Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi. His twin brother died in childbirth. Elvis lived with his parents in a small shotgun home until 1949 when the family moved to Memphis.
It was here that he went to see blues musicians on Beale Street, forever influencing his sound. In 1953, he visited Sun Studio and later recorded his first of many songs there.
It wasn’t long before he signed his first contract and began touring, including his first performance at the Grand Ole Opry. His television appearances widened his appeal and caused pandemonium with fans, especially female fans.
In the 1950s, Elvis began appearing in films and purchased his home, Graceland. In 1958, he was drafted into military service and stationed in Germany, where he met Priscilla Beaulieu, who would become his wife. They had one daughter, Lisa Marie.
By 1972, the pair divorced but still remained close. Elvis Presley died in 1977. His legacy continues to this day, with five inductions into music halls of fame and countless awards.
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Elvis Landmarks in Mississippi
Elvis Presley Birth Home, Tupelo
Start your Elvis journey where it all began at the Elvis Presley Birthplace. Visit the small town to see the two-room house where he spent his early years before the family moved to Memphis. You’ll see the inside decorated in much of the same way it was back then, thanks in part to father Vernon’s restoration efforts.
Also on site is a museum and a humble church that once sat a few blocks away when the family lived here. Visiting during Tupelo Elvis Festival is a unique experience, as you’ll see tribute artists perform here.
You can also visit the King’s booth at Johnnie’s Drive-In and see where he bought his first guitar at Tupelo Hardware. Both are a short drive away. You can drive yourself or book the Elvis Presley Birthplace Park in Tupelo with Transport from Memphis.
Circle G Ranch, Horn Lake
While not quite an attraction like the previously listed landmarks, this Memphis-area property was where Elvis and Priscilla Presley spent their three-week honeymoon after getting married in 1967 in Las Vegas . Circle G Ranch, in suburban Horn Lake near Hernando, boasts over 200 acres of property.
Here, Elvis had the honeymoon cottage, pictured, along with stables and a lake and spent time with his closest family and friends. It’s currently under development to become a mixed-use facility for events but has not announced an opening date.
Elvis Landmarks in Tennessee
Lauderdale Courts, Memphis
After leaving Tupelo, the Presley family lived at Lauderdale Courts, an apartment complex now called Uptown Square, from 1949 to 1953. A teenaged Elvis kept to himself, playing his guitar in his room in apartment #328.
He learned from fellow musicians who lived at “The Courts” and from those playing on nearby Beale Street. They moved a few years later and the building fell into disrepair. Fans saved it from being demolished in the 1990s and it has become a sought-after place to live.
Sun Studio, Memphis
It was while living back in Memphis in 1953 that an eighteen-year-old Elvis showed up to Sam Phillips’ Sun Studios to record a song for his mother. Receptionist Marion Keisker recognized his talent and passed on his record to Phillips, who wasn’t originally interested.
It wasn’t until he heard a cover of a blues song that he recognized Presley’s talent. He went on to sign him and Presley jammed with what was nicknamed the “Million Dollar Quartet”: Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. Some of music’s biggest hits came from the recording studio, which can be visited on the Sun Studio Guided Tour.
Perhaps the most well-known place associated with Elvis, his home, which he called Graceland, has the most memorabilia and information on the late singer. The complex contains multiple buildings, each focusing on a different aspect of his life.
Inside the home, you’ll see the unique decorations he was known for, especially in the appropriately named “Jungle Room.” The garage features recording information and outer buildings showcase his famous cars and airplanes.
For an even bigger fan experience, visit during Elvis Week and come by for the Candlelight Vigil, where you can pay your respects. Book your Elvis Presley’s Graceland Tour before you get to Memphis.
Additional Elvis Memphis Landmarks
1034 Audubon Drive– Elvis and his parents lived at this ranch house in Memphis from March 1956 to March 1957 when they moved to Graceland, swapping homes with its owner. It is a private home but features a historical plaque. It’s one of many homes they lived in during their years in Memphis.
Arcade Restaurant– Elvis reportedly hung out at this restaurant that dates back to 1919 and ordered his favorite peanut butter and banana sandwich. You can even sit in his booth.
Hernando’s Hide-A-Way– The recently reopened venue was once the stomping grounds of Elvis and his pals Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. Here you can chow down on a burger before catching a local band.
Humes High School– This 1930s high school was attended by Elvis Presley. He also went to prom here. It’s still a functioning school but you can see the outside.
Levitt Shell– Located in Overton Park in Memphis, this open-air amphitheater was the site of Elvis’ first paid concert in 1954. It was originally constructed in 1936 as a Works Progress Administration project.
The Peabody Hotel– The elegant Memphis hotel was the site of many important occasions in his life. He signed his contract there and was outfitted by Lansky Brothers, a clothier now located in the hotel.
Elvis Landmarks in Louisiana
Municipal Auditorium, Shreveport
If you’ve ever wondered where the phrase “Elvis has left the building” comes from, visit the northern city of Shreveport, Louisiana. Shreveport Municipal Auditorium was the site of one of Elvis’s early performances.
The Louisiana Hayride was a famous program that hosted acts like Presley, Johnny Cash, and Hank Williams at the theater. You’ll see a statue of the King outside of the venue, which still hosts musicians, comedians, and other live acts.
Looking for a place to stay on your Elvis pilgrimage? In Memphis, check into the Guest House at Graceland (review here), the Peabody Hotel, or this midcentury home Elvis financed. In Tupelo, stay at the cozy Mill Cottage or the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tupelo.