Graceland: Is it Worth the Time and Money?

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Feb 2nd, 2010, 09:39 AM
  #1
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Graceland: Is it Worth the Time and Money?

While we are in Memphis for two nights and one full day, is it worth our time and money ($34 each) to tour Graceland, or is it enough to drive out there and look at the home from the outside?

We like Elvis, but we aren't huge fans.
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Feb 2nd, 2010, 10:00 AM
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I thought the tour of his house was interesting but the rest of the tours are a total ripoff. They try to convince you to buy tours to the other museums when you purchase the Graceland tour. The only other one which was even slightly interesting was the car museum (and his 737 jet was kinda interesting).

The National Civil Rights Museum is far more worthwhile than Graceland.
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Feb 2nd, 2010, 11:26 AM
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we went to go see this for my mother in law who's a fan (me, not so much). i found graceland to be interesting but the rest of the other tours - not so much.
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Feb 2nd, 2010, 11:37 AM
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Could somebody elaborate, i.e. WHAT is interesting about Graceland? Is it the house itself? The furnishings? The memorabilia? Just the fact that Elvis lived there?
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Feb 2nd, 2010, 11:49 AM
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All the above. It's a kitschy paradise, circa 1977. Kept almost exactly as it was when he lived there.

I spent most of a day at Graceland and loved every minute of it, but I like Elvis. I also enjoyed the cars and the brief look at his plane.
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Feb 2nd, 2010, 11:55 AM
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Not if you ask me, no, but then I don't even really like Elvis's music. I got free tickets once and that's the only reason I went. Parts of it were mildly interesting but I wouldn't pay $34 for it. I actually wouldn't even drive out there. However, that's just my opinion. Clearly others disagree or it wouldn't still be there.

I agree completely that the Civil Rights Museum is great. I'd spend part of your day doing that.
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Feb 2nd, 2010, 12:17 PM
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To some people, yes.
To some people, it's a pilgrimage.
To some people, no.

I enjoyed it more than I expected.

Hard to tell if it will be "worth it" to someone else.
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Feb 2nd, 2010, 12:28 PM
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I'm not a huge Elvis fan but I enjoyed Graceland and the cars/plane. If I had to choose, though, I would 100% definitely see the civil rights museum over Graceland.
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Feb 2nd, 2010, 01:06 PM
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Gracelands was quite a surprise for me as I expected it to be quite impersonal and bigger than it is. The house is beautiful and I felt it had retained its family feel. I actually felt as if I was intruding into a personal space. I am a great admirer of Elvis and this visit was well worth it, and I had travelled from the UK to see it. I didn't enjoy Memphis as much I thought.
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Feb 2nd, 2010, 02:06 PM
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Hi HTTY, your posts have helped me a lot in the past, so here's my opinion-YES! Of course, I'm a child of the fifties but, hey, it's Elvis and that part of Americana. Definitely go to the Civil Rights Museum but in Memphis, gotta hear some blues, see the ducks, eat some 'que, and go to Graceland. Just filled your two days for you Have fun!
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Feb 2nd, 2010, 03:46 PM
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While I like and respect Elvis's work, I'm not a fanatic -- and I very much enjoyed visiting Graceland. The mansion tour and seeing the planes and car museum would be the most essential part. If you have a car, am thinking you'd have enough time to see both Graceland and the National Civil Rights Museum in one full day. Both attractions are well worth it.
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Feb 2nd, 2010, 03:54 PM
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Texasjo, Thank you for your enthusiastic YES, and I'm delighted to know I have posted tips of use to you.

Coldplay, I was taken by your comment that you felt the house had retained a "family feel"--that appeals to me.

You have all been a big help. Since I have never been to Memphis before, and I will not likely go again, I am looking forward to visiting Graceland as so many have before me.

HTTY
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Feb 2nd, 2010, 05:27 PM
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In fact, I'll go one better and suggest places to eat with the itinerary recommended above. Feel free to use, amend, or discard as you like, of course.

--first evening: have some BBQ for dinner. Would recommend Neely's (on Jefferson) -- dry rub ribs and sides of beans, slaw, and bbq spaghetti. Then head to Beale Street to poke in and out of music clubs.

--full day: breakfast at your hotel. Head first to Graceland, tour the mansion, planes, and auto museum (you can easily spend 2-3 hours here). Drive back downtown, have lunch at Gus's Fried Chicken -- fried chicken, sides, maybe a piece of chess pie. Drive the couple short blocks to National Civil Rights Museum, where you could easily spend 3 hours. Drive the short distance to the Peabody Hotel, see the Peabody Ducks make their exit from fountain to elevator at 5 PM. Dinner at another BBQ spot -- BBQ Shop on Madison is good -- maybe a fried smoked bologna appetizer, ribs (theirs are done with a rub and glaze), with beans, slaw, and bbq spaghetti sides. Maybe consider Rendezvous for dry rub ribs and sides instead (they were closed for vacation when I was in Memphis).

Re just driving by to see Graceland -- note that this approach wouldn't produce much fruit, as the house is not that visible from the road on a drive-by, set back in a ways and behind a fence.
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Feb 2nd, 2010, 05:38 PM
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I give Graceland and other tours a Yes, and I am not a big Elvis Fan. We did all of the tours(whatever the most expesive package was) there and spent the better part of the day there. our Favorite place to eat in Memphis is Blues City Cafe, although you can't go wrong with the other recommendations above. I didn't see Rendevouz mentioned, my wife really likes their ribs. The Peabody has a marvelous but pricey Brunch. It's a shame that you are only there for a day. I don't really find that much to do in Memphis, but there is a lot of good food. We always try to stop when we are driving through.
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Feb 2nd, 2010, 08:08 PM
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Wish I could have tried Rendezvous, but unfortunately both this place and the two outposts of Payne's were on vacation when I was in town -- can't comment on them.

Did try ribs and sides at Blues City Cafe, and my guess is that if you only want to have BBQ someplace right on Beale Street, this will be your best bet. What I found here was that unlike everyplace else I tried ribs in Memphis, theirs were of the "meat falling off the bone" variety -- maybe this isn't actually unusual in Memphis, but I found it to be the case. Food was indeed quite good there, though it wouldn't necessarily be my first place to go back for BBQ if I return to town.
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Feb 3rd, 2010, 04:04 AM
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We aren't Elvis fans but did take a tour of Graceland while in Memphis and throughly enjoyed our visit.
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Feb 3rd, 2010, 04:33 AM
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The seafood au gratin is my favorite at Blues City. The ribs are good, but they have a lot of other good food there. We are going to try Gus Famous Chicken on our next stop there in a month.
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Feb 3rd, 2010, 09:00 AM
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Not a huge Elvis fan here either, but I can't imagine going to Memphis and not seeing it. We went last spring and it is a fascinating place if you have even a passing interest in American pop culture, which I do.
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Feb 3rd, 2010, 09:36 AM
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Not the biggest Elvis fan, but I also really enjoyed Graceland and as others have mentioned, there is no "see it from the road" option really. In fact, I still have the photo from Graceland on my fridge. So Americana! I couldn't resist. Far as ribs, I'm a huge Rendevous fan.
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Feb 3rd, 2010, 09:44 AM
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Thanks for all these suggestions.

JEStraveler, I also saw Rendevous showcased on TV's "101 Tastiest Places to Chowdown" last night. I'll check it out.
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