Elvis Presley Historical Graceland in Memphis
While just about everyone on the face of the planet has probably heard of Elvis, his rags to riches story, and his beautiful Mansion Graceland, not everyone may know that it is a great historical spot with plenty of things to do and see. If you ever find yourself passing through Memphis, then Graceland is definitely a must see for everyone, whether you were an Elvis fan or not, it is a great historical site that is interesting to visit.
Basically after Elvis died, they discovered that he really wasn’t worth all the money that they thought he was, so Graceland having been left to his daughter Lisa Marie Presley, and being too young to deal with the responsiblity, his father Vernon Presley was left to be the executor of the estate. While the mansion was bought for 500,000, when Elvis died the taxes on the house were in the millions, and they had to come up with a plan to save the mansion and not lose it, enter Priscilla Presley, Elvis’s ex-wife, and she came up with the idea of making Elvis’s beloved Graceland into a museum and show place where the Elvis Corporation could bring in some cash, and that it did; as Elvis is definitely worth more dead than he was alive it seems. Graceland makes more money everyday with all the tours, commercial products that are sold there, from all the tourists who flock to Graceland everyday; and for special occasions. Only after a month of Graceland Tours opening, the estate was already worth 100 million dollars.
Graceland currently is a museum, it opened as a museum to the public June 7, 1982. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on Nov. 7, 1991 and became an official Historic Landmark in 2006. It is the second most visited home in America with well over 600,000 visitors per year, only second to visitors to the White House.
Elvis Presley died at Graceland in Aug of 1977, and along with his father, mother and grandmother they are all buried on the premises in what is called Meditation Gardens.
Every year a procession of tourist go through the estate to see Elvis’s house and grave especially on the anniversary of his death. The 25th anniversary saw the largest amount of tourists in 2002. It was estimated that 40,000 people came to Graceland that day.
The grounds at Graceland includes a museum that contain many Elvis’s possessions, including his favorite jumpsuits, his awards, the Lisa Marie jet, and all of his gold records. Elvis also had an extensive car collection. There is also an all Elvis Presley radio station on the premises, where Elvis tunes can be played all day long.
When you take a tour at Graceland, you cannot take pictures or bring video cameras inside. A tour guide leads you through the home, but the upstairs is closed off because of privacy for the Presley home as so much emphasis has been placed upon Elvis’s bathroom, where he was presumed to have died. Elvis’s bedroom is also a room that has not been touched since his death.
Tourists park across the street from the mansion and take a tour bus to the premises, they are given headphones and the history of Graceland is explained in detail from the year that Graceland was built to for whom it was named after, which was the original owners daughter, Grace. They also explain that Elvis was only 22 years old when he bought Graceland, falling in love with it the moment he saw it.
Much has been said about Elvis’s style of furnishings, and one has to remember that it was in the 70’s and the way the mansion was furnished maybe considered garish and has been called tasteless, and one has to keep in mind that Elvis was a little eccentric in his taste, such as having closed circuit TV’s all around the premises, and also having a large pool in his bedroom. There is also the “Jungle Room”, and the "T.V room", where Elvis was known to watch 3 television sets at a time. He may have been a little quirkish in his taste, but while going through his home, one gets the sense that it really brought him great comfort and joy to be at home, especially a mansion of that magnitude, coming from the poor background that was his childhood. Going through his home, you almost get the sense of time standing still.
The Mediation Garden where his family is buried was also always a comfort to Elvis, being especially close to his mother, he would often spend much time there when he was especially stressed.
I was only 14 years old when Elvis died and I wasn't much of a fan then, but as I got older I came to respect Elvis as an artist, a person of great talent and even though many negative things have been said about his life, I still had so much respect for this man who came out of nowhere, from such a poor family, to become the American Icon that he is. In my opinion no one will ever come close to being the superstar that was Elvis.
Graceland's Ticket Office is located at 3765 Elvis Presley Blvd., Memphis, TN 38116
Shopping At Graceland
Of course when you go to Graceland you will no doubt want to bring home some souvenirs or whats the point right? Well there is plenty to buy at the Graceland Plaza Gift Shop,
Good Rockin' Tonight- You can buy cd's here, DVD's, and also plenty of books. The shop also carries exclusive Elvis releases from the Follow that Dream Label.
Heartbreak Hotel Gift Shop- You can buy mugs, t'shirts, souvenirs of all kinds, and is open til 10.pm
Gallery Kids- Specialty gifts just for kids. They thought of everything.
Gallery Elvis- An upscale collectible shop where you can get pricey Elvis on velvet art.
Restaurants near Graceland
Chrome Grille- This is a cool place to eat, has a real southern charm to it where you can get the best BBQ that Memphis has to offer.
Shake, Split & Dip- An old fashioned style malt shop where you can get old style malts and ice-cream specialtes.
Jungle Room Lounge-A section in the Heartbreak Hotel Restaurant where you can get sandwiches, appetizers,salads, drinks and more.
Rockabilly's Diner- Is another 50's style diner where you can enjoy Elvis's special peanut butter and banana sandwiches as well as cheesburgers, fries and other casual fare.
Chapel In the Woods
The Chapel in the woods is a chapel where you can plan your wedding Elvis style. Close to the woods from where the Mansion is located, it is a place where you can have the wedding to remember forever.
The wedding planner can help you plan your wedding at Graceland and they have several different packages, that includes cake, reception, and photo opportunities in front of the Graceland Mansion,.
Elvis's Rooms in Graceland
Some of Elvis's Car Collection
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