5 of the most famous houses in the South

The South is rich with history, and architecture. From celebrity mansions to childhood homes, there’s something for everyone to see across the region. These places are a wonderful way to create our own memories while honoring the pioneers who shaped lived in them.

Here are five of the most famous houses in the South open for tours:

Johnny Cash’s boyhood home in Arkansas

This home on a 20-acre lot in Dyess, Arkansas, is where “The Man in Black” lived until he graduated from high school in 1950. Now an Arkansas State University Heritage Site, Johnny Cash’s Boyhood Home allows visitors to learn about the history and culture of North East Arkansas, as well as its influence on the legendary singer.

His music was greatly influenced by his experiences in Dyess, including such songs as “Pickin’ Time” and “Five Feet High and Rising.”

The Ernest Hemingway House in Florida

In this Key West house, Ernest Hemingway wrote some of his most famous works, including novels like “To Have and Have Not” and short stories such as “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.” The dramatic French Colonial-style home, built in 1851, stuns with a wraparound balcony and prime views of the Keys.

During a tour or visit to the museum, see where the inspiring writer penned his most famous stories and catch a behind-the-scenes look at how the author lived. Be sure to check out photos of Hemingway’s fishing adventures, and maybe even catch a glimpse of a six-toed cat.

Georgia’s Swan House

The Swan House has long been one of Atlanta’s most recognized homes. Built nearly 100 years ago in 1928, the sprawling southern estate reflects the opulent grace, beauty, and luxury of the roaring 1920s. While the stately architecture and elegant interiors shout historical luxury, it’s the gardens at the Swan House that are unforgettable; featuring cloverleaf pools, cascading fountains, a terraced lawn, and a rose-adorned retaining wall. The Swan House even served as the perfect backdrop for President Snow’s home in the “Hunger Games” movie franchise.

The Biltmore Estate in North Carolina

Perhaps the most impressive home ever built on American soil, George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate finished construction in 1895 at a staggering 178,926 square feet situated on 125,000 acres of pristine grounds. The home is filled with treasures built for a billionaire, from original Renoir artwork to 16th century tapestries, a library with more than 10,000 volumes and other museum fare.

The grounds today are home to three hotels, and the home itself is open for tours. Biltmore Estates has been featured in everything from “Forrest Gump” to “Last of the Mohicans” and “Hannibal.”

Graceland in Tennessee

The second most visited home in the U.S. (behind the White House) is located in Memphis, Tennessee, according to home advice website Bob Vila. It belonged to the “King of Rock and Roll,” Elvis Presley. He purchased the Colonial Revival-style mansion, known as Graceland, in 1957 for a grand total of $102,500 and lived there until his death in 1977.

Today, you can tour his wild 17,552-square-foot palace, including a bedroom with an indoor swimming pool and a “jungle room” decorated with shag carpeting and Polynesian furnishings, explore a historic collection of memorabilia and even visit his grave, which is on the grounds.