12 Attractions in Tupelo, Mississippi

Tupelo is a city located in northeastern Mississippi, known as the birthplace of Elvis Presley. With a population of around 38,000, Tupelo offers visitors southern hospitality and charm along with various attractions and things to see and do. From museums and concert venues to parks and festivals, Tupelo has something for everyone.

This article will highlight 12 of the top attractions that visitors should see and experience when traveling to Tupelo, Mississippi. From learning about Tupelo’s most famous native son at the Elvis Presley Birthplace to exploring the area’s natural beauty at Tombigbee State Park, these attractions show the diversity that this small city has to offer.

Foodies will enjoy the fantastic restaurants scattered throughout the city, history buffs will appreciate the various museums and historical sites, and families will have plenty to keep the kids entertained. So come discover why Tupelo is considered the gateway to Mississippi’s tourist attractions and the Elvis Trail.

1. Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum

No trip to Tupelo is complete without visiting the Elvis Presley Birthplace, the humble two-room house where the King of Rock and Roll was born on January 8, 1935.

Tour the faithfully restored house and see artifacts from Elvis’ childhood and family. Walk the grounds and see the church where the Presley family worshipped, the Assembly of God church which played an influential role in Elvis’ musical inspiration.

Visitors can also tour the Elvis Presley Museum next door, which houses an impressive collection of memorabilia from Elvis’ incredible career, including gold records, suits, cars, and more artifacts chronicling his rise from his Tupelo origins to becoming an American legend. Don’t miss the gift shop filled with Elvis souvenirs to commemorate your visit to the birthplace of the King!

2. Tombigbee State Park

Northeast Mississippi is known for its abundant natural beauty, and Tombigbee State Park is one of the best places to experience the outdoors around Tupelo. Located just a few miles outside of town, the park encompasses over 1,100 acres bordering the Tombigbee River.

Popular activities at Tombigbee include boating, fishing, swimming and water sports in the river during the summer months. The park has picnic areas along the riverbank perfect for taking in views of the water. Numerous hiking and biking trails wind through the park, showcasing forested areas filled with pine, hickory and oak trees.

Cabins are available to rent for overnight stays to fully appreciate the peace and quiet. With tent and RV camping sites also offered, it’s easy to pitch a tent or park your camper to enjoy an extended visit.

The natural beauty and variety of outdoor recreation make Tombigbee State Park a beloved getaway for both visitors and locals alike in Tupelo.

3. Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo

For animal lovers visiting Tupelo, a must-see attraction is the Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo. As the name implies, visitors will see plenty of American Bison, with huge herds roaming in expansive grassy enclosures. The zoo also has a diverse collection of animals from around the world in habitats modeled after their native environments.

See exotic cats like tigers, lions and bobcats up-close, as well as bears, zebras, tropical birds and reptiles. Many of the animals reside in spacious enclosures where visitors can hand-feed them, such as the friendly goats in the petting zoo.

Lemurs, monkeys and wallabies also call the zoo home, making this an excellent family attraction for people of all ages. With both outdoor and indoor exhibits, Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo promises a memorable animal adventure.

4. Tupelo Automobile Museum

Car buffs will find heaven at the Tupelo Automobile Museum, which boasts an impressive display of over 100 classic cars from the private collection of Frank K. Spain. The museum focuses on American cars from the first half of the 20th century, the golden era of automobiles, with virtually every iconic model represented.

See one of the best collections of pre-war cars anywhere, including flawless specimens from Ford, Cadillac, Lincoln, Duesenberg, Packard, Plymouth, Mercedes and more. The showroom houses the more valuable cars, while the garage holds models in everyday conditions to showcase how average families drove at the time.

Even non car-enthusiasts will appreciate the unique chance to see vehicles that typically belong to elite collectors. Don’t miss the museum’s signature event – every June, many cars are rallied for the “Concours d’Elegance” judged car show.

5. Fantastic Caverns

To escape the Mississippi heat, try exploring underground at Fantastic Caverns, one of Tupelo’s more unique attractions. These immense caverns were discovered over 150 years ago by Native Americans roaming the forested hills north of town. Since then, the caves have been equipped with paths and lighting throughout, making them accessible for public tours.

The most popular tour is dubbed the “Jeep Tour,” where visitors load into open-air trams/Jeeps that drive throughout the caverns. Knowledgeable guides drive deep into the underground, where travelers marvel at the stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, columns and other rock formations created by mineral deposits over thousands of years.

It’s an awe-inspiring natural wonder that stays a comfortable 60 degrees year round. For the more adventurous, walking and crawling “Wild Cave” tours are also available that explore less visited areas. Both tours last about one hour and give visitors an appreciation of the area’s unique geological features.

6. Tupelo Community Theatre

As the top destination for live performing arts in Tupelo, the Tupelo Community Theatre has provided quality dramatic shows for over 50 years. The troupe puts on five diverse main stage productions every year, ranging from well-known musicals like Annie to Shakespearean classics to holiday favorites like A Christmas Story.

Several youth productions also grace the stage, and the theatre‘s home base, the historic Lyric Theatre downtown, hosts various concerts and events throughout the year as well.

Cast with all-local volunteer talent, the performances showcase Tupelo’s brightest creative minds. For an enriching dose of culture during your visit, be sure to see what productions the Tupelo Community Theatre has to offer.

7. Furniture Market Shopping

Tupelo is known as one of the furniture capitals of the world, with several international retailers clustered around town. For some shopping therapy, visitors can tour massive brand showrooms and pick out new furnishings at unbelievable prices. Retailers like Ashley Furniture, RoomStore and more are conveniently found south of downtown, comprising the Southern Furniture Market area.

These retailers carry every type of furniture imaginable, from bedroom suites, dining sets, sofas, recliners, outdoor furniture and beyond. Several stores are outlets, offering overstock or gently used pieces at steep discounts.

Even if not purchasing, it’s eye-opening wandering the many showrooms full of creative designs and styles through every era. The concentration of stores creates a one-stop locale for equipping homes with beautiful furnishings at more affordable costs than regular retail stores.

8. Downtown Shopping and Dining

In addition to furniture finds, downtown Tupelo also boasts a variety of quaint local shops and eateries to continue a shopping adventure. Stroll along Main Street to discover an array of retail boutiques, gift shops and galleries nestled amongst bistros, pubs and unique restaurants.

Popular stops include everyday basics at Main Street Clothes and collectibles at Southern Grace. Grab an iconic mouth-watering fried bologna sandwich at Hancock’s of Tupelo and continue wandering the walkable district popping into the various indie establishments. Don’t miss chocolate confections at the Cherry Tree Florist sweet shop either!

With many locally-owned cafes, bakeries, diners and fast casual eateries, visitors can refuel while exploring downtown. The hearty Southern fare and hospitable local flair make downtown Tupelo shopping and dining a quintessential experience in itself.

9. Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site

History enthusiasts visiting Tupelo can take a quick day trip north to the site of one of the Civil War’s most important battles at Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield. Here, a pivotal battle was fought on June 10, 1864 led by Confederate cavalry commander Nathan Bedford Forrest to cut Union supply lines.

A driving tour winds through the expansive battlefield where interpretive signs explain the troop movements and combat. Walking trails also traverse the area, including one that climbs a ridge where Forrest surveyed the fighting.

The visitor center has artifacts and displays providing more context about the battle and its strategic purpose during the Siege at Petersburg. Staff also give talks on the battle’s timeline and combat significance. For true Civil War buffs, a trip to Brices Cross Roads conditions the chance to stand on the hallowed ground where one of the war’s most daring raids went down.

10. Elvis Presley Lake and Birthplace Hiking Trail

While in the neighborhood of Elvis Presley Birthplace, be sure to explore more of the area’s nature and scenery. The 12-acre Elvis Presley Lake sits across the road, a peaceful spot created as part of the memorial plaza around the birthplace museums. Visitors can stroll the paved paths encircling the lake to admire views of the glassy waters set against the backdrop of tranquil pine forest.

Nearby, an easy 1-mile hiking loop dubbed the Elvis Presley Birthplace Trail starts at the lake and dips into the woods behind Graceland Too Museum.

Interpretive panels scattered along the dirt path describe the native vegetation that would have filled the area during Elvis’ upbringing. Keep an eye out for white-tailed deer and other wildlife frequently seen. The trail provides pleasant glimpses of the natural beauty surrounding Elvis’ boyhood stomping grounds.

11. Gulf Coast Bigfoot Conference

For a quirky annual event held every October, the Gulf Coast Bigfoot Conference offers a full weekend of Sasquatch searches in northern Mississippi. Each year, cryptozoologists and amateur investigators gather at the Bancorp South Arena to swap stories, statistics and evidence regarding sightings of the mythical beasts.

In addition to lectures and meet-and-greets, attendees can sign up for actual Bigfoot hunting forays into remote wilderness areas where many sightings have occurred. Usually guided under night vision goggles, these monster safaris venture deep into marshes, forests and hillsides examining reported nests and markings.

The weekend conference and hunts allow open-minded adventurers the chance to spot the elusive furry giants that reportedly roam this sector of wilderness.

12. Gumtree Festival

A beloved community celebration since 1989, Tupelo’s annual Gumtree Festival represents everything fun about small town fairs. Always held the first weekend after Memorial Day, the downtown streets fill with amusement rides, craft vendors, competitions and endless entertainment over the three-day fest.

In addition to carnival food favorites like funnel cakes and corn dogs, the highlight is the scrumptious gumbo cookoff saturday night where teams compete for the best recipe. Kids can enjoy magic shows, concerts and a petting zoo in the Kids Village area.

Meanwhile, bands rock the Budweiser and City Stage at Fairpark every night. From jazz performances to jugglers to art demonstrations, the packed schedule promises fun for all members of the family at the Gumtree Festival.


From historical sites like Elvis’ Birthplace to natural wonders at Tombigbee State Park, Tupelo offers visitors plenty of attractions to fill any vacation itinerary. Learn about the city’s most famous native son at the Elvis museums, view rare classic cars, see exotic animals or hunt for Sasquatch legends.

Shop for discount furniture or locally-made art downtown between meals at independent eateries. Take in professional musicals or an outdoor summer concert. Whether relishing Southern hospitality through celebrated community events or touring forests and Civil War battlefields, Tupelo serves as the perfect base to experience the treasures of northeast Mississippi.

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