Must See Places for the Serious Elvis Presley Fans

When Elvis Presley burst through radio stations and television sets in the 1950s, he didn’t just show up out of nowhere. He came from Memphis, and this list documents the places he frequented. How many have you visited?

Juke Joint Beale Street / Oneika Raymond

1. Beale Street

A young Elvis was influenced by the sounds of Beale Street and spent time with musicians who gathered there. Float in and out of the street’s clubs for live music, then see how quickly you can spot Elvis’ brass note on the walk of fame and photo-ready statue.

Lauderdale Courts Memphis

2. Lauderdale Courts

Between 1949 and 1953, Elvis lived at this housing project with his parents. He’s said to have practiced guitar in the laundry room. Tour or even stay overnight in The Elvis Suite, restored to reflect the period during which the Presleys lived onsite. 

3. Sun Studio

This is the studio Elvis walked into when he was ready to record. Listen to early cuts, hold his mic and hear the whole story of how revolutionary producer Sam Phillips launched the first rock ‘n’ roll song — and the careers of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and others — from the humble studio.

Live Music at Levitt Shell Memphis

4. Levitt Shell

Elvis performed at this venue, once called the Overton Park Shell, several times. His run started with a July 1954 gig to open for a show — which he immediately stole. Today, the Shell hosts 50 free concerts a year, so bring a blanket or chairs and catch contemporary artists on that legendary stage. 

Lansky Brothers  Peabody Hotel Memphis TN

5. Lansky's

Shop where Elvis shopped at this venerable Beale Street retailer. Bernard Lansky, who founded the store in 1946, honed Elvis’ look, outfitting the rising star with his signature personal and performance wear. Today, the shop carries men’s and women’s styles.

Rockabilly Rides at Sun Studio

6. Audubon Drive

After his first #1 hit, “Heartbreak Hotel” in 1956, Elvis purchased a home for his family in leafy East Memphis. The home is currently a private residence. Book a tour with Rockabilly Rides to drive by in style — these Elvis-themed tours are guided by local musicians in classic convertibles.

Motorcyclist outside gates of Graceland

7. Graceland

Elvis called Graceland mansion home from 1957 until his death in 1977. Touring it promises a one-of-a-kind look at the icon as a person: family photos, favorite instruments — even Elvis’ final resting place — are on view. Add on a visit to Elvis Presley’s Memphis across the street to view the King’s planes, automobiles, stage costumes and a brand new exhibition center that opened in Spring of 2019.

The Guesthouse at Graceland / Alex Shansky

BONUS: Guest House at Graceland

Located just a few steps from Graceland, this AAA Four-Diamond resort reflects Elvis’ signature swagger (Priscilla Presley herself oversaw design aspects). With restaurants and a new soundstage booking headlining concerts, The Guest House is becoming a destination in and of itself.

8. The Peabody Memphis

Chances are, you’re checking out this hotel anyway (something about marching ducks). As long as you’re onsite, ask for directions to the Memorabilia Room. When Elvis left Sun Records for RCA, he signed the contract in the lobby of this hotel. See the contract for yourself in the Memorabilia Room.

The Arcade Restaurant

9. The Arcade Restaurant

The retro design and hearty classics at Memphis’ oldest diner are totally delicious, but Elvis fans will want to hone in on one thing in particular: the Elvis booth, decorated with images of Memphis’ native son (and fan of The Arcade). Naturally, there’s a fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich on the menu, if you’re so inclined.  

Colettas famous pizza is fit for a king - Justin Fox Burks

10. Coletta's

The Elvis memorabilia in this well-worn Italian restaurant is worth the trip, inspired by the King’s restaurant visit and subsequent calls for take-out. You’ll be a repeat customer, too, when you taste Coletta’s specialty: barbecue pizza.  

11. Circuit Playhouse

This Midtown Memphis playhouse, one of several stages for local repertory theatre Playhouse on the Square in the Overton Square Entertainment District, was once a movie theater. Elvis was known to rent it out overnight for private screenings with friends. You can catch a play or musical here almost anytime, but annually during Elvis Week, the theater guides Elvis-themed tours.

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