Trekking the country and paying respects to prominent dead folks may not sound like everyone’s ideal vacation, but thousands of people visit famous graves every year.
There are accessible celebrity graves across the U.S., including some in Massachusetts and New Hampshire if you don’t want to travel too far.
Famous grave sites in MA
Actor and musician John Belushi is buried at Abel Hill Cemetery in Chilmark, Massachusetts. His headstone claims, “I may be gone, but Rock and Roll lives on.”
Poet Emily Dickinson is buried in Amherst West Cemetery in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her headstone has the simple inscription, “Called Back,” followed by her date of death.
Granary Burying Ground in Boston is the city’s third-oldest cemetery, founded in 1660. The burying ground contains the graves of historically significant Americans including Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Crispus Attucks and Robert Paine.
Famous grave sites in NH
Astronaut Christa McAuliffe is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Concord, New Hampshire. She died on the space shuttle Challenger in 1986, where she was serving as a payload specialist.
Actor Claude Rains is buried in Red Hill Cemetery in Moultonborough, New Hampshire. The prominent film star of the 30s and 40s appeared in “The Invisible Man” and “Scrooge.”
Everett Koop is buried in Pine Knoll Cemetery in Hanover, New Hampshire. Koop was a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and served as the 13th surgeon general of the United States under President Ronald Reagan from 1982 to 1989.
Famous celebrity graves
Perhaps the most-visited is the burial site of Elvis Presley at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. More than 600,000 people annually visit Graceland and Elvis’ burial site. Initially, Elvis was buried in a mausoleum in Forest Hills Cemetery in Memphis, but his body was moved after a theft attempt. You can visit the Meditation Garden where Elvis is buried for free from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Frank Sinatra is buried in Desert Memorial Park in Palm Springs, California. His gravestone reads, “The Best is Yet to Come,” from one of his famous tunes. Sinatra was buried with a bottle of Jack Daniels and a pack of Camel Cigarettes.
If you want to see many famous graves, visit Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Santa Monica Boulevard. in Hollywood, California. The lively site hosts movies and concerts each year.
There’s a huge memorial to Ramones singer Johnny Ramone, as well an annual tribute there to aid cancer research.
You’ll also find the grave sites of:
- Rudolph Valentino
- Cecil B. DeMille
- Mickey Rooney
- Judy Garland (and Toto, too)
You can also visit Forest Lawn Memorial Park near the Hollywood Hills, sometimes called the “cemetery of the stars.” The cemetery includes the graves of:
- Mel Blanc, voice of Bugs Bunny and dozens of other cartoon characters
- Singer Chris Cornell
- Surf rock king Dick Dale
- Actor Valerie Harper
Preplanning your final arrangements ensures that your family understands your final wishes and alleviates a great deal of stress.
The most visited grave in America by far is that of JFK in Arlington National Cemetery. The cemetery gets 3 Million visitors per year and it is believed at least 2 Million visit JFK’s grave.