Ok, I know what you are sayin’ y’all: What’s a Tupelo? Well, it’s not so much a what, but a where. Originally named Gum Pond, Tupelo has a rich history, a vibrant music scene, and some really cool original things to do. It’s the definition of an All-American City. Seriously, it’s the only city in the South to be named such 5 different times.
Tupelo turns 150 years old this year! So here are some reasons we feel that Tupelo should be on your trip list this year, as they celebrate their Sesquicentennial:
- 7th largest city in Mississippi. Stones throw from Jackson, Memphis, and Birmingham.
- 1st City to get power from the TVA.
- One of the deadliest tornadoes in history wiped out the town in 1936.The storm leveled 48 city blocks and over 200 homes, killing 216 people and injuring more than 700 persons. It struck at night, destroying large residential areas on the city’s north side. Among the survivors was Elvis Presley, then a baby
- Was once considered a hub for the furniture industry.
- Machine Gun Kelly robbed his last bank here.
- It is the headquarters of the historic Natchez Trace Parkway, which connects Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee
- Oh yeah, The King Elvis Presley was born here.
What To See in Tupelo
- Well, obviously, if you are a fan of music, Elvis’s birthplace ranks high on the list. But, there is also the huge Elvis wall mural at Reed’s on West Main. There is also the Jailhouse Rock mural. Let’s just say , plan to have your phone fully charged for lot’s of selfies with The King. There are 12 significant sites that formed Elvis’s young life recognized by Tupelo.
- True, the herd at the 200-acre Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo isn’t exactly roaming the endless plains, but they’re living happily as part of a population assembled by owner Dan Franklin, which got its start back when the area was still a cattle ranch. But the bison aren’t the only draw. The Buffalo Park and Zoo is also home to other exotic animals, including zebras, an African lion, lemurs, camels, yaks, and reptiles. A capuchin monkey named Oliver. There’s playgrounds, petting zoos and ziplines for a full day of fun.
- Dilly, Dilly! But, I prefer a nice mead..Well, Tupelo is home to a meadery. Queen’s Reward Meadery, Mississippi’s first meadery, is a small-batch meadery that produces a wide variety of meads from traditional dry and sweet to fruit-flavored meads including cranberry, pinot and lemonade. And the honey is locally sourced. By the way for y’all peasants that may not know what mead is it’s an alcoholic drink made from fermenting honey, yeast and water.
- Dancing with the King – Music of Elvis and Dancing: April 3-5, 2020
- Tupelo Blue Suede Cruise – Classic Cars: May 1-3, 2020
- GumTree Arts Festival – Arts, Music, and Food: May 8-9, 2020
- Tupelo Elvis Festival – It’s ALL About Elvis: June 3-7, 2020
Tupelo Food Scene
Over 160 restaurants in Tupelo. That’s alot of food y’all! Lot’s of fine dining options including the rooftop of the Park Heights Restaurant looking over the city or at Woody’s Tupelo and Captain’s Den. Of course you are in Mississippi, and good bbq is easy to find at places like Bishop’s, BBQ by Jim, or at Crossroads. Just a good ‘ol home cooked meal can be found at Sweet Tea and Biscuits , or jump back in time at Johnnie’s Drive In. You can eat like a local at Cafe 212, or kick back at Kermit’s Outlaw Grill or Fairpark Grill.
Don’t underestimate Tupelo when putting together that list of places to visit in The South. Want to learn more? Click here!