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Exploring Oxford with a spring break staycation

With spring break in full swing, Oxford has a little more breathing room than usual.

Ole Miss students are out of town, local school districts are out for the week and many residents are choosing to enjoy the area by taking a “staycation.” Staycations are exactly what they sound like – a mini vacation from the comfort of one’s own backyard.

In a place like Oxford, there are several options for exploring besides taking a leisurely cruise down an uncrowded Jackson Avenue.

For those who want a change of scenery, local bed and breakfasts are one way to feel glamorous but still be able to run home for a forgotten toothbrush or pair of shoes. The Oxford area has several options, including Taylor Inn in downtown Taylor, the Farmstead on Woodson Ridge and The Z.

Brittany Zeleskey, one half of the sister duo that owns and operates The Z Bed and Breakfast at 1405 Pierce Ave., says Oxonians should take advantage of fun lodging options in their hometown.

“We always try to get people to have staycations because it’s such a fun thing to do,” Zeleskey said. “We have openings this week and weekend, and would love to see a few locals come through the door.”

For those who are looking for more artistic entertainment, many of Oxford’s art galleries have new exhibits on display. Treehouse Gallery, located at 328 County Road 418, features an on-site AirBnB and is open Thursday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. This month’s collection, “Piece of Heart” by Ashleigh Coleman, features photographs chronicling the 6 years the artist spent in nearby Toccopola.

“Like many small communities, you can drive through Toccopola and not even realize you have done so,” Coleman said in a news release. “Yet, as I adjusted to new rhythms, there emerged, slowly, the unquenchable desire to make sense of the, at times, imperceptible changes occurring and to show the beauty amidst decay.”

On Thursday night, Oxford Film Festival will feature 2018 Hoka winners and local favorites during their “Best of Oxford Film Fest” event at the Powerhouse from 5 to 7 p.m. The event and refreshments are free to the public, but donations are welcome.

Those looking to enjoy the outdoors have a few entertainment options as well. Although the weather this week has been brisk so far, the rest of the week is looking to be in the seasonable mid-sixties. There is rain in the forecast for the weekend, but weather permitting, those looking to catch some SEC athletes in action can head to the University of Mississippi campus for a weekend baseball series against the Tennessee Volunteers. However, be on the lookout for rain delays and possible double-headers that might interfere with plans.

They can also catch the nationally-ranked men’s tennis team play Tennessee on Friday at 5 p.m. and the Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday at 1 p.m. The number 12-ranked women’s tennis team will face Kentucky on Thursday at 1 p.m. and Vanderbilt on Saturday at 1 p.m. The tennis matches are free to the public, and spectators are usually greeted at the gate with snacks, from sundaes to fried chicken.

In terms of new dining experiences, spring break provides the opportunity for locals to conveniently dine at restaurants that are normally packed. The normal wait time at places like Big Bad Breakfast on a weekend can range from 45 minutes up to 3 hours, but this week, wait times are considerably shorter.

Kalyn Stone is one Oxford resident who says she’s taking full advantage of staying home while many choose to travel.

“I’m staying here until Friday, then enjoying a short weekend trip,” Stone said. “It’s been so nice to sit down and enjoy an uncrowded brunch, and being able to make a left turn on Jackson Avenue isn’t too bad, either.”