Visiting Graceland For Free: See the Meditation Garden and Graves of Elvis and His Family

Elvis meditation garden tour family graves

You can tour the Graceland meditation garden for free each morning!

 

Yes, it’s possible to visit Graceland, Elvis Presley’s mansion in Memphis, for free. Score! You can’t actually go inside the mansion, but you can stop by the Meditation Garden and view the graves of Elvis and his family up close.

For those without the cash or time to see the whole mansion, the garden is a great free option. Read on for the info….

When You Can Visit Graceland For Free

Every morning from 7:30-8:30 am, the gates open and visitors are welcome to walk up the drive to the Meditation Garden. The mansion is at 3764 Elvis Presley Blvd. Guests must leave before the daily tours begin.

Outside the gates, you’ll see the historic marker dedicated to Elvis Aaron Presley.

Graceland historic marker

Graceland, of course, is where the King of Rock N Roll lived. Elvis bought the 13.8-acre mansion in 1957 for just over $100,000. That was a massive sum at the time! But he could afford it thanks to his extensive track record of hits.

The brick wall around the property has been decorated with messages from thousands of Elvis fans over the years.

Graceland brick wall

As you walk up to the Meditation Garden, you can get a good look at the mansion.

Graceland for free mansion

Fun fact: Graceland is the second-most visited house in the United States, behind only the White House. Cool!

NOTE: As of early 2021, the Graceland website says that morning access to the meditation garden is on hold due to the current health crisis. There is no word on when visitors will once again be allowed to visit Elvis Presley’s grave for free. We can probably expect that as the country opens back up and things return to normal, the Meditation Garden will re-open as well.

The Meditation Garden and Graves of Elvis and His Family

Then it’s onto the garden itself. I went on a Monday morning and found myself in the company of another 15-20 people, including some excited German tourists who threw a bunch of cameras my way and required me to take several photos of them.

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The garden is a beautiful, peaceful setting, with flowers and a central fountain. You can visit the meditation garden at Graceland for free every morning of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Getting free admission for a walk-up visit is a great privilege, so be respectful of the grounds and your fellow tourists.

Elvis is buried with his mother, father, grandmother and stillborn twin brother.

Elvis grave

You don’t even need Graceland tickets to see the Elvis grave in person!

 

Graceland Tours, Tickets, Hours, Parking

Elvis died in the bathroom of Graceland in 1977 of a heart attack. The property is now owned by his daughter Lisa Marie, who lived in the house for the first few years of her life.

As noted earlier, you can’t go inside the mansion unless you purchase tickets. And ticket prices have shot up dramatically in recent years.

In 2011, you could get a basic ticket for $31, but the cheapest ticket as of 2021 is now $45.50. And that’s for something called the “Memphis & Planes Tour,” which doesn’t even include a tour of the mansion!

The cheapest Elvis mansion ticket is now a whopping $73 for adults and $42 for kids. That’s the Elvis Experience Tour, which includes a mansion tour and full access to the Elvis Entertainment Complex, which includes museums and a tour of his custom jets.

Some Graceland tours include access to the Presley Motors Automobile Museum, which is a collection of the King’s old cars. That includes his famous pink Cadillac! Plus his Rolls Royce, his Mercedes Benz limo, and more.

These massive prices explain why so many people are interested in just visiting the meditation garden at Graceland for free without paying for the full mansion visit. VIP mansion tours range from $112-184.

The most expensive tour includes access to “VIP exhibits” and random perks like a free meal and an “exclusive photo opportunity.” That really doesn’t sound like anything work paying extra for, to be honest. Find tix here.

Elvis family graves meditation garden

If you want to fully immerse yourself into the Elvis experience, you can stay right at The Guest House at Graceland. You won’t be staying inside the mansion itself, but you’ll be just steps away, on an upscale hotel property operated by the folks who run Graceland.

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Graceland hours vary by season, but as of this writing, it’s generally open 9 am to 4 pm most days, with extended hours to 5 pm on certain popular dates. The mansion is closed to visitors on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The museums don’t open until 10 am.

You can often find special events at Graceland, such as his annual birthday celebration, which often runs for several days. It’s January 7-10 next year (his actual birthday is January 8.) So keep your eyes peeled for special programs that Graceland advertises from time to time.

Graceland does have a secured visitor parking lot. For GPS purposes, the parking lot address is slightly different: 3717 Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis TN. At last check, the cost for parking on-site was reportedly $10. When I visited, I found free street parking in the neighborhood and walked over, so that’s always an option.

Many people often wonder if you can drive by Graceland or see it from the road. You can, but it’s hidden behind the gate, and it sits back from the road a bit, so you won’t see much just from driving by.

You’re better off parking and walking over the front gate. That way you can at least get a pic of the front gate, the historic marker, and a view of the mansion from a distance.

For a look at what you might find inside the mansion, give a read to my friend Deena’s post about visiting Graceland on Elvis Presley’s 76th birthday celebration.

Check Out Memphis Tours from Our Partners at Get Your Guide

 

About Quirky Travel Guy

Scott Shetler is a Seattle-based freelance writer & fan of indie rock, road trips, ice cream, squirrels on power lines, runaway shopping carts, and six-way intersections. Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, which may earn me a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase.

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24 Comments

  1. I made reservations for the Graceland guest house,made it 3 days in advance,Drove almost 7 hours, and when I got there I started to check in and they said my name wasn’t in there,I had all the information on my phone,they blamed it on booking,I was do upset,Drov3 all that way for what!They told me that they were booked ,no more rooms. what a disappointment .I told the lady at the front if Elvis was alive He wouldn’t of like it, she was an older woman, she just nodded her head. So since we couldn’t stay there wasn’t going to go inside of Graceland either,Didn’t want to give them none of my money,So I decided to do the next best thing,leave memphis go to Arkansas and see Bob Joyce in person and go to his church and see Him,you might say whos Bob Joyce,Google Him and just listen to him sing and preach. I know that its just about making money off of Elvis at Graceland guest house, They probably don’t know a thing about the King Himself, because the lady said they were nothing they good do over there mistake, I then said well you could of least let us have free tickets to Graceland, she replied Oh, we can’t do that!Then I replied Thank ya,Thank you very much,and shocked the dust of of me on my way out!

  2. You can park along the wall of Graceland for free . You could park in the next street adjacent to Graceland always for free

  3. Does anyone know if you can buy tickets for JUST the car museum? I know my hubby would enjoy that, but not so much Graceland, and the website just tries to sell you the big packages. Thanks in advance!

  4. I have been lucky to go twice to memphis with 2dear friends we stayed at Heartbreak Hotel visited graceland and did the vip tour it was fantactic the whole stay was.the walk up in the morning waz worth it very moving everyone was so friendly.hoping to go back for Elvis 80 birthday.xsaving hard.

  5. Visitied Graceland and took the whole tour several years back. Absolutely loved it and can’t wait to go back again. I’m a super Elvis fan, some saying I’m an Elvis freak. Greatest place I have ever had the opportunity to visit and would highly recommend it to everyone.

  6. I was traveling through there but it was late in day and decided it was not worth trying to find some place to stay and go so continued on my road trip

    1. Yeah, for superfans I think it’s reasonable but the casual fan probably won’t want to dish out that much.

  7. Scott,

    Elvis is not buried next to his mother. He is buried in between his fater and his grandmother. This has always bothered me because I know Elvis would want to be next to his mother. But at the time of his passing, they moved his grave and his mother’s graves from another cemetary to the meditation garden at Graceland for security reasons. And I guess because the way it is situation when his Dad died they put his dad in between Elvis and his mother. And then when his grandmother died, they put her on the other side of Elvis.

    Also, it is not really a shopping center across from Graceland, it is the visitor center with the ticket pavilion, the car museum, sincerely elvis museum, restaurants and gift shops, and the elvis radio booth.

    Deena

      1. Scott,
        Did you feel the area around Graceland was safe? I have heard info that it can be dangerous to visit.
        Thanks

        1. It was fine to drive there. I think there are some bad areas in the general vicinity but it didn’t feel unsafe at Graceland itself. I was able to park on the street right out front.

    1. Hi there. I’m not sure how I sign up to post or where to post but I wanted to say a few things. Graceland across the street from Graceland I should say has become a money Mecca. Just stick Elvis & Graceland all over trivial items, make a fortune and Elvis Presley Enterprises will live on forever. Elvis was a giver. He gave to people. He would burn the entire street across from Graceland down if he knew what was going on. EPE is literally stealing from Elvis’s fans. He would never have stood for that. Secondly his stillborn twin brother Jesse Garon is not buried with Elvis. He was buried in Tupelo MS in an unmarked grave due to lack of money in 1935. Elvis thought of getting a marker for him when he became famous but decided against it in order to protect Jesse’s privacy from tourists. It has since been forgotten where he was buried. He is in the Pricetown Cemetery I think? I may have that name wrong. I toured it. But Elvis is not buried with his brother. And it is sad that he’s not buried next to his mother but that’s the way it is. I highly do not recommend going across the street from Graceland. You might as well be in Utah with your wallet out on the counter. If you really want to feel Elvis go to Graceland itself. This has been my 5th from NY State, and sadly my last trip.

      1. You know I can’t stand people like you who pick at everything to complain about…..You should stop to think you should be GRATEFUL GRACELAND IS OPENED TO THE PUBLIC AND TO COMPLAINERS LIKE YOU….THE MONEY THEY MAKE AT GRACELAND GOES TO PRESLEY HOUSE TO HELP THE LESS FORTUNATE ELVIS PRESLEY WOULD BE LOOKING DOWN IN HOURNER GRATEFUL THAT GOOD PEOPLE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER HELPING THEM AND THE CHANCE THAT DEVOTED FANS CAN VIEW HIS PASSED LIFE ….START BEING GRATEFUL INSTEAD OF A COMPLAINER….I LIVE IN AUSTRALIA AND HAVE NEVER BEEN TO GRACELAND AREN’T YOU LUCKY YOU HAVE

      2. Thank you for your post. I was so happy to come here, but after trying to buy tickets and seeing the price gouging, I’m no long impressed!! Now we are just going to walk in the garden and see the graves.

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