Discover Elvis’ hometown of Tupelo, MS on this self-guided bike tour. From public art to historical landmarks, you’ll get to see the vibrant southern city where Elvis got his start.
We’re all shook up about this bike tour! The legendary Elvis Presley is from Tupelo, MS. The city has done an amazing job marking the important places in Elvis’ childhood that helped make him the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Start at the Tupelo Visitors Center
Stop in the Tupelo Visitors Center for information about local events and attractions to experience during your visit. The Tupelo Visitors Center is at the former site of the Shakerag neighborhood, a historically black community that influenced Elvis Presley during his youth by introducing him to gospel and blues that would shape his musical style.
Former site of Tupelo Fairgrounds
The former site of Tupelo Fairgrounds is one of 12 significant sites in Elvis’ formative years in Tupelo. In 1956, 2 years into his career and just before his film debut, Elvis returned to the Tupelo Fairgrounds for a concert. He was greeted with a homecoming parade and given the key to the city by the Governor of Mississippi.
Tupelo Hardware Co.
Tupelo Hardware Co. is one of 12 significant sites in Elvis’ formative years in Tupelo. It was at the Tupelo Hardware Co. in 1946 that Elvis got his first guitar during an outing with his mother, Gladys. She planned to buy Elvis a bicycle but he wanted a rifle, so they compromised on a guitar.
Lee County Courthouse
The Lee County Courthouse is one of 12 significant sites in Elvis’ formative years in Tupelo. In 1946 weekly musical jamborees were broadcast from the courthouse on WELO. Mississippi Slim, a country singer and host of the WELO jamborees, arranged for Elvis to perform on the air. The courthouse building is also a beautiful historical building in its own right. It was built in 1905 in the Classical Revival style. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
Lee County Library
The Lee County Library is one of 12 significant sites in Elvis’ formative years in Tupelo. In 1948 at the age of 13, Elvis visited the library with his mother and got his first library card. Through the books at the Lee County Library Elvis’ world was opened to new places and learning new things.
Milam Junior High
Milam Junior High is one of 12 significant sites in Elvis’ formative years in Tupelo. Elvis attended Milam Junior High for 7th and part of the 8th grade. During his time at Milam he would often entertain classmates with musical performances. When he and his family moved to Memphis he gave a farewell performance, singing Ole Shep for his classmates.
Former site of Mayhorn Grocery
The former site of Mayhorn Grocery is one of 12 significant sites in Elvis’ formative years in Tupelo. In 1947 Elvis lived on Green Street near Mayhorn Grocery. The grocery was a social hub where people would gather and play music on the front porch. Young Elvis Presley would walk to the store from his home and listen to the blues on the porch, and to black gospel music from the church across the street.
Johnnie’s Drive-In is one of 12 significant sites in Elvis’ formative years in Tupelo. Elvis and his friends enjoyed dining at the drive-in. When you visit Johnnie’s Drive-In today you can still enjoy the food that Elvis liked to eat, and even sit at the same booth that Elvis sat in!
Lawhon Elementary School
Lawhon Elementary School is one of 12 significant sites in Elvis’ formative years in Tupelo. Elvis first attended elementary school at Lawhon.
Former site of Assembly of God Church
The former site of Assembly of God Church is one of 12 significant sites in Elvis’ formative years in Tupelo. Elvis and his family attended the church in 1947. At that time, the church was known as Assembly of God. The pastor at that time, Reverend Frank Smith, was an influential figure in Elvis’ life and even helped him learn guitar.
Elvis Presley Birthplace & Museum
The most significant landmark of Tupelo’s modern history is a modest, two-room house where the King of Rock & Roll was born on January 8, 1935. From this humble beginning, Elvis Presley began his swift rise to become the world’s most popular entertainer. The house, built by his father with $180, draws over 50,000 visitors each year from across the world and is part of the 15-acre Elvis Presley Park. The home is a Mississippi landmark and the centerpiece of the park which includes, among many other exhibits, the popular photo-op “Elvis at 13” statue and Elvis’ childhood church.
Mud Creek Swimming Hole
The Mud Creek Swimming Hole is one of 12 significant sites in Elvis’ formative years in Tupelo. Elvis and his friends would sneak to the swimming hole so their mothers wouldn’t know they were swimming unsupervised.
The self-guided bike tour of Tupelo is brought to you by the Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau.