FEATURE | March 2015
Explore The South
NEW ALBANY, MS
A red-letter retreat for the active lifestyle
New Albany, Mississippi, located just 70 miles southeast of Memphis on Hwy 78 is quickly becoming known as a Southern shopper’s paradise. New Albany’s picturesque downtown rises up from the banks of the famed Tallahatchie River and is home to no less than a dozen antique stores, as well as a wide selection of restaurants, clothing stores, art galleries and more.
BLAZE A TRAIL
In 2013 New Albany became the northernmost gateway to the new Tanglefoot Trail – a 44-mile paved, non-motorized trail that stretches from New Albany to Houston, Mississippi along an abandoned rail line that was built by the grandfather of New Albany’s most famous citizen, Nobel Prize winning author, William Faulkner. Because of its length, relatively flat terrain and the beauty of the country it winds though, the trail is quickly becoming a favorite destination for bikers, runners and hikers.
The trail’s location right in the middle of downtown New Albany has sparked a number of renovations, including Trails & Treads, an outdoor store specializing in running, biking, hiking and backpacking. The Art of Dixie, a gallery and antique shop is renovating space off the trail in order to sell coffee, sandwiches, ice cream and fresh juices and teas.
New Albany is also home to a USTA award-winning tennis facility. Connected to downtown via the Park along the River, the New Albany Tennis Complex has a number of state of the art courts and one of the largest pro shops in the region. A short walk from the tennis complex is the New Albany Spray Park where kids can get cool in the summer and parents can relax in the shade.
Another unique attraction that is somewhat new to New Albany is the Wolf Howl Wolf Preserve where you will get to view wolves and wolf pups. Tours are offered where you learn about habitat, behaviors and more. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to witness scent rolling and howling demonstrations (the wolves are not trained, so they may not always perform). Nevertheless, it is an interesting way to spend the afternoon.
HERITAGE AND HISTORY
The Union County Heritage Museum, is a wonderful museum that not only showcases the history of Union County, but the region as well. The museum is also home to the Faulkner Garden, where visitors will learn about plants native to the region and, if the time is right, enjoy some traveling exhibits from the Smithsonian and other national museums. Incidentally, the museum, located in the Historic Northside Neighborhood, is next door to the spot where William Faulkner was born.
For those interested in the pre-Columbian history, the Ingomar Mounds are just outside of town in the hamlet of Ingomar. The mounds are believed to have been built roughly 2,000 years ago by people who traveled hundreds of miles to trade with other societies. The height of one particular mound makes it one of, if not the largest, Indian mound in the Southeastern United States.
NEW ALBANY EATS
New Albany is home to a number of independent restaurants for hungry shoppers to enjoy. Mexican, Asian, Italian, New Orleans cooking and traditional Southern fare fills the bill. One restaurant of particular interest is Latham’s Hamburger Inn. Tucked away in a little enclave on Main Street, this little diner harkens back to the Great Depression, serving up tasty doughburgers and similar fare. A number of big-brand hotels in the city, plus a beautiful Bed & Breakfast, Miss Sarah’s Inn, which is located just steps from downtown and the Tanglefoot Trail.
Coming up in April is the New Albany Home and Garden Show which is quickly becoming a prominent meeting for Master Gardeners and gardening enthusiasts. In May, the city comes alive with the sound of bluegrass music with the Down from the Hills Bluegrass Festival and State Fiddling Championship. And then in September the city hosts the Tallahatchie Riverfest which features regional arts and music in a beautiful setting along the banks of the Tallhatchie River.
Tourist Information: visitnewalbany.com
Union County Heritage Museum: ucheritagemuseum.com
The Tanglefoot Trail: tanglefoottrail.com
Wolf Howl Wolf Preserve: everythingwolf.com
Sugaree’s Bakery: sugarees.com
Art of Dixie Gallery: theartofdixie.com