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Museum Guide for Nashville

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Although Nashville has earned the nickname “Music City” for being a major music industry hub in the United States, that's far from all this great town has to offer. Since its foundation in 1779, Nashville has grown into a pivotal nerve center of the arts. Whether your interests lie in music or cars, sports, visual arts, or even railroads – there are dozens of museums in Nashville offering a wide range of cultural activities for all ages to enjoy.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover

13 Places

6 City Tips

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Map

13 Places

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Specialty Museums

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens & Museum of Art

Art Museums, Gardens

Frist Art Museum

Art Museums

The Johnny Cash Museum

History Museums, Specialty Museums

Lane Motor Museum

Specialty Museums

Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum

Specialty Museums

Tennessee Central Railway Museum

Scenic Railroads, Specialty Museums

Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame

Specialty Museums

Tennessee State Museum

History Museums

The Parthenon

Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings, Art Museums

The Upper Room Chapel & Christian Museum

Specialty Museums, Churches & Cathedrals

Willie Nelson and Friends Museum and General Store

Shopping Malls, Specialty Museums, Shopping Tours

Historic Travellers Rest Plantation & Museum

Historic Sites, History Museums

MelaniePF's City Tips

  • Chat with a local and experience southern hospitality first hand.
  • Take a walk across the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge - crossing the Cumberland River - for stunning views and photo opportunities of the Nashville skyline.
  • For exploring Nashville's downtown area, hop aboard the Music City Circuit Bus which stops at several points of interest - and best of all, is free!
  • Yes, Nashville is part of the southern region of the U.S., but the city can still get cold and snowy in the winter months. Be sure to check the forecast when packing for your trip.
  • Whether you're walking around downtown and checking out the shops and honky-tonks, or spending your day museum hopping, you're going to be doing a lot of walking so be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
  • Activities in Nashville are spread out all over the metropolitan area, so getting around by car is the most efficient option.
  • Save
    Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
    Specialty Museums
    See more photos
    MelaniePF Says:

    Established to preserve the history and traditions of country music, The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum offers exhibits of some of country music's best loved groups and artists. It also hosts youth and family, school, and distance learning programs; songwriter sessions; film screenings; an artist-in-residence program; shopping and dining options; and more. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is a must for fans of country music during their visit to Nashville.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Open daily from 9am to 5pm (with the exception of Thanksgiving day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.)
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 269 things to do in Nashville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Surprisingly enjoyable 09/24/2018
    • Must-see for country music fans! 09/24/2018
    • Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
    Address:
    222 Fifth Avenue South
    Nashville, TN 37203-4206
    Phone:
    +1 615-416-2001
    Price range:
    $25 - $25
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Cheekwood Botanical Gardens & Museum of Art
    Art Museums, Gardens
    See more photos
    MelaniePF Says:

    Nationally recognized for its excellence in art and horticulture, the stunning Cheekwood Botanical Gardens & Museum of Art sits gracefully upon a 55-acre estate, featuring a 30,000-square-foot Georgian-style mansion. Founded in 1959, Cheekwood’s art collection includes permanent collections and visiting exhibits of American paintings and sculptures, American and British decorative arts, and contemporary art. The gardens feature herb, perennial and wildflower gardens, a Japanese garden, a woodland sculpture trail, and a nature sanctuary.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Parts of the property include hills and uneven pathways, so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and be conscious of your surroundings.
    • Cheekwood is located about 8.5 miles southwest of downtown Nashville.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #42 of 269 things to do in Nashville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Outdoor Event 09/23/2018
    • Take the Tours!!!! 09/15/2018
    • Cheekwood Botanical Gardens & Museum of Art
    Address:
    1200 Forrest Park Dr
    Nashville, TN 37205-4206
    Phone:
    +1 615-356-8000
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Frist Art Museum
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    MelaniePF Says:

    Housed in Nashvilles's historic U.S. Post Office building, The Frist Center for the Visual Arts aims to inspire people through art to look at the world in new ways. A non-collecting art museum, the Frist Center does not have its own permanent collection of art. Instead it opts to focus on creating high quality exhibitions, hosting traveling exhibitions from around the world, and offering educational programs and community outreach activities. All this in about 24,000 square feet of gallery space.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Admission is free for children aged 18 and under.
    • Casual and comfortable attire is welcome and encouraged.
    • An iPod audio tour is available for purchase.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #39 of 269 things to do in Nashville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Much smaller than expected. 09/12/2018
    • The building is the thing 09/09/2018
    • Frist Art Museum
    Address:
    919 Broadway
    Nashville, TN 37203-3822
    Phone:
    +1 615-244-3340
    Hours:
    Sun
    1:00 PM - 5:30 PM
    Mon - Wed
    10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
    Thu - Fri
    10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
    Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    The Johnny Cash Museum
    History Museums, Specialty Museums
    See more photos
    MelaniePF Says:

    For fans of the 'man in black,' and country music lovers in general, a visit to the Johnny Cash Museum is a must during any trip to Nashville. Officially authorized by the Estate of Johnny Cash, the Johnny Cash Museum features the largest collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia anywhere in the world. Open daily and in the heart of downtown Nashville, the museum also houses a gift store, coffee shop, and hosts special events.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Group rates are available.
    • Open from 8am to 7pm daily with certain holiday closures or reduced hours — call for confirmation.
    • Admission for kids of five and under is free with adult admission.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #26 of 269 things to do in Nashville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A Must for any Johnny Cash Fan 09/24/2018
    • Not huge, but good 09/24/2018
    • The Johnny Cash Museum
    Address:
    119 3rd Ave S
    Nashville, TN 37201-2032
    Phone:
    +1 615-256-1777
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Lane Motor Museum
    Specialty Museums
    See more photos
    MelaniePF Says:

    Art and music are fun for some, but for others it's all about the cars. Come to the Lane Motor Museum and view the largest European collection in the country, with 150 unique cars and motorcycles, microcars, military vehicles, alternative fuel vehicles, prototypes, and more on display. A working museum with the goal of maintaining all vehicles in running order, the Lane Motor Museum even offers an indoor kids play area too so that children and adults alike can be around their favorite toys.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
    • Closed on New Year's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #14 of 269 things to do in Nashville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Antique Cars 09/24/2018
    • Crazy! 09/16/2018
    • Lane Motor Museum
    Address:
    702 Murfreesboro Pike
    Nashville, TN 37210-4522
    Phone:
    +1 615-742-7445
    Hours:
    Thu - Mon
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum
    Specialty Museums
    See more photos
    MelaniePF Says:

    Smack dab in the heart of downtown Nashville, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum doesn't only pay homage to country music, but tips a hat to all music regardless of genre or instrument. The museum is divided into cities that have a significant history of recorded music, like Detroit, Los Angeles, Memphis, New York, Nashville — of course — and more. It even features displays of some of the very instruments used by legendary musicians in the recordings of their classic hits.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Closed on Sunday.
    • Located on the first floor of the Historic Nashville Municipal Auditorium, the museum entrance is on Musicians Way.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #15 of 269 things to do in Nashville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Not into country here’s the museum for you! 09/23/2018
    • A Must See ! 09/23/2018
    • Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum
    Address:
    401 Gay St
    Nashville, TN 37201-2000
    Phone:
    +1 615-244-3263
    Price range:
    $24 - $24
    Hours:
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Tennessee Central Railway Museum
    Scenic Railroads, Specialty Museums
    See more photos
    MelaniePF Says:

    Like foodies and car enthusiasts, train lovers can be a pretty passionate bunch as well. Fortunately, if you fall into this group, the Tennessee Central Railway Museum is located right in Nashville and is dedicated to the preservation of Tennessee's railroad heritage. With a hobby shop, a library, and the largest collection of Tennessee Central Railway artifacts anywhere, the museum offers a wealth of information on this important slice of American history. And even more exciting than just looking at and learning about trains, is riding on them! Visitors can sign up for passenger excursions to points like Lebanon, Watertown, Cookeville, and Monterey, Tennessee. You can even choose a Murder Mystery-, Fall Foliage-, or Winery-themed trip.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Plan early to include a passenger excursion in your visit.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #153 of 269 things to do in Nashville
    • Thomas the Train Adventure 09/09/2018
    • Day out with Thomas the Train 09/02/2018
    • Tennessee Central Railway Museum
    Address:
    220 Willow St
    Nashville, TN 37210-2159
    Phone:
    +1 615-244-9001
    Hours:
    Tue - Sat
    9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
    Specialty Museums
    MelaniePF Says:

    From the Nashville Predators to the Tennessee Titans, Nashville isn't only a music town, but a sports town as well — so it's fitting that the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame calls Nashville its home. Located in downtown Nashville in a state of the art, interactive facility, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame honors the successful teams and athletes who have made an impact on the history of sports in Tennessee. Loaded with displays and exhibits pertaining to all sports, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame is a great place for any sport nut to get lost for a few hours.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Closed Sunday and Monday.
    • Group rates are available for 10 or more visitors.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #169 of 269 things to do in Nashville
    • Sports, sports, sports 07/20/2018
    • Covers everything in Tennessee sports 03/30/2017
    • Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
    Address:
    501 Broadway
    Nashville, TN 37203-3980
    Phone:
    +1 615-242-4750
    Hours:
    Tue - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Tennessee State Museum
    History Museums
    See more photos
    MelaniePF Says:

    Admitted to the Union in 1796 as the 16th state, the state of Tennessee has a vast and engaging history, and there's no better way to learn more about it than a visit to the Tennessee State Museum in downtown Nashville. Spanning from pre-colonial times to the 20th century, the museum includes more than 60,000 square feet of permanent displays as well as a hall of changing exhibitions. Civil War buffs will be fascinated by the museum's collection of uniforms, weapons, and battle flags from that era, which is the largest in the country.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Admission is free.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #45 of 269 things to do in Nashville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Excellent Museum of Tennessee History 08/06/2018
    • Support this place 08/04/2018
    • Tennessee State Museum
    Address:
    505 Deaderick St
    Nashville, TN 37208-2624
    Phone:
    +1 800-407-4324
    Hours:
    Sun
    1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Tue - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    The Parthenon
    Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings, Art Museums
    See more photos
    MelaniePF Says:

    Originally built for the 1897 Centennial Exposition in Tennessee, The Parthenon is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece, and houses Nashville's art museum. Located in Nashville's Centennial Park, The Parthenon hosts a permanent collection of more than 60 paintings by 19th and 20th century American artists, as well as a variety of temporary shows and exhibits. There are also various historical displays which explain the history of the Nashville Parthenon itself.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Bring a camera to shoot some photos of the gorgeous building and its grounds.
    • Closed Monday.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #50 of 269 things to do in Nashville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Worth the time to go----and Athena statue is amazing 09/24/2018
    • Nice 09/24/2018
    • The Parthenon
    Address:
    2600 W End Ave
    Centennial Park
    Nashville, TN 37203
    Phone:
    +1 615-862-8431
    Price range:
    $6 - $6
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:30 PM - 4:30 PM
    Tue - Sat
    9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    The Upper Room Chapel & Christian Museum
    Specialty Museums, Churches & Cathedrals
    See more photos
    MelaniePF Says:

    The Upper Room Chapel and Christian Art Museum is an inspiring visit for Christians and religious historians. Exhibits rotate throughout the church year and feature a collection of over 100 nativity scenes in various media through November and January. Around Easter, visitors can enjoy a collection of Ukrainian egg art, as well as bronze and wooden sculptures, plus paintings depicting the Passion story. The Upper Room Museum includes a nearly life size wood carving of the Last Supper as well as a 20-foot high stained glass window.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Closed Saturdays, Sundays, and major holidays.
    • Admission is free, although a donation is encouraged.
    • Located 1.5 miles from downtown Nashville.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #65 of 269 things to do in Nashville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A true Christian Experience 09/23/2018
    • You should go 09/04/2018
    • The Upper Room Chapel & Christian Museum
    Address:
    1908 Grand Ave
    Nashville, TN 37212-2188
    Phone:
    +1 877-899-2780 ext. 7207
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    8:00 AM - 4:30 AM
    Other:
  • Save
    Willie Nelson and Friends Museum and General Store
    Shopping Malls, Specialty Museums, Shopping Tours
    See more photos
    MelaniePF Says:

    A family-owned institution for more than three and a half decades now, the Willie Nelson and Friends Museum and General Store is a must-visit for any fan of country music. The museum features displays with personal items from Willie Nelson and several of his legendary country music friends, and the store offers the largest selection of merchandise of its kind in Nashville, with some of the best prices around.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Tips
    • Open seven days a week, 8.30am to 9pm.
    • Located across the street from the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and the Grand Ole Opry House.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 125 Shopping in Nashville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Willie Nelson fans 09/22/2018
    • Great place to see! 09/03/2018
    • Willie Nelson and Friends Museum and General Store
    Address:
    2613A McGavock Pike
    Nashville, TN 37214-1215
    Phone:
    +1 615-885-1515
    Hours:
    Sun
    8:30 AM - 8:00 PM
    Mon - Sat
    8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Historic Travellers Rest Plantation & Museum
    Historic Sites, History Museums
    See more photos
    MelaniePF Says:

    To get a true sense of the South's past, visit the Historic Travellers Rest Plantation & Museum, housed in the 1799 home of John Overton. Overton was an adviser to Andrew Jackson, a banker, political leader, and judge at the Superior Court of Tennessee. Historic Travellers Rest is the oldest museum house open to the public in Nashville, and features Civil War and Andrew Jackson history, as well as pre-1840 antique furnishings.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Closed on Monday.
    • Closed on several holidays — call ahead to check.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #41 of 269 things to do in Nashville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Very interesting 09/16/2018
    • Frontier and Civil War History 08/16/2018
    • Historic Travellers Rest Plantation & Museum
    Address:
    636 Farrell Pkwy
    Nashville, TN 37220-1218
    Phone:
    +1 615-832-8197
    Hours:
    Tue - Sat
    10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
    Other:
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