Tupelo, Mississippi is the epitome of a sweet southern city… and I am here for it! Tupelo is known for being the birthplace of Elvis Presley, and the history there will get you all shook up (see what I did there?). But there is so much more to this charming city than Elvis. The people are welcoming and kind, the boutique shops are adorable, and the food is out of this world delicious!
Tupelo has something for everyone, whether you are an animal lover, art aficionado, foodie, music lover, or an Elvis fan – they’ve got you covered. The trendy upbeat scene here also comes with a slower pace of life, a balance hard to find. Keep reading below to see why you should book your next trip to Tupelo, Mississippi!
I have compiled a list of the three A’s: Accommodations, Adventures, and Appetite! If you have any questions about Tupelo or our trip please send me an email!
We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in the heart of downtown Tupelo. This hotel has the best location, being in walking distance of all things downtown (a huge bonus when traveling with kids). They have a heated indoor pool which is also nice if visiting in the cooler months.
Our room was a standard two queen bedroom with a refrigerator (so happy when hotels still have these). The bathroom also has a tub which id great for the little ones. The staff at the hotel were very kind and gave me several suggestions on things to do in the area (you can tell they are proud of their city). The lobby and breakfast area look recently renovated and modern – we loved the fireplace upon entering, it felt very cozy.
The Garden Grill & Bar offers all day dining, and I highly recommend the breakfast (get an omelet, delicious!).
Tupelo Buffalo Park & Zoo – At 175 acres, this is the largest zoo in Mississippi, and one of the most unique we have ever visited! The Tupelo Buffalo Park & Zoo is dedicated to preserving animals in their care, in both health and enrichment, and educating the public. We did the drive through tour, each of us receiving a bucket of food, and feeding the animals from our car. The laughter and joy that came out of our car was imminent. We were able to feed huge buffalo, camels, cows, zebras, alpacas, ostrich, and so much more. This was so unique to be able to be so close to these animals. We had SO much fun – I have never heard our car so full of squeals and laughter. **Keep the buckets of food OUTSIDE the car, both for safety and for messes.** That being said – the animals did enjoy sticking their faces in trying to find food!
Downtown Tupelo – Downtown Tupelo has a eclectic mix of both new and old, and it blends very well. From stopping at Tupelo Hardware and standing on the exact spot Elvis purchased his first guitar, to the cutest shabby chic coffee and sweet bar I have ever seen, you will have plenty to do downtown. The Elvis Guitar Trail was a highlight for our kids, there are more than 25 guitars that have become permanent part of downtown Tupelo’s cityscape. There are also several murals that are a great photo op!
Natchez Trace Parkway Visitors Center – The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile-long National Park featuring gorgeous scenery and historical sites from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN. It was ranked one of the Top 10 Most Visited National Parks in 2020. This stop was a highlight of our trip, as my daughter’s dream is to be a Jr. Park Ranger. When the park ranger on duty heard that, he swore her in officially and gave her a badge. I literally cried happy tears! There was a lot of great historical information at the Visitor’s Center and a 15 minute video that really shares the importance and roots of the Natchez Trace
Elvis Presley Birthplace – This is a historic museum site dedicated to the preservation of the birthplace of Elvis Presley. There is a great museum here, where you can learn about all things Elvis. Next, head to the actual home where Elvis was born, and his home until about 3 years of age. This home is has one bedroom and a kitchen, showing the true humble beginnings of this rock and roll legend. After touring the home, the next stop is the church where Elvis first sang. This immersive experience is worth the ticket, and the woman working there even “renewed our vows” at the altar which was so fun! Be sure to go to the top of the hill for an incredible statue of little Elvis vs Rock Star Elvis!
New Year’s Eve Party – If you happen to find yourself in Tupelo on New Year’s Eve, you are in for a special treat! The people of Tupelo know how to party, and their celebration is an incredible family affair! With a children’s ball drop at 8pm ( with 1000 beach balls) 360 photo booths, two stages with bands and DJs, a dance party, a beer garden, fireworks, confetti cannons and so much more – it is worth the trip just for this party!
Neon Pig Cafe – Stop here and try the smash burger, winner of the Best Burger of America (it lives up to the title)! Our family posted up at the bar and listened to the sound of sizzling on the grill, excitedly waiting for our meals. This place was very popular and had a great understated vibe. I was also intrigued by the meat counter, with some fresh cuts of beef! The staff here was great and welcomed our kids like their own (always refreshing).
Romie’s Grocery -Looking for some authentic southern cuisine? Romie’s Grocery had some of our favorite food in Tupelo, and the staff felt like old friends. Teresa sat with our kids, chatted with them, and took interest in everything the had to say – genuinely. I am sad we don’t live closer to visit more often! The beer is cold, the people are kind, and the food is outstanding… what more could you want?! They also have a great outdoor patio area with live music.
Brick and Spoon – If you are a breakfast person, this will knock your socks off! We started our meal with a flight of champagne, followed by the Killer Creole Omelet and Tupelo Chicken and biscuits. Our girls both got the children’s pancake and it was HUGE (and delicious). Prepare yourself, it will be hard to make a choice from their sweet and savory menu! They have coloring sheets with crayons, and they kiddos can tape their drawing at the front of the restaurant!
Crave – This is one of the cutest coffee and sweet shops I have ever been to. I loved the aesthetics and charm, pictures below. Our girls got vanilla ice cream with sprinkles and I indulged in an Andes Mint Latte (mmmmm).
Queen’s Reward – Mississippi’s first and only meadery is in Tupelo, so we just had to try it! Made with 100% pure Mississippi honey, this place knows how to keep it local. We did a tasting and got to sample several of their small batches, as well as a delicious slush. Highly recommend stopping here!
Fairpark Grill – Located next to the Hilton Garden Inn downtown is Fairpark Grill. An upscale-casual tavern serving American food with attentive staff. All of the food was delicious, and the kids meals come with ice cream which is a nice touch. We ate here on New Year’s Eve and they had party blowers and hats for all of their patrons!
Kermit’s Soul Kitchen – This is a great top in the heart of downtown, serving farm-to-table joint eats. Staff was great, and food was incredible – the nachos won my heart!
Until next time…