Visitors traveling through the Hills region of northeastern Mississippi will find the charming city of Tupelo—the birthplace of Elvis Presley, the headquarters of the historic Natchez Trace Parkway, and home to lots of unique attractions and one-of-a-kind restaurants. Here’s a closer look at what to see and do in Tupelo.
Take an Elvis tour
A global icon got his start right here in Tupelo, and visitors can explore some of the sites that played a huge role in the young life of the one and only Elvis Aron Presley. Elvis was born in a two-room house in East Tupelo in January 1935. The Elvis Presley Birthplace & Museum preserves this home (built by his father), as well as Elvis’ childhood church, on a 15-acre site that draws visitors from across the world. The Elvis Homecoming Statue, located in historic downtown Tupelo, is a larger-than-life depiction of the King that’s based on a famous photograph of Elvis performing at the Tupelo Fairgrounds in 1956. Tupelo Hardware Company, where Elvis’ mother bought him his first guitar, has been open in downtown Tupelo for nearly 90 years.
Explore the Natchez Trace Parkway
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile (715km) National Scenic Byway and All-American Road that connects Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee. The scenic, recreational route follows the “Old Natchez Trace,” a historic travel corridor used by Native Americans, European settlers, soldiers, and many others through the centuries. In addition to driving the route, visitors can also find options for hiking, biking, camping, and more along the parkway. Tupelo is home to the Natchez Trace Headquarters & Visitor Center, a National Park Service site that offers exhibits and information about the parkway.
Discover family-friendly attractions
Tupelo is a great place for a family getaway, and there are plenty of fun, family-friendly attractions that kids of all ages can enjoy. Tupelo Buffalo Park & Zoo is a 210-acre site that’s home to hundreds of buffalo and more than 250 other animals, including zebras, camels, yak, a giraffe, an African lion, and ring-tailed lemurs. The Oren Dunn City Museum is home to a historic cabin, one-room church, and school and tells the story of Tupelo, from ancient fossils to Chickasaw culture to the city’s railroad history. History lovers can also visit the Tupelo National Battlefield Site and the Brice’s Crossroad National Battlefield Site.
Grab a bite & a drink
Tupelo is home to more than 160 restaurants, so visitors are sure to find a new favorite wherever they go. Looking for classic Southern cuisine? Head to Romie’s Grocery for a traditional “meat and three” or visit Clay’s House of Pig for barbeque, ribs and rib tips. Want great food and beer with a side of live music? Head to Blue Canoe, a “five-star dive bar” that has nearly 36 beers on tap and is a great place to catch local and regional music acts. Queen’s Reward Meadery is the first meadery in Mississippi and produces small batches of specialty meads using locally sourced honey.