If you’re a Hallmark movie fan and you’re planning a trip to Memphis soon, don’t miss these 10 iconic Memphis spots that were mentioned and/or shown in the movie, Christmas at Graceland.
I recently had the opportunity to visit Memphis, Tennesee for a few days and during the trip, I got to preview the brand new Hallmark Movie, Christmas at Graceland. I should probably explain that I am a Hallmark junkie. My kids even make fun of me because of it. So, it really is no surprise that I was ecstatic to get to see this movie before anyone else, and even in the same theater as Eric Close and Wes Brown! Thank you to Memphis Travel for inviting me to be a guest in your lovely city!
The neat fact about Christmas at Graceland and Memphis is that it was actually filmed in Memphis. Funnier still, it was filmed in the summer when temperatures easily hit in the 100s and yet they still managed to create a movie that looks like it took place in the winter. I should also mention perhaps that even though they made Memphis look like a snowy winter wonderland, the city only has about three inches of snowfall annually. The white Christmas that was displayed prominently in the film probably isn’t reality.
10 Memphis Locations from Hallmark’s Christmas at Graceland Movie
Below is the list that I put together with the help from my friends at Memphis Travel of all the great Memphis mentions and filming spots that you can hear and see during the film. Some might be more prevalent than others, but all together they help make this film truly Memphis. (affiliate links included in this post)
Of course, Graceland is in the movie — it is in the title after all! It was actually the owners of Graceland who reached out to Hallmark with the idea of filming a movie around Graceland. Graceland is mentioned quite a few times in the movie, however, it is only shown in a few scenes. While you can visit Graceland during the holidays and see some festive decor in the house, you can’t wander around the grounds at night as the movie suggests. Graceland does get lit up for the holidays, they even have a special lighting event each year, but you’ll have to look at the pretty lights from afar since the Graceland gates close each evening.
Guest House at Graceland
The Guest House at Graceland hotel is featured prominently in the movie. This is a hotel owned by Graceland that is located just down the road from Graceland. It’s where Laurel, Kellie Pickler’s character, and her daughter stay while she’s in town for business. I’m not sure if the piano in the suite is a real thing at the Guest House, but I do know that the hotel has special suites featured around Elvis. The movie also has a quirky hotel concierge named Kathy who kind of makes me want to stay in a hotel during the Christmas season!
There is one thing that can get Memphis residents fired up, just ask them what’s the best Memphis BBQ. During my trip to Memphis, I was lucky enough to get to try Rendezvous BBQ. This was especially fitting since it’s THE best BBQ based on Laurel and Mr. Franklin’s discussion in the movie. I have to say that the coleslaw is something pretty special, and thankfully this KC gal even got to try two different BBQ sauces on my brisket and ribs. If you happen to be staying at the Peabody hotel, this BBQ joint is located nearby.
Enchanted Forest at the Pink Palace
Laurel mentions the Enchanted Forest when talking about her childhood memories from Memphis. The display is located at the Pink Palace Museum, a family-friendly museum that focuses on the history of culture and nature in the mid-south. During the holidays they put on an enchanted forest that contains a festival of trees, professionally decorated trees sponsored by local organizations, a gingerbread village, and even a model train that travels around a miniature Christmas village.
We were going to head over to Shelby Farms to check out the amazing light display that Laurel talks about with Mr. Franklin, but I was a bit too early as the light show doesn’t start until Thanksgiving weekend. Shelby Farms is one of the largest urban parks in the US. Starry Nights is their holiday event, which lets visitors drive through two miles of lights while listening to coordinating holiday music on a special Starry Nights radio station.
Many cities have an Orpheum Theatre, and Memphis is no different. In the movie, Christmas at Graceland, Laurel tells her daughter about her final performance, at the Orpheum, where she got stage fright and decided to finish her musical career. Take a stroll down Main Street to find the Orpheum, maybe even catch a trolley car for a ride.
The emphasis Beale Street isn’t actually talked about in the movie, however, it is shown in the opening credits. Beale Street is an iconic part of Memphis legend. It’s considered the ‘Home of the Blues’ and welcomed musical greats such as, B.B. King, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash.
Laurel and Clay go out to a Christmas festival one night where they try on silly hats and sip hot cocoa. That festival is filmed a Court Square, a small city park in the heart of downtown Memphis.
I was lucky enough to visit Sun Studio on my recent trip to Memphis, and it was one of the highlights from my trip! This iconic Memphis location only makes an appearance in the beginning credits.
The Columns serves as the filming location for Cypress Bank, the family-owned bank of Mr. Franklin. It’s a gorgeous building in the heart of downtown Memphis that serves as an event space rental. I thought the building was gorgeous and wish I would have walked by it while in town. If you’d like a photo in front of the towering columns, find the building off Monroe and 2nd.
Bonus: Central Gardens Neighborhood
If you happen to fall in love with the homes filmed in Christmas at Graceland, head to the Central Gardens Neighborhood. This neighborhood of beautiful houses is located in Midtown Memphis and is actually on the National Register of Historic Places.
If you’re a Hallmark Channel fan like me, don’t miss the chance to check out these fabulous Memphis movie filming locations during your next visit. I can’t wait to watch the movie again now that I know all the special Memphis spots to look for!