Constructed in 1897 for Tennessee's Centennial Exposition and made a permanent fixture in the 1920s, the Nashville Parthenon may not be the city’s most original building (it is an exact copy of the Athens original), but it is certainly among its most visually interesting and historically significant. The Parthenon, which stands in Centennial Park and contains a 42-foot high statue of the goddess Athena at its center, may not be clad in the fine marble of its Greek counterpart, but its detailed, pristine façade give a far better idea of what ancient Athenians might have viewed atop the Acropolis in 400 B.C. than even the original itself, which has been badly degraded over time.

A landmark that’s all Nashville’s own is the Ryman Auditorium , the erstwhile home of the Grand Ole Opry and one of the nation’s finest performance venues—both the from inside and outside. A stately brick building completed in 1882, the Ryman is an engineering marvel as well as an architectural one. The interior, decorated a style befitting of its regal performance history (music royalty like Johnny Cash and The King himself, among countless luminaries have mounted its stage), is acoustically flawless as well.

Just outside out town is The Hermitage , the former home of national hero and local son Andrew Jackson. The main house, surrounded by a spattering of smaller buildings, is an architectural mishmash that somehow comes together to form a striking whole. Incorporating elements of Federal and Greek Revival styles, became Jackson’s home in 1804. Today, the estate is operated as a museum and is the 4th most visited presidential residence in the country after the White House, Mount Vernon, and Monticello.