Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau


Thursday  May 5, 2011
Site #74
Graceland RV Park
Memphis, Tennessee

We were up early and familiarizing ourselves
with the map of the Graceland “complex”.
Then off to the ticket office where we paid $31
with a $4 internet coupon each for our tickets.
This included the mansion and 5 or 6 other exhibits 
including some of his many cars and his two airplanes.
FYI, the internet coupon is fifty cents cheaper than the “senior discount”.

The exhibits and visitor’s center for Graceland
are across the road from the home. 
You buy tickets and take a bus across the road,
past the famous gates and up the driveway to the house.
(remember you can click any pictures to make them larger)

We had come here as kind of a lark
because we both grew up hearing
Elvis and liked his music
but we came away feeling that
those who chose to open his Mansion
to the public had done
a great job making it accessible
and exactly as he had left it.
We were sorry to hear
that things are apparently going to change
in the near future as his daughter and heir, Lisa Marie,
has sold 85% of her interest to an entertainment company
which plans to increase visitation
from 600,000 people per year at present to 2 million.
My unsolicited advice –
come before that happens.

A shot of the front "yard"

Graceland is the only Rock star's home
to be on the National Register of Historic Places.

You enter through the front door.

Before you board the bus,
you are given a hand held device with ear phones
which guides you through the house. 
You can turn it off and on at your leisure,
and stay as long as you like. 

These are the rooms in the order we saw them.
All the furnishings in the house are as they were on the day of his death.
The Living Room

Dining Room

Elvis came from very poor people in Tupelo Mississippi. 
Neither of his parents graduated from high school as he did.
He was very proud of making sure his parents, far too
many other relatives and "friends", wanted for nothing.

This is his mother Gladys's bedroom.
Jepordy question:   What was Elvis Presley's mother's favorite color?

Her bath  


The basement "play rooms" were more the
sort of flashy stuff Elvis liked that I was expecting.
But even there only the TV room was really a HOOT!

The Pool room has fabric covered walls and ceiling. 

This is a better shot of the actual color of the fabric.

The final room we saw was the famous
Jungle Room
complete with Teddy Bear.

The other end of the Jungle Room

Some details from the Jungle Room

The back side of Graceland

These are the horse barns and pastures.
There are 13 acres to the Mansion property.
Lisa Marie continues to own the home
and horses are kept there.

I use the term “mansion” loosely here as Graceland
did not seem as big as most of the new McMansions
one sees all over in the suburbs and former farmer's fields.

Once you leave the home, the outbuildings have
exhibits telling his life story.

The audio tour continues through these buildings.
I enjoyed particularly the early years
beginning in 1954 when he first went into Sun
Studios in Memphis to cut a self pay record for $4.00.

By the end of 1956 he was a national star
with number one records, TV appearances
and a movie contract.
That's an amazingly rapid rise to fame for
a man who, just a year before,
had been a truck driver
who liked to sing and play the guitar.

This is an example of the kind of information provided.
A parade in his hometown in Mississippi.
He's here with his parents.
This was a silent slide show/digital photo frame type thing.

The hall of Gold Records and awards.
That's me with the earphones from the audio tour.

They wouldn't all fit in the hall so here is another room full

along with a selection of the costumes he wore in
his later shows.

The audio has separate selection numbers 
for specific exhibits.
You can pause the tour to listen if you like
and then return to the tour.
It really depends on how much you want to know
and how much time you want to spend.

There are also video presentations
of Elvis’ life  and performances
among the written information
and photographs on the walls.

Only at a couple of exhibits was there sound with the video.
All of the audio tour was very well done
and the freedom it gave for each person
to determine his/her own personal tour,
while moving people efficiently through the house and grounds,
was impressive.
Elvis was very generous to the charities in the city of Memphis.
There was a plaque from the city to honor him for the
continuous support he gave to 50 local charities.

He was a spokesperson for the March of Dimes and
 in 1956 took the experimental Salk vaccine to
encourage the public to do like wise.

Elvis was most proud of the award given to him by the Jaycees
as One of the Top Ten Young Men of the Year in 1970.
It was the only awards ceremony he ever attended.

The final part of the audio tour takes you
into what is called the meditation garden.
It is at the foot of the swimming pool
and now contains the graves of Elvis,
his mother, father, maternal grandmother
and a marker for his stillborn twin brother Jessie Garon Presley.

Flowers and tributes continue to arrive daily
over 30 years after his death.
They are all put at the grave site
until they wilt or deteriorate.

We spent about 90 minutes on the tour
and boarded the bus back across the road.
During our time there was absolutely no pressure to move along. 

No flash photography, video or audio is allowed.
But you may take all the non flash pictures you want.

Off the bus and on to lunch at the
Rockabilly Cafe.
Even though we did the mansion and the
other exhibits all in one day,
I can't post it all in one sitting.
So stay tuned for part 2.


  1. We went in 2009-loved it. I agree with you go now before they change it.

  2. I'm a big fan of The King, and Graceland is on my list of things I want to see. Looking forward to Part 2 of your post!


  3. We were there in 2000 and it was just as you described it. Well done!! Why must they mess with success;o((

  4. I grew up in the same area as some of Elvis' cousins. They had a group called "Hacker Brothers" and they all looked just like Elvis and were very good musicians.

    The best bbq ribs ever are across the Peabody Hotel at The Rendezous. The Peabody ducks are neat, too. Thanks for the tour!

  5. Great tour!

    Looks like the RV manufacturers hired the guy that decorated Elvis' pool room to pick out their interior colors and fabrics...


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