Now, if you're anything like me, there's probably a bit of Elvis in your heart. Though I'm more of an audiophile, my partner Jasmine has a soft spot for The King's happy hips and infectious charisma. One place where those passions collide? Graceland, Elvis Presley's stomping ground turned must-see tourist spot. A palace of deep-fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches and velvet suit galore, it's a slice of Americana, neatly wrapped in Memphis's Southern charm.
But I hear you asking, "Is the area around Graceland safe at night?" That's a mighty fine question, friend. As someone who has been to Graceland at all times of the day and once in the company of a Labrador named Max and a cockatiel named Feather (yup, they love Elvis too), I've gathered some thoughts on the matter.
First off, let's take stock of what things look like around Graceland come dusk. Heavenly sunsets, glowing street lamps, and the infamous neon lights of Memphis paint a picturesque ambiance. It's like stepping into an Elvis ballad or a dusky Southern evening – quite enchanting, really. However, as with any major city, darkness can somewhat amplify underlying safety risks.
After sundown, the bustling day crowds at Graceland gradually taper off as normal business hours end. Sure, Graceland and Elvis Presley Boulevard are well lit and typically crawling with patrol cars for Graceland’s security and Memphis Police to ensure safety - but don't be fooled. The immediate surroundings outside this Elvis-themed amusement park can be quite different. So, it's good to carry your wits about you if you're planning for some nocturnal exploration.
So to the crux of the matter: just how safe is the area around Graceland at night? Like a hound dog sniffing out a juicy bone, I've drilled into the depths of local opinion on this. And most locals advise against strolling around Graceland’s neighboring areas once darkness falls. The nearby areas tend to be quiet with fewer amenities open, and can sometimes be incidents of crime. Of course, this isn't exclusive to Memphis. Many cities, with their own share of quirks and challenges, have areas to be wary of after dark (and no, they aren't all 'Heartbreak Hotel').
No story exemplifies this better than the time when Jasmine and I found ourselves lost near Graceland late at night. It was after an Elvis candlelight vigil, and we misjudged the distance to our car park. We took a wrong turn and found ourselves in a less desirable part of town. We stuck to main roads, stayed conscious of our surroundings, and eventually navigated our way back. It was an adventure of sorts. Ultimately, though, it served as a stark reminder to respect the city and its nuances, be it 'Walking in Memphis' or 'Caught in a Trap'.
Moving on to top tips to ensure a fun and safe visit to Graceland after dark. The Elvis Presley mansion does offer evening tours, which turn Graceland into a magical kingdom of sorts. It is highly suggestible to stick to the mansion, gift shops, and other facilities maintained by Graceland during these hours where their licensed security personnel ensure your safety along with the blend of history, rock and nostalgia. And if you do plan on venturing out, stick to the main roads, keep to well-lit areas, use Uber or Lyft to get around, and as always, keep your belongings secure.
Ultimately, Elvis's castle and its surrounding areas sure are a feast for the eyes, day or night. But do remember, sometimes, 'It's Now or Never', so plan carefully if your heart is set on embarking on a late-night Graceland adventure. Because the last thing you want on your Memphis trip is a 'Blue Christmas' or to be all 'Shook Up'!