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Landmarks in Columbus, Tupelo showcase education, Elvis, automobilescomment (0)

January 11, 2007

Columbus, Miss., has a variety of attractions, from the historic campus of Mississippi University for Women to the Dewayne Hayes Recreation Area, where children will enjoy a spray park with water shooting up from the floor and down from a unique palm tree.

You will also want to spend some time in downtown Columbus among its specialty shops. Less than one hour’s drive from Columbus, enjoy visiting Tupelo, Miss., which boasts a collection of antique cars and is famous for a small house that is a big attraction.

For Tupelo information, call 1-800-533-0611 or visit www.tupelo.net.

Mississippi University for Women
Established in 1884, Mississippi University for Women was the first public women’s college in the United States. Originally known as the Industrial Institute and College, it was created for the purpose of providing women with a high-quality liberal arts education and preparing them for employment. Almost 100 years later, the college opened its doors to men in 1982.

Often referred to as "The W," the college is located in downtown Columbus. Visitors to the campus may enjoy a stroll among its architectural treasures.

The school has 23 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Some of the highlights of the campus are the Culinary Arts Institute and the Fine Arts Gallery, both in Shattuck Hall, and the Southern Women’s Institute, said Anika Perkins, director of public affairs for the university. Pulitzer Prize winner Eudora Welty and the mothers of Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner are some of the school’s more famous alumnae.

For general information and guided tour information, call 1-877-462-8439 or visit www.muw.edu.

Elvis Presley Birthplace
Tupelo is recognized worldwide as the birthplace of Elvis Presley. More than 50,000 guests visit annually. The small shotgun house where Elvis was born is the centerpiece. His father built the two-room house for $180. The attraction also includes a museum, memorial chapel, gift shop and life-sized bronze statue depicting Elvis at age 13.

The singer was introduced to gospel music in childhood. The Early Years Driving Tour directs visitors to several sites important in Elvis’ formative years, including schools he attended and the store where his mother bought his first guitar. According to the Web site www.elvis.com, it is estimated that more than 1 billion Elvis record units have sold worldwide, more than units by anyone in record industry history.

For more information, call 662-841-1245 or visit www.elvispresleybirthplace.com.

Tupelo Automobile Museum
You will also find steam and electric vehicles of the late 1800s and early 1900s, as well as interesting advancements such as pneumatic tires. The automobiles under restoration will be added to the display area as they are completed. For more information, call 662-842-4242 or visit www.tupeloautomobilemuseum.com.

Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo
The Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo gives guests an up-close view of buffalo from aboard the Monster Bison Bus, which takes visitors on a 35-minute tour of the park. The park has a petting zoo, trail rides, pony rides and a variety of exotic animals. For information, call 1-866-27bison or visit www.tupelobuffalopark.com.

Natchez Trace Parkway
The historic Natchez Trace Parkway, an All-American Road and National Scenic Byway, runs through Tupelo as it trails from Natchez, Miss., to Nashville.

The parkway’s headquarters is located in Tupelo and gives visitors the chance to discover the natural beauty of the region and the history of the Chickasaw Indians and early travelers. The parkway is perfect for family trips, hiking, biking, motorcycling, RVing or any type of leisurely travel. For information, call 1-800-305-7417.

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