My husband and I love to travel. We don’t mind flying to far off places, but we’ve really grown to love weekend road trips. They’re relatively inexpensive, and there’s nothing like a good game of “I Spy” to help pass the time. Our most recent road trip took us to Tupelo, Mississippi, a place we knew very little about – if anything at all. Ok, I knew Elvis was born there, but that’s about it. Needless to say, when we arrived, we had no idea what to do, but it wasn’t long before several friendly locals helped us figure out the best shops, local dives, food, live music and more. Not only that, but we found that the road from Tupelo to Franklin was full of history, unique communities, perfect pit stops, and beautiful countryside.
I’m here to tell you how to get the most out of your next road trip from Tupelo, Mississippi to Franklin, Tennessee.
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BRUNCH AT FORKLIFT
First and foremost, don’t start your road trip on an empty stomach. There are some fabulous local restaurants and quick eats in Tupelo, but the one I love the most is Forklift Restaurant. The perfect spot for a tasty brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. You can’t go wrong ordering the Banana Bread French Toast or their delicious Bloody Mary.
FUEL UP (ON CAFFEINE) AT STRANGE BREW COFFEEHOUSE
Another piece of advice: never hit the road un-caffeinated! Fuel up at Strange Brew Coffeehouse. You’ll find tried and true dark and light roasts and Strange Brew concoctions like their Cap’n Crunch Latte. Sugar and caffeine: the breakfast of champions.
MAKE A PITSTOP ON DOWNTOWN MAIN STREET
Make sure you visit Main Street before you head out of town. There are tons of local shops including the famous Tupelo Hardware Store where Elvis bought his first guitar and great restaurants like Nautical Whimsey and Kermit’s Outlaw Kitchen.
VISIT ELVIS’ BIRTHPLACE AND MUSEUM
If you still have a few minutes before you have to hit the road, make sure to visit Elvis’ Birthplace and Museum. You can learn about his childhood and take a tour of the home and church he grew up attending.
TAKE THE SCENIC ROUTE
Hop on the Natchez Trace Parkway for the prettiest route to Franklin. You’ll gather perfect photo opportunities and plenty of history along the way. Stop at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center on the way out of town for last minute souvenirs, and you may even get a live history lesson by one of their many visiting re-enactors.
STOP AT THE MERIWETHER LEWIS MEMORIAL
One of the most interesting and strange stories along the Trace is that of Meriwether Lewis. To this day his death along the Natchez Trace remains a mystery, but travelers can visit the Meriwether Lewis Memorial at Mile Post 385.9 to learn more about this courageous explorer and his death that is shrouded in mystery.
COLLINWOOD’S DRAGONFLY EMPORIUM
There are so many charming towns along the Trace that make perfect rest stops, and one of my favorites was Collinwood, Tennessee. Located not too far from their Main Street was Dragonfly Emporium, an eclectic shop and coffee house offering lattes, cappuccinos and delectable treats for weary travelers.
You’re almost in Franklin, but before you get there visit the historic village of Leiper’s Fork that sits just off of the Natchez Trace Parkway. You’ll be so glad you did! This town offers an authentic village feel complete with shops, restaurants, and southern hospitality. While you’re there, check out Leiper’s Fork Distillery and get a taste of genuine Tennessee whiskey.
You made it! Take a breather and get your bearings at the Visitor Center located in downtown Franklin. The friendly staff will make you feel right at home and give you advice on all of the wonderful things to do in and around Franklin. After that, shop to your heart’s content at any number of local shops and boutiques or grab a bite at Merridee’s Breadbasket. You can’t go wrong with their chicken salad sandwich.
Now go out and make the most of your stay in Franklin!
I would love to hear what you discover along your road trip from Tupelo to Franklin! Share what you love best in the comments below. Feel free to check out our other road trip guides from Birmingham and Atlanta!