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Cleveland Is Americas Second-Best Small Town

Smithsonian Magazine ranked Cleveland the second-best small town in the U.S. to visit.

The Warehouse in Cleveland, MississippiCleveland, Mississippi, a town of approximately 13,000 citizens, is the agricultural, manufacturing, commercial, medical, and educational center of Bolivar County and the Central Mississippi Delta. The Mississippi Delta is a crescent- shaped, largely agricultural region situated on the Mississippi River, in the north- west corner of the state of Mississippi. It is home to some of the most fertile soil in the world, and is a world leader in farming such crops as cotton, rice, soybeans, and corn. In addition, the Mississippi Delta is rapidly developing its cultural tourism possibilities, which is centered around the Delta’s rich literary heritage, its historic role in developing Blues and other forms of American music, and its pivotal role in the American Civil Rights Movement.”

Cleveland is widely known as the “Crossroads of Culture in the Delta.” In 2013, Smithsonian magazine ranked Cleveland the second-best U.S. small town to visit, noting its concentration of museums, art galleries, performing arts venues, and historic sites, and its Delta Blues heritage, with Cleveland being part of the  “Cradle of American Music” along U.S. Highway 61.Bear Pen Park in Cleveland, Mississippi

Delta State University’s many artistic, cultural, economic, and community out- reach entities include performing arts complexes, development centers, academic facilities, and public venues, which, in concert with Cleveland’s cultural attrac- tions such as the restored Ellis Theater and the Martin and Sue King Railroad Heritage Museum, provide a wide range of cultural attractions. Cleveland is also home to the annual Crosstie Arts and Jazz Festival and the Delta’s largest Octoberfest.

In addition, Cleveland’s recreational facilities are exceptional, with Delta State’s state-of-the-art, Olympics-style Aquatics Center, as well as multiple municipal parks, walking trails, ball fields, golf courses, and tennis courts. Complementing a wide variety of public, family-friendly recreational opportunities are Delta State University’s athletics programs, with many regional and national titles across a range of women’s and men’s sports.

In every area of civic life, city officials, the Cleveland-Bolivar Chamber of Commerce, and Delta State University work in unison to continue Cleveland’s growth and development.



You’ll love the relaxed shopping atmosphere in Cleveland where brick-paved sidewalks, landscaped walkways and Victorian lighting make it more like a stroll through the park. No big city traffic hassles in Cleveland, just park your car, and take off on our historic walking trail for a shopping adventure you won’t soon forget. Cleveland’s notable antique shops boast timeless treasures for the passionate antique seeker. And, don’t miss the shopping district’s numerous boutiques and specialty shops for one-of-a-kind items you can’t overlook, whether your taste learns toward funky or classic. Visitor information is available at downtown shops.



Cleveland satisfies famished guests with a variety of dining atmospheres. When you’re ready for a quick bite or a leisurely dinner, you’ll find your choices are practically limitless. Whether you are looking for a cozy coffee house or a quaint bistro, a trendy eatery, or Blues and barbeque, Cleveland offers the best of the best in dining. Save plenty of time so you don’t have to rush. You’ll find the atmosphere and ambiance of Cleveland’s restaurants are half the experience. For a list of our restaurants click on Where to Eat.



The Delta Blues has its roots in Bolivar County, along fabled Highway 61 and in unique towns like Merigold, Rosedale, Mound Bayou and Cleveland. Visit Dockery Farms (www.dockeryfarms.org), a Mecca to Blues enthusiasts and the home to Charley Patton, the “Father of the Blues”. You’ll find live Blues at a number of our local venues and you can’t miss Po’ Monkey’s (www.southernspaces.org/contents/2006/brown/1a.htm), in Merigold for an authentic Juke Joint experience. Follow the Mississippi Blues Trail to it’s numberous sites of significance in Bolivar County at www.msbluestrail.org and see Links for additional sites of interest.

Delta State University


Delta State University attracts more than 4,000 students, and gives Cleveland a lively and youthful “college town” atmosphere. The University serves as a center for culture and the arts for the Delta, as well, offering the Bologna Performing Arts Center, which brings world-class entertainment to the region; The Hazel and Jimmy Sanders Sculpture Garden, located on the grounds of the Arts Center, and the Charles W. Capps, Jr. Archives building, home to the “Boo” Ferris Museum, which chronicles the baseball career of the native son of the Delta, and fabled Boston Red Sox player.  Delta State also has spawned many national championship sports teams and is home to a world-class aquatic center that hosts regional and national events. Visit www.deltastate.edu for more information or call 1.800.GOTODSU.

The Arts


The Mississippi Delta, and particularly Cleveland, is rich in visual and performing arts. At the center of the lively entertainment scene is the Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State University, which attracts nationally acclaimed shows from Blues to Broadway (www.bolognapac.com).  The Wright Art Center Gallery, also on the Delta State Campus, features rotating exhibits of students, faculty and talented local and regional artists.



Collectors come to Merigold from across the country to shop famous McCartys Pottery for its treasured items fashioned from Mississippi clay. While you’re there, tour the lush McCarty gardens and dine in their serene lunch hot-spot, The Gallery. Head north on Highway 61, and you’ll find another sought-after destination for handmade Mississippi earthenware, Peter’s Pottery.

For more information visit www.mccartyspottery.com and www.peters-pottery.net

GRAMMY® Museum


COMING SOON–GRAMMY® Museum Mississippi!  A new state-of-the-art interactive museum will be located on Highway 8 West in Cleveland on the campus of Delta State University.  The 20,000+ square foot facility will be the first GRAMMY® museum located outside of the original museum in Los Angelos.  Mississippi has long been noted by music historians as the “birthplace of American music–blues, country, rock, gospel, pop.”  The museum will be a tribute to that history, as well as the history of GRAMMY® and musicians and songwriters nation-wide.

Outdoor Recreation


In addition to hunting and fishing opportunities, Bolivar County offers a variety of other outdoor activities, including bird watching, boating, water sports and hiking. The County also features a number of excellent public and private golf courses. One of the region’s most prominent geographical features is also the subject of historic legend and lore… the mighty Mississippi River, that forms the Bolivar County’s western border. Click here for more informaton: www.mdwfp.com

Heritage and Culture


Only in the Mississippi Delta can you ‘experience a hundred years of history in twenty years’, according to legendary Delta author, Shelby Foote. Come to the Delta and immerse yourself in its land and culture–from blues legends and cotton plantations, to the Mississippi River and levee, the “Great Flood”, Native American history, struggles for civil rights, and legendary literary heritage, all as rich as the region’s famed fertile soil. The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University and the Cleveland Tourism Association offer a number of educational tours, which explore Delta history and heritage and create the ultimate Delta experiential adventure. For more about history and heritage tours visit www.blueshighway.org and www.visittheDelta.com.

Special Events


Cleveland and Bolivar County hosts a variety of popular events throughout the year, from the Italian Festival of Mississippi in March, to Crosstie Arts & Jazz Festival in April, Crossroads Blues & Heritage Festival in May, to Octoberfest and more. And, you’ll find the holiday festivities in historic downtown make shopping an event in itself.

For projected dates and details click on Special Events or see our special events Calendar on the Home page.  To locate these and other Cleveland-Bolivar County attractions, shopping areas and facilities, see the Maps & Directions page of this site. The map key for these locations is listed below, so you can identify places you want to visit.

Other Attractions

Martin & Sue King Railroad Heritage Museum – This museum features a modeltrain that entertains visitors with realistic sights, sounds, and even smells of the 70” X17” layout that is representative of “Any town”, Mississippi. The goal of this museum is preserve and promote the history and the culture of the railroad and its impact on the Mississippi Delta.

Great River Road State Park – Situated inside the Mississippi River levee and bordered by the majestic river, this park offers magnificent views of the “Father of Waters.” The focal point of the park is a 75-foot high overlook tower, which provides panoramic views of the river. Trails lead down to the river where you can walk along the sand bar on the riverside. Other opportunities include fishing, picnic facilities, nature trail, RV and primitive camping.

The Hazel and Jimmy Sanders Sculpture Garden – The sculpture garden is located in front of the Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State University. This is a national sculpture contest. Seven pieces are selected and entered into the competition. They are displayed for 18 months and a winner is selected. The winning sculpture is purchased and placed on exhibit on the campus of Delta State.

The Boo Ferriss Baseball Museum – This museum honors Boo Ferris, patriarch and Red Sox Hall of Fame member. Boo Ferriss played with Ted Williams. This was partially funded by the Yawkey Foundation/Boston Red Sox.

The Mask of the Blues – The “life casts” are exact replicas of Blues musician’s faces, created using damp gauze and plaster. The results are astonishing, three-dimensional images of the facial structure of the musicians. The collection – 55 life casts of a disappearing generation of Blues performers.

The Mississippi Blues Trail www.msbluestrail.org Current area Blues Markers include:

Dockery Farms: B.B. King said if you had to name one place where it all began, it would be here.

Boyle’s Peavine Railroad: The Peavine branch of the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad was made famous by Charley Patton’s “Peavine Blues.”Shaw, Honey Boy Edward’s hometown.

Merigold’s Po Monkeys, one of the last remaining rural juke houses in the Mississippi Delta.

Rosedale was immortalized in Robert Johnson’s 1937 recording “Traveling Riverside Blues”

Cleveland’s Chrisman Street, a center of African American business and social life during the era of segregation in the South.

Cleveland offers the best of dining in a variety of atmospheres from family dining to trendy bistros to cozy coffee shops. Whether you want to grab something quick on the go or enjoy a leisure 4-star dinner, you’re bound to enjoy a great meal in a friendly, small hometown environment.

Airport Grocery | Directions A la Carte Alley | Directions
3806 Hwy 61 North 111 S. Court Street
Cleveland, MS Cleveland, MS
(662) 843-4817 (662) 843-6510
Rustic Atmosphere, casual dining, steaks, BBQ, Hot Tamales, Crawdads, daily southern cooking buffet lunch Lunch only. Southern Bistro and gift shop featuring specialty salads, deli sandwiches, homemade soups and desserts.
Backdraft | Directions Bellazar’s | Directions
337 Cotton Row 114 Hwy 61 South
Cleveland, MS Boyle, MS
(662) 846-9991 (662) 846-8949
Cajun, Lebanese, Steak & Seafood, dinner only, full bar
Captain D’s | Directions Catfish Cabin | Directions
800 N. Davis/Hwy 61 North Hwy 61 South
Cleveland, MS Boyle, MS
(662) 846-8949 (662) 846-0004
Seafood & Burgers, casual family dining
The Country Platter | Directions Crawdad’s | Directions
700 Ruby St. & Hwy 61 South 104 S. Park Street
Cleveland, MS Merigold, MS
(662) 846-7051 (662) 748-2441
Soul food, Southern homestyle cooking. Crawfish in season, open grill steaks, assorted seafood, safari atmosphere, full bar
Crustaceans Crawfish | Directions Desert Inn Steak House | Directions
724 Davis Ave./Hwy 61 South 708 Hwy 61 North
Cleveland, MS Cleveland, MS
(662) 836-6456 (662) 843-0073
Open 7 days a week during the season,
fresh crawfish, dine in or take out.
Specializing in open pit steaks and seafood
Fat Baby’s Catfish House | Directions The Gallery | Directions
3760 Hwy 61 100 Sunflower St.
Cleveland, MS Merigold, MS
(662)721-9001 (662) 748-2754
Lunch Tues.-Fri. 11:00am-1:30pm
Dinner Thurs., Fri., Sat. 4:30pm-9:00pm
Lunch only, sophisticated setting, tea room menu.
Guadalajara | Directions Hey Joe’s Cafe and Record Shop | Directions
405 Industrial Drive 118 E. Sunflower Road, Suite C
Cleveland, MS Cleveland, MS
(662) 846-6965 662-843-5425
Authentic Mexican cuisine, full bar, family
Specializing in burgers & hot dogs
Huddle House | Directions La Cabana | Directions
710 North Davis/Hwy 61 North 702 Hwy 61 North
Cleveland, MS Cleveland, MS
(662) 846-0415 (662) 843-1917
Authentic Mexican cuisine.
Lenny’s Subs | Directions Little China Kitchen | Directions
415 N. Davis Ave./Hwy 61 North 207 North Davis/Hwy 61 South
Cleveland, MS Cleveland, MS
(662) 846-5100 (662) 843-1668
Catering, box lunches, sandwiches, all meat
freshly cut, best known for Philly cheese sandwiches.
Chinese cuisine.
The Lost Pizza Co. | Directions The Pickled Okra | Directions
3745 Highway 61 201 S. Sharpe Street
Cleveland, MS Cleveland, MS
(662) 846-1300 (662) 843-8510
Custom built and signature pizzas, homemade
sauce & house cheese blend.
Casual atmosphere, specializing in grill/deli, full bar.
The Pig Pen | Directions The Senator’s Place | Directions
419 Hwy 61 South Hwy. 61/1028 S. Davis
Cleveland, MS Cleveland, MS
(662) 843-0512 (662) 846-7434
Southern BBQ Country-style buffet lunch, BBQ, live music on Friday nights.
The Southern Grill | Directions The Starving Musician | Directions
308 East Carpenter Street 323 Cotton Row
Cleveland, MS Cleveland, MS 38732
(662) 843-1317 (662) 843-7535
Southern home cooking, buffet & menu choices,
breakfast & lunch.
Daily lunch, baked goods, dessert, & catering.
The Warehouse | Directions Western Sizzlin’ Steakhouse | Directions
229 N. Sharpe Street 214 North Davis Ave. Hwy 61
Cleveland, MS Cleveland, MS
(662) 846-1288 (662) 846-7565
Boar’s Head Deli Sandwiches, soups & salads. Daily buffet, menu choices.
Fast Food
Back Yard Burger | Directions
Baskin Robbins | Directions
Burger King | Directions
Church’s Chicken | Directions
Domino’s Pizza | Directions
Kentucky Fried Chicken | Directions
McDonald’s | Directions
Pizza Hut | Directions
Popeye’s | Directions
Sonic | Directions
Subway | Directions
Taco Bell | Directions
Wendy’s | Directions