemphisTunica  N noframe S  ClevelandVicksburg





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