Does it get more iconic than Elvis Presley? Forty-two 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 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. Take a journey through space at the all-new Graceland Exhibition Center and 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.
The newly-opened Graceland Exhibition Center brings a revolving lineup of national exhibitions to visitors to the property. Over the past several months, the 80,000-square-foot space has welcomed a family-friendly National Geographic exhibition on global exploration and a retrospective of Muhammed Ali. Today, you can explore the cosmos in the “Journey to Space” exhibition and come face-to-face with life-size animatronic dinosaurs in “Expedition: Dinosaur.”
After working up a thirst, dance and dine at The Jungle Room bar, where you can take a seat on exact replicas of the furniture found in the real Jungle Room while sipping on crafty cocktails.
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 design 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.
Live Concerts and Events
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 an Elegant Southern Style Weekend hosted by Priscilla Presley herself. 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.