Does it get more iconic than Elvis Presley? Nearly 45 years after his death, the legendary singer, movie star and performer still has a captive (and fiercely loyal) audience all around the world. That’s why Graceland – his personal estate in Memphis – endures year after year with a vibrant energy that’s fueled by the thousands of fans and families who come to visit from around the world.
While the original house still stands in all of its preserved glory, the property has expanded throughout the years to include activities that go beyond the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s repertoire. Sure, you can still take a peek at his personal kitchen and the famous Jungle Room at Graceland Mansion, but you can also explore Elvis’ passions, life and career through more than 10 exhibits and attractions at Elvis Presley’s Memphis. Call it a day with a dip in the pool at The Guest House at Graceland.
When it’s time to take care of business and make a trip to Graceland, forget about doing it in a flash. Instead, take your time and soak up all of its Southern splendor, starting with these can’t-miss highlights:
Ever wonder what a day in the life of the Presley family looked like? A guided tour of Graceland Mansion is the closest thing to sitting down for breakfast with Lisa Marie and shooting a round of pool with the King.
The perfectly-manicured front lawn gives way to a pristine white mansion, immaculately preserved in its late 1960s to early 1970s incarnation. From Elvis’ tech-forward TV room to the exotic kitsch of the Jungle Room, you’ll get a front row seat to all of the Presley family’s most intimate spaces, including the restored Racquetball Building and a Trophy Room filled with historic pieces of Presley family history.
This sprawling 200,000-square-foot exhibition center is packed with Elvis memorabilia, spanning from his childhood in Tupelo, Mississippi to his adulthood fascination with motorcycles and cars. Wandering through the space, you’ll explore Elvis’ life and career in more than 10 discovery spaces featuring everything from his pink Cadillac to his concert jumpsuits, collection of gold and platinum records and more.
The entertainment complex also dives into Elvis’ influence on other legendary artists – such as Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen ¬– in “ICONS: The Influence of Elvis Presley” exhibit. Don’t miss the new pop-up exhibit called “Dear Mr. President,” which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the famous Elvis and President Nixon meeting at the White House.
Graceland has recently introduced 10 state-of-the-art, immersive experiences that invite you to become the king or queen of social media! You can now get closer to Elvis than ever before via new virtual and augmented reality activities.
Designed to inspire, entertain and inform, these additions – such as “Elvis Yourself” and the “Elvis Album Cover Photo Booth” – allow you to create dozens of interactive, shareable moments and one-of-a-kind customized photos and videos of you and Elvis to download and share with friends! The interactive experiences are included in the price of your Elvis Presley’s Memphis tour.
If a day at Graceland isn’t enough to whet your appetite for all things Elvis, book a few nights at The Guest House at Graceland. The resort hotel features 430 guest rooms, plus an additional 20 themed, specialty suites with designs supervised by Priscilla Presley. The Guest House has been awarded AAA’s Four Diamond award, ensuring you’ll get the full Southern hospitality treatment here.
Throughout the resort, you’ll find subtle nods to the King’s aesthetic. Look up and you’ll find a lobby ceiling designed to match the stunning crystal design on one of Elvis’ capes he wore on stage. Even the high-back chairs in the lobby were inspired by the way Elvis held out his cape during performances.
Beyond the exhibitions and tours, Graceland keeps the legacy of Elvis alive with fan favorite annual events like Elvis’ Birthday Celebration in January, Elvis Week in August and the Graceland Performing Arts Camp in July for kids. In addition, Graceland has partnered with Live Nation to bring live concerts at the Soundstage at Graceland and live acts and comedians at the Guest House Theater.
Make your pilgrimage to Graceland and immerse yourself in all things Elvis. Then, check out even more music experiences in Memphis.