Momma Wanderlust - Curating Cultural Travels for Families

Touring Graceland

by Tykesha77

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Touring Graceland is at the top of many tourists’ minds when planning to visit Memphis. Here are a few tips for visiting Elvis’s home.

I became an Elvis fan when I was young. As a latchkey kid, I watched a LOT of television, and I loved musicals.  I first discovered Elvis the actor when I stumbled upon the “Beach Party”-isk movies. At some point, I watched more of his films and listened to his music, and really liked it.

While I really like Elvis, I don’t think of or refer to him as the King of Rock ‘N Roll. I know music history too well to give him that moniker. But when I visited Memphis, Tennessee, for a travel conference, Touring Graceland – the home of Elvis Presley, was at the top of my list during my first visit to Memphis, Tennessee. 

[This post on Touring Graceland was originally published in August 2020, and updated in August 2022.]

If you’re planning a visit to Graceland, here are a few tips to help you plan.

Touring Graceland: A little History

Graceland is the home Elvis purchased in 1957 when he was 22 years old. He bought the house for $102,500, and it sits on nearly 14 acres and is located in at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Touring Graceland: Logistics

Graceland tour featured by top family travel blogger, Momma Wanderlust

Once at the Graceland, visitors can go to the ticket office to decide what type of Elvis experience they want, and pay the entry fee. I found the ticket rates to be very pricey. As of the date of this blog, the ticket options and prices are:

  • Ultimate VIP Tour: $196.00
  • Elvis Entourage VIP $128
  • Elvis Experience Tour  $44-$77 ($44 for children and $77 for adults)
  • Elvis Presley’s Memphis + Planes $27- $48

There are discounts available for Seniors, Active and Retired Military and AAA Members.

I opted for a basic self-guided tour that included the Graceland Mansion and grounds tour. I decided not to pay the additional $5-10 to tour Elvis’s airplane.

The on-site parking costs $10.

Touring Graceland:  The Experience

The tour starts in the visitor center with a brief movie about the life and legacy of Elvis. After that guests were ushered into an outdoor covered waiting area where we waited for a minibus to drive us across the street to the Graceland mansion.

Once outside of the famed front steps, a Graceland docent gives a brief introductory explanation of how and when Elvis purchased the home and land and we were invited to start our self-guided tour. Each guest is given an iPad and a set of headphones for the tour. I was surprised to discover that tour is narrated by Elvis enthusiast, “Uncle Jesse” or John Stamos from the sitcom Full House.

Graceland tour featured by top family travel blogger, Momma Wanderlust

Stepping into Graceland felt like entering a 70s-time capsule. Each room is decorated in the kitschy 70s style that Elvis was famous for. The virtual aspects of the tour added context which helped to bring the rooms to life. I enjoyed the interactive features including photos and videos of Elvis in the rooms.

Graceland tour featured by top family travel blogger, Momma Wanderlust

 

Graceland tour featured by top family travel blogger, Momma Wanderlust

The most famous room in the house is the Jungle Room. It was decorated after Elvis’s favorite vacation spot – Hawaii.  There’s green carpet everywhere… including on the ceilings. There’s also wooden furniture, and intricate wood carvings on display in this room.

Graceland tour featured by top family travel blogger, Momma Wanderlust

The pool room was interesting. Fabric covered the walls and ceiling. It reminded me of something out of a horror film. Elvis’s media room was bright yellow and blue. He apparently had three televisions going at all times, two to watch two different new stations and one for comedy.

Graceland tour featured by top family travel blogger, Momma Wanderlust

 

Graceland tour featured by top family travel blogger, Momma Wanderlust

Touring Graceland: The Grounds & Meditation Gardens

Graceland tour featured by top family travel blogger, Momma Wanderlust

After touring the mansion, visitors can head outdoors to tour the grounds which included Elvis’s trophy room, his father’s office, a swimming pool, and the final stop was the Meditation Garden. 

 

 

Elvis, his mother, father and twin brother who was sand other members of his family are buried there. From here you take a mini-bus back to the main building.

Graceland tour featured by top family travel blogger, Momma Wanderlust

Touring Graceland: The Museum and Shops

Graceland tour featured by top family travel blogger, Momma Wanderlust

There is a museum and movie studio near the main building and entrance. In this area, you can tour Elvis’s cars, clothing, and other memorabilia. For an added fee you can also tour the Lisa Marie, Elvis’s airplane. There’s the Graceland Guesthouse, which is a hotel for visitors who want a more immersed Graceland experience.

Graceland tour featured by top family travel blogger, Momma Wanderlust

Graceland is the #1 tourist attraction in Memphis and one of the second-most visited house in America, falling behind only the White House. In all the tour took me about an hour to complete, not including wait time. I learned a great deal about Elvis, the person, and really enjoyed seeing the 1970s come to life.  Overall, I really enjoyed my day at Graceland and I’d highly recommend it.

Graceland tour featured by top family travel blogger, Momma Wanderlust

If you enjoyed this review of Elvis Presley’s Graceland, you might also like:

Planning a trip?

Planning a trip and looking for some travel tips to help you save money and ease the stress on your next family adventure? Then click the links below to read exactly how I plan my family's travel, save money on vacation, and more. 

 

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Touring Graceland, featured by top uS family travel blogger, Momma Wanderlust

Touring Graceland

 

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4 comments

Amira April 10, 2021 - 2:00 AM

I appreciate this post! As a black American that loves blues and rock and roll, I feel torn in a similar fashion. I want to visit while I’m here, but I am balancing my Graceland visit by also touring some Black history spots around Memphis. I don’t think Elvis meant to rip off Black culture, I think he was just a small town boy who liked Black blues and then got skyrocketed to fame by studio business men for speeding it up. It’s weird to think about, so I appreciate your perspective! 🙂

Reply
Tykesha77 April 12, 2021 - 4:53 PM

There are so many layers to the discussion about music, culture, and appropriation but I think you’re right about Elvis’ intent. Thank you for reading and offering your perspective.

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Stephanie Russell October 17, 2021 - 1:49 AM

I thought it was a stark contrast to visit Graceland and the national civil rights museum in the same visit… two disparate sides of Memphis near the same historical moment. I think the lack of any civil rights conversation at Graceland is deafening in its silence. Great post, thank you!

Reply
Tykesha77 October 21, 2021 - 8:22 PM

Great observation. I visited both sites on two separate days. I wasn’t expecting anything in Graceland to touch on civil rights, but I was surprised to see how many African American artists made donations to the warehouse-style museum. I was surprised to see articles from James Brown and Jimi Hendrix in there. I think that’s the portion of the tour that I liked the most, seeing how Elvis was influenced and in turn influenced other notable artists. Thanks for commenting.

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