going to graceland

Well, I’m about to set out on a pilgrimage to Graceland, the once home of the man I believed to be my father when I was 5 years old (long story). I’ll be leaving from Dallas, TX, and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of things to look at/for while on the way and once there. I’ve heard there are casinos in a place called utica (i think) about 30 min’s outside memphis. this is the kind of stuff I’m looking for. Oh yeah, and good bars along the way.

thanks in advance

We live in an age that reads too much to be wise, and thinks too much to be beautiful–Oscar Wilde

I don’t know but if you had told me I could saved you the trouble of going. I have the whole Graceland tour plus more on 2 cd-roms. Someone gave them to me and I can’t remember who.

On second thought, why don’t you stop off in Frisco and pick me up. Maybe I’ll compare the real deal to the cd-rom.

“I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.”

You’re thinking of Tunica. Mapquest says it’s about an hour from Memphis. If anyone knows anything about it, let me know–it’s one stop on a wild-ass tour of the South I’ve got planned for next week.

I’ve been to Graceland twice. To me, the take-home message was that Elvis needed someone around to say, “No, Elvis, that’s a bad idea.” Instead, the house is decorated in a style best described as Redneck With Too Much Money In The Mid Seventies And An Overly Adoring Entourage. It is incredibly cool to be that close to Elvis’s grave, though.

The best place to buy cheap Elvis shit is Rock and Roll Photo, just down EP Boulevard from Graceland. It’s the only place around there that isn’t owned by Elvis Presley Enterprises. I picked up a Swinging Hips Elvis Clock–not Young Attractive Elvis, mind you, but Old Fat Jumpsuited Elvis–for a mere $15.

There’s also a great rib joint on down the road about a mile past Graceland, but I can’t think of what it’s called for the life of me.

Have fun!

Dr. J

No advice to offer, just a, “Thanks a bloody lot,” fer the thread title . . .

I barely got out of that “America lyrics” thread with a brain cell left functioning, and now I’ve got, “The Mississippi Delta was shining, Like a National guitar . . .,” stuck in my gourd.
Dr. Watson
“When hope is taken away from people moral degeneration follows swiftly after.” – Pearl S. Buck

that’s right, it is tunica. thanks. ya’ll are giving some great ideas, thanks and keep 'em coming.

does anyone know about the Heartbreak Hotel across the street? Is it worth it?

Ah, a topic near to my heart. Parents live in Memphis, and I’ve been to both Graceland and Tunica. Dr.J summed up my impression of Graceland really well. Man has NO sense of style for that house. Shag carpet on the walls…shudder I do believe everyone has to go once.

Tunica is…interesting. Cotton fields far as the eye can see, then BOOM! Tons of casinos. I wasn’t a huge fan, but then again, I don’t like gambling, and I was with my parents, so no drinking.

As for ribs…Corky’s is the best for ribs. On Poplar Drive in Memphis. Great ribs, great sauce, and the BEST rolls anywhere. Damn, now I want some.

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“Only two things that’ll soothe my soul - cold beer and remote control.”

Mr. Rilch and I went to Graceland in '95. DoctorJ is right about the decor, but it was cool to see all the stuff I’d read about. I also liked seeing his collection of guns and badges.

But I thought Lisa closed Graceland a year or so ago. Did you call ahead, metro?

I only closed Graceland for a week in 1986 because a telemarketer had called and said I could get 3 rooms of carpet cleaned for $59. There was no disclaimer that “this does NOT include walls”…

BTW, there was a break-in recently at Graceland and some of dad’s scarves were stolen. Puff Daddy must be up to strictly no-good again because later I saw that Jennifer Lopez had pasted two of them onto her crotch and nipples and called it a dress…


Rilch -

Nope, Graceland is still open. TRUST me. (Or else all those people in line over Christmas were going to have a shock.) Admittedly, I had heard the same story…she decided to keep it open, though.

And metro - not sure when you’re planning on going, but I just thought of something. If you really want to see some insanity, go to Graceland during “Death Week” in August. Impersonators, the candlelight vigil, concerts, laser shows…it’s unbelievable.

Winner, SDMB’s Biggest Chat Addict

“Only two things that’ll soothe my soul - cold beer and remote control.”

There’s a lot more to see in Memphis than just Graceland.
University of Memphis has a nice museum with Egyptian exhibits
There is a Native American museum there–can’t remember the name of the place.
Pink Palace Museum–love that place! Great exhibits on 1850-1920s life of ordinary people. Replica of the first self-service grocery store–Piggly Wiggly. Has a planetarium and imax
Brooks Museum–nice art museum
Ornamental Metal Museum–this was closed the day I went to visit but I hear it’s nice
Beale Street has lots of places for music and food. Also there is a great kind of old time dime store with a lot of fun stuff–also Fiesta dinnerware seconds at unbelievable prices.
Be sure and see the ducks at the Peabody
Mud Island is an attraction that I have never explored–except to see the RB B&B Circus in the Pyramid
There are several Victorian homes to tour.

Tunica has zip except for casinos, I think. They have great entertainment at the casinos, though–for fairly cheap ticket prices–$15-20. All kinds of stuff–any Los Vegas entertainers. I’ve been wanting to go see some of the old Motown groups. Also Blues performers like Bobby Blue Bland and KoKo Taylor.

P.S. Be sure you pee before you go to Graceland. I got so tickled at the obsequetiousness (sp?) of the hostess and the absolute white-trash decoration I laughed my way through the whole tour. I was almost finished off when I saw Elvis’ old shabby bedroom slippers–I was surprised they didn’t have his toenail clippings!

Maybe I’m twisted, but I was upset that we didn’t get to see the Toilet Elvis Died On. Is there no place on the tour for the King’s final Throne?

Which hotel in Tunica is the best? We’re planning to stay there one night, since my friends and I are pretty hard-core gamblers.

Dr. J

DoctorJ - Alas, the final Throne is upstairs and off-limits to peons like ourselves. I did get an urge to vault the ropes and run up there for the hell of it, though.

As for best hotel…I’ve heard Sam’s Town is one of the better ones. I’ll ask my mom and get back to you. (Or heck, where’s elelle? Doesn’t she live near Tunica?)

smilingjaws - good points that there are other things to do in Memphis. The shop on Beale Street you are referring to is Schwab’s general store. Great place to just wander around in for a while. I went to Mud Island with my parents, and I loved it…biggest attraction there is the “River Walk,” which is a scale replica of the Mississippi from its origins to the Gulf of Mexico. (The gulf is represented by a swimming pool.) As for the Victorian homes…some are great, and some are really bad. The Hunt-Phelan home is wonderfully done, and there’s one other house I really liked, but I can’t remember the name. I’ll have to look it up.

Also of note: if people are Civil War Buffs, there’s plenty of sites for that in and around Memphis as well.

Winner, SDMB’s Biggest Chat Addict

“Only two things that’ll soothe my soul - cold beer and remote control.”

Man, it’s been a looonnngggg weekend. The water company was digging a new line and ,although BellSouth assured them there was no underground line-OOPS! Internet connection all in little bitty pieces til we could get a cable rigged down our 1/4 mile driveway…

Metro, I live right close to Memphis and will be up there anyway this weekend for a workshop. If ya feel like it, e-mail me. Falcon will vouch for my sanity. Har!

At any rate, Graceland is a hoot. The visitors are as surreal as the house. The car exhibit is pretty cool. The Wailing Wall around the house is a testament to how much Elvis continues to touch the hearts of fans around the world. I don’t know about the Heartbreak Hotel. It’s new, and I haven’t been in a while.

Half an hour south, in Holly Springs, MS, is Graceland Too, which is too strange to miss. A family of die hard Elvis fans has turned their house into an Elvis Shrine. They even have piles of notebooks where they log in every reference to The King on TV, with time & date. Weird, but in a friendly way.

The last real juke joint in MSPI is a short drive away: home of the late blues great Jr. Kimbrough. It’s still run by his sons, and welcomes visitors. Usually hoppin on Sat. night.

Tunica is about 45 minutes away on HWY 4 from there. I’ve only been there in a journalistic capacity, so can’t tell ya much, except that there’s plenty of casinos in the middle of what used to be the poorest county in the country. No musical acts that caught my eye this weekend, but I can check for you.

In Memphis, the place for BBQ is Corky’s, and the legendary Rendezvous, downtown. Beale Street is a tourista Disneyland, but might have some good blues. Schwab’s is the old fashioned store, a must-see, with Elvis junk, Voodoo potions, and great monkey-doll socks.

The Sun Studio tour is fun. The birthplace of Rock & Roll. The studio is in the original shape, and you can even cut a record with your voice over the original tracks.

Get in touch if ya want, at any rate, have a good trip!

The Mud Island museum is worth it. Fun.

Bad manners? How should I know? I was raised by wolves.

thanks alot. ya’ll are really coming thru for me. i’m getting really excited. I’m going to pomp my hair up and be the typical elvis fan, maybe even fall to my knees and cry during the tour. keep 'em coming.

anything good to look at on the way from texas?

Metro, just don’t speed in Arkansas. The State Troopers are Sharks.

movin on up