Where Are the 11 Best Museums in Nashville, TN?

History is deep in Nashville and there's a museum for just about everything. Here are the top choices for your next museum visit.

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Where Are the 11 Best Museums in Nashville, TN?

Posted by Gary Ashton RE/MAX on Monday, January 27th, 2020 at 9:17am.

The Best Museums in Nashville, TN

History is deep in Nashville and there's a museum for just about everything. Whether you prefer to visit an art museum or one centered around music, you can choose from many throughout the city. Here are the top choices for your next museum visit.

History is deep in Nashville and there's a museum for just about everything. Whether you prefer to visit an art museum or one centered around music, you can choose from many throughout the city. Here are the top choices for your next museum visit.

Frist Center for the Visual Arts

As one of the top choices for performances, films, lectures, family events, music events and incredible art, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts should be at the top of your list. You will find some of the best art in the city here and visitors under 18 years of age get in free.

Spectacular Frist Center is a classic museum, with enough special exhibits to enthrall any visitor. Senior Mondays with half-price admission are especially popular, as are interactive family activities and films. Don't miss it!

The Hermitage Presidential Museum

The Hermitage Museum: Home of Andrew JacksonOne of the most sought-after and largest presidential museums in the whole world is the Hermitage Presidential Museum. It was home of President Andrew Jackson, from 1804, up until his death in 1845, and it was sold to the state of Tennessee by the Jackson family in 1855.

The Ladies' Hermitage Association has been taking care of the museum since 1889. The property is currently considered a historic site in the State of Tennessee, and it has become a National Historic Landmark that stands on a 1,120-acre plot of land. The Hermitage boasts a historic museum along with some recreational and farming facilities.

he Hermitage was the very first Smithsonian Institution Affiliate Museum, bringing in roughly around 200,000 visitors from all over the world per annum.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Music City wouldn't be complete without a museum dedicated to country music. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is found in the entertainment district of downtown. The museum provides over 40,000 square feet of music history and so much more.

Visit this unique museum and research center to learn about and enjoy the history of a strictly American musical genre. It's a must-see that often includes live presentations to complement its galleries and exhibits. During the year, a number of public programs are available, and any time is a great time to visit!

The Johnny Cash Museum

The Johnny Cash Museum is one more museum every visitor and local to Nashville must add to their to-do list. This museum is a celebration of the life of Johnny Cash and features a huge collection from founder, Bill Miller. Bill has collected everything he could find associated with Cash for many years and has opened this museum as a tribute to The Man in Black.

Items found in the museum include:

  • Historical documents and letters
  • Awards
  • Costumes
  • Instruments
  • A handwritten manuscript of Cash's last song ever written
  • Interactive exhibits
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Records
  • And so much More!

With the help of friends, colleagues, family members and many others. Miller was able to bring this collection to the public. Not only can fans enjoy a look into the life of Johnny Cash as a music start, but they can also enjoy many items from his life before he became famous. Many items from the old House of Cash in Hendersonville are featured in the museum, along with artifacts from other museums around the country.

An entire section is dedicated to the time Cash spent in the Air Force. You can view his uniform, transmitter and service papers, along with many other items never released for public viewing before.

Another section labeled the Memphis/Sun Records section features a J-200 Gibson guitar, many 45 r.p.m. and 78 r.p.m. from Cash. Enjoy everything from the awards he won to the different formats he charted in, ranging from records all the way to digital downloads.

The museum is found on Third Avenue South in Nashville and opens daily at 11am. It stays open until 7pm and you enter and exit through a gift shop with some of the coolest Johnny Cash t-shirts and souvenirs you can find. Admission is $14 and discounts are provided for students and active military personnel with an ID.

The Carnton

Located at 1345 Carnton Lane in Franklin, Tennessee the Carnton is one of the most interest attractions in the Nashville area. Franklin is a very desirable place to visit and the Carnton is just one part of the area. This plantation is a historic landscape and many visitors to Nashville add it to their itinerary. You can take a guided tour of the plantation, discover the home of Carrie McGavock and enjoy all the nooks and crannies of the plantation.

As one of the most interesting historic landmarks found in Franklin, you will want to plan plenty of time for your tour. Thing you will discover here include:

  • The Confederate Cemetery - Carnton will forever be bound to the Confederate Cemetery because of the Battle of Franklin. It's known as a sacred plot of land where many have remained for decades.
  • The Garden - This garden is very similar to what it was like in the 19th century.
  • Museum Store - After visiting the Museum, you can enjoy shopping in the store. It's full of books, gifts and so much more.

These parts of the grounds are in addition to the actual plantation home, which you can discover through the guided tour.

A guided tour will allow you to see the best parts of the plantation and enjoy a guide with plenty of knowledge to share. Guided tours start at 9:30am most days and the last one is usually at 4pm. These tours are about an hour long and provide plenty of interesting stories and facts about the plantation.

Lane Motor Museum

The Lane Motor Museum provides a unique look into some of the oldest, rarest and coolest cars in the world. The museum was established in 2012, by car enthusiast Jeff Lane. If you're interested in European cars, add the museum to your list. As one of the only museums in the country specializing in cars from Europe, you'll find all kinds of great choices in showroom condition. The Lane Motor Museum features both a car and motorcycle collection including:

  • A.B.C. 0 1922
  • Adler Trumpf Jr - 1935
  • Aero 30 - 1936
  • Berkeley Sports SE328 - 1959
  • Citroën 5CV Trefle- 1924
  • Gregory Sedan- 1947
  • Rovin D4- 1953
  • Tatra T-603 Saloon- 1958
  • Tatra T-805- 1955
  • Wind Wagon- 1929
  • And so many more!

The museum is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm during the summer. After September 16th, the museum remains open the same hours, except on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when the museum is closed. With over 150 cars and motorcycles on display, the Lane Motor Museum is the perfect place for the car lover. Many of the vehicles are hard to find anywhere else and range from military vehicles to competition cars.

Fontanel Mansion & Farm

You might think you've had your fill of touring country music homes. Until you have found a way to fit the Fontanel Mansion & Farm into the list of places you've been, you are hardly finished.

This is a mansion that was constructed for a woman named Barbara Mandrell and her family in the 1980's. The Mandrell owned the property until the year 2002. At that time, they sold it to Marc Oswald and Dale Morris who are the current owners

The Mansion is filled with a lot of unique items that belonged to the Mandrell family. This even includes their family bible. The mansion is also filled with a lot of country memorabilia which makes it a place every lover a country music has on their list of places they need to visit before they pass away.

Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art

Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art Flower GardenThe Cheekwood Botanical Gardens & Museum of Art provides all kinds of entertainment, education and natural opportunities for the entire family to enjoy. With year-round events, amazing exhibits, gardens and more, this is a place worth visiting more than just once.

Throughout the property, you will find many gardens, which over 175,000 visitors enjoy every year. The 55-acre site includes:

  • Cheek Gardens
  • Japanese Garden
  • Herb Garden
  • Two Perennial Gardens
  • Water Garden
  • Seasons Garden
  • Color Garden
  • An Award-Winning Wild Flower Garden

All of the gardens fit a specific style and serve a purpose. Other horticultural exhibits and shows are found in the Botanic Hall throughout the year.

Another huge part of the Cheekwood Estate is the art. With permanent collections and many traveling exhibits coming through, there's always something to enjoy. Permanent Collections include paintings, decorative art, sculptures and contemporary art.

This 55-acre attraction provides a look at some of the best art in the city. The garden is a great place to enjoy workshops for all ages, classes and so much more.

Tennessee State Museum

The largest state museum in the country, the Tennessee State Museum provides a look at the history of the state. It's found downtown off 5th and Deaderick Street and admission is free.

Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum

The former Nashville Municipal Auditorium houses this music-themed museum that honors all genres, as well as displaying the actual instruments played by a number of legendary performers. It's conveniently located in the heart of downtown.

Not just dedicated to country music, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum covers all genres from funk to R & B. With a little bit of everything, this is a great place to explore the history of music.

Other places of interest to music fans include the George Jones Museum, which is also an event center with food and drink in a convivial atmosphere, the Patsy Cline Museum and the Johnny Cash Museum, both of which tell the life stories of two beloved performers.

Belle Meade Plantation

The Bell Meade Plantation Dairy BuildingThe Belle Meade Plantation is one of the premier places to visit in the Nashville area. Both residents and travelers to Tennessee appreciate the historical significance of this famed plantation. Both residents and travelers to Tennessee appreciate the historical significance of this famed plantation.

Many children from local elementary and middle schools tour the plantation each year. It is an especially popular school tour and an important one, too. It demonstrates the plantation culture that once dominated Tennessee and the rest of the south.

One of the children's tours emphasizes the Harding family's involvement in the Civil War and its aftermath. The children tour the mansion and the grounds and then participate in a scavenger hunt that emphasizes map reading, teamwork and applying logic to solve problems. Kids love scavenger hunts, so they have fun while they're learning.

Another tour that is available to both students and other visitors emphasizes how the slaves lived on the plantation. During the tour, guests view the interior of the mansion and the surrounding grounds. They learn how the slaves lived, dressed, and what kind of jobs they had. The cultural traditions of the slave population are also emphasized. After the tour, guests participate in a "Journey to Freedom" game. They follow a well-worn path to freedom and pretend they are part of the Underground Railroad.

Visit These Must-See Nashville Museums Today

There are a number of beautiful museums in Nashville, each of which holds its own unique charm and history. In Nashville, TN, all museums have different qualities that would make any one of them a great way to spend an afternoon with friends or family.


Gary Ashton

The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage

The #1 RE/MAX team in the World!

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