Tourist Traps That Are Worth It
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GRACELAND, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
Tourist trap cred: Graceland delivers with kitsch (note the green shag-carpet ceiling of the "jungle room"), crowds (nearly 600,000 visitors annually), costumes (feel free to bring your own), and, of course, commercialism. In addition to your $28 ticket ($69 for the VIP tour), you can pay homage to the King by purchasing anything from an Elvis Pez dispenser to an Elvis cross-stitch kit, and then gorging on a peanut butterand-banana sandwich at Rockabilly's Diner.
Why it's worth it: Whether you're packing a sequined jumpsuit or coming armed with a so-bad-it's-good sense of humor, Graceland, which was designated a national historic landmark in 2006, is an integral part of Memphis's illustrious musical heritage. The recording that accompanies the 90-minute mansion tour includes a narration by Lisa Marie and sound bites from Elvis himself. If that doesn't satisfy your curiosity, dig deeper into the mystique by touring Elvis's too-cool car museum and his decked-out private jet, the Lisa Marie.
Insider tip: Paul McLeod's obsessive stash of Elvis memorabilia at nearby Graceland Too—second in size only to Graceland's own collection—is the pinnacle of American fandom, with posters, photos, and every TV Guide cover the King ever appeared on.