Things to do in Tupelo Mississippi

Tupelo Hardware Co

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
Photo credit: Matthew Nichols

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

Photo Credit: National Park Planner

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

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.

The Food

Neon Pig Burger in Tupelo
Photo credit: Business Insider

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.

Photo credit: Just Chasing Rabbits

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!

Like it? PIN it!

Things to eat see and do in Tupelo Mississippi USA Things to eat see and do in Tupelo Mississippi USA Things to eat see and do in Tupelo Mississippi USA

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  1. I’ll join you! I’m trying to hit all 50 states before I turn 50 (4 years to go) and Mississippi is on my to-visit list!

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Tamara, Tupelo is a great way to check Mississippi off!

    2. I just finished my 50 by 50! My last state to see was Utah I’d add the tamale trail to your list too!

      1. Andi Fisher says:

        @Janice, that is awesome!

  2. I have YET to go to Tulepo, but after reading your post I’m in! I’m also a “will travel for food” kind of gal so that burger and the BBQ has my ready to go. Look forward to hearing what you think (and doing all of my travel planning homework for me)!

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Kelly, they have made it so easy for us by giving us a trail to follow, how can we resist?!

  3. clojo9372 says:

    i am so jealous of all of your adventures!! lol much have been such a lovely place to visit. and coincidentally, the viva las elvis remix of Suspicious Minds just played in my itunes playlist! 🙂

  4. Rachel Mouton says:

    There is so much awesome in this small town! Thanks so much for bringing us along 🙂

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Rachel, I think so too! And thanks!

  5. Hung Thai says:

    Up until now, I have never heard of Tulepo. Besides from Florida, I have not set foot in any other southern states, yet. But this place looks interesting, especially the food. I’m looking forward to the food the most 🙂

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Hung, you should definitely do some more exploring in the South, start with Tupelo!

      1. Hung Thai says:

        Is that a challenge? I can only do it if it’s a challenge – I’m stubborn like that 🙂 J/K – yes, must explore more of the south including New Orleans and the likes and this will be one of the places I’ll visit.

  6. Kathy Kenny Ngo says:

    Its awesome that you get to travel and conquer the places on your list. I have yet to make mine a reality but hopefully, one day soon.

  7. I’m jealous. It looks like you’re having a ton of fun. Good luck on your next trip.

  8. Tam Gamble says:

    I didn’t realise that there was anything else to do in Tupelo, perhaps that is down to the fact that I have never visited any area in the US so therefore have not spent enough time researching it.

  9. Jaclyn Anne says:

    I have never been to Tupelo before, but now I want to go just for the food! The burgers and BBQ sound amazing!

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Jaclyn Anne, I know, they sounds so yummy!

  10. Ana Fernandez says:

    Would love to join you in one of these adventures hahaha. Love the part “instead of sand and rocks” description haha!

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Ana, the more the merrier. Love the Southwest, but I am looking forward to some green!

  11. Doran @ Haute Beauty Guide says:

    My family moved just outside of Tupelo a few years ago. I am shocked I have never visited places on your list.

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Doran, isn’t that what always happen. There is still so much I did not get to see in the San Francisco Bay Area!

  12. Jess Benoit says:

    Tupelo sounds like a neat place to visit! We are alike when it comes to food. I am more than happy to plan a trip around what great restaurants would be around LOL

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Jess, I see nothing wrong with that approach 🙂

  13. Im so jealous tupelo looks like a beautiful place to be in. I love the city area

  14. Misty Nelson says:

    Now I’m very curious, and definitely have the travel bug to see what Tupelo is all about!

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Misty, you should definitely check it out!

  15. I’m with the Neon Pig in Tupelo, MS. I ran across your post and want to say thank you for the kind words.

    Some updates to get your anticipation up. We’ve been growing. We’ve added a new Neon Pig location in Oxford, MS and have doubled the size of our original Neon Pig in Tupelo by breaking down walls and expanding into the space next door when it became available. The folks here keep saying they love the new expanded space, because we stayed true to our quirky, fun roots. We’ll be waiting on ya when you get here…we’re always breaking down cows via our in-house butcher shop, serving up fresh local produce, and serving up fresh seafood (often in our daily special or after five menu) that’s brought in 2-3 times a week. We love the folks that visit us. We are a local place with local flavor and we love sharing that. Our after five menu expands to serving up some of the best meats and seafood from our butcher case–it’s off menu, but you just need to ask. The charcuterie board is a nice app for sure. And don’t forget to check to see what the special is before grabbing a craft brew from one of our beer coolers. We’re a laid back place that embodies farm to table…sit back, relax, and enjoy. As I write this it’s sounding more and more like an advertisement…my apologies. Please feel free to delete it from your blog. just passionate about food and the Neon Pig. Look forward to seeing you.

    Oh and for all you traveling folks, we have a map on the wall for you to pin how far you’ve travelled to see us.

    eatneonpig.com or check us out on Facebook.

  16. Christina | Christina's Cucina says:

    Heck yeeaah! I’m up for Tupelo after seeing what’s there! I have never visited Mississippi, so I have no idea what to expect. Your post has made me realize, I’d love it! Thank for a great review. Now I’m craving fried chicken!

  17. Erin @ Texanerin Baking says:

    I just checked out the Tupelo website and it looks like they have a lot of delicious BBQ places! I’d start off with Johnnie’s Drive In like you mentioned, and then go to all the rest. And then get that burger because it also looks amazing! And I didn’t know there was so much to do in Tupelo. I hope you’ll have a great trip down there later in the year!

  18. Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama says:

    Wow! I would have never thought of Tupelo as a place that I would want to visit, but the city looks like it has something that everyone in my family would love- great food (for me, the resident foodie), Civil War history (all of us love that in my family!), landscape photography opps (which happens to be my son’s favorite thing to photograph). Definitely adding Tupelo to our travel bucket list now. 🙂 Thank you for the suggestions!

  19. Confession: I learned something new today with this post! I always thought of the honey whenever I heard of Tupelo. Never even thought of the “place” vs the honey. Great round up!

  20. The Adventure Ahead says:

    Looks like you had a blast. Seems like a really fun and engaging area to visit 🙂

  21. Elaine J Masters says:

    What great pictures! I’m with Mr. Misadventures and love landscape shots. That one on the Natchez is breathtaking. Elvis and a car museum too? I’d love to visit Tupelo.

  22. The parkway sunset looks magical! I’ve never heard of Tupelo but I think I might have to add it to my list now because of that Elvis bbq spot!

  23. Awesome! You make me want to go to Tupelo and experience the dream trip! Would love to head there soon. Would love to see the battlefield to understand the civil war.

  24. I haven’t been to Tupelo or anywhere in Missisipi, but the USA is such a huge place! Looks great though, and I love those buicks

  25. Thanks for sharing. I didn’t know much about Tupelo but looks like a great place to explore. I’d love to drive the Natchez Trace Parkway and anywhere with good BBQ is the place for me.

  26. The smash burger sounds delicious! Seeing Civil War sites though would easily be the highlight of the trip to me! History is one of the things I love most about traveling.

  27. I’ve never been to Tupelo, but it looks like a fun area! The burger looks so delicious and the other restaurants sound great, as well. I would love to check out the Natchez Trace Parkway–it looks so pretty! Will have to make a stop in this area sometime!

  28. Vicky and Buddy says:

    I hope you have a great time! You’ve planned a pretty good itinerary. I can’t wait to hear about your experience at Neon Pig Café. That burger sounds so great!

  29. Trisha Velarmino says:

    Good to know you already fulfilled your dream trip! Not really familiar with Tulepo but I’ve had dream trips myself! I know how it feels to fulfil one!

  30. Stephanie says:

    I’d like to see he car museum.