One of the most unique places to stay in the South, the Shack Up Inn and Cotton Gin Inn are located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta region in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Clarksdale, generally considered to be the birthplace of the blues, attracts visitors on blues pilgrimages from across the nation and around the world. Many history buffs and artists are also drawn to the area.
While the Shack Up Inn and Cotton Gin Inn will not appeal to everyone, those who do enjoy it often rank their stays as a travel highlight.
Owned and run by five partners or shackmeisters, a few things to expect include a relaxed and quirky atmosphere, plenty of fellow music lovers and fun touches like nighttime Moon Pies left on the pillows in place of the usual turn down chocolates.
The shacks are frequently booked up on the weekends, especially from February to October when it is a good idea to make reservations about four months in advance. You must be 25 or older to rent a room and weekend rentals require a two day minimum stay.
The Shack Up Inn - Accommodations at the Shack Up Inn are authentic rough wood-sided, tin-roofed sharecropper shotgun houses, which have been renovated to add electricity, plumbing, heat and air conditioning. Sizes range from the smallest at about 300 square feet in the Cadillac Shack to one that accommodates four people and features two queen size beds in separate rooms and an enclosed porch.
The interior décor of the shacks is a flea market lover's dream with a profusion of memorabilia, mismatched dishes and furniture, old photos and a lot of other stuff.
A few shacks have old (but well tuned) pianos in them as well. There is also a farm tractor shed available, which was previously converted into a three bedroom house and used by one of the owners.
The Cotton Gin Inn - The ten rooms, each created from the old cotton bins, include a queen size bed, television, small refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker. The walls are paneled in cypress and the ceilings are made of old corrugated tin. The Sky Shack, located above the lobby and dubbed by the owners as the ultimate in shackism, features a flat screen television, a large front porch with rocking chairs and more.
Before You Decide - Visitors who think they may be interested in staying at this unique property should check out the website (see below) to get a clear understanding about what (and what not) to expect and to review the reservation policies. There are also many helpful reviews on TripAdvisor.