If you’re a fan of the King of Rock ’n Roll, you shouldn’t miss an opportunity to explore the southern states of Mississippi River Country. In Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi, you’ll find several iconic locales that tell Elvis Presley’s story, from the stage in Shreveport where he got his first big break to his sprawling Graceland complex in Memphis.
Elvis Presley Birthplace, Tupelo
Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, in a two-room house built by his father, grandfather and uncle. The Presley family lived in several different homes in the Tupelo area before moving to Memphis when Elvis was 13, but this historic home has been preserved and restored to how it looked in 1935. The house is part of the larger 15-acre birthplace park, which also includes a museum and the actual Assembly of God Pentecostal Church attended by the Presleys when Elvis was a child.
Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
This historic Art Deco auditorium in western Louisiana was built in 1929 and was the home of “The Louisiana Hayride”, a weekly music showcase launched in 1948 that introduced fans to prominent acts like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Johnny Horton. But the Hayride’s most important introduction took place on October 16, 1954, when a young musician named Elvis Presley took the stage for the first time. The Shreveport Municipal Auditorium still welcomes national touring acts today and has been named a National Historic Landmark.
Sun Studio, Memphis
This iconic recording studio is known as “the Birthplace of Rock ’n Roll” for good reason—it’s where music legends like B.B. King and Johnny Cash were discovered and it’s where Elvis made his first recordings on his rise to global superstardom. Take a tour of the famous studio and hear stories about Elvis and the rest of the “Million Dollar Quartet” (Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis) and other legendary artists who recorded there, including Howlin’ Wolf and Roy Orbison.
No Elvis-themed trip is complete without heading to Graceland, his sprawling home located south of downtown Memphis. While The King’s mansion is the highlight of the tour, Graceland has been expanded in recent years to include Elvis Presley’s Memphis, a sprawling, state-of-the-art complex that features memorabilia and exhibits from throughout his career, an automobile museum highlighting vehicles from his collection, performance spaces, and much more. Visitors looking to complete their Elvis experience can book a room at the Guest House at Graceland, an Elvis-themed lodging property that’s just steps away from the famous mansion.
Arcade Restaurant, Memphis
If you get hungry while you’re exploring Elvis-related attractions in Memphis, why not stop at his favorite restaurant? The Arcade, located in the historic South Main Arts District, is the city’s oldest café and has been serving up breakfast and lunch specialties for nearly 100 years. Take a seat in Elvis’s favorite booth and order up his favorite item on the menu: the iconic Fried Peanut Butter N’Banana sandwich.