Tupelo, Mississippi is commonly known as the birthplace of the famous Elvis Presley, but there’s so much more to this small town than The King himself.
I had the opportunity to visit Tupelo, MS while on my road trip through the American South, and Tupelo truly blew me away! It is one of the fastest-growing cities in Mississippi and there is so much more to do here than I had imagined. With a pleasant mix of art, culture, natural beauty, history and so much more, it is no wonder why Tupelo is becoming a popular tourist destination.
I spent 2 days in Tupelo and I felt like that was the perfect time to see the sights and get a feel for the cute town.
Spend time admiring the colorful murals or visiting the specialty museums. You can embrace your inner foodie at one of the award-winning restaurants and cocktail bars. Then take advantage of the outdoor activities at one of the town’s beautiful parks. Whether you want a relaxing getaway or a lively nightlife scene, Tupelo has got you covered. Keep reading to learn all about the 20 best things to do in Tupelo Mississippi!
While we’re at it, let’s be friends on Instagram and Tiktok!
Also, you can check out a Reel I made of things to do in Tupelo, here.
The 20 Best Things To Do In Tupelo, MS
1. Go on a Self-Guided Downtown Tupelo Mural Walk
There is no better way to start the day (in my personal opinion) than to enjoy local art and murals on a self-guided mural walk.
Downtown Tupelo has an impressive collection of larger-than-life murals lining the streets, including the famous Tupelo Postcard Mural. This mural is located at the Thirsty Devil Bar & Restaurant and was painted by local artists Reid Caldwell and Kit Stafford. It was created in 2018 as part of the Off The Wall: Changing the ARTmosphere in Tupelo Brick by Brick project. It is a famous spot for visitors to stop and take a selfie, making it the most popular mural in town.
Next up is the Chickasaw Heritage Mural which is located at 216 West Main Street on the corner of West Main and Broadway Street. It honors leaders Chief Piominko and Chief Tishominko and the Chickasaw heritage. It is a beautiful mural that is painted by local artists Lujan Perez and MJ Torrecampo. There was so much culture before Elvis put Tupelo on the map and these artists showcase that for us to enjoy.
Speaking of Elvis, you cannot miss the Elvis Mural located at Reed’s Department Store on the corner of West Main and Front Streets. This huge painting was done by Nationally recognized graffiti mural artist Ryan “ARCY” Christenson. ARCY leaves a hidden Mickey Mouse in his work to inspire children.
To find the rest of the murals including the cute Mississippi State Flag Mural, Jumpsuit Elvis, and the Book Stack Mural, be sure to download Tupelo’s Off the Wall mural list and if you take a photo, be sure to tag them using #MyTupelo.
2. Visit the Queens Reward Meadery
Get ready to relax while sipping award-winning mead at the Queens Reward Meadery. A few years ago, the owners began making mead in their homes as a hobby. They then entered two national competitions, and ended up winning both! Flash forward to today where Tupelo is home to their famous meadery.
I’ll be honest, I hadn’t tried mead before so was curious what it was? Well, for those of you in the same boat as me, it is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey mixed with water.
Flavors are then mixed and added to create a delicious beverage. It is commonly known as beer’s distant cousin while having a similar taste to wine.
Either way, it is worth tasting, especially at Queens Reward Meadery. You’ll notice the design inside of Queens Reward is very bee-focused and it is worth coming just to check out the cute design and hang out in their large indoor and outdoor space with friends!
Some of their meads include Scarlet Noir, Blackberry, Pucker Up, Traditional Honey, and more. They also have slushies that I highly recommend trying in the hot summer months!
3. Check-In to Hotel Tupelo
Hotel Tupelo is the place to stay when visiting this rock and roll town. First, let’s talk about the decor! It is inspired by the king of rock, Elvis Presley, while also having a chic and modern feel to the property.
The location is everything when it comes to the hotel. You can walk to all of the main attractions in the area, including delicious restaurants and lively bars. Hotel Tupelo is the epitome of Southern Hospitality and is the perfect place to stay during your trip to Tupelo.
Want a tour? Check out the video I made on Instagram!
4. Take Advantage of the Tupelo Coffee Scene
Start by heading over to Strange Brew Coffeehouse which is a local & independent coffeehouse. Strange Brew specializes in original espresso drinks and lattes.
Another delicious coffee shop to try is Tupelo River Coffee. This small husband and wife startup has been serving some hot brews since 2017. They serve hand-crafted lattes, cappuccinos, and more.
Working remotely? Indigo Cowork is the place to be. Their saying is “caffeinate and collaborate”, so you know you can get some work done here. This chic and productive space is only $35 a day for a drop-in with 24/7 access. Enjoy the conference rooms at an additional cost and of course, take advantage of freshly brewed coffee from Tupelo River Coffee. They are connected to each other.
5. Have Breakfast at Talbot House Bakery and Cafe
Breakfast tastes a little bit better when you know it is for a good cause. Talbot House and Bakery provides job skill training to women who are in early recovery from substance abuse disorder. All proceeds support a local 501c3 nonprofit organization, Talbot House Sober Living for Women. That means every delicious pastry you purchase goes to a fantastic cause.
Some of the items they offer at the bakery are mouthwatering cannolis, gooey cinnamon rolls, and warm brownies. Pair your bakery item with a hot cup of coffee. You can also visit for lunch where paninis and homemade bread are offered. Yum!
6. Eat Lunch at Neon Pig
The Neon Pig is home to the famous smash burger, rated the best in America. This Tupelo restaurant is located in an unassuming strip mall, but don’t let that deter you! Oh, and don’t worry, I ordered the smash burger just to make sure it was as good as everyone says and it was FABULOUS! Please do yourself a favor and order it.
Neon Pig is also a butcher shop that serves fresh seafood and meat. The seafood is caught right off the coast and delivered three times a week. The meat is also sourced from local farmers in the area.
The menu ranges from salads to lettuce wraps to burgers and sandwiches. Some entrees featured are the Gulf Shrimp Dinner and the Trash Hamburger Steak. Pair your delicious lunch with a craft beer as well! In fact, they are also known for having one of the best craft beer selections in Mississippi. So you can get the best of both worlds!
7. Have Dinner at Jobos Tupelo
It’s time to get your surf & turf on at Jobos Tupelo. This hot spot serves up some of the most flavorful Mississippi gulf coast cuisines. Their dinner menu features a shrimp basket, ginger scallion noodles, simple grilled fish and so much more. I also loved the seared ahi and their craft cocktails!
If you are looking for a Sunday Funday brunch spot this is also a great spot. Jobos offers weekend brunch from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. They are also located inside Hotel Tupelo, so if you’re staying there it will be super easy to get to bed after a few cocktails!
8. Live Music at The Blue Canoe
Speaking of Tupelo nightlife, The Blue Canoe is the place to go. Offering up some live Mississippi music on weeknights and weekends. This unique venue prides itself on being a “laid back and funky joint” that will transport you to another world. Their drink list is also out of this world, with 100 beers available, 35 of them being on tap.
They also provide an award-winning food menu. Their burger was rated top ten in the state of Mississippi. I highly recommend trying their Crack Dip Fries and Connie’s Blueberry Doughnut Bread Pudding!
9. Make Ceramics at Midnite Pottery
Put your creative cap on and make some pottery at Midnite Pottery! This cozy ceramic studio will allow you to have fun with ceramics. You can even bring home a handmade souvenir instead of purchasing one from some of the gift shops.
Check their website for special events too. This can include a make-your-own wind chime workshop or even a holder for air plants. Schedule some time at Midnite Pottery and support this small and charming local business when visiting Tupelo. They are right next door to the Blue Canoe, so you can make an evening out of it like we did!
10. Go on Elvis’ Tupelo Self-Guided Bicycle Tour
You cannot visit Tupelo without giving the king himself some of your time. Spend your day bike riding around town to fourteen of Elvis’ famous location spots with the Elvis’ Tupelo Self Guided Bicycle Tour. This includes the Mud Creek Swimming Hole, where Elvis and his friends used to swim, Lawhon Elementary School where Elvis attended elementary school, and the Lee County Library where he got his first library card! I break a few of my favorite stops out in separate sections down below.
No bike? No problem. You can rent a bicycle at King City Cycles. That way, you can take your time exploring Tupelo by bike while seeing all of Elvis’ main hot spots. Hotel Tupelo also has free bikes to use for guests.
In addition to Elvis, you can also check out some other historic town sites. Stop by the Tupelo National Battlefield, where the 1864 Battle of Tupelo was fought during the Civil War. It is only about a twenty-minute bike ride away from the Elementary School.
Don’t want to bike? You can easily do a self-guided driving tour with this guide!
11. Visit Elvis Presley’s Birthplace and Museum
Visit the two-room house where Elvis Presley was born back on January 8, 1935! Elvis and his family struggled financially while growing up and did move around quite a bit. But the house is where he grew up during his younger years.
He was grateful enough to be surrounded by his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousin in Tupelo. Here, you can visit the church he worshiped in, surrounding statues, and even the outhouse he used while growing up! I especially loved the Elvis Presley Birthplace Museum because it gave a great history of Elvis’s life.
There is a fee of $20.00 to visit all three attractions. But the town of Tupelo and Elvis himself will say “Thank you very much” for visiting.
12. Visit Tupelo Hardware
“If you can’t find what you need at Tupelo Hardware, then you don’t need it!”. This is the saying at Tupelo Hardware. A family-owned hardware store that is located in downtown Tupelo. The business has been around for almost 90 years.
It is also a famous place where Elvis bought his first guitar back in 1946. His mother Gladys planned on buying Elvis a bicycle but he wanted a rifle, so they ended up compromising on a guitar. Stop by Tupelo Hardware and visit the friendly staff and see where Elvis accidentally started his musical journey. You’ll notice a big X on the floor where Elvis supposedly stood to buy his guitar!
13. Elvis’s Homecoming Statue
You cannot go to Tupelo without visiting the Elvis Homecoming Statue. It was placed to remember the 1956 Homecoming Concert that was held at Tupelo Fairgrounds. It is iconic because it’s based on the famous photograph called “the Hands” by Roger Marshutz.
In 2012 the Tupelo Elvis Fan Club and the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau decided to place the statue in the park. It is a great place to snap a photograph since Tupelo City Hall sits right behind it.
14. Tupelo Convention and Visitors Center
Head to Tupelo’s Visitors Center to get some local information about the town. This was a really well-done Visitor’s Center and I learned quite a bit from stopping here.
You can also hear the music that inspired Elvis. Grab some headphones that sit on the wall and listen to gospel, country, and more. In addition to Elvis exhibits, there is also a Virtual Reality experience. Be sure to ask them all about their current events and concerts held throughout Tupelo.
15. Visit the Natchez Trace Parkway
If you are looking for lush greenery, consider the Natchez Trace Parkway, also known as the Old Natchez Trace. The historic parkway is a forested trail that runs 440 miles from Nashville, Tennessee, to Natchez, Mississippi, linking the Cumberland, Tennessee, and Mississippi rivers.
You can visit the parkway in a few different ways. Drive, hike, or bike down the parkway. For those looking to explore by foot, hike the Tupelo Trail Natchez Trace Milepost 266. It is a six-mile walk, twelve miles round trip to do the whole thing. No matter how you explore, be sure to take in the magical trees and nature of Mississippi.
16. Enjoy the Shops and Sights of Downtown Tupelo
Downtown Tupelo is just so cute and while I have listed off quite a few spots to check out while downtown, there are still a few shops and places to check out.
Once you’re downtown and have checked out the different murals and Elvis sights, look around for guitars on the sidewalk! This is the Elvis Guitar Trail. There are more than 25 Elvis-themed guitars scattered around downtown for you to take a photo.
I also recommend stopping by Reed’s Department Store, one of the oldest department stores in Mississippi to step back in time and The Lyric Theatre, it’s so cute! To check out a bit more of Tupelo’s art scene, stop in at Caron Gallery, featuring local Mississippi artisans. I also loved the cute little shop, Raw Furniture for souvenirs and home goods, but there are so many other great local shops here. Relics Antique is another popular antique store just a few blocks from Main St.
17. Go on the Tupelo Cocktail Trail
Sometimes the best way to explore a town is to try its cocktails. That’s right, take advantage of the Tupelo Cocktail Trail! Which showcases eight different local cocktail locations and restaurants.
First, stop by the Tupelo Visitors Center to pick up your cocktail card. You will bring the card to each participating cocktail bar and restaurant to be stamped. The tour will bring you through some Tupelo hot spots too, including Kermit’s Outlaw Kitchen and Amsterdam Deli. Once you complete all eight stops along the trail, you can bring the card back to the Visitors Center. They will reward you with your very own #MyTupelo cocktail shaker.
What an enjoyable and unique way to earn your very own Tupelo souvenir. Don’t forget to try the infamous Tupelo Honey cocktail, which is Honeysuckle Vodka, Elderﬂower, fresh mint, and lemon juice. Delish!
18. Ballard Park
Take a stroll through Ballard Park. This Tupelo treasure has over 153 acres of land, including a 3-acre lake. There is a 2.75-mile trail for you to hike or bike as well as a cross-country trail. Kids can enjoy the skatepark and two playgrounds while adults can take advantage of the disc golf course and two sand volleyball courts.
There are over twenty picnic areas for you to enjoy lunch at too! Spend some time at the Oren Dunn Museum, which is a converted dairy barn that explains the history of Tupelo with exhibits & historic buildings. You can truly have a relaxing day out in the sun at the gorgeous Ballard Park!
19. Tupelo Buffalo Park
Traveling with kids? This buffalo park might be a bit hit! Zebras, alligators, buffalo, and oh so much more. Get ready to visit the Tupelo Buffalo Park & Zoo, which is home to over 260 animals. Some exhibits you can stop by are The Giraffe Barn, which has the most majestic and tallest animals in the park.
Or you can get some pets in at the petting zoo, where sheep, pigs, and goats roam around. Don’t forget to visit the American Alligator! Which is the official state reptile of Mississippi. The zoo is a fun stop for families, friends, or even just a solo adventure. You can check out the rates on their website here.
20. Trace State Park
Are you seeking a quiet and calm day trip away from the bustle of downtown? Trace State Park has got you covered. You can enjoy the miles of hiking trails at the park. Or head over to the 565-acre lake to try out some of the water sports they offer.
If golfing is your thing, there is disc golf and an eighteen-hole golf course on site. Outdoor enthusiast? Do an overnight trip at one of the 76 developed camping sites. There are 16 tent sites, 5 cabins, and 3 cottages. Trace State Park is an exquisite place where you can go to escape into nature. There is an entry fee of $2.00 per person, 5 years of age and under are free. Trace State Park is one of Tupelo’s hidden gems.
To Wrap It Up
Tupelo is a wonderful place to visit and I hope you get the chance to go! Whether it’s a weekend getaway or an Elvis tour, you’ll love the southern hospitality in this small town!
This post was brought to you in partnership with Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau. But as I’m sure you can tell, my enthusiasm for Tupelo, Mississippi and thoughts shared here are all my own.
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