Graceland, Elvis’s home, is the “King’s castle” in the way that it celebrates his royalty and heyday. Our VIP tour at 10:30 a.m. started even earlier because of their efficiency in accommodating all of the ticket-holders. Graceland has stayed authentic in its decor and the tour guides informed us that Lisa Marie and family even dine there in the dining room, on occasional visits.
There’s a chapel on the grounds which stays busy with weddings and vow-renewals all year long. We learned many more details about Elvis (than what you hear in pop culture trivia) by touring his mansion, museum and grounds.
The Graceland mansion was originally built in 1939, reportedly and was occupied by homeowners prior to Elvis’s purchase in 1957. Graceland is located 8 miles from downtown Memphis which makes it accessible to find. The Greek-inspired Neoclassical mansion had the “Presley aesthetic” added into the classical decor, such as large mirrors within the classical moldings and other 1970’s touches like the TV room and Jungle Room.
Outside, there was a racquetball room, grounds, swimming pool and a small family cemetery. The museum is a wonderful collection of memorabilia, costumes, wedding outfits, etc. We were touched to learn that Elvis was very generous to various charities.
The restaurants on site were charmingly decorated in the midcentury decor of diners and the gift shop had an abundance of Elvis memorabilia. It is really worth visiting and quite fascinating, especially since he was such an American icon and the King of Rock ‘n Roll, after all!
photos by GIna