It's hard to think about a time before Elvis Presley was the king of rock 'n' roll, but a trip to Tupelo, Mississippi gives you a glimpse of the music legend before he slipped on those blue suede shoes and perfected his iconic hip shake. Located less than two hours away from Memphis, Tupelo is the perfect day trip for superfans of The King. That's right, Graceland isn't the only place to visit for an Elvis-themed getaway.
Elvis Presley Birthplace
The two-room house where the Presley family resided in the early years has since been turned into a museum dedicated to preserving the history of Elvis' childhood. The house was even built by Elvis' father, Vernon Presley. The historic site gives you insight into the superstar's humble beginnings. The Assembly of God Church, The King's childhood church where he worshipped with his parents, is also part of the museum, allowing you to imagine what it was like when Elvis first learned gospel music.
The shotgun house is where Elvis survived the famous F-5 tornado that hit Tupelo in 1936. Just a baby, he and his mother managed to survive the storm that is regarded as one of the deadliest in United States history. The birth home has been recognized as a historic site by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
Photo Ops for Elvis Fans
There are little things all over town dedicated to the famous entertainer, including multiple wall murals like the 1950s Elvis Mural, the "Home of the King" mural, the jailhouse rock mural and the King's Chicken Fillin' Station's "Eat Like A King" mural.
Fans will also want to visit the Elvis statue in honor of the 1956 Homecoming Concert at the Tupelo Fairgrounds. There is also a statue of Elvis at 13 and the "Becoming" statue, which shows superstar Elvis standing next to himself as an 11 year old boy.
Other Elvis Stops Around Town
There are a total of 12 stops on the official Elvis Driving Tour around Tupelo. Each stop is marked with a bronze marker. Included in the tour is "The Outhouse," which is actually what it sounds like -- an outdoor outhouse that was used by members of the community where the star was raised. It's definitely a glimpse into how different things were in the past.
For those wanting to get a little more hands on, you can also experience Elvis' Tupelo Self-Guided Bicycle Tour, which mimics the driving tour.
The first weekend of May the town annually holds the Blue Suede Cruise classic car show.
Every June, the town holds the Tupelo Elvis Festival. The event includes concerts, parades and more. One of the highlights is the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist (UETA) pre-qualifier competition that allows winners the chance to go compete in Memphis.