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The Best Options & What to Expect

When Elvis Presley was just 22 years old, he purchased Graceland – a 10,266-square-foot mansion that occupied a nearly 14-acre property in Memphis, Tennessee. After the singer’s death in 1977, the executors of his estate found that the mansion’s exorbitant operating costs proved difficult to maintain, so they decided to open Graceland for tours in 1982. Since then, more than 20 million people from around the world have visited the mansion – which now spans 17,552 square feet – and its surrounding Elvis-themed museums and shops. Read on to plan your Graceland visit.

Graceland is a 120-acre institution dedicated to the life and music of Elvis Presley. The main draw is the mansion, but there’s more to see than Elvis’ former abode. Visitors can stop by Elvis Presley’s Memphis, a 200,000-square-foot museum and entertainment complex. This building houses the Presley Motors Automobile Museum and a series of exhibits, such as “Elvis: Dressed to Rock,” which features Elvis’ performance outfits from 1969 to 1977.

The Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum, which displays the entertainer’s gold and platinum records, his famous jumpsuits and movie memorabilia, can also be found here. Tourists will also have access to 10 interactive exhibits and games. Located throughout the complex, the interactive features include quizzes, a simulated golf cart ride and photo booths that put travelers on Elvis’ movie posters and album covers. Finally, the complex houses two restaurants, a coffee shop, an ice cream parlor and a soundstage where tourists can watch Elvis’ movies and attend live music performances.

After you learn all about the King, check out the Graceland Exhibition Center. This 80,000-square-foot venue features a variety of rotating museum exhibits, covering a variety of subjects, including motorcycles, Muhammad Ali and Van Gogh. The complex also boasts a food court, a bar and a separate, rentable event space.

No, you cannot visit Graceland without a tour. To access the site, you must purchase one of its ticket packages.

The cost per person varies depending on which tour experience you choose. Ticket packages that include access to the Graceland mansion start at $82 for adults and $46.50 for kids ages 5 to 10. Tickets can cost as much as $240 per person ages 2 and older for the “VIP” experiences, which offer access to exclusive areas, special keepsakes, meal vouchers and more.

Andrea Zucker| Courtesy of Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

There are multiple tour options for visiting Graceland.

  • Elvis Presley’s Memphis + Planes Tour: This is the basic tour option. It grants visitors access to Elvis Presley’s Memphis Entertainment Complex and the Elvis’ Custom Jets exhibit, but does not include access to the mansion. Tickets for this tour start at $49.75 for adults, with discounts for children.
  • Elvis Experience Tour: Tickets for this tour, which start at $82 per adult, include everything in the above tour, plus access to the mansion complete with an audio tour.
  • Elvis Entourage VIP: The Elvis Entourage VIP tour includes everything in both the other tour options, plus skip-the-line access to the mansion, a VIP shuttle to the mansion, access to a special exhibit, and a keepsake pass. Tickets start at $139 per person ages 5 and older.
  • Ultimate VIP Tour: The Ultimate VIP Tour includes everything in the Elvis Entourage VIP, plus a guided tour of the mansion with an experienced guide, access to a VIP lounge, a meal voucher to an on-site restaurant, an archives show and tell, the chance to buy exclusive souvenirs and a photo-op. Tickets for this experience start at $202 per person; children 2 and younger tour for free.
  • Inside the Graceland Archives UVIP Tour: If you’re interested in the work done by the Graceland Archives Team, consider this tour, which includes everything in the Ultimate VIP Tour, in addition to a behind-the-scenes look at how the performer’s most iconic costumes are cared for and preserved, how his more than 90,000 photos are cataloged and prepped for touring exhibitions, and more. Tickets for this package start at $217 per person; children 2 and younger tour for free.

The mansion tour will take about 90 minutes to complete. Those who decide to tour the rest of Graceland’s offerings should budget at least 3.5 hours to explore.

Which Graceland experience you choose largely depends on your fascination with the King. Graceland visitors mention that even non-Elvis fans will enjoy the tour and the up-close look at the entertainer’s famous lifestyle. Visitors also appreciate the audio tour narrated by John Stamos. They recommend upgrading your tour to one of the VIP options, saying it is well worth the additional cost.

Graceland is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. (depending on the day of the week and time of year). It closes or has abbreviated hours on holidays. The last mansion tour begins at 4 or 5 p.m., depending on the day and time of year.

The best time to visit Graceland depends on what kind of experience you want. Travelers should check out Graceland’s events calendar as the complex and its hotel, the Guest House at Graceland, host numerous weekend events, concerts and day trips to Elvis’ hometown throughout the year. Visitors in the mood for a festive atmosphere will want to book a trip in late November, December or early January to see the estate’s holiday lights display and decorations.

Yes, you can stay overnight at Graceland. The Guest House at Graceland sits within steps of the mansion and features 450 rooms with designs inspired by Graceland, as well as two restaurants, an outdoor pool and a 464-seat theater for movies and performances, among other amenities.

Andrea Zucker|Courtesy of Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau

  • Visit the mansion after 2 p.m. to enjoy fewer crowds and shorter wait times, as this is the slowest time of day. (Multiple travelers note long wait times when arriving before this time). Check Graceland’s website for exact opening times; there are certain days and holidays where hours vary.
  • You’re welcome to bring cameras, but flash photography is not permitted.
  • Video cameras cannot be brought into the mansion, attractions or gift shops.
  • Note that two rooms in the basement of the mansion and the airplanes are not wheelchair accessible.
  • Bring a permanent marker to sign the famous Graceland wall before you leave.

Yes. You’ll find options for tours from Nashville (and more) below:

  • Gray Line Tennessee: Nashville to Memphis with Skip-The-Line Graceland VIP Tour & Sun Studio. View & Book Tickets: Viator | GetYourGuide 
  • Graceland: Elvis Presley’s Childhood Home with Lunch & Transportation from Memphis. View & Book Tickets: Viator | GetYourGuide 
  • Memphis Best Tours: Memphis City Tour with Admission to One Memphis Attraction. Viator
  • Blues City Tours: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour. GetYourGuide

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Bernard Greenhall
Bernard Greenhall

Bernard is a sports and physical education expert with years of experience. He's passionate about promoting health and wellness through physical activity, and he's worked with athletes and non-athletes alike to help them achieve their fitness goals. Bernard holds a degree in Physical Education and is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and research in his field.

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