Even if they have not visited, most Americans have at least seen pictures of the palatial white- columned mansion that was once called home by Elvis Presley and his family. Located on (naturally) Elvis Presley Blvd., about 12 miles from downtown Memphis, the estate known as Graceland has now officially been declared a National Historic Landmark as of 2006.
After the White House, Graceland is the second- most visited private building in the United States. The mansion itself consists of 23 rooms, which includes 8 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms. Many of the published pictures of Graceland showcase the huge Corinthian columns and large lions perched on both sides of the portico, but fewer pictures showcase the extensive modifications that were carried out to suit Elvis’ needs and tastes. Graceland grew from 10,266 feet when originally bought by Elvis in 1957 (at just 22 years old), to the 17,552 feet it is today. He protected his property with a fieldstone wall that still surrounds the grounds, which is now covered in graffiti from the millions of fans who have visited Graceland to pay homage to ‘The King.’ The estate also includes the wrought- iron music style gates, a racquetball court, recording studio, the renowned ‘jungle room’ which features an indoor waterfall, and just past the outdoor swimming pool is the Meditation Garden, where Elvis and his parents are buried.
The Heartbreak Hotel is THE place for Elvis aficionados to stay when visiting Graceland. All guest rooms are equipped with a kitchenette and a framed picture of Elvis; with prices starting at just $112.00 per night. The hotel also features themed suites, that have all been modeled after various rooms in Graceland. You can even book special packages that’ll include Graceland tour tickets, VIP access of the mansion, and much more! The Graceland visitor experience should also include climbing aboard Elvis’ two customized airplanes; Lisa Marie (with gold- plated seatbelts!) and Hound Dog II. The Elvis Presley Automobile Museum, which houses Elvis’ illustrious pink Cadillac and 6- door Mercedes- Benz Limousine, will complete a day in the life of this rock star.
Highlighted by the glow of the neon lights from across the street, Graceland’s long, winding driveway that leads to the front of the red brick steps, brings about a nostalgic feeling of something good that has passed. The iconic songs, the glamorous image and the sadness of an untimely ending can all be bought and paid for in the price of a mansion tour ticket. Sightseers from all around the globe are allowed to shuffle through Graceland every day of the year, except for Christmas, excited to see the wealth of memorabilia and whisper to one another about the famous Vegas jumpsuits displayed around the property, movie posters that are still hanging up , Elvis’ three Grammy’s, and old vinyl’s lining the walls. From his humble beginnings in Tupelo to the rise of superstardom, the man simply known as Elvis, continues to provide admirers a fantastic glimpse into his life- at Graceland.
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