Elvis Anniversary Tour - August 2019

Tupelo, Memphis and optional Texas extension

It might come as a surprise to many that back in the Fifties Elvis did more shows in the ‘Lone Star State’ of Texas than he did in his ‘home States’ of Tennessee and Mississippi combined. There are many reasons for this, perhaps none more so that his commitment to the Louisiana Hayride radio show in Shreveport, Louisiana – a city within spitting distance of the Texas border, so it would have made sense to Elvis having the least amount of travelling on an always hectic concert schedule. So why are we saying this? Well as Elvis fans we want to discover the places that Elvis appeared, see the sights that he saw and meet the people that he knew. And if they happen to be in Texas, well…..?

 

But first we head for Memphis, the city that Elvis loved and where he chose to live in his beautiful Graceland home. For anyone who’s never been before then come with us and we’ll show you Elvis’ Memphis – where he grew from a boy into a man, his influences, his other homes, where he shopped, worshipped, worked and played. And if you have been with us before then ‘Welcome back’ – you’ll be only too aware of the fun to be had in this amazing city – the places to see and enjoy when not being entertained by the events of Elvis Week at Graceland.

 

It often amazes us how relatively few Elvis fans have been to Tupelo – the Mississippi town in which Elvis was born and lived until he was 13yrs old. Well we love it and we’ll take you there – for 2 nights staying in the heart of what must be the ‘friendliest place in the USA’. We’ll show you all the sights pertinent to Elvis’ life there including, of course, his actual birthplace standing in lovely landscaped grounds.

 

And then it’s “Texas, here we come” – first to Dallas where Cattle Barons and Oil Magnates  have transformed a cowboy town into a slick, sky-scrapered city. We’ll see where Elvis performed at the famous Cotton Bowl and also visit the site where President John F Kennedy was stricken down by the assassin’s bullet – the Museum there is incredible. A couple of full days here (during which we also visit nearby Fort Worth for more Elvis sights and an encounter with some cattle!) before heading down to Fort Hood where Elvis did his Army Basic Training, to Killeen where he lived off-base with Gladys and Vernon and to Waco where he also performed.

 

Everyone has heard of the Alamo, where a small band of Texians held out against the full force of the Mexican Army; that’s in San Antonio - our next stop on this fascinating tour. We’ll also see where Elvis performed of course but there’s time here to relax, stroll between the restaurants and bars of the Riverwalk and catch up on some shopping. Houston is next but not before calling in to the little town of Gonzales where you would actually expect to see tumbleweed rolling across its near-empty streets. This place is a sheer delight, with a baseball park that Elvis performed in back in 1955, a hotel from which Bonnie and Clyde ‘did a runner’ out of a rear window, and an old jail with a gallows set amid the cell block. No wonder the other inmates didn’t ‘hang’ around – geddit!

 

Once in Houston we know that you’ll want to see the famous Astrodome where Elvis appeared in 1970 & 1974 but there are other venues too plus we’ll have time to visit the famous NASA Space Center before heading home with a ton of fabulous memories.

 

OUR ITINERARY

 

Day 1. Monday 12th August

Morning departure from London’s Heathrow Airport* for the scheduled transatlantic flight via a US gateway city to Memphis. Coach transfer to your chosen hotel and the remainder of the evening is free.

 

Day 2. Tuesday 13th August (Graceland Day!)

This morning you’ll be handed your Elvis Experience Pass which will allow you to take the tour of Graceland - the home that Elvis loved so much, to walk through many of the rooms including the famous Jungle Room and to enjoy quiet reflection in Meditation Garden. Afternoon free to visit the various Elvis attractions in the new Elvis Presley’s Memphis entertainment complex, to see the vast array of awards bestowed upon Elvis, his amazing collection of cars and step aboard Elvis’ two aircraft. Our now famous Shuttle-bus Service operating between Graceland and Downtown commences in the mid afternoon and operates through to late evening. 

Day 3. Wednesday 14th August

Come with us to see the Elvis sights of Memphis on a guided tour that also includes many of the city’s major landmarks. We’ll show you the Mississippi River, Mud Island and the Riverboats, the impressive Pyramid, the FedEx Forum, the Cotton, the Rock & Soul and the National Civil Rights Museums but most of all we’ll show you the places significant to Elvis’ life. Amongst dozens of other sights you’ll see Humes High School where he joined in the 8th grade, Beale Street, the impressive Peabody Hotel where his school Prom was held, Sun Studio (where we’ll enjoy a guided tour), some of the places where Elvis performed and where he lived in Lauderdale Courts and Audobon Drive. Our tour has been developed over 46 years and is regarded as the best Elvis tour available in Memphis. Elvis was a world superstar – he could have lived anywhere he wanted but he chose to stay in Memphis, because he loved it…we’ll show you why.

 

Day 4. to Day 6. Thursday 15th to Saturday 17th August

Three glorious days to enjoy the sights and sounds of Memphis.

 

A chance to revisit Graceland (especially as on most days there is a free walk-up to Graceland’s Meditation Garden in the early morning and late evening). With a host of souvenir and speciality shops, two diners and an ice cream parlour you won’t be at a loss for something to do, buy or eat! 

Time too to explore Memphis, to take a ride on an old Mississippi Riverboat, to visit some of the fascinating museums, to see the ‘Duck Parade’ in the grandiose lobby of the famous Peabody Hotel, and to shop and sightsee at will.

 

During the week Elvis Presley Enterprises will be staging activities, concerts, sock hops, and Guest Interviews. No details are available at the time of printing this brochure but full details will be sent to you nearer to departure date.  Of course there will also be the Candlelight Vigil and Walk-up to Meditation Garden on the night of the 15th plus there are also some fascinating optional excursions to take – including a delightful paddle-wheeler cruise on the Mississippi River (for the best ever views of the Memphis skyline) and a half day trip to visit Jerry Lee Lewis’ ranch.

 

Day 7. Sunday 18th August

Morning free in Memphis before the afternoon drive to Tupelo but stopping first at the little town of Verona so that we can show you the old Town Hall where Gladys Smith and Vernon Presley got married…the start of the Elvis ‘story’. After checking in to our hotel in the heart of Tupelo you have the evening free to explore this lovely town.

as on most days there is a free walk-up to Graceland’s Meditation Garden in the early morning and late evening). With a host of souvenir and speciality shops, two diners and an ice cream parlour you won’t be at a loss for something to do, buy or eat! 

 

Day 8, Monday 19th August

We start the day with a short guided sightseeing tour of Tupelo – ‘the friendliest city in the South’ – during which we’ll see where Elvis went to school, the Elvis Statue at the site of the old Fairgrounds, Tupelo Hardware which is still very much the same as it was the day Gladys took Elvis there to buy him his first guitar and many other places significant to his life there. We end the tour at Elvis’ Birthplace and you’ll have as much time as you wish to see and absorb the atmosphere of this magical place. Visit the humble home where Elvis was born, experience an old time Service at the original Assembly of God Church that the young Elvis attended, see the Memorial Chapel, the award-winning Elvis Presley Museum and the Visitor Centre incorporating a beautiful theatre and gift shop. The grounds of the Birthplace are tastefully landscaped and include a lake, a fountain, statues of Elvis at 13yrs and at the height of his fame, and a story wall.

 

This afternoon our Shuttle Bus Service operates between the Birthplace, Shopping Mall, and Downtown area so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to shop, sightsee, explore or relax.

 

Day 9. Tuesday 20th August

Full day’s drive today travelling via Shreveport, Louisiana where we visit the Municipal Coliseum where, between 1954 and 1956, Elvis became a star on the Louisiana Hayride radio show. On then to Dallas, Texas and our hotel.

 

Day 10. Wednesday 21st August

Morning sightseeing in Dallas where we’ll see where Elvis performed (including the legendary Cotton Bowl) and the major sights of the city including the site of the shooting of JFK and the Book Depository Building from where the assassin’s bullets were fired and which now houses an extraordinary museum commemorating the event. Onward then to the ‘Cow Town’ of Fort Worth to see more venues in which Elvis performed and to enjoy the Western atmosphere of the famous Stockyards.

 

Day 11. Thursday 22nd August

Full day at leisure in Dallas. Time to explore, to shop and to relax – or to enjoy the thrills of the Six Flags over Texas Theme Park or to visit Southfork Ranch, straight out of the TV series ‘Dallas’ – remember that?

 

 

Day 12. Friday 23rd August

Leaving Dallas we travel via the vast Fort Hood Army Base where Elvis did his Basic Training and on to Killeen to see the house that Elvis and his parents rented so that he could live ‘off-base’. Onward then to Waco where Elvis would spend much of his free time (and where he appeared in Concert in 1955 and 1956) before heading south to the beautiful city of San Antonio and our hotel. Evening at leisure.

 

Days 13 & 14. Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th August

Two days in one of Texas’ loveliest cities. We’ll show you where Elvis performed and there are lots of other things to see and do – such as visit The Alamo where less than 200 Texians battled against the might of the Mexican Army, or Sea World where you can enjoy the rides and aquatic shows, perhaps take a stroll along the famed Riverwalk which offers a wonderful array of bars and restaurants, take in the San Antonio Zoo or the many excellent museums and galleries…you won’t run out of things to see and do in San Antonio.

Day 15. Monday 26th August

As we drive from San Antonio to Houston we’ll call in to the town of Gonzales – perhaps best known (in Texas!) for being the town where many volunteers came from to help defend The Alamo. We’re calling in because Elvis appeared here on one of his many marathon tours in the area – and also because it’s such a quaint and friendly town. We’re sure you’ll love it.

 

Once settled into our hotel in Houston the evening is free – a dip in the pool perhaps?

 

Days 16. Tuesday 27th August

Full day in the modern city of Houston. We’ll see the renowned Astrodome which, when Elvis played there, was one of the largest stadiums in the world, as well as another Houston venue in which Elvis performed and the other sights and sounds of this bustling city.

 

Day 17. Wednesday 28th August

Our last day but still time too to enjoy a memorable optional visit to NASA’s Space Center Houston where you can go ‘behind the scenes’ of America’ space programme or just use the day for last-minute shopping and sightseeing before we join our flight for the non-stop overnight service to the UK.

 

Day 18. Thursday 29th August

Mid-morning arrival into Heathrow.

e Elvis performed and there are lots of other things to see and do – such as visit The Alamo where less than 200 Texians battled against the might of the Mexican Army, or Sea World where you can enjoy the rides and aquatic shows, perhaps take a stroll along the famed Riverwalk which offers a wonderful array of bars and restaurants, take in the San Antonio Zoo or the many excellent museums and galleries…you won’t run out of things to see and do in San Antonio.

 

Our Hotels:

Memphis

The Guest House at Graceland

An exciting addition to the Graceland complex and replacing the old Heartbreak Hotel with a 450 room luxury class property that will be an experience in itself. Top class all en-suite rooms, two restaurants and a bar, convention facilities and a theatre. Breakfast is not included.

 

Comfort Inn – Downtown

This modern hotel overlooks the Mississippi River in the heart of downtown Memphis. Convenient for the sights, shops and within walking distance of Beale Street, this excellent hotel offers comfortably furnished en suite rooms, an exercise room and a rooftop pool and sun deck (great views!). Breakfast is included.

 

Tupelo

Hilton Garden Inn

Located in the heart of Tupelo’s historic Downtown district and opposite the old Fairgrounds this modern hotel with its attractive decor offers all the comforts that you’d expect from a Hilton hotel. The hotel has a restaurant and bar, a fitness centre and an indoor pool and spa. Breakfast is included.

 

Dallas

Sheraton Dallas by the Galleria

Situated close by the massive Galleria Shopping Mall in North Dallas this high-rise contemporary styled hotel has recently had a multi-million $ make-over. It boasts over 300 superb guestrooms, a restaurant and bar, outdoor pool and fitness centre. Breakfast is included.

 

San Antonio

Holiday Inn Riverwalk

A stunning hotel in the heart of San Antonio. Spacious, stylish and modern rooms, a lounge bar and restaurant overlooking the famous Riverwalk, outdoor pool, café and fitness centre. A beautiful hotel. Breakfast is included.

 

Houston

Holiday Inn Houston South/NRG Stadium

Located close to the famed Astrodome this modern hotel has lovely rooms, a bar and restaurant, outdoor pool, exercise room. Breakfast is included. 

Questions Answered

 

WHICH TOUR TO TAKE?

Not everyone can get away for 18 days in the Summer so we are happy to offer both a Short Tour featuring Memphis and Tupelo only or the full length Long Tour which includes the Texas Extension. If taking the short tour then on Day 9 instead of heading for Dallas you’ll be transferred to Memphis to join the overnight flight back to the UK – arriving in the morning of Day 10. Wednesday 21st August

 

HOLIDAY PRICES

Staying at the Comfort Inn-Downtown in Memphis

                                                Single                  Twin                 Triple                Quad

Short Tour                                 £2898                 £2398                 £2298                £2198

Long Tour                                  £4248                 £3298                 £2998                £2848

 

Staying at The Guest House at Graceland

                                                 Single                  Twin                Triple                Quad

Short Tour                                 £3648                 £2798                 £2548                £2398

Long Tour                                  £4998                 £3698                 £3278                £3048

 

 

All prices are in £’s per adult – child prices on request

 

Room-mate Service: If you are travelling alone but would like to share (either for company or to keep the cost down) we will gladly try to pair you up with another fan of similar age and gender. Should it not be possible to pair you up you would be offered single accommodation at the appropriate price.

 

INCLUDED IN THE HOLIDAY COST

The Short Tour price is inclusive of all the following:-

  • Scheduled economy class flights inc. taxes and security charges
  • 8 nights hotel accommodation inc. taxes
  • All coaching and Shuttle Bus Service in Memphis as per Itinerary
  • Guided sightseeing tours of Memphis and Tupelo
  • A Tour Pass for Graceland including the Mansion tour and admission to the Exhibits
  • Admission to Sun Studio, Lauderdale Courts Apartment and the Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum.
  • Lunch at the Arcade Restaurant
  • Driver gratuities
  • The services of an experienced Elvis Travel Service Tour Manager.

 

The Long Tour cost is inclusive of all the above plus:-

  • Returning flight from Houston instead of Memphis
  • All coaching in Texas as per itinerary
  • An additional 8 nights accommodation
  • Admission to the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport and the JFK Museum in Dallas

 

Items not included are:- drinks and meals other than those specified above, travel insurance, any optional excursions and personal expenses such as laundry, phone calls etc.

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE

It is mandatory that all passengers have sufficient travel insurance. Please telephone America as you like it on 020 8742 8299 who will be pleased to arrange cover for you. Cover is not effective until the premium has been paid and your application approved by the insurers. If you are relying on travel insurance provided by your bank or credit card provider as part of their service please check that their cover is sufficient, in particular with regard to cancellation charges.

 

FLIGHTS AND TIMINGS

The flights will be in economy class on a major scheduled airline from London’s Heathrow Airport. *Please contact us for a price from other UK airports.  Flight times will be confirmed on your Confirmation-Invoice although these are subject to change. The baggage allowance is 50lbs (23kgs) per person.

 

EXCHANGE RATES

The tour price is based at the currency exchange rate at the time of costing this holiday - £1. Sterling being equal to $1.27 US Dollars.

 

PASSPORTS AND VISAS

A full Electronic Passport (e-Passport) issued by a member state of the European Union and valid for at least 6 months after the date of return to the UK is required. Visas are not required by the majority of British Citizens travelling on a UK Passport, however we recommend you check your eligibility at https://uk.usembassy.gov/esta/. UK Passport Holders should ensure that they have completed the online Visa Waiver Form (ESTA) at https://esta.cpb.dhs.gov/ at least 72hrs before the date of travel. The charge for an ESTA is currently $14 per person and can be paid using most debit/credit Cards. Without a valid ESTA you would be denied boarding by the airline. The registration is then valid for 2 Years or until the expiry of your passport (whichever is the sooner). If you do not have access to the ESTA website then the Elvis Travel Service are happy to do this for you. Please contact them on 01473 621 564 and have your UK passport details available. Holders of all other passports should consult the US Embassy prior to departure for visa requirements.

HEALTH

No vaccinations or inoculations are currently required for British Subjects. The Department of Health produces the Health Advice for Travellers booklet (T) which is available from your local Post Office or by telephoning 0800 555 777 free of charge.

 

CLIMATE AND CLOTHING

The weather in August is usually hot. Temperatures range between the high 70’s and low 90’s Fahrenheit in Memphis and Tupelo and can be over 100 in Texas so take lightweight clothing with a comfortable pair of walking shoes or trainers for sightseeing. We recommend that you take a light jacket or thin sweater tho’ as the air-conditioning in some restaurants can feel very cold.

 

PAYMENT AND TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

A payment of £500 per person deposit is payable upon booking. Upon receipt of your deposit (and obviously subject to places being available) you will be sent a Confirmation-Invoice showing the balance due. A further payment of £1000 will be required by 1st March 2019 with the final balance due no later 1st June 2019. Approximately 21 days before departure you will be sent your Travel Wallet containing your e-tickets, baggage tags, a souvenir lanyard/tour pass and final itinerary and joining instructions.

 

PAYMENT BY CREDIT/DEBIT CARD

We are pleased to accept payment by credit or debit card for all, or part, of your holiday cost. Please complete the appropriate box on the Reservation Form.

 

TELEPHONE ENQUIRIES

If you have any queries regarding the holiday detailed in this brochure please don’t hesitate to phone the Elvis Travel Service on 01473 621 564 or America as you like it on 020 8742 8299. Telephone bookings can be made but these are only provisional and must be confirmed with a completed Reservation Form within 5 working days.

 

HOW TO BOOK

To book simply complete the Reservation Form and return it with your deposit/s to:-

 

Elvis Travel Service

c/o America as you like it

Oxford House, 24 Oxford Road North

London, W4 4DH

Tel: 020 8742 8299

Email: sales@americaasyoulikeit.com  Website www.americaasyoulikeit.com

 

BONDING AND RESPONSIBILITY

The holiday in this brochure is ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority under America as you like it, ATOL 2966. America as you like it is also a member of the Visit USA Association.

 

The holiday arrangements are the responsibility of America as you like it Your Contract is subject to their Reservation Conditions which are available by post by calling the above number or can be downloaded from their website.

 

The holidays are designed and co-ordinated by the Elvis Travel Service/Strictly Elvis UK, the trading names of David Wade Ltd an organisation that has led the way in Elvis holidays and events for over 45 years. During this time we have helped tens of thousands of fellow fans fulfil their dreams of visiting Graceland.  David Wade Ltd of Unit D Bristol Court, Martlesham Heath Business Park, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP5 3RY Tel: 01473 621 564   Email: enquiries@strictlyelvis.net  Website: www.strictlyelvis.net is registered with Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc.

 

 The names ‘Elvis’, ‘Elvis Presley’, ‘Graceland’ and ‘The Guest House at Graceland’ are registered to Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc with the USPTO.

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