When looking for fun things to do in Memphis be sure to get over and visit the infamous Graceland Mansion, Elvis's expansive 14-acre estate in Memphis Tennessee. Graceland Mansion sits on 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard but was formerly known as South Bellevue Road. Graceland Mansion sits atop a hill in the suburb of Whitehaven, and is about 8 miles south of Memphis. Graceland Mansion was originally developed as a 500-acre farm during the American Civil War by publisher S.E. Toof. Stories differ slightly regarding the name bestowed upon the estate by Toof but it was either named after his daughter Grace Toof or after an aunt or niece named Grace. The house is considered to be of Classical Revival style.
A Graceland tour is a great way to spend a little time getting to know the mansion. During a Graceland tour visitors can walk through the dining room, music room, the TV room, the billiard room the kitchen and the jungle room and listen to an audio narration Note that the Graceland tour doesn't include viewing the upstairs part of the mansion. When alive the upstairs portion was "the King's inner sanctum".
When it came to Graceland Elvis held the home in high regard and lived with several family members there during his life. At Graceland Elvis loved to decorate and had created several themed rooms. The front room features a white marble fireplace and Louis XIV furniture. After buying Graceland Elvis added many rooms including a trophy room and a racquetball court. At Graceland Elvis also added a pink Alabama fieldstone wall around the property as well as the famous wrought iron guitar gates.
Graceland history is a varied and interesting one. Surely
many people wonder what the walls would say if they could
talk! In Graceland history Elvis bought the home for just
under $102,500. At the time it was used by the Christian
Church and had just been sold to the YMCA for $35,000.
Graceland history wouldn't have included Elvis at
all had he not had the wits about him to try to convince
the YMCA to sell the house for a substantial profit. That
was the beginning of the Graceland history which included
Elvis and though the original house was exceptionally
beautiful it would have never gained the popularity it
did if Elvis hadn't been able to convince the YMCA
to let the property go.
Graceland Memphis is fairly easy to reach from Nashville and Chattanooga and many
people head to Memphis for this reason alone. When at
Graceland visitors don't have to travel far for
convenient shopping and dining
as it's all available at Graceland Plaza which is
directly on the premises. There are 3 restaurants and
several gift shops to choose from. There are also plaza
attractions which include the Car Museum, Sincerely Elvis
and Airplanes. Graceland Memphis is open year-round. Between
December and February Graceland is open from 10am to 4pm
Monday to Sunday and closed on Tuesdays. In March to October
the hours are extended a little to accommodate larger
crowds. It is open an hour earlier and closes an hour
later. Graceland is also near the Memphis
Zoo and the National
Civil Rights Museum.
Many people visit the Meditation Garden when visiting Graceland to view the grave sites of Elvis and his family. Many were huge fans of "The King" and get fairly emotional while visiting. Others are more keen to see what the inside of the Mansion looked like and imagine what life must have been like for Elvis while he lived there. Whatever the reasons for going Graceland Memphis is a fun place to visit for its interesting design, expansive property and for the fact that one of the greatest rock and roll legends of all time lived out his largely successful career there with his family.
Top image: theogeo (flickr)