Tupelo, MS, is exactly what most people would expect from a quaint Southern town that also happens to be Elvis Presley’s birthplace. The main street is home to the hardware store where Elvis bought his first guitar, and the Lyric Theater, where Elvis stole his first kiss. The annual Tupelo Elvis Festival draws a crowd of more than 10,000 people from around the globe. Its shopping district is full of adorable boutiques and restaurants where fried chicken and biscuits are par for the course. You'll find live music on stage nightly at divey local favorite Blue Canoe, and the city’s best barbecue, Clay’s House of Pig (C.H.O.P.), doubles as a bait shop.
But Tupelo is so much more than Elvis and biscuits. This small Southern city also happens to be the home of nearly a thousand Asian residents, many of whom are Japanese, and thanks to a concerted effort by locals, Tupelo has created a tight-knit international community that's welcoming to all.