While Elvis is certainly the star, there is so much more to to in one day in Tupelo, Mississippi! Spend some time strolling downtown or getting in touch with nature.
Elvis’ Birthplace is the attraction that most think of when they hear “Tupelo.” The grounds are free to walk around on and open to the public. However, if you want to enter the museum, church, or his house you will have to pay admission. Since I had come from Memphis earlier that day where I had time to explore the Graceland property, I opted to skip the church and museum and just enter the house.
The house, as you’ve learned in all your history classes, is small. The first room is the bedroom/family room (where Elvis was born), and the second is the kitchen/dining room. That’s it. None of the furniture inside was ever owned by the Presley family, but the museum was able to find replicas so you actually feel like you are in the Presley house in the 1940’s.
Part of the grounds that are free to walk around, Reflections is the perfect place to stop and rest after touring the rest of the property. A small manmade waterfall circulates the water on one end and a fountain on the other creates calming running water sounds while you sit on the boardwalk with your toes dipped in the water.
Another free part of the property is the Overlook Pavilion and Elvis Statue. Situated up on the top of the hill in the “backyard” of the property, you get sweeping views of the land that young Elvis used to run around on. Truly a surreal experience!
Elvis is the king of two things: Rock n Roll and Tupelo. Large murals, posters, and other statement pieces dedicated to the King line the streets downtown. Take a stroll down Main Street and you will not be disappointed.
You can even walk into the famous Tupelo Hardware Store. This is where back in 1945, Gladys Presley bought a guitar for her son Elvis as a birthday gift!
Tombigbee was a pleasant surprise just outside of Tupelo. A big beautiful lake sits right in the center and will give you that authentic Mississippi feel.
A small path wraps around most of the lake and is perfect for an easy hike at the end of the day. You can walk out onto the many boat docks and watch fish pop up and eat bugs off of the top of the water.
Tip: don’t forget your bug spray!
Alright, while not technically in Tupelo, Latham’s is located about 25 minutes away in New Albany, MS, but is absolutely worth the trip. A small hole in the wall along a line of shops off the main street in New Albany, Latham’s specializes in the Doughburger (aka Slug Burgers). They are made by mixing equal parts beef with equal parts bread and then pan fried.
Back in the Great Depression, Doughburgers were a way of saving money because bread was much cheaper than beef. By mixing half and half, they were able to indulge in the luxury of a burger while also cutting costs.
Latham’s concept is simple: a bar with about a dozen stools, and decor that showcases their 80+ year history. The current owner heard my NY accent and came out to chat with me. We ended up talking for over an hour and a half! We talked about his restaurant, its history, Mississippi, travel- you name it. You go for the Doughburger, but you stay for the hospitality.
Oh– don’t forget the side of tots!
One day in Tupelo felt like the perfect amount. It kept you wanting more, while is also plenty of time to hit on the highlights. It’s a small city, so I could see myself getting a little restless after 2+ days. However, it’s an absolute must do for any Elvis fan!
Let me know if there’s anything I should add on my next trip to Tupelo!