7 p.m. Arrive at Memphis International Airport and drive an hour and a half to Oxford. Check into the 5 Twelve Bed and Breakfast (from $105 per night, 512 Van Buren Ave., ), a six-room inn built in 1905 and wrapped with a colonnaded porch.
Some people think of the Deep South town of Oxford as just a college town. True, it’s home to the University of Mississippi. It may even have been named after that other college town across the Atlantic.
Memphis to Oxford
Pull over in Holly Springs to visit Paul MacLeod, owner of Graceland Too, a beaming pink bungalow devoted to the King. The walls are covered with clippings, life-size cutouts, and hundreds of 45s; the backyard has been turned into a “Jailhouse Rock” prison yard. MacLeod’s devotion is so profound, he named his son Elvis Aaron Presley MacLeod and lost his wife, his job at Cadillac, and four homes to his obsession. Not all of the collection is crazy kitsch; he also has a gold suit he plans to be buried in and a rare early cardboard Elvis 45 — one of only 12 in existence. Then hop Highway 7 to cultural epicenter Oxford, home of Ole Miss. Stay at The 5 Twelve B&B, a 101-year-old house co-owned by George McConnell, former guitarist of Widespread Panic, located near William Faulkner’s estate, Rowan Oak. Look for Faulkner’s first editions at nearby Square Books. Climb a stool at Ajax Diner for great cheese-stuffed meatloaf, chicken and dumplings, and the South’s best Bloody Mary. For dinner drive 15 minutes to the Taylor Grocery, open Thursday through Sunday for famous all-you-can-eat fresh catfish, breaded in cornmeal and fried crisp, and homemade pecan pie. Bluegrass twangs from a flatbed truck outside; bring a bottle of red wine or bourbon in a brown bag and make a few friends.