Elvis Presley tourism sites: The 10 best places to visit


Been to Graceland already? It's time to revisit the Holy Grail for Elvis fans, because they've just opened a new museum complex across the road, as well as the 450-room Graceland Guest House next door to the mansion (which looks quite modest in real life). The exhibition space, Elvis Presley's Memphis, showcases some of his cars and stage costumes and under Priscilla Presley's designer eye, the guest house uses Graceland as a retro template but takes it into the 21st century. Two suites are modelled on Elvis' bedroom, still off-limits for the public to view at Graceland.  www.graceland.com, www.memphistravel.com


If Graceland seems small in real life, wait until you see the two-room home where Elvis was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. Opt for the Grand Tour package, which also takes in his childhood church where he first became influenced by gospel music, the "Elvis at 13" statue – the age he was when he and his parents moved to Memphis – and the Elvis Presley Museum. Best though, is walking through the shotgun shack (complete with outdoor dunny) built by his father Vernon in 1934. elvispresleybirthplace.com


While Elvis never toured outside North America, for 17 months of his stint in the army, from 1958-1960, he was stationed in Ray Barracks in Friedberg and lived in nearby Bad Nauheim, 30 kilometres from Frankfurt. Private Presley first commandeered a floor at Hotel Grunewald, which still stands, but then moved to a private residence at No.14 Goethestrasse. Both can be viewed, as well as Elvis Presley Platz, using the free tour map from the tourist office. Every August, the Elvis European Festival takes place here, celebrating the King with music, films and a parade. https://www.bad-nauheim.com/


When given the occasional weekend leave from his duties in the army, Elvis and his buddies would head to Paris and stay in a top-floor suite at the art deco Prince De Galles Hotel, a short walk from the Champs Elysees. Come evening, they would catch the first show at the Folies Bergere and then head directly to Le Lido to see the chorus line of Bluebells girls perform. One night Elvis got up on stage to sing, said to be his only performance on European soil. http://www.princedegallesparis.com, http://www.lido.fr/en.html


Years spent filming average contractual movies instead of performing during the 1960s meant Elvis needed a base in Los Angeles. While filming at Paramount Studios, he and his posse lived it up over two floors of the Beverly Wilshire. They were eventually thrown out for bad behaviour (parties, water pistol fights, noise) so rented a house nearby. During his temporary separation from wife Yoko Ono, John Lennon is said to have stayed at the Beverly Wilshire knowing Elvis had lived there. http://www.fourseasons.com/beverlywilshire/


Vegas was always a regular haunt for Presley, from escaping for a good time to the Sahara Hotel in the '60s, to the endless jumpsuited International Hotel showroom concerts in the '70s. The first two hotels have since been replaced, and the latter is now known as the Westgate Hotel, with the only reminder being a statue of the King in the lobby. While in real life Elvis married Priscilla at the Aladdin Hotel (since imploded, now Planet Hollywood), on screen in Viva Las Vegas he married Ann-Margret at the Little Church of the West, which is still operating, with lookalike Elvii available to perform nuptials. https://www.vegas.com/elvis/


Elvis whisked new bride Priscilla from Vegas to Palm Springs in Frank Sinatra's private jet and stayed in this house for their first night of wedded bliss. Known as the "House of Tomorrow", it was designed by prolific modernist architect William Krisel and built in 1962. You can tour the house, sit on the giant curved banquette sofa, and even peek at the marital bed. They like to remind visitors to the boudoir that nine months to the day after the wedding night, daughter Lisa Marie was born. http://www.elvishoneymoon.com


The King recorded more than 50 master sessions at this studio in Nashville, including Are You Lonesome Tonight? And It's Now or Never. Acquired by the Country Music Hall of Fame, you can tour the legendary studio, where Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison and the Everly Brothers also recorded hits. While in Nashville, take a tour of the Ryman Auditorium, where Elvis made his first and only appearance at the Grand Ole Opry in 1954. After his performance he was told he was better suited to his day job at the time, truck driving.

 http://studiob.org, https://www.opry.com



The state of Hawaii always held a special place in Elvis' heart. He filmed three movies and often holidayed here. He also recorded a live special in Honolulu, beamed to 1.5 billion people, in 1973. These days, the venue for Aloha from Hawaii, the Blaisdell Centre, features a bronze statue of the King, resplendent with freshly draped leis from fans. Need more Elvis in Hawaii sites? Head over to Kauai and gander over the fence at the Coco Palms, the filming location for Blue Hawaii. It's touted to soon be redeveloped after decades in disrepair caused by Hurricane Iniki. gohawaii.com/au/


When Elvis stepped into Sam Philips' Sun Studio back in 1953 to cut a record as a present for his mother, assistant Marion Keisker immediately saw potential. The boy had something. This is where it all happened. An X marks the spot where he stood to record That's All Right in 1954, the song that started his career. The studio is a museum, with regular tours run by local musicians. They'll take you through the history and equipment where the King, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins recorded. sunstudio.com

Andrea Black travelled at her own expense.