Tips for Visiting Elvis Presley's Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee
Graceland, the opulent mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, that was home to the late Elvis Presley, is now a museum dedicated to the memory and the legacy of the King of Rock 'n' Roll. Three different guided audio tours are offered year-round: an ordinary Graceland Mansion Tour; the Graceland Platinum Tour, which includes admission to several additional exhibits as well as tours of Presley's two custom airplanes and the Elvis Automobile Museum; and the Graceland Elvis Entourage VIP Tour, which lets you skip the line and go right to the front of the mansion. The VIP Tour ticket is good for an entire day and includes a keepsake backstage pass.
Bring Your Camera
Flash photography is not allowed in the mansion, but digital cameras can generally do quite well with the existing light in most of the rooms, including the Jungle Room. Docents are exceptionally helpful and will volunteer to take pictures of you and your family inside the house.
Pay Your Respects
The Meditation Garden, where Elvis and members of his immediate family are laid to rest and the air is filled with somber piped-in Elvis ballads, is the final stop on the mansion tour. It's also the only part of the 14-acre estate that doesn't require a ticket to get in: free walk-up visits are allowed daily from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.
The best ticket to get is the Graceland Platinum Package because it's only a few dollars more than a standard mansion tour ticket yet gives you access to all sorts of additional exhibits. The worst value is the VIP Tour, which costs more than twice as much as a regular ticket but the only real advantage is front-of-the-line privileges. Time your visit right, and you won't have to deal with a line.
The best time to visit the mansion is around 2 in the afternoon (the mansion typically closes at 4 p.m.).
Two hours is ample time to cover Graceland, and you avoid the crowds that generally show up first thing in the morning (opening time is 10 a.m.) and noon. But make sure you go through the house at least twice, preferable on different days, unless you are absolutely sure you will be returning.
You only get this once chance if not so make sure you soak it all up.
If you really want to experience Graceland and are considering spending a whole day on the mansion grounds, spend the night at the Heartbreak Hotel, a nearby boutique hotel with 128 'Elvis-accented rooms', and four Elvis-themed suites. Heartbreak Hotel 3677 Elvis Presley Blvd. Memphis, TN 38116 (901) 332-1000
Elvis Presley's Birthplace
To really enhance the Elvis experience, consider a detour to Tupelo, Mississippi, to Elvis Presley's birthplace.
Elvis Presley Birthplace 306 Elvis Presley Drive Tupelo, MS 38801 (662) 841-1245
Elvis Presley's Home Sweet Homes
Elvis Presley's Graceland : The Tour
The Graceland Wall : To Elvis With Love
The 'Den' : The Jungle Room
Elvis Presley : Home Movies of Graceland
Drone Footage of Graceland
The Graceland Music Gates
3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis Tennessee
Visiting Elvis Presley's Graceland
Elvis Presley : Rising Sun and other Horses at Graceland
Over the years
Graceland Newspaper article : March 1957
Elvis Presley with the music gates of Graceland : April 22, 1957
Photos of Graceland : April, 1962
Elvis Presley at Graceland : March 1965
Elvis Presley : Graceland : February 16, 1968
Jerry Lee Lewis, Arrested at the Gates of Graceland
The Night Springsteen Jumped the Fence at Graceland
Elvis Presley's 1955 Pink Cadillac at Graceland
President Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Visit Graceland
Graceland Mansion Designated National Historic Landmark
Elvis Presley Biography
For a more (very) detailed history of Elvis Presley see Elvis Presley 1935-1953