After living in Tennessee for over 20 years, I finally made it to Graceland. For those that don't know, Graceland was the home of Elvis Presley. If I have to tell you who Elvis Presley was, just X out of this window. I have nothing else to say.
There are a lot of people who think no trip to Memphis is complete without a trip to Graceland. Most of those people are from Europe. Many times I've been coming home from a foreign country and have flown into Memphis and I've asked them what they are going to do in Memphis. Everyone says "Graceland". That many Europeans can't be wrong so I decided to see it for myself.
When you arrive at Graceland, you aren't actually at the house. You're at the enormous Graceland Complex. It's huge and houses all the memorabilia. You have to actually take a bus over to the house. You get an iPad with headphones that tell you about the rooms in the house as you are walking through. I thought that was pretty cool!
I've heard people say that Graceland isn't very big but I think by 1970's standards it is. The house isn't like it was when he died. Apparently, it was being redecorated by the girlfriend but it was restored to the original decor. This is what I dreamed my house would be when I was grown up. It's the height of 70's decor. Some of it is just crazy but since I grew up with this stuff, it just seems like a time capsule of cool. Get ready for some '70 decor porn....
Wasn't that great!!! After you tour the house, there are some outbuildings and a death-trap swingset not unlike the one I played on as a kid.
There is a small area of pictures and memorabilia including Priscilla's wedding dress.
Then you make it to the backyard and there he is. I remember when he died and they were playing all his movies on TV and I sat and cried that someone so young could be gone and that Lisa Marie, who was not much younger than me, lost her dad.
After the house, you take the shuttle back to the complex. It's huge!!! It holds the clothes, cars, records, and various household and souvenir items. If it has to do with Elvis, it's there.
I would have LOVED to be Elvis' costume designer!! Coming up with crazy jumpsuits!
In the gift shop you can even buy your own Elvis jumpsuit!
I read the other day that Lisa Marie is broke. I really don't see how. I left thinking that she and her heirs will probably never have to work except managing Elvis Enterprises. The ticket prices aren't cheap. The basic is $59 and they go up from there. They have to pay for those iPads somehow. Maybe, like Elvis, she has surrounded herself with the wrong people.
I do wonder who will go to Graceland once all the people who remember him when he was alive die off. Which brings me to, is it really a must-see destination when visiting Memphis? If you are a die-hard fan or are a child of the 70's or even interested in vintage decor, I say yes. It will take at least half a day. It took me several hours and it wasn't very crowded.
If you can, tour on a weekday and avoid his birthday and the anniversary of his death. I think those are still big crowd days with people crying. Unless you want to do that, nothing wrong with it.
Interview with his dad after his death if you feel like shedding a tear here