“Never wait for tomorrow, what if tomorrow never comes.”
– Elvis Presley
As a Blues and Rock & Roll lover, it was a real treat to visit Beale Street – one of the nation’s most famous streets. It was here that Elvis gained inspiration from many Blues, Gospel and R&B artists. Today, the street is filled with wonderful restaurants, hot bars, nightclubs, Blues clubs and fun museums.
Fun Memphis Attractions & City Sightseeing Tours
Memphis is also home to Sun Studio – renowned as “The Birthplace of Rock ‘n Roll.” It’s where Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and B.B. King all recorded their music. The studio houses priceless memorabilia from music legends of the 50s. Other popular Memphis attractions include: Memphis Rock ‘n Soul Museum (on Beale Street), Memphis Zoo, Mud Island River Park, National Civil Rights Museum (at the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated in 1968), Stax Museum of American Soul Music, and The Peabody Memphis Hotel (don’t miss seeing the adorable Duck March – where the ducks visit the hotel’s lobby fountain daily from 11am-5pm). Your kids will love it!
No trip to Memphis would be complete without visiting Graceland – the mansion where Elvis Presley lived, loved…and ultimately died. The historic home of the King of Rock ‘n Roll is the city’s top tourist attraction – every year, over 800,000 people pass through its doors. It is the second most-visited home in the U.S. (the first is The White House). Graceland is situated approximately 8 miles south of downtown Memphis. What surprised us most about our visit to Graceland was its location – it is right off a main street, ” Elvis Presley Boulevard.” We expected it to be in a much more secluded area – then again, it probably was more secluded during the time Elvis moved in. He bought the home in 1957 for $103,000 after the release of “Heartbreak Hotel.”
National Historic Landmark
Graceland was first opened to the public in June 1982 and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1991. It became a National Historic Landmark on March 27, 2006. Plan on spending at least one full day at Graceland, although if your time is limited, you could probably see everything in 3-4 hours. There’s a lot to see and it’s more fun when you can really take your time and not rush. Be sure to visit the Meditation Garden at Graceland, where Elvis and his family members have been laid to rest.
Tour the rooms at Graceland and see Elvis’ memorabilia from his movies, old photos and artifacts, signature jumpsuits (he wore a stunning white sequined jumpsuit when we watched him perform in Dallas), his impressive collection of gold and platinum records, his favorite automobiles (we love his Pink Cadillac) – and take a peak aboard his luxurious Lisa Marie airplane. Visit Gladys’ Diner and try Elvis’ favorite – a Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich.
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The Best Time To Visit Memphis & Graceland
The best time to visit Memphis is during the Spring (April-May) and late Fall/early Winter (October-November) when temperatures are mild and there’s less humidity.
Special times to visit Graceland are in January (Elvis’ Birthday Celebration), August (Elvis Week to commemorate the anniversary of his death) and December (to see the Christmas lights and decorations).