Lives in Chicago, Illinois
Since Aug 2010
I took my first plane ride at a mere two weeks of age and have been passionate about travel ever since. A published poet and working journalist, when not traveling I'm obsessing about where to go next, or writing about where I've been.
Art Museums, Gardens
History Museums, Specialty Museums
Scenic Railroads, Specialty Museums
Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings, Art Museums
Specialty Museums, Churches & Cathedrals
Shopping Malls, Specialty Museums, Shopping Tours
Historic Sites, History Museums
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.