On our most recent adventures, the hubby and I have spent a lot of time in the Southwest. A lot of time. So come June, as we begin to reach the midway point of our year off, I’m the one taking charge of the itinerary. That means green (instead of sands and rocks), that means people (again, instead of sands and rocks), and that means food.
We’ll be going up through the Pacific Northwest for a bit and then down into the South for the rest of the year. Hooray!
I know it’s February, but I am doing research now. I am exploring where we may be going and checking out interesting spots to call home for a week.
The fine folks of Tupelo, Mississippi, have invited me to make Tupelo mine, so I have put together what my Tupelo dream trip would look like and hopefully I can make it a reality the second half of this year!
When people think of Tupelo their minds immediately go to “that’s Elvis Presley’s birthplace.” And we will definitely get to that, but there are plenty of other things to do (and food to eat) in Tupelo, so I wanted to share that part of my trip first.
My Tupelo Dream Trip
Tupelo Automobile Museum
It might have been my year as a Buick ambassador or my recent good luck at PIMA Air & Space Museum, but I have a newfound love for both museums and cars. There is no better place to enjoy both than the Tupelo Automobile Museum. With over 150 classic cars, it is one of the largest automobile museums east of the Mississippi River.
I don’t know about you, but I totally geek out when I see a cool classic car on the road and I can spend hours looking at them and learning about the history surrounding them.
Americans may not have invented the automobile, but we certainly embraced it and made it accessible to the masses paving the way for many generations of automobile enthusiasts to enjoy.
Tupelo Automobile Museum is a celebration of that in all its glory, so I can’t wait to visit. P.S. I hope they have my dream car, a 1967 Mustang convertible!
Remembering the Civil War
I have mentioned many times that I grew up an Army brat. I got to live all over the United States as well as South America and Europe. I was lucky enough that my Dad was stationed in Virginia several times in different spots. Each move afforded us the opportunity to visit Civil War battlefields and memorials. I am fascinated by history and really enjoyed my visits, but I did not get to visit many spots outside of Virginia.
Visiting Tupelo gives me the opportunity to check out three historical spots: Brice's Crossroad National Battlefield Site, the Tupelo National Battlefield, and the Unknown Confederate Graves. These are chock full of great information about how the Civil War touched this area and I think it is a perfect way to honor this history without having to spend more than a day. Much more than that and it gets depressing!
Natchez Trace Parkway
I have not forgotten Mr. Misadventures in my My Tupelo Dream Trip itinerary. He loves to photograph landscapes, along with architecture and food, but his first love is landscapes. There are many phenomenal places in Tupelo along the gorgeous Natchez Trace Parkway where he can capture one of his amazing sunrise or sunset photos.
The parkway is a 444-mile national park linking Nashville to Natchez and its headquarters and visitor center is in Tupelo – lucky me (and you should you decide to visit)!
There is even a bike route which allows you to get out of the car and take advantage of the route on two wheels to experience this scenic byway. Whichever way you to choose to traverse this national park you'll find great spots for camping, lodging, hiking and RVing (yes!).
A discussion that Mr. Misadventures and I have all the time is about defining what is truly American. Given our culture of immigration, we borrow a lot from other countries around the world, usually adding our own unique spin on it. It is always an interesting debate because there isn’t a lot that we can claim as truly original to the good old U.S.A.
But we’ve got jazz, blues, country and we’ve got rock-n-roll! And who is the king of rock-n-roll? You got it. Mr. Elvis Aaron Presley to be exact. The King was born in Tupelo where he spent his formative years learning to sing and play guitar under the wing by local radio show legend Mississippi Slim.
If you are a fan of Elvis or any of the genres of music core to American music heritage, Tupelo is where you need to go to make a pilgrimage to. As part of the American Music Triangle, no self-respecting music fan would miss it! Tupelo is where you can visit Elvis's birthplace and museum and see many other historical markers throughout the town, including places he hung out.
It is only in Tupelo that you understand the early years that shaped this music legend.
What did you expect? You guys know me when I travel anywhere, it’s through my stomach, so why should Tupelo be any different? I am really excited to try the following three things (really there is more, but I am already reaching a thousand words, so you might be getting tired!).
A Burger at Neon Pig Café
Their burger was named the best burgers in America for 2015 by Thrillist. I am a big fan of this publication, they never steered me wrong when it came to food in San Francisco. I can’t wait to bite into their smash burger made up of aged filet, ribeye, sirloin, New York and Benton’s bacon ground together and served on a ciabatta bun with bacon bits, cheddar cheese, onion, and a special comeback sauce. Wow-wee, sign me up!
An Open Face Chicken Biscuit from Connie’s Fried Chicken
Fried chicken is my thing. I don’t eat a lot of it (too many disappointments), but it is my number one comfort food. So in Tupelo, it’s got to be Connie’s Fried Chicken. And I’m going for breakfast where I can get an open face chicken sandwich with a homemade biscuit, smothered with white pepper gravy and topped with fried chicken!
They are also known for hot out of the fryer blueberry donuts…dessert right?
Johnnie's Drive-In for BBQ
With eight locations on the Mississippi BBQ Trail, Tupelo is an excellent place to eat BBQ. You cannot come to the South and not eat it. Given its location, that means pork and vinegar-based sauces. So tuck in the paper napkin and let me at it!
Bonus: Johnnie's Drive-In was one of Elvis's hangouts so you can enjoy your BBQ (or burger) while taking in all the Elvis memorabilia.
That’s is how I’ve designed My Tupelo Dream Trip, what’s yours look like? If I haven’t convinced you that Tupelo, Mississippi is worth a visit, how about the fact that it is a 5-time winner of the All-American City Award? This place is something special and you should definitely be planning your trip now.
I know I am!
How about you? Have you been to Tupelo before? Has my post made you want to visit? Do tell!
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