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MUSICElvis Presley Birthplace Tour the humble two-room home built by Vernon Presley with the help of his father, brother and a $180 loan from his boss—it was in this modest cottage that The King of Rock and Roll was born. Now designated as a State Historic Site and owned by the city of Tupelo, the home has been restored to its original condition as a museum; you can also see the church Elvis attended as a child, transported here for fans to experience. Stand face-to-face with a statue of Elvis at age 13, and take the “Walk of Life” tour around the grounds. 306 Elvis Presley Dr., Tupelo. 662-841-1245 Tupelo Hardware Shop the aisles of the hardware store where Gladys Presley bought her son Elvis his first guitar. Ask any employee—they’ll be happy to tell the story. This authentic small-town hardware store has been in the same family for three generations, selling everything from door hinges to musical instruments. Visitors from all over the world (some famous, like Aerosmith’s Joe Perry) make a special trip to buy a guitar at this local shop, just for the experience of standing in the exact spot that Elvis did in that life-changing moment. While you’re here, pop across the street to Reed’s Department Store for historic Elvis photos, memorabilia and more. 114 West Main St., Tupelo. 662-842-4637 Elvis Homecoming Statue Snap a selfie with this bronze monument to the King on the site of the fairgrounds where his historic homecoming concert took place in 1956. With the Tupelo City Hall and Tupelo Hardware in the background, it’s the perfect souvenir photo. Fairpark District, Tupelo. 800-533-0611 Elvis Presley Self-Guided Driving Tour See many of the previously listed sites, plus his school, church, local grocery and more on this driving tour, compiled by the local CVB. Blue Canoe Stop for a drink, a meal and a show at this locally owned restaurant and venue. They’re serious about original live music here—check out the calendar or follow them on Facebook for updates. 2006 North Gloster St., Tupelo. 662-269-2642 Mississippi Blues Trail The points of interest descriptions linked below are crucial in telling the story of the Delta Blues. You’ll find two Blues Trail markers in Tupelo: Elvis Presley the King himself Shake Rag the African-American neighborhood where Elvis first heard and came to love jazz and blues Mississippi Country Music Trail Elvis also makes an appearance on Mississippi’s Country Music Trail: Elvis Country Explore the influence of country music on Elvis, and his impact on the genre, before he was crowned the King of Rock and Roll.
MUSIC CONNECTIONCheck out these sites, festivals, shops and online resources for Tupelo, and make sure you catch a show at a local venue while you’re in town. Celebrate all things Elvis at the annual Tupelo Elvis Festival in early June. Enjoy music, local food, a carnival midway, a 5k run and, of course, an Elvis Tribute Artist contest. Check the Tupelo Live Music Calendar for shows, venues and events.
ONE-OF-A-KIND EXPERIENCESTupelo is best known as the birthplace of Elvis Presley, and even the town acknowledges, “We put a little Elvis in everything we do.” But there’s more to this town than the King—find Civil War history, Southern charm, and plenty to see and do while you’re here. Discover the rich history of the Natchez Trace at the Natchez Trace Parkway Midpoint & Visitors’ Center, and explore the confluence of Kaintucks and Creoles, explorers and exploits, businessmen and bandits who helped shape the mixture of cultures that defines the Americana Music Triangle. Three miles north of the Visitors Center is a remaining segment of the original Trace leading to the graves of 13 unknown Confederate soldiers. Natchez Trace Parkway, Tupelo. 662-680-4027 Grab some fried chicken and biscuits at Connie’s Fried Chicken, a local institution, or duck into Kermit’s Outlaw Kitchen, just down the street from Tupelo Hardware, for an amazing sandwich, a pie and a pint. Head to Romie’s Grocery for “a little South in ya mouth”—try some barbecue and southern-style veggies for lunch or dinner.
TRAVELER RESOURCESThis list represents our personal recommendations, but make sure to explore the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau website for lodging, dining, events, additional attractions and more information on anything listed above. Conditions change, businesses open and close; the local CVB is the best source for current information. Tupelo Wiki City of Tupelo Downtown Tupelo Events Tupelo on a Budget Natchez Trace Parkway Mississippi National Heritage Area Travel Tip: Slow down and enjoy the ride. The speed limit on the Natchez Trace is 50 mph, and because the Trace is a national park, speeders could receive federal tickets. ALONG THE WAY: HOUSTON As you leave Tupelo and head toward Jackson via the Natchez Trace, join in a beloved Friday night tradition at the Sparta Opry. Founded in 1987 as an impromptu back porch pickin’ party among friends, the venue now draws hundreds of people each week and has played host to a long list of legendary Mississippi musicians, earning it a spot on the Mississippi Country Music Trail. This volunteer-run local treasure is family-friendly (no alcohol is permitted), and admission is free—get your fill of bluegrass, country, gospel and more. 762 County Rd. 419, Houston. 662-456-9872
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