Travel Tips: Tupelo, Mississippi
Find your fun this summer by traveling to Tupelo, Mississippi. Plenty of options abound for lovers of history, music, food, art, culture, and photography. Tupelo, Mississippi, is best known for being the headquarters of the Natchez Trace Parkway and the birthplace of Elvis Presley. The area is filled with unexpected beauty and vibrance at every turn. Tupelo is in the northeastern corner of the state and is the seat of Lee county. This town of just over 38,000 has shown incredible resilience through wars, fires, and tornadoes.
The residents are more than happy to let you in on all the best places to see and things to do. They are eager to brag on the local artists and musicians, who are probably their neighbors. Tupelo has won the Great American Main Street award for building a downtown with a thriving environment and inclusive community events. Taking time to really converse with the locals is so enjoyable since they are extremely welcoming and helpful.
History runs deep in Tupelo, as visitors can clearly see by the many wonderful sites, trails, murals, and markers. Visitors are sure to be delighted with the variety of food, shopping, entertainment, and all there is to do in Tupelo. Here are just a sample of the best sights to enjoy during your summer trip to Tupelo, Mississippi.
Explore Downtown https://www.tupelomainstreet.com/
Start with Tupelo Hardware where Elvis bought his first guitar. Then at Reed’s ask for Morris McCain who can give you lots of insights on his famous artwork. When you need refreshments be sure to check out Kermit’s Soul Kitchen and Amsterdam’s Deli & Grill. These hold the key to great photo ops and food.
Relax at Fairpark
This one block includes a children’s playground, lots of benches, and a great view of the Tupelo City Hall. The impressive Elvis Homecoming Statue beckons locals and visitors to reach out and embrace Tupelo.
Peruse Produce at Farmers’ Depot
If it can be locally sourced, grown, or baked, then you are sure to find it proudly displayed and sold at 415 S. Spring Street. Open on Saturdays from May through October, Farmers’ Depot is a happy shopping spot with a big bright mural.
Meander in Mill Village
Tupelo’s first Historic District includes a cotton mill built in 1901, surrounding bungalow houses, and a park. The mill is the icon of the neighborhood even though it ceased operation in 1937 and is now an event venue. The picturesque area has a few small businesses, railroad tracks, and many vibrant murals.
Marvel at the Many Murals
Murals of all sizes can be found in Tupelo, Mississippi. Some, but not all, are about Elvis. Inside, outside, all over town, you will have so much fun just looking around. Murals of pizza, history, and pop…if you found a dozen there are more, so don’t stop.
Follow the Elvis Guitar Trail https://www.tupelo.net/listicle/elvis-guitar-trail/
Step up as you hunt down almost 30 whimsical guitars which have become a big part of the fun of seeing what is right in front of you. Each colorful guitar tells one small piece of the life of Tupelo’s most famous son.
Experience the Elvis Presley Birthplace https://elvispresleybirthplace.com/
Elvis was born in a two-room shotgun shack in 1935. That small white home, which his father built, is now part of a large park visited by thousands from around the world. True fans are often moved to tears and even nonfans will find this a memorable experience. A 1939 Plymouth, statues, a chapel, and a fountain are only some of the attractions to enjoy while paying homage to the late, great King of Rock and Roll.
Pizza vs Tacos https://www.facebook.com/pizzavstacostupelo
You will love trying the mind-boggling assortment of pizza and tacos, but will you decide which is really better? Enjoy the clever murals inside and out. Enjoy the queso dip, margaritas, and handmade corn tortillas.
Owner Adam Morgan says, “For a fun, artsy, and tasteful experience Pizza vs. Tacos is worth a pit stop. Outside the entire building is wrapped in a gigantic mural by world renowned graffiti artist Birdcap. Inside, you will find most every available space filled with more of his murals. The pizza is Detroit style and our creative tacos come served on tortillas ground fresh in house every morning.”
I personally love the Muffuletta pizza made with pepperoni, ham, ricotta, and olive salad. The rectangular shape helps make this pizza even more interesting. Pizza vs Tacos is a real question, a real place, and a super fun time for foodies of all ages.
Queen’s Reward Meadery https://queensreward.com/
Owner Jeri Carter and her staff are so excited to invite folks to the first meadery in Mississippi. Here is Jeri’s message to you, “At Queen’s Reward we make a world class product that is uniquely Southern in its make-up. All our meads are made with pure Mississippi honey, and Southern hospitality is what sets our tasting room apart. We offer mead tastings and mead slushies; we also have the best charcuterie board around. Tupelo may be known as the birthplace of the King, but at Queen’s Reward you will be the one who feels like royalty!”
At Queen’s Reward Meadery, you can take a tour of the impressive new facility and enjoy a tasting of several mead varieties. You can hear about the history and definition of mead as you sample and decide which flavors are your new favorites.
A mead tasting will include a luscious charcuterie board. The board is always filled with strawberries, olives, breadsticks, crackers, meats, and cheeses. There are often lovely extras such as a working artist or live music.
Tupelo was once the heart of the Chickasaw tribe and important sites, artifacts, and celebrations highlight the culture of this indigenous group. Other annual festivals celebrate everything from art, boats, films, flowers, and music. And, of course, food!
Weekends in Tupelo are often filled with sports, recreation, flea markets, yard sales, and many live musical events. The best way to get around in Tupelo is in your own car and by foot. Be sure to bring your camera and take lots of photos to save all your wonderful memories.