From our fantastic days in New Orleans we headed north towards Memphis, Tennessee and the home of The King of Rock ‘N’ Roll.
From Louisiana we had a pretty easy six hour drive to our night’s accommodation in East Memphis. En route we played some classic Elvis songs, with ‘Hound Dog’ becoming a favourite of both boys and it is even still requested on travel days several months after.
There are many ticket options when visiting Graceland, starting with just the ‘Mansion Tour’. We decided to get the tickets one level up from this which is the ‘Elvis Experience Tour’ and included the mansion tour and full access to the entertainment complex which includes:
- Self-guided tour of Presley Motors Automobile Museum
- Self-guided tour of Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum
- Self-guided tours of Elvis Discovery Exhibits
With all packages you can pay an extra $5 USD/$7.50 NZD per person to look through the two airplanes onsite. However, from the online reviews we saw there wasn’t too much to really see inside and items are all bubble wrapped up, so we gave that a miss.
We booked our tickets online (paying a total of $158.75 USD/$238.63 NZD) so we could ensure we were on the first tour of the day and to help beat the crowds. We arrived just before 9.00am and found that there is an incredibly huge complex dedicated to the life of Elvis Presley.We collected our tickets and after a short movie introduction we caught a quick shuttle bus across the road, through the famous music gates and up the driveway to Graceland.An iPad containing an audio self guided tour and interactive activities is included with the mansion tour and for the most part you are left to explore the grounds at your own pace.
The tour also includes a number of home movies of Elvis in different parts of the mansion and the grounds, such as the famous ‘Jungle Room’.
Being the first group of the day proved to be a great decision, and I would definitely recommend this to anyone thinking of visiting. Not only did it allow for lots of unobstructed photographs but we could truly immerse ourselves in Elvis’ home and learn about his life.
Along with some of his family members, he his buried at Graceland within the Meditation Garden, which was a fitting final stop on the tour.After spending about an hour at Graceland we were back in the shuttle bus heading towards the museums. Here we looked through the exhibits of Presley Motors, his time in the army, Graceland archives and ‘Elvis: The Entertainer’ and his career.
These museums are huge and cover every aspect of his life, with videos or audio and information for each and every exhibit. We managed to spend a good couple of hours here which was more than enough for us, but I’m sure diehard fans could easily spend a full day exploring and still have to be mindful of their time.Sometimes when we visit towns or cities to visit a sole attraction they don’t always live up to the hype. However, I’m happy to say that visiting Graceland is reason enough to come to Memphis and I’m very glad it was on our list.
After a quick lunch out of the back of the car we were on the road and making our way towards the northern border. It was getting time for us to exit America, spend a few days in Canada and then hopefully re-enter without any issues.