Saturday, October 25, 2014

Memphis, Tennessee: Graceland

Where to start in describing Graceland, that distinctly American travel destination? You know that it was the home of Elvis Presley, and that it's become a magnet for fans of all ages.

And how to only pick one picture to represent it here? Problems, problems.

Here are a few points that you probably didn't know:

Graceland is on Elvis Presley Boulevard. The actual estate is surprisingly small, as these things go. It's not a giant house by any means, but there is room for gardens, fields used by horses, etc. The commercial activity is across the street; more on that in a moment.

The tour takes you via shuttle bus across the street, where you go in the front door and around the lower lowel of the place. The upstairs is off limits. As you'd expect, there's a living room, dining room, kitchen, and den. There are plenty of rooms that were designed for play. You'll particularly like the room redecorated to look like Hawaii, complete with an indoor fountain.

Some of the areas in the complex have been converted into display areas for trophies, awards, clothes, and so on. For example, the room shows here is a converted racquetball court. Each visitor is given an iPad with tour information coming over the headphones. The tour of Graceland ends at the garden, where Elvis and some relatives are buried.

Back across the street is a major complex. You can pay extra and get a ticket to see such items as Elvis' two airplanes (one big, one small). Worth the money? Tough call, and the non-airplane attractions are nothing special, but you only go to a place like this once. There are a few special cars around, restaurants, and naturally plenty of souvenir stands. Parking is in the back.

It probably takes three hours to go through it all, unless you get caught in a line to see the house - which I would guess is quite possible. One trip should satisfy your curiosity.

Here's the official video:


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