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This page was last updated: July 24, 2014
Just a few blocks away spend the night at the exquisite Edwardian Inn bed and breakfast, an 11-room retreat that will take you back in time. Always booked well in advance for the King Biscuit Blues Festival, you can usually reserve a room any other time of the year. When staying there you will experience fine luxury and cozy surroundings in a perfect example of the some of the grand homes built in Helena long ago. Helena-West Helena is situated along the Mighty Mississippi River and is considered by many people as the birthplace of the blues. The unique delta town has a rich culture that includes the world famous King Biscuit Blues Festival each October. Tourists love to enjoy the magnificent turn-of-the century homes and sites which still exist and the quaint antique shops along the Cherry Street Historic District. The Delta Cultural Center is located in an old train depot and has many interesting exhibits detailing the history of the delta region. The center is also the site of where King Biscuit Time, the longest-running radio show is still broadcasted over radio air waves with host “Sunshine” Sonny Payne. Actually, the King Biscuit Blues Festival is named after this radio show which originated on KFFA, 1360 AM, Helena’s first local radio station.
Even though there are no big name department stores or malls located here, some of the best antique and gift shops are sprinkled throughout the Cherry Street Historic District. Delta Gypsy, is a boutique with unique art, linens, dishes, and distinctive gifts by well-known designers like Vera Bradley and New York based artist Patience Brewster’s. Sam Elardo, owner of Delta Gypsy also has a wonderful antique shop, Gracious Living, a couple of blocks down the street from Delta Gypsy. This shop contains antiques from Elardo’s personal collection which include items such as wing-backed chairs and sofas, silver napkin rings and collectible desk sets.
Cotton and Kudzu offers quality items from many vendors including wonderful, handmade children’s clothing, antique jewelry, gifts, kitchenware and much more. Another shining example of a fine shop on Cherry Street is Handworks. Their
motto: “A few of our favorite things,” exemplifies the care they use when selecting the unique items they sell. Products include names such as Peter’s Pottery, Etta B and 3E Design Pottery with minimalist-style dinnerware in neutral to vibrant, patterned decorative pieces. You will also find handmade jewelry, original artwork and even Arkansas-made items like honey, pottery, soaps and soy-based candles.
There are two great places to eat in the Cherry Street Historic District. Fine Mexican food is offered at El Rio Lindo Mexican Restaurant on the south end.
If you’re looking for great, home-cooked food be sure to visit Granny Dee’s for the best soul food in the city. Bessie “Granny” Brewer’s home cooked, breakfast-and-lunch only restaurant serves fried chicken, greens, cornbread and burgers. A buffet of meat and vegetable lunch changes daily with an offering of regular menu items such as sandwiches, burgers and more.