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Top 5 Elvis Presley homes to visit

Entrance to Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion, Memphis, TN
Entrance to Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion, Memphis, TN
Getty Images

The legend of Elvis Presley extends not only to his amazing career but also to all the houses he lived in during his 42 years. All five of the following homes lived in by Presley have been made accessible to the public as tourist destinations including Elvis' birthplace in Tupelo, MS; Elvis' family apartment at Lauderdale Courts in Memphis, TN; Elvis' home for all of his adult life at the Graceland mansion on Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis, TN; Elvis and Priscilla Presley's honeymoon home in Palm Springs, CA; and Elvis' penthouse he lived in at the Hilton hotel in Las Vegas, NV.

Of course, there are still a few more of Elvis' homes that aren't available to the public including Elvis' first home on Audobon drive in Memphis, TN; Elvis' vacation home on Chino Canyon Road in Palm Springs, CA; and Elvis' Beverly Hills home in Hollywood.

So, if you want to feel what it was like before and after Elvis Presley became The King of Rock 'n' Roll, check out these famous Elvis Presley homes.

Elvis Presley's birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi
Elvis Presley's birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi Getty Images

Elvis Presley's birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi

Just 90 minutes from Graceland and Memphis is the birthplace of Elvis Presley in Tupelo, Mississippi. The original two-room shack where Elvis Presley was born has been preserved and restored, and is now a museum where fans can come and walk through the two room house.

Taking a cue from Graceland, the restored shack is just one part of the attraction at the Elvis Presley Birthplace complex at 306 Elvis Presley Drive in Tupelo, Mississippi. The original house was designated a state historical site back in 1978, and since then the Elvis Presley Memorial Chapel was built on the grounds in 1979, and an Elvis Presley Museum was added in 1992.

Official website: http://www.elvispresleybirthplace.com/

Elvis' family apartment at Lauderdale Courts in Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis' family apartment at Lauderdale Courts in Memphis, Tennessee Getty Images

Elvis' family apartment at Lauderdale Courts in Memphis, Tennessee

Not only can you visit the 689 square-foot, two-bedroom apartment where Elvis Presley lived during his high school years, but you can also stay there! Elvis Presley and his parents, Gladys and Vernon, moved to 185 Winchester Avenue in Lauderdale Courts in September 1949 shortly after leaving Tupelo and lived here until January 1953.

You can stay in Apartment 328, the same apartment where Elvis lived, anytime during the year except Elvis Week in August. That's the only time when public tours of the apartment are available.

Official website: http://www.lauderdalecourts.com/home.htm

 

Elvis Presley's home at the Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley's home at the Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee Getty Images

Elvis Presley's home at the Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee

When Elvis Presley became too popular to live in a regular home, like the one on Audobon Drive, he chose to move to a 13.8 acre-estate in the Whitehaven area of Memphis. At the age of 22, Elvis purchased the estate for $102,500. The estate was named 'Graceland' by its previous owners.

Elvis along with his parents moved into Graceland in 1957. The 18-room house had been built in 1939 in a Georgian colonial revival style. One of the first renovations Elvis made to the house was to build a limestone fence around the property in order to keep the fans and press at bay. The famous Graceland gates with the musical decoration were also installed.

Graceland was Elvis' main home for 20 years until his death in 1977. Priscilla Presley opened Graceland to the public on June 7, 1982. And now, over 30 years later, Graceland is one of the most visited private homes in the United States. Graceland receives 600,000 visitors each year, compared to The White House and The Biltmore Estate which both receive approximately 900,000 visitors per year.

Graceland is now recognized as the first National Historic Landmark to be named a Corporate Certified Arboretum. Also, the Graceland stables where Elvis kept his horses are open to the public only during Elvis Week in August.

More information and photos are available in my Graceland series including the Meditation Garden, the trophy room and the permanent Elvis exhibit.

Official website: http://www.elvis.com/graceland/default.aspx

Elvis and Priscilla Presley's honeymoon home in Palm Springs, California
Elvis and Priscilla Presley's honeymoon home in Palm Springs, California Getty Images

Elvis and Priscilla Presley's honeymoon home in Palm Springs, California

The house at 1350 Ladera Circle in Palm Springs is known as Elvis' Honeymoon house. In September 1966, Elvis leased the house for one year for $21,000. This rental was suggested by Colonel Parker who also had a house nearby in Palm Springs.

Elvis and Priscilla spent their honeymoon night here on May 1, 1967. Originally, the couple had planned to get married at the house outside by the pool, but had to change their plans once it got leaked to the press. Instead, Elvis and Priscilla flew to Las Vegas the morning of May 1 and got married at the Aladdin Hotel. After a small reception, the couple flew back to Palm Springs to spend their honeymoon night.

Apart from their honeymoon, it is not known how many nights Elvis and Priscilla spent here during the year the house was rented. A few years later, Elvis purchased his own home in Palm Springs on Chino Canyon Road and spent a great amount of time there after his divorce from Priscilla.

The Honeymoon house is also recognized for its architectural value as an example of mid-century modernism. Tours of the Honeymoon house are available daily.

Official website: http://www.elvishoneymoon.com/

Elvis' penthouse at the Las Vegas Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada
Elvis' penthouse at the Las Vegas Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada Trina Yannicos

Elvis' penthouse at the Las Vegas Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada

Presley first performed at the International Hotel (which became the Hilton in 1971) in Las Vegas in 1969, to sold-out crowds in the intimate 2,000 seat theater, and kept breaking attendance records in subsequent years as up to 4,100 ticketholders were squeezed into the Showroom including standing room only patrons. Elvis would perform two months each year for the next seven years performing over 800 sold-out shows. He became the biggest draw in Vegas at the time, with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin ranking a distant second behind him.

Part of Elvis' performance agreement at the Hilton included a private 5,000 square foot penthouse suite on the 30th floor of the hotel. In addition to the living quarters, a party room called the "Crown Room" was built across the hall where Elvis played pinball and entertained friends. The original "Elvis Suite" was converted into the Sky Villas in 1994 which now include a pool and many extra rooms.

In recent years, tours have been given of Elvis' former penthouse at the former Hilton (renamed Las Vegas Hotel and Casino in 2012) during the Elvis fan festival held in Las Vegas in July. As part of the festivities, fans were treated to a personal tour of the hotel by Elvis Presley's personal bodyguard and friend, Joe Esposito, which included the Showroom onstage, backstage and Elvis' private penthouse suite.

Presley's success in Vegas will forever be linked with the Las Vegas Hilton, and in September 1978, a life-size statue of Elvis was unveiled at the hotel by Barron Hilton with Priscilla Presley and Vernon Presley in attendance.

http://www.lasvegaselvisfestival.com/

http://www.thelvh.com/