The perfect starting point for any Tupelo trip is the brand-new Tupelo Visitors Center. From interactive exhibits that highlight Tupelo’s top attractions and a collective timeline of the city’s rich history, to displays focused on Elvis’s childhood in Tupelo as told like never before, the Tupelo Visitors Center will fully prepare visitors for exploring this unique, Southern town.
The city’s unique culture shines through special events held throughout the year, designed to bring people together. Engines will rev during the Blue Suede Cruise held May 4-6, 2018. Over 900 classic and collectible cars will take over the BancorpSouth Arena parking lot for two days of retro fun for the entire family. A Mother’s Day tradition, the Gumtree Festival is a juried arts festival held around the courthouse square. The weekend includes music, dance, food, crafts, and visual arts. The Gumtree 10K kicks off the event May 12, as it winds through beautiful Tupelo neighborhoods and into the downtown area. The city’s signature event, the Tupelo Elvis Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary in June 6-10, 2018. Live music, Elvis tribute artist concerts, living history demonstrations, and so much more pay homage to the legacy of Tupelo’s favorite native son.
Whether on a pilgrimage to experience the birthplace of the King of Rock ‘N’ Roll, visiting one of the top ten national parks in the country, or looking to learn a little something along the way, Tupelo’s attractions showcase the city’s rich culture and history. Visitors to Tupelo can still be inspired by the southern town that molded Elvis by visiting places he frequented while here and others that honor his memory still today. His birthplace features the home where he was born, a museum, Assembly of God church that he attended, and many other exhibits dedicated to his first thirteen years coming of age here.
The Elvis’s Tupelo Self-Guided Bicycle Tour takes guests on the Elvis’s Tupelo journey on two wheels. Explore thirteen stops that influenced his life here. Snap a picture or two enjoying the ride, tag #MyTupelo, and stop by the Tupelo Visitors Center to pick up a special gift. For those who prefer to explore Elvis’s Tupelo on four-wheels, the Elvis Driving Tour takes you to the same spots the influenced young Elvis in Tupelo.
A visit to Tupelo is not complete without a stop at Tupelo Hardware Co., where Gladys Presley purchased Elvis’s first guitar. Guests can stand in the spot where Elvis stood, in this store that is still an operating hardware store today. Guitars are still available for purchase. Headquartered in Tupelo, the Natchez Trace Parkway spans 444-miles from Nashville, TN, to Natchez, MS, and is waiting to be explored, whether on two wheels or four. The Tupelo Automobile Museum is home to over 100 antique and classic cars, displayed chronologically, making it a walk through the history of the automobile.
Tupelo is home to three distinct shopping districts, offering an abundance of choices for shopping mavens of all ages. The city’s Historic Downtown includes a vast array of specialty boutiques, a local art gallery specializing in unique pieces made by Mississippi artisans, and a 113-year old department store. Many local restaurants serving up southern soul food, burgers, and barbecue are also housed in Tupelo’s city center. The Midtown Shopping District is made up of twenty-four locally-owned businesses nestled in an established shopping destination in West Tupelo. The Barnes Crossing Shopping District serves as a regional shopping hub for Northeast Mississippi with a selection of nationally-known stores, all anchored by the Mall at Barnes Crossing.
Whether festival hopping, shopping, or exploring the city’s many attractions, one must be well fed when spending time in the Center of Positivity. From food trucks and doughburgers to farm-fresh creations and haute-cuisine, Tupelo has something to satisfy every appetite. Whether you are looking for the perfect ladies’ lunch spot, a great burger and live music, or a truly memorable dining experience, Tupelo’s over 160 restaurants are ready and willing to make your mouth water. With new restaurants opening constantly, visit EAT at tupelo.net to stay current on where to dine. Your stomach will thank you.
The town that enabled Elvis to dream big still embodies that same contagious optimism that put him on a path to stardom, and today, it beckons visitors to come on in, have a bite to eat, and stay for a while.