Life in Tupelo
Tupelo is a family-oriented city with a strong education system. The Tupelo Public School District was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Ford Foundation and has been cited as an exemplary public/private partnership in education by Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Two major universities, Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi, as well as two community colleges, are located within 60 miles of Tupelo. Opportunities for academic enrichment, appreciating the arts and enjoying Southeastern Conference (SEC) athletics are available through these universities.
Tupelo is one of the few cities its size to support a symphony orchestra. The Community Concert Series highlights nationally known entertainment several times each season. Tupelo Community Theater presents numerous productions each year in its own theater building located in the heart of downtown. The Tupelo Artist Guild offers a wide range of contemporary and traditional art exhibits.
Each spring, Tupelo hosts the Gum Tree Festival, which includes a juried art exhibition, songwriting and writing competitions and a variety of entertainment. The Gum Tree 10k run is one of the largest foot races in Mississippi. The Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo specializes in exotic animals with the first ones coming from Canada. Some of the exotic animals include monkeys, a Bengal tiger, an African lion, a Reticulated giraffe, an American black bear and a reptile section. Feature attractions to the park include a live pony carousel, horse trail rides and petting zoo complete with pigmy goats, miniature horses, sheep and other friendly animals.
The Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association regularly provides free outdoor concerts, festivals and many other events.
The most significant landmark of Tupelo's modern history is a modest, two-room house where the King of Rock & Roll, Elvis Presley, was born on January 8, 1935.
For more local information visit the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Year-round sporting events for all ages are available, including arena football, baseball, basketball, golf, gymnastics, hockey, softball, soccer and swimming. Numerous parks in Tupelo offer activities such as swimming, tennis and just relaxing. Several state parks and recreational areas are within an hour of Tupelo that offer outstanding boating, fishing, skiing, hunting and camping. The headquarters for the historic Natchez Trace Parkway, which connects Nashville and Natchez, is located in Tupelo. The Natchez Trace offers scenic trails for hiking and cycling.
For shoppers, Tupelo offers a regional mall, factory outlet and specialty boutiques. Within the downtown district are a variety of stores that offer many one-of-a-kind items.