National Geographic Traveller (UK)



Elvis’s beloved, outré mansion is the second-most visited private home in the US, beaten only by the White House. Here are some tips on making the most of a visit to the former residence of the King

Pay your respects for free

Time it well and you can visit Graceland’s grounds without spending a dime. Every morning (aside from Thanksgivi­ng and Christmas Day, when the site is closed), from 7.30am to 8.30am, fans can pass through the gates free of charge for an hour of quiet contemplat­ion at Elvis’s graveside.

Plan around peak season

The party kicks off from 5-8 January for Elvis’s birthday celebratio­ns, where crowds flock for a cake-cutting ceremony sometimes hosted by his ex-wife, Priscilla Presley. There are events all across Memphis, too, but plan ahead as hotels book up lightning fast. The bustle returns for the week surroundin­g 16 August, the anniversar­y of Elvis’s death, when celebratio­ns go all out, with tribute artists in bejewelled jumpsuits and a moving candleligh­t vigil.

Hop on the shuttle

Combine Graceland with a visit to Sun Studio and stand in the precise spot where Elvis first belted out That’s All Right. A free shuttle whisks guests between the two landmarks every hour.

Bring the kids

Graceland is family friendly. A new entertainm­ent complex includes interactiv­e attraction­s such as an LED dancefloor quiz and a photo booth. Inside the mansion, children gravitate towards the hyper-themed rooms, including the Jungle Room, with its green carpet and neon-lit indoor waterfall.

Arrive fashionabl­y late

Dodge the queues by visiting after 2pm, when things start to wind down, but there are still a couple of hours to take it all in before the site closes at 4pm.

 ?? ?? Above: Living room at Graceland, featuring the white piano bought by Elvis in 1957
Above: Living room at Graceland, featuring the white piano bought by Elvis in 1957

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