Visitors to Memphis, Tennessee, can walk in the footsteps of the legendary Elvis Presley by visiting his beloved home, Graceland, and the studio where he got his start in the business, Sun Studios.
Elvis Presley died 43 years ago, but his home remains a destination for thousands of people every year.
Graceland is a National Historic Landmark and the 14-acre site includes the mansion, the graves of Elvis and his parents, museums, automobile collection and Elvis’ airplanes. Since 1982, 20 million visitors have toured the home. Graceland is known as the second most recognized home in the United States (after the White House).
In the past 37 years, the Graceland complex has expanded, offering new and different experiences and entertainment for visitors. In 2016, the Guest House at Graceland opened as a Four Diamond resort hotel. In 2017, 11 new museum exhibits (known as Elvis Presley’s Memphis) opened across from the mansion; and last August, a chapel opened on the property for weddings and vow renewals.
As for the tour of Graceland, an audiotape is offered for your self-guided tour through the home. During the tour, you hear information about the rooms, mementoes and displays that you pass by. Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie, offers the narration of her time in the home, which is especially touching. The home has remained unchanged since Elvis’ death and a walk through the home is like stepping back in time when shag carpet and pastel décor were in style.
The tour ends at the gravesites for Elvis and his parents, as well as other family members. It’s a very peaceful, tranquil spot and visitors are quiet as they walk by the graves.
Be sure to allow plenty of time to explore Graceland and the entire complex.
Elvis fans have heard of Sun Studios, where in 1954, Elvis recorded “That’s All Right Mama” and it’s another must stop on a visit to Memphis. Sam Phillips established Sun Studios and launched the careers of Elvis, as well as Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, B.B. King and many others.
It’s a very unique experience to be able to stand in the spot where Elvis made his music magic. A microphone used by Elvis is still in the museum and visitors can stand behind it for a photo.
Another stop for music lovers should be the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, where photographs and mementoes from the famous Stax Sound are located. Stax Records was called Soulsville USA for the sounds of Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Otis Redding and others were recorded in the studio.
Music fans will also love exploring Beale Street while visiting Memphis. Just wander along the famous street and you will find a number of places to stop and listen to blues, rock, country, soul and all kinds of music. As the sun goes down, the neon lights of the businesses begin to glow and the crowd grows. It’s soon bustling and filled with energy and excitement.
Article written by Angie Gary.
Guest Author Bio:
Angie Gary, a journalism graduate from the University of Georgia, has covered all aspects of news in her more than 30 years as a reporter and editor. However, her first love is travel writing. She writes a weekly newspaper column which is usually about a trip she has taken. She has won state and national awards for serious column writing, humorous column writing and lifestyle writing. Her readers often call or email asking for more information about destinations she features. She lives in Northeast Georgia and enjoys spending time with her family, reading and photography.