Look, you can’t go to Memphis and not visit Graceland. That would be sacrilege. It may be a tourist trap, but it’s a well-oiled one and highly entertaining if you have even a fleeting interest in Elvis Presley or American pop culture.
In March 2017, Graceland unveiled a new 200,000-square-foot “entertainment complex” across from the mansion. The space houses the new Presley Motors Automobile Museum, featuring the King’s iconic pink Cadillac, plus other themed exhibitions. Buying tickets in advance is a good idea, as the myriad package options can easily overwhelm. Entry starts at $38.75 for adults (house tour only) and skyrockets to $150 for the Ultimate VIP tour (die-hards only). For our time and money, we recommend the Elvis Experience Tour + Airplanes Tour ($62.50), which covers his house, the car museum and the rest of the new complex, plus his two custom jets. Parking costs an additional $10 bucks—pretty irritating considering how expensive the tickets are already! But whatever. Suck it up. You’re only here once.
The self-guided Graceland iPad tour, hosted by John Stamos (LOL), walks you through a living room with vibrant panels of peacock stained glass, Elvis’ parents bedroom (such a mama’s boy!), his modest kitchen, the mirrored-up TV room, a pool room with a ruched fabric ceiling, and the famously swanky Jungle Room. The upstairs remains off-limits. This was Elvis’ private sanctuary and Priscilla and Lisa Marie decided to keep it secret even after his passing.
Elsewhere on the property, you can see Elvis’ dad’s office; his racquetball court, now filled floor-to-ceiling with gold and platinum records; and the meditation garden where Elvis and his parents are buried. At first glance, the house seems surprisingly humble considering the man’s net worth. But then you spot Elvis’ glittering wardrobe and peep inside those two private planes (Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II) and quickly realize where all that cash-money was going. The Lisa Marie has suede seats and gold-plated seat belts… because why not? It’s good to be King.
Elvis Presley Blvd., Memphis, TN; 901-332-3322.