As I mapped out the route to Alumapalooza, I couldn’t help but notice that Memphis was a comfortable stopping spot (450 miles into the drive). I also couldn’t help but think about all Memphis has to offer…. Sun Studios, the Civil Rights Museum and of course Graceland. I have fond memories of growing up with Elvis music playing throughout the house and wondered– how have I never been to Graceland?? (Deke took the trip with his folks when he was younger. Lucky.)
I felt this was an absolute must stop on our trip, so I called to get tickets for the tour and found out that Graceland also has an RV park where I could sleep, be within walking distance to The King and buy souvenirs! It’s like they knew we were coming….
Graceland RV Park and Campground
The Graceland RV Park and Campground is really nice — Elvis is giving it a big thumbs up from his mansion in the sky. It has some great amenities — a pool (although its probably one of the smallest pools I’ve seen in a while), a bathhouse with the usual, plus washers and dryers, a nice outdoor covered patio that can fit several large groups and has charcoal grills built in on one side. There’s also a tiny pet walk (not a fenced in area, but more like a big yard to walk in) that borders a larger wooded area with a playground for the kids. Each spot is gravel and has a grassy 6 ft wide yard area with a picnic table. Most spots are pull throughs, although it looked like there were 5 or 6 back in sites along the edge of the park. And some spots have large trees for shade.
Separate from the RV full hook up sites, located on a grassy knoll behind managers office, are a few primitive tent camping sites. We saw a few motorcyclists parked up there with their tents and even an SUV with one of those triangular campers.
The park is located right behind Heartbreak Hotel (where you might see this guy ) which is adjacent to the official Graceland parking lot. It takes about 5 min to walk from the campground to the ticket booth where you can board your shuttle bus to the mansion. The campground, in conjunction with Heartbreak Hotel, also provides shuttle service to Beale Street for $5 each person, each way. If you’re going to tie one on while on Beale St, the shuttle is probably a good idea, otherwise, there’s plenty of cheap parking all over downtown Memphis (and by cheap, I mean under $5 for several hours).
A free shuttle is provided to Sun Studios — but, again, Sun Studios also has its own free parking lot. Each destination is about 20 min from the RV park.
The Civil Rights Museum is in a really nice up-and-coming part of town called the South of Main Historic District. Personally, Ive become a bit obsessed with MLK lately, so this was a great stop for me. The area has several restaurants from tapas to sushi to oysters and is just a nice place to walk around. The big attraction at the museum is of course the Lorraine Hotel where Dr. King was assassinated (you can actually go into the hotel, which I didn’t know), but they also house an incredible archive of the movement.
I loved Memphis and would definitely come back for a trip in the future. I might even consider staying at the Graceland RV park simply because its quiet and well kept and the people were very friendly.
More Photos of Memphis
Here are our Graceland shots, just in case you wanted to see more!