Elvis may have died in 1977, but as far as Las Vegas is concerned, The King never left the building. Elvis Presley began his time in Las Vegas in 1956, when he was just 21, with a string of performances at the New Frontier. He went on to perform periodically in Las Vegas until 1976. Today, it’s still common to see the glittering white jumpsuits of Elvis impersonators among the crowds on the Strip.
If you get misty-eyed when you hear the sound of “Suspicious Minds” streaming out the kind of smoky casino that you can picture Elvis crooning inside of, add these five Elvis-themed sights and activities to your next Las Vegas getaway.
The Elvis Statue at Westgate
Step inside the lobby at the Westgate Las Vegas and you’ll be greeted with the familiar visage of Elvis. A bronze statue of The King himself commemorates Elvis’ time as a performer at the hotel (then known as The International), which began in 1969. Take a look at the statue of Elvis in the lobby and you’ll notice something curious: the engraving boasts of Elvis’ 837 sold out shows during his residency, when in fact, the real number is 636. Historians believe that Elvis’ manager fabricated the 837 figure to make his star client seem more impressive.
The Elvis Festival at Sam’s Town
Each year, the casino floor at Sam’s Town fills with Elvis lookalikes. The Las Vegas Elvis Festival is a sight to behold. Over the course of several days, Elvis fans can enjoy back-to-back performances from some of the best Elvis impersonators in the world. The event also includes ample photo opportunities, so if you’ve ever wanted to take a picture with Elvis, you’ll have plenty of chances to do just that.
Elvis’ Las Vegas residency may have ended decades ago, but you can still catch him in concert at two different shows. There’s All Shook Up, a tribute performance to Elvis that takes place at the V Theater inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood (Fun fact: Planet Hollywood sits on the site of the now-demolished hotel where Elvis and Priscilla Presley were married in 1967). You can also see Elvis on stage at the Legends in Concert show at the Flamingo, where The King performs alongside other iconic singers and songwriters like Donna Summer and George Michael.
An Elvis Wedding
If your idea of romance is defined by the song “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You,” there’s no better declaration of love than an Elvis wedding. Elvis chapel options abound in Las Vegas. There’s the Las Vegas Elvis Wedding Chapel, which features an award-winning Elvis impersonator and a pink Cadillac; the Graceland Wedding Chapel, which offers multilingual ceremonies and was once the site of Jon Bon Jovi’s own Elvis wedding; and Elvis Chapel, which will marry you on-site or at the famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. Whether you want Elvis to walk you down the aisle, officiate your wedding or just sing a few songs, there are a number of ways to make him a part of your big day.
Elvis Slept Here Sign
Elvis fans won’t want to miss this photo-op on Las Vegas Blvd. Head downtown and you’ll find the Normandie Motel sign, which has been restored and preserved for display by the nearby Neon Museum. The vintage motel sign features the claim “Elvis Slept Here.” You’ll have to stray a few steps off of the beaten path to see this piece of history, but it’s worth the trip.