After breakfast in West Memphis, Arkansas, we drove our Ford Taurus toward Graceland. Elvis Presley’s Graceland is an estate where Elvis Presley lived for 20 years. He died here, and he is buried on the grounds outside the house. Elvis bought this house for $102 thousand in 1957. Graceland has been open to tourists since 1982.
We were in the ticket booth relatively early—9:30 a.m.—but there was already a queue, and we needed to wait. It is a popular attraction, and I fully understand why after taking the tour.
A tour of Graceland began with a short van ride, which took us across the street to the mansion. We had headphones, which helped us understand the house’s history and Elvis’ life at Graceland in Memphis. It was a digital audio tour featuring the voices of his daughter Lisa Marie, and Elvis himself.
The tour takes you only to the mansion’s first floor; the second floor is closed, and there are Elvis’ private rooms. On the mansion’s first floor, visitors can see the living room, Elvis’ parents’ bedroom, dining room, kitchen, piano room (where Elvis played on his last evening), and TV room. Through the earphones, we were well-guided, and exciting stories were told about the rooms.
Elvis built a unique house just for his gold records and other trophies. The tour guide explained the significance of every portrait and relic. They also explain why Elvis wore jumpsuits relatively late in his career.
The tour closes at the graves in the backyard. I had tears in my eyes; the tour of Elvis’ life was real.
If you are an Elvis fan, the trip to Memphis is well worth it. I cannot say that I’m a big Elvis fan, though this excursion was one of the top memories from the whole Deep South trip. We are convinced you can not go to Memphis, TN, and not see Graceland. It was exciting, wonderful, and sad at the same time, and it was history before our eyes, presented in the best way possible.
10 Random Facts About Elvis Presley’s Graceland
- Elvis Presley purchased Graceland in 1957 for $102,500.
- The mansion is located in Memphis, Tennessee, and is now a museum open to the public.
- Graceland is the second most-visited house in the United States, after the White House.
- The mansion features a Jungle Room with polyester-covered walls and a waterfall.
- The TV Room features the iconic “Elvis Presley” sign that was on the front of Presley’s private plane.
- The Meditation Garden is the final resting place of Elvis Presley, his parents, and his grandmother.
- The Trophy Building houses Elvis’ gold and platinum records and stage costumes.
- Graceland has a car museum that features some of the vehicles owned by Elvis Presley, including his pink Cadillac.
- The Elvis Presley Enterprises, which operates Graceland, also operates the Elvis Presley’s Memphis Complex, which includes the Heartbreak Hotel, museum, and more.
- Graceland has been designated as a National Historic Landmark since 2006.
After the Graceland mansion tour, we visited Whitehaven Church to listen to gospel music at its best. The 2.5-hour service started at 11 a.m. and was worth attending.
The story continues in Memphis, Tennessee