CELEBRATE ELVIS’ BIRTHDAY AT GRACELAND

When you talk to folks who’ve visited Graceland, you hear one thing on repeat: this is where you get to know Elvis as a person. The legend lives here too, in studded jumpsuits, gold record after gold record, custom jets, a bubblegum pink Cadillac and the chartreuse shag carpet of the Jungle Room. But being inside Presley’s home gives an everyday look at the man behind the legend. Portraits of his parents still hang on the walls. The grounds ramble on where Lisa Marie used to play. The Music Room looks just as it did when friends dropped in to share songs. You learn that Elvis earned his three GRAMMYs not in the genre he rocked, but in gospel, the genre he loved best. 

Celebrate Elvis’ birthday on the grounds of Graceland Jan. 5-8, 2018. You can find full details here but in short, it’s a flurry of DJ dance parties, guest speakers (including one of Elvis’ Army buddies and a former girlfriend), show-and-tell presentations from the Graceland archives, concerts and tours of the mansion still decorated for the holidays. Some events are ticketed while others are free, so you can celebrate on any budget. Just plan ahead in case you need to purchase advance tickets. One sure thing: Saturday night’s concert at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Memphis, when singer Terry Mike Jeffrey, backed by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, will draw on original charts from the Graceland archives to salute Elvis’ music (tickets required). Best bets on a budget: Monday’s birthday cake cutting and proclamation of Elvis Presley Day by local officials, when you can enjoy a slice of birthday cake with coffee for free. And: free walk-ups to the Meditation Garden, where Elvis rests with family members and fans place flowers, letters and other memorials on the regular. (Free 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m. daily and 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. January 5, 6 and 8.)

You won't want to miss celebrating Elvis' birthday with fans from around the world.

Graceland for beginners

If you’re new to Graceland, you should know that different tour options are available depending on how much you want to see and spend. You can tour the mansion only, or add on a visit to Elvis Presley’s Memphis Entertainment Complex across the street, which includes the Presley Motors Automobile Museum, Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum and additional exhibits on Elvis’ fashion, legacy and more. Can’t get enough? Book a stay at the onsite Guest House at Graceland, inspired by Elvis’ home and featuring specialty suites designed under Priscilla Presley’s supervision.