Oxford, Mississippi

The Velvet Ditch

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What's it like to live in Oxford?

What is Oxford like?

Oxford’s a nice place, the only reasons I could think people not wanting to live there would be the cost of living, or if you don’t want to deal with college kids. Those are the only two reasons I could think of. The square’s a pretty neat place, great food, fun bar culture, some good live music, but it does get pretty packed on weekends. I went to State, and I love Starkville, but I’m not going to dog Oxford or really Ole Miss (I grew up out of state, the rivalry doesn’t run through my veins like some other people). I spent a good bit of time in Oxford and never really had a negative experience (outside of some drunk college kids, but that’ll happen around any University, and bar staff took care of those knuckleheads really quickly). That budget should be perfectly fine to find a nice house in good neighborhood.

Unless you wanted to live closer to Memphis (I don’t know why you would want to), you’ll have a great time living there.

What is Oxford like?

I like Oxford. Moved here from Portland Oregon. We have a brand new house 2020. We also purchased in a neighborhood that was quiet and friendly. Most people are retired or utilize their homes as a football house (as in they don't live there it's just for game days). There are some parts closer to the college that are a bit iffy only because the younger kids live there. If you buy a home in a good neighborhood rather than buy a home for it's good price point you shouldn't even see the bad of Oxford.

The Oxford school district is good and many people who live in the better neighborhoods will tell you not to go to county schools go to the city school. However, that's saying you won't place your child in the private school they have here which is what most of not all our neighbors are doing. We will also put our son in private school.

Traffic isn't as bad as they say compared to bigger cities like Portland or Chicago it's very very mild. The other thing that might be different is college kids don't know how to drive but that's because they are texting.

Don't go to Walmart it is always empty shelves of anything good. If you do then order ahead of time don't go in or you will find a lot of low class people here. Use the chicory market for fresh produce and Kroger for every try into else. We also drive to sams club for most bulk items.

The food is great and it's very fun to hang out in the square. Overall, great and we live the park commission here lots of activities for the kids but you must pay.

Good luck in your choice. Go to the neighborhood before you buy is my only advice I hope you take if you don't take anything else. Google maps isn't up to date in the area so it won't be current when you look.

What is Oxford like. My wife is a finalist for a job at Ole Miss and we are wondering what the city is like. We would be interested in a 4 bedroom house. Is this possible to find for under $450,000? I’ve seen on this sub that a lot of people don’t seem to be that high on Oxford. Why is that? Where do people typically commute in from? Thanks for your time.

I’ve been here for six years! It’s a really cool place to be! It has a lot of access to great chains and shopping which I found lacking in my hometown of Laurel, MS.

Being an hour away from Memphis is perfect, because it’s a great place to go on Saturday for the Zoo or shows! Even in Oxford, there’s always a great balance of enough happening! The Lyric has a great range of artists come through, The John Currence restaurant group is nationally recognized multiple times by the James beard awards, and there’s even better food beyond that, you just have to look!

If you don’t care for college students, they’re here for 9 months, but I feel like there’s a strong enough local scene that you can stay out of their hair if you wanted to! It’s actually pretty well separated from places students go the most often and where locals do!

The school district is a knockout, too!!!

I think you definitely could find a 4 bedroom for that, but look at places a little outside of town, that’ll be where you get closer to traditional MS housing costs, but there are definitely options in town that are reasonable as well!

**What is living in Oxford like for a young professional 25-35?
Hey Mississippians,

Am from the south but have been living up north for school/work and am looking to relocate to be closer to friends/family. Oxford has been a particular point of interest for me, but I had some questions/concerns, esp as someone with no ties to the town or the school.

It seems like, from the way some folks talk about it, that the town is heavily either college kids or retirees.

I was wanting to know what the social scene is like for young professionals in the 25-35 age range. I think I saw somewhere that from 2010 to 2020 on the census, the age range 25-35 for Oxford or Lafayette County expanded a lot relative to other age ranges, but I've not had a chance to visit yet and am worried that the few 25-35s there will be are only gonna be found in college kid-dominated bars or at church.

Also is there any realistic dating scene outside of dating apps? I'm almost entirely committed to never using those**

Not anymore. Years ago it was an area where wealthier families moved to get away from crime in Jackson, but its grown and has a much broader range of people there.

As a young professional, I'd say the Jackson metro area or the Mississippi gulf coast are the best areas with larger population and more diversity. Of course the further south you go, the more you have to worry about hurricane season. And Jackson has its political and crime issues right now.

Jackson/Madison/Clinton/Brandon comprise most of the metro area. Largest metro area in the state with probably 350K in the area, maybe more. Jackson is the capitol city, so government is big there. Tons of great restaurants, lots of younger people working in the area. Recreation is decent with the Reservoir and Natchez Trace nearby. A few good golf courses in the area.

Gulfport/Biloxi/Ocean Springs/Pascagoula are all along the gulf and has been growing quite a lot (for Mississippi) in the last 15+ years. The Casinos are there and there's a nice new minor league baseball stadium too. Lots of people from different cultures and other states have migrated there. Some pretty good food there. Recreation is mostly around the water and of course the casinos. But lots of golf too! The arena has some good music acts come through routinely.

Southhaven/Olive Branch would put you in the metro Memphis area, both a growing, but not sure about the dating scene there. And while I like Memphis, it can be a pretty crime riddled place. Neither place has a unique feel to it like Oxford, the gulf coast, Hattiesburg or Tupelo. Hunting is probably the biggest recreation, but I'm not sure. Others may know more. I haven't been there in about 2 years.

Hattiesburg/Oak Grove/Petal area is very nice, and while The University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University are there and quite prominent in the community, it's a much larger city than Oxford and not as dominated by the universities like Oxford is. To me Hattiesburg is the most metro feeling city behind Jackson. Plenty of good restaurants, some excellent golf courses and the Okatoma river is close for rafting and fishing.

Tupelo is ok, but seems like a pretty sleepy place to me and again, not sure about the dating scene. I don't think I'd want to be looking for social activities in Tupelo. There is a nice arena there and some good music acts come through on occasion.

Meridian is the other larger city, but I'm not a fan of the town at all. It just seems like a sad place. Every time I'm there, it just seems worse. The downtown area could be special, but it just feels like its crumbling down.

Anyway, that's my take. I'm in sales and have traveled all over the south and Mississippi has always been in my territories. I was born and raised in McComb (do not go there!) lived in Jackson and Ridgeland for 13 years before moving to Covington, LA and now Murfreesboro, TN. I still cover the southern part of the state. So while I'm certainly not an expert on all of these areas, I do have some pretty good knowledge of them. Hope this helps and hope others can fill in some gaps for you. Personally I'd pick Madison or Hattiesburg with Ocean Springs a close third, but that's just me.

Go visit the places you're interested in. Mississippi is a super friendly place!

Looking For a Place to Retire? Don't Overlook this Mississippi Town