Elvis Presley's Mansion Still Amazes Fans & Curious Tourists
One of the best-known tourist attractions in the United States, Elvis Presley's Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee is a once in a lifetime experience.
The 14-acre estate features the mansion that was home to Elvis from 1957 until his death in 1977, as well as an Elvis Presley Museum, stables, and Elvis’ final resting place in the Meditation Garden.
Since opening its doors to the public, Graceland has fascinated millions regardless of whether visitors know The King’s entire back catalog, or are simply tourists with an appreciation of all things kitsch.
The white-columned mansion seems almost modest from the outside, but once visitors have crossed Graceland’s threshold, there is no doubt they have stepped into something extraordinary. More than 30 years after his death, Graceland has been preserved as a kind of time capsule to give visitors an insight into what life was like when Elvis was King.
Elvis' Privacy Protected
The upstairs level is closed to tourists, just as it was out of bounds for anyone who visited Elvis when he was alive. Elvis insisted on keeping the rooms upstairs private, so when Graceland opened to the public Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley decided it would be disrespectful to allow anyone to go upstairs.
That said, the ground floor and basement level are more than enough to satisfy visitors’ curiosity. The ground floor features Elvis’ music room and living room, with its colorful peacock stained glass windows. From there visitors can see Elvis’ parents’ bedroom, then the dining room and kitchen.
Elvis' Jungle Room at Graceland
Graceland becomes even more fascinating as visitors step downstairs into the basement. It is here they can see the TV room where Elvis would watch three television sets at once, and his bar and billiard room. From there, visitors walk back upstairs to see the extraordinary Jungle Room.
It’s said the Jungle Room was Elvis’ favorite room in the house. Legend has it that Elvis walked into a Memphis furniture store and within half an hour he had bought every piece of furniture that reminded him of Hawaii.
Pictures of The Jungle Room never seem to do it justice, and there’s a lot to be said for seeing it up close and personal. As some fans put it, in the Jungle Room you can feel Elvis’ presence. It’s the room that feels like home.
Elvis’ Gold Records and Costumes Line the Trophy Room
After leaving the Jungle Room, visitors walk outside and into the Trophy Room, where Elvis’ gold records, Grammy awards, movie posters, and memorabilia are housed along with a range of his costumes. From his movie costumes and sequined jumpsuits to his wedding tuxedo, the clothes Elvis wore provide a glimpse into the incredible life he led.
Visitors are then able to visit Elvis’ stables, the most recent addition to the Graceland tours. The stables had been kept off-limits, with Priscilla Presley telling USA Today they felt like the last place on the property that still felt like home. However, in May 2009 the stables became the first new area to be opened on the estate since 1998.
Elvis Presley was originally buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Memphis. His grave was later exhumed and moved to Graceland, along with his mother's grave and her original headstone, after Elvis' tomb was tampered with.
Elvis’ final resting place is now in the Meditation Gardens at Graceland. The gardens were designed and built by architect Bernard Grenadier and were known as one of Elvis’ favorite places to spend time. It is said that he would often go to the gardens when he needed to think over any problems in his life.
When To Visit Graceland
Graceland was opened to the public in 1982 and declared a National Historic Landmark in 2006.
The two busiest times at Graceland are the annual Elvis Week Celebrations every August, and Elvis Presley’s birthday celebrations in January. For those who prefer to avoid crowds, it’s best to avoid such peak periods. Those who would like to take advantage of the extra Elvis events around the celebrations should book early to avoid disappointment.
One of the most spectacular times to visit in winter is during the Christmas Celebrations when the interior and exterior of Graceland is decorated with Christmas decorations and a life-size nativity scene from Elvis’ own collection.
Graceland Automobile Museum and Other Memphis Attractions
As well as Graceland and the nearby Graceland Automobile Museum, there are a number of great things to see and do in Memphis, including Sun Studios, The National Civil Rights Museum, Beale Street, and the Peabody Hotel Ducks.
For those who want to take their Elvis experience to the next level, the Heartbreak Hotel is across the road from Graceland, and offers Elvis themed rooms
The Heartbreak Hotel also offers Graceland discount packages, Memphis music packages, and private tours.
To Buy Tickets to Graceland visit Graceland’s Official Website. It is also possible to book private after hour’s tours of the Graceland Mansion for groups of 50 or more.