Tupelo, Mississippi LOVES Elvis
For a fun, socially-distanced, outdoor adventure, may I recommend a drive to Tupelo, Mississippi -- especially if you're an Elvis Presley fan? Tupelo was, after all, the birthplace of Elvis and is happy to claim him. The town wants you to know all about their favorite son and celebrates this connection wherever they can.
Three ways in particular that you can explore safely is by following their Mural Trail and Guitar Trail on foot, and the Elvis Bike Trail (which we chose to follow in our car). The Bike Trail takes you past places of special significance in Elvis' life -- his elementary school and junior high, church, swimming hole, a favorite eatery, the store where his mom bought his first guitar, and, of course, the Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum. Tupelo is a fun place for photographers and for lovers of rock and roll.
The place to start MUST be Main Street. Tupelo's Main Street was the 2020 National Winner of the Great American Main Street Award. In addition to great shops and restaurants, there is a large park and the impressive Tupelo Visitors Center. Get all the maps you need there for following the trails. The guitars outside many businesses add a colorful touch, and murals contribute visual interest, as well.
A number of restaurants can be found on Main Street -- Park Heights Restaurant (dinner only), Nautical Whimsey Italian, Johnnie's Drive-In, Vanelli's Bistro, Cafe 212, and others. Steve and I were going to be there for lunch and were determined to stick to our January commitment to healthy eating, so we chose Kermit's Soul Kitchen (formerly called Kermit's Outlaw Kitchen). The smell of smoked meats will send your appetite into overdrive!! Oh my! Their slogan "Where Mississippi Farms Meet Mississippi Tables" is a good indication of their commitment to fresh, local meats and produce. There are plenty of "normal foods" on the menu, but we chose the Farm Fresh Salad with pulled chicken and the Sweet Potato Tiki. Both were filled with wonderful veggies. So good. If you have children with you, don't worry. They still have fries and mac and cheese listed, but wouldn't this be a great time to try a side of cauliflower breadsticks, or honey/goat cheese and chickpeas or marinated broccoli, farro and almonds? Kermit's has several outdoor tables and a few downstairs. We chose to eat upstairs and had the whole dining room to ourselves. Talk about social-distancing! :) Click here to read a review of Kermit's I wrote for TheYums.com.
Steve and I drove over on a Saturday, but I would suggest going during the week if you can because more stores will be open. It only takes about 2 hours from Hartselle. Not bad at all.
Go. It's guaranteed to get you humming "I'm All Shook Up!"