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  • Writer's pictureEsther Mehesz

Exploring Memphis: the Legendary Home of Elvis Presley

Graceland, Elvis, Memphis Tennessee
Welcome to Graceland! Home of Elvis.

Hey there friend!

We just made it to our next stop on our road trip adventure – Memphis, Tennessee! And let me tell you, Memphis is famous for being the land of none other than the King himself – Elvis Presley! Here's a little recap of the time in Memphis.

Graceland and Elvis Museum

So, we arrived at the Elvis Museum in the early afternoon, around 1:30 or 2 pm. And boy, were we glad we gave ourselves plenty of time because this place is massive! I mean, seriously, it's huge! They've got different ticket options, and we didn't go all out but whichever option included the tour of Graceland (Elvis' home) and then the exhibitions about Elvis. Might as well even call it a shrine of Elvis. Anywhere you turned it was Elvis. And guess what? January 8th, our lucky day, also happened to be Elvis' birthday! He would have been 89 years old. Can you believe the coincidence? I'd like to call that my luck of planning right there!

Elvis burial at the Graceland mention in Memphis.
Elvis is buried right there at the Graceland mansion.

One thing that's great about the experience is that whether you are an Elvis fanatic and know everything about him or just listen to a couple of his old songs, it's interesting to all levels of Elvis fans. It still blows my mind that that is the mansion that he grew up in and those were his artifacts. The pictures speak for themselves. He had an eclectic style of one room having over 400 yards of fabric, something I had never seen anywhere before!

Elvis Graceland mansion room with 400 yards of fabric
Graceland mansion room with 400 yards of fabric

And then how can you not love the Pink Cadillac? Pink Cadillac and Elvis are the most iconic symbols. Symbolizing his early career and the birth of rock n roll.

Elvis Pink Cadillac
The Pink Cadillac

Let me be honest with you - the Graceland mansion and museum were fantastic, but it was a bit overwhelming. They threw in everything AND the kitchen sink when it came to showcasing Elvis' life. And don't get me wrong, that's awesome, but it felt like a never-ending sea of Elvis-related stuff (and he's an icon, for sure). So, just be prepared for an absolute overload of all things Elvis!

One more thing – make sure to give yourself plenty of time when you visit. Trust me, you can easily lose track of time wandering through this museum. Plan for at least 3-4 hours to soak in all the Elvis goodness and maximize your time there.

Another thing - take the time to go visit Sun Studio as well if you're headed to downtown Memphis as Elvis recorded at least 24 songs at Sun Studio in Memphis between 1953 and 1955. Sun Studion still stands today on the corner of a street. So small on the outside, but a legendary place.

Sun Studio in downtown Memphis
Sun Studio in downtown Memphis

So, there you have it – the Elvis Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. It was a jam-packed experience, to say the least, but seeing the legendary King's home and exploring the museum was worth it. Just be prepared for an avalanche of Elvis memorabilia and keep in mind the price tag (granted, experiencing a piece of music history like this is pretty priceless). Oh, and give yourself loads of time to fully immerse yourself in all things Elvis!

As we finished up the Elvis Museum, we skipped exploring downtown Memphis and headed straight to the next hotel on our list as it started pouring. Saved the downtown explorations for the following morning (it was actually the first time there was less than ideal weather on the road trip so I like to think the weather Gods were with us up until then)!

Maybe the weather was a reflection on the hotel, as to be honest, the hotel in question wasn't the best - cleanliness and room conditions were below par. But hey, it still managed to fit the criteria, so didn't dwell on that but also didn't hit the mark for the top contender. Nonetheless, still using the Hilton Honors app to keep at those bookings.

Downtown Memphis Morning Adventures

Bright and early the next morning, we ventured into downtown Memphis, particularly Beale Street. Now, let me tell you, it was a bit of a shocker. The place was practically a ghost town in the morning, with an eerie quietness enveloping the streets. I could almost imagine the lively and vibrant atmosphere it would transform into during the evenings! So, if nightlife is your thing, make sure to schedule your visit accordingly to experience that of Beale Street.

Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee
Beale Street in Memphis

All in all, despite the rain and our less-than-ideal hotel experience, exploring the Elvis Museum and witnessing the tranquil morning vibes of downtown Memphis was a unique and exciting experience. Remember, if you decide to visit Beale Street, don't be discouraged by its morning ghost town demeanor.

Beale Street in Memphis
Beale Street

Until next time, and the next stop on the road trip is someplace that I was supposed to go to back in 2001 right after 9/11 (but of course we canceled since we weren't about to travel at that time just a few weeks later), but now 23 years later I finally make it to this much-anticipated location!

Travel Reminder:

While the hotel mentioned may not have met my cleanliness standards, it's important to remember that experiences may vary. I encourage you to do your research and read reviews when making your travel arrangements. But, the kindness of the employees made up for the status of the hotel. When it is a quick one-night stay and at the most 12 hours, it's not a fortune that you're looking to spend but the bare necessities to make you feel refreshed and ready to get going - but it's still important so that it doesn't put a damper on your overall trip.

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