At first glance, it's easy to assume that Elvis Presley's mansion and Woodside's Filoli estate wouldn't have much in common, but according to a USA TODAY readers' poll, both historic dwellings are among the best in the nation at decking the halls to welcome holiday visitors.
Filoli Historic House & Garden and Presley's former home, Graceland, in Memphis were both recently announced as winners on USA TODAY's list of top 10 historic holiday home tours, part of the 2020 edition of the publication's 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.
At number nine on USA TODAY's list, Filoli is the only winner west of the Mississippi River — and at just over a century old, one of the "newer" homes featured, relatively speaking, along with Graceland. Elvis' former digs topped the list, which also included such historic residences as George Washington's home, Mount Vernon, in Virginia.
Every year, Filoli staff lavishly decorate the sprawling formal gardens and 1917 Georgian revival mansion with a profusion of lights and ornaments, as well as holiday decor drawn from nature, from traditional evergreens to dried flowers preserved from the estate's gardens.
With public health restrictions in place due to COVID-19, guests cannot go inside the 54,000-square-foot mansion this year, but the eight acres of gardens still offer plenty of holiday cheer for both daytime and nighttime visitors. And though the mansion can't be visited in person at the moment, Filoli staff recently unveiled a virtual tour of the historic home that can be seen on Filoli's YouTube channel.
In addition to festive decorations, the estate's holiday programming has included socially distanced visits with Santa, musical performances and shopping.
To ensure adequate social distancing, visits to Filoli are currently by reservation only. For more information, visit filoli.org.