Going to Graceland? You might be surprised by what you find there
Elvis fans now have more to love at his Memphis, Tennessee, estate, Graceland. On 2 March, Elvis’ ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, cut the ribbon to officially open Elvis Presley’s Graceland, a sprawling, 200,000-square-foot museum and hospitality complex across the street from the Presley mansion.
The expansion, which Graceland Holdings managing partner Joel Weinshanker describes as ‘the beginning of a new era’ for the property, means that an estimated 25% of the 1.5-million item archive at Graceland is on display for visitors–up from a previous 10%. Both Weinshanker and Priscilla Presley believe that sharing more is what Elvis would have wanted. ‘[Elvis] loved to share the things he was able to accomplish in his lifetime,’ said Presley.
Highlights include the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum, which lets fans get up close and personal with The King’s cars and motorcycles (not to mention Gladys the ski boat, named for his mother); and Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum, which puts visitors in Elvis’ shoes for a walk through his work in film and music as well as his many world tours. The complex contains two restaurants, named for Elvis’ parents, Gladys and Vernon. And of course, there is plenty of retail space offering just about any sort of Elvis swag your heart desires.
Elvis Presley’s Graceland is the latest in tourism-related improvements to the Whitehaven area of Memphis, following the opening of Guest House Graceland in late 2016. The complex is the largest addition to Graceland since the house was opened to tourists in 1982.
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