DescriptionThe area around Tupelo was once the homeland of the Chickasaw Indians. Hernando de Soto and company made camp with the tribe in 1540 but were driven out after a few months. During the 1736 Battle of Ackia the French Army tried to rout the Chickasaw but was forced instead to retreat, thus crippling French efforts to dominate the region. More than a century later blood was again shed during a fierce and strategic Civil War battle.
The city was established as a railroad town and named for the tupelo gum trees early settlers used as timber to construct houses. Celebrated native son Elvis Presley, the King of Rock 'n' Roll, was born in Tupelo on Jan. 8, 1935. The Natchez Trace Parkway passes through the city on its way to Nashville.
InfoOfficeTupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau 399 E. Main St. Tupelo, MS 38802. Phone:(662)841-6521 or (800)533-0611
Self-guiding toursThe Elvis Presley Driving Tour includes local sites that figured prominently in the entertainer's early years, including the hardware store where he bought his first guitar and a drive-in restaurant the young Presley frequented with friends. Maps and brochures are available from the visitors bureau.
ShoppingMajor clothing and housewares discount outlets are at the Factory Stores of America on Eason Boulevard. The Mall at Barnes Crossing, US 78 and US 45, has Belk, JCPenney, Sears and some 100 specialty stores.