Tupelo may not be Mississippi's largest city, but it's packed with more culture, history, music and culinary attractions than many cities twice its size.
Perhaps best known as the birthplace of Rock-and-Roll icon Elvis Presley, Tupelo has something for everyone. The city is warm and sunny for most of the year, making it the perfect spot for outdoor activities like exploring Veteran's Park or driving along the Natchez Trace Parkway. No matter the season, there's plenty to see and do in its many museums, shops and historical sites. Whether you're planning a family vacation, a romantic getaway for two or even a solo trip, here's how to have the perfect weekend in Tupelo.
Whether you flew into Tupelo Regional Airport via a connection at Nashville International, made the short drive down from Memphis International or arrived at the end of a road trip along U.S. Interstate 22, a good meal is sure to be at the top of your itinerary.
Hungry travelers can always find soul food and Southern favorites at the Blue Canoe on North Gloster Street. With a full bar, extensive beer selection and killer live music, it's a great way to get your Tupelo tour off to a fun and festive start. Or, if you're craving authentic Mississippi barbecue, your best bet is the Neon Pig Cafe. The restaurant's meat is locally sourced and butchered in house, and the craft beer selection is one of the best in the U.S. South.
Blue Canoe in Tupelo
Start your first full day in Tupelo off right with a proper Southern breakfast at Connie's Fried Chicken. You'll find piping hot coffee and breakfast favorites with a soulful twist here; locals might not let you leave without trying the blueberry donuts.
After breakfast, head downtown and check out the fresh local meat and produce at the Farmers' Depot. While you're downtown, peruse the home goods and souvenirs at Tupelo Hardware, where Elvis' mother bought her son his first guitar. If you're looking to treat yourself to something stylish, don't miss Bailey Diane Boutique and MLM Clothiers.
No visit to Tupelo is complete without paying homage to the King of Rock-and-Roll. And with 12 spots to visit on the Elvis Presley Birthplace Tour, it's best to get started early. If you take the Grand Tour, you'll begin at the King's birthplace itself, the humble two-room house where Elvis was born in 1935. You'll also see the Elvis Presley Museum, the singer's childhood church and many other historic sites, including a replica of the green 1939 Plymouth that took the Presleys on their fateful trip from Tupelo to Memphis, Tennessee.
After you've worked up an appetite, stop in for a lunch at Sweet Tea & Biscuits.
If you visit between June 1-4, you're in luck: that's when Tupelo hosts its annual Elvis Festival. Saturday evening, you can catch the finals of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition, as well as notable Elvis tribute acts like Cody Ray Slaughter and Brandon Bennett.
After the show, enjoy dinner at Kermit's Outlaw Kitchen. Located in a 140-year-old building in downtown Tupelo, this local favorite specializes in dishes based on ingredients grown and sourced locally. Cap off your night with a visit to The Thirsty Devil. Comfort food, great drinks and an energetic atmosphere will make you feel right at home.
Grab a coffee and a pastry or a slice of peanut butter pie at Crave downtown before a packed final day in Tupelo. Pay a visit to the Tupelo Automobile Museum. If the collection of more than 100 classic and collectible cars gets your motor running, then you're in luck: One of USA's iconic drives is right around the corner.
Fuel up and hit the Natchez Trace Parkway. This historic roadway stretches 715 kilometers from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee, closely following the original footpath used by Native Americans for centuries. Whether you head north or south, you'll find museums, U.S. Civil War battlefields, historic Native American settlements and more. The scenery alone makes the drive memorable.
There's no better way to wrap up a visit to Tupelo than with a great meal, so head over to Harvey's. Their award-winning chefs prepare sandwiches, steaks, seafood and updated takes on Southern favorites every night of the week.
Tupelo isn't the only great destination in Mississippi. Check out The Mississippi Delta: Birthplace of the Blues before planning your next trip to the Magnolia State.
Tupelo Automobile Museum
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Driving the Natchez Trace Parkway
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A Pilgrimage to Elvis Presley’s USA