You may be wondering if going to Graceland would be worth a side trip when visiting Memphis. Elvis superfans and other curious tourists make the pilgrimage to this iconic mansion every year.
If you’re already in Memphis, you might as well take the time to tour the house and grounds where the King of Rock and Roll lived. You can even grab one of Elvis’ favorite sandwiches to enjoy while wandering around the property.
So strap on your blue suede shoes and get ready to head to Graceland.
Stephen Toof, a commercial printer, originally owned Graceland Farms in the mid-1800s. He named the land after his daughter Grace. Eventually, it landed in the hands of a Memphis-based socialite with a 10,000-square-foot mansion built on the 13-acre lot in 1939.
Elvis Presley bought the property in 1957 for his parents. He’d been having trouble with fans mobbing his house, so he figured having a large property on the outskirts of town would help eliminate the issue.
Though Presley owned several estates, this one always served as a home base. Over time, the mansion became iconic. It has marble floors, a pool table, and even a jungle room. Today you can tour the house and even visit Elvis’ grave, which can be found on the grounds.
Where Is Graceland?
Located at 3764 Elvis Presley Blvd in Memphis, The King originally purchased this estate because it sat on the outskirts of town. Over time, the area sprawled, and today the mansion is officially within city limits in the Whitehaven community. Graceland is four miles north of Tennessee’s border with Mississippi near the Memphis airport.
You’ll be downtown if you head 15 miles north on Highway 69. You can experience other Memphis treasures like National Civil Rights Museum and the Memphis Zoo. Music lovers may also want to swing by Sun Studios, where Elvis first recorded his music, or visit Beale Street for some live entertainment.
How Long Is the Graceland Tour?
We recommend buying tickets in advance to visit this iconic attraction. Graceland has five different tour packages, which can be viewed on their website.
Serious fans may want to buy Ultimate VIP Tour Tickets for exclusive access to Elvis’ jet collection and unique merchandise options. More casual visitors can take self-guided tours of the grounds with the cheaper Memphis Ticket, but it doesn’t include entrance to the mansion.
A tour of Graceland usually takes about an hour and a half. If you purchase tickets that include extra exhibits like the car museum, your visit might last up to three hours. This doesn’t account for any time you spend exploring the grounds or eating at the on-site restaurant.
Know Before You Go: View all the details about the various tour packages on the Graceland website.
Best Hikes Near Graceland
After visiting Elvis’ estate, you’ll probably have time to explore the surrounding area. Luckily, Memphis has plenty of hiking opportunities nearby for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy.
Wolf River Blue and Yellow Trail
You’ll find the Wolf River Refuge with many trails just east of Memphis. Hikers on the AllTrails website highly suggest checking out the Blue and Yellow Trails in the park for a casual 3-mile stroll along the river. This relatively easy hike would be perfect for bringing the whole family or your leashed dog along.
If it’s been raining, this flat trail tends to get a little muddy, so check the weather before you go. Don’t forget to bring a map or your phone so you don’t accidentally end up hiking all 13 miles.
Big River Crossing
Memphis is home to the longest pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi River, known as the Big River Crossing. The two-mile round-trip stroll between Tennessee and Arkansas can be easily completed on foot, by bicycle, or pushing a stroller.
Additionally, this bridge puts on a light show each night called the Mighty Lights. Over 1,000 LED bulbs put on a performance every hour and half hour from sundown until 10 PM. Just line up along the river’s shore to catch the colorful display.
Best Camping Near Graceland
When planning your trip to Graceland, you’ll probably want to find a place to stay. For those traveling to Memphis in an RV, we have a few options for you to consider.
Graceland RV Park & Campground
If visiting The King of Rock and Roll’s not-so-humble abode tops your list of Memphis attractions, you’ll want to get a spot at the adjacent campground. They even have a tent-only section, so if you don’t have a rig, you can enjoy these sites too.
Amenities at Graceland RV Park & Campground include a swimming pool and hiking trails. You’ll find a store on-site as well as a laundry facility. The level gravel pads offer full hookups. You can reserve sites on a nightly, weekly, or monthly basis.
Tom Sawyer’s RV Park
Tom Sawyer’s RV Park is about 25 minutes west of Graceland along the shores of the Mississippi River. Past visitors have left reviews raving about the view and grassy areas for your pets to play.
You can rent a pull-through or back-in spot, making it a great option for big rigs. Sites can be reserved nightly or by the week, and amenities include free WiFi, full hookups, and laundry facilities.
Is a Road Trip to Graceland Worth It?
Whether you consider yourself a diehard fan or casual enthusiast of Elvis Presley, we think you’d enjoy a trip to Graceland. Not only is the tour an unforgettable experience, but the surrounding area has great options for camping and hiking too. So head to Memphis for your next vacation; you won’t regret it.
Have you visited Graceland? Let us know in the comments.