Historical Places to Visit In Nashville, Tennessee

Explore Nashville's rich history through iconic landmarks and pivotal sites.

Date Posted: July 1, 2024



A man walks through Fort Negley park

Taking a walk through Fort Negley park

Nashville's historic attractions offer a glimpse into Music City's past, spanning pivotal moments that have shaped both the city and the nation. From sites steeped in Civil War history to landmarks showcasing its evolution as a center of music and cultural innovation, these attractions serve as windows into Nashville's rich heritage. Here's our collection of historical sites to check out in Music City.

Places displayed in order from the year they were established

  • 1. The Hermitage
  • 2. Belle Meade Historic Site
  • 3. Fort Negley
  • 4. Broadway
  • 5. Hatch Show Print
  • 6. Ryman Auditorium
  • 7. Centennial Park
  • 8. The Parthenon
  • 9. The Pedestrian Bridge
  • 10. Hermitage Hotel
  • 11. Cheekwood
  • 12. RCA Studio B
  • 13. Country Music Hall of Fame
  • 14. EXIT/IN
  • 15. Station Inn
  • 16. Grand Ole Opry House
  • 17. Gaylord Opryland
  • 18. Bluebird Cafe
  • 19. Natchez Trace Parkway
  • 20. Frist Art Museum
1. The Hermitage
Neighborhood: Hermitage

The Hermitage is 7th president Andrew Jackson’s former home and is the best place to learn about the life of one of America’s greatest generals and one of the countries most compelling figures. Recognized as a National Historic Landmark, the 1,120 acre property set just outside of downtown came into Jackson’s possession in 1804.

2. Belle Meade Historic Site
Neighborhood: Belle Meade

Belle Meade Historic Site located in Belle Meade, TN was bought in 1807 by Virginian John Harding. He named the site “Belle Meade”, French for beautiful meadow, and used it, not for farming but instead for a great many things such as a blacksmith shop, cotton gin and most famously boarding horses. Under the Harding family Belle Meade came to be known as the “Queen of the Southern Plantations”. There is much to be researched about the Harding family and the history of the plantation on the grounds.

A trail at Fort Negley
3. Fort Negley
Neighborhood: South Nashville

Fort Negley in Nashville stands as a poignant reminder of Civil War history and a testament to the city's past. Built by Union soldiers during the Civil War, this historic fortification played a significant role in defending Nashville. Today, it serves as a visitors center and a cultural landmark, offering a glimpse into the city's wartime history.

An aerial view of Broadway in Nashville
4. Broadway
Neighborhood: Downtown

Broadway in Nashville holds a storied place in Music City's history. Now renowned as the beating heart of Nashville's country music scene, many of the buildings that currently feature honky tonks date back to Civil War times and have been used over the years for a wide variety of things.

5. Hatch Show Print
Neighborhood: Downtown

Hatch Show Print in Nashville stands as a living testament to the artistry and heritage of letterpress printing. Established in 1879, it is one of the oldest operating letterpress shops in America, renowned for its distinctive posters that have promoted everything from country music legends to political campaigns. Located in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum complex, Hatch Show Print continues to create vibrant, eye-catching designs using traditional methods and historic wood type.

Inside the Ryman
6. Ryman Auditorium
Neighborhood: Downtown

The Ryman Auditorium also known as “The Mother Church of Country Music” is a converted church that was the original venue of the Grand Ole Opry radio show. Open since 1892 and located right in the heart of downtown, the Ryman is one of Nashville's most iconic places. From Hank Williams to Louie Armstrong and beyond there's a long list of legends that have at one time or another taken the Ryman's stage. The Ryman is still one of Nashville's most popular venues hosting live shows nearly seven nights a week.

Centennial Park on a beautiful day
7. Centennial Park
Neighborhood: West End

Centennial Park which occupies 132 acres and is located west of downtown is considered Nashville's premier urban park. It hosts the iconic Parthenon, walking trails, a small lake, an art center, gardens, volleyball courts and more.

The Parthenon in Nashville
8. The Parthenon
Neighborhood: West End

Nashville’s Parthenon located at Centennial Park and is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon built in Athens, Greece. Nashville’s version was built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, the choice for building the replica in Nashville was influenced by the cities moniker as the “Athens of the South”. Inside, The Parthenon hosts Nashville’s art museum with the centerpiece being, just like in ancient Greece, the Athena statue which stands 42 feet tall and contains more than 8 pounds of gold leaf.

Downtown Nashville aerial view
9. The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge
Neighborhood: Downtown

The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, spanning across the Cumberland River in Nashville, is not only a functional crossing but also a beloved landmark and recreational destination. Offering breathtaking views of the Nashville skyline, the bridge attracts locals and tourists alike who come to walk, jog, or simply enjoy the scenery. Originally built in 1909 as a railroad bridge, it was converted to a pedestrian bridge in 2003 and has since become an iconic part of the Nashville's landscape.

10. Hermitage Hotel
Neighborhood: Downtown

Located in downtown Nashville, the Hermitage Hotel boasts opulent interiors adorned with marble floors, crystal chandeliers, and intricate woodwork, reflecting its timeless allure and Southern charm. Opening its doors in 1910, this grand Beaux-Arts style hotel has hosted numerous notable guests, from U.S. presidents to Hollywood celebrities, cementing its reputation as the premier destination for luxury and hospitality in Nashville.

11. Cheekwood
Neighborhood: Belle Meade

Cheekwood, which was built in 1929, is a 55-acre botanical garden and art museum located on the historic Cheek estate in Belle Meade. Since being converted into a museum of art and botanical garden in 1960, Cheekwood has presented world-class art exhibitions, and spectacular gardens unlike any other in Nashville. Each year, Cheekwood welcomes over 250,000 annual visitors.

Outside RCA Studio B
12. RCA Studio B
Neighborhood: Midtown

RCA Studio B in Nashville is a hallowed recording studio that has played a pivotal role in shaping the sound of American music. Established in 1957, it quickly became a creative hub where legendary artists such as Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, and Roy Orbison recorded some of their most iconic hits. Located on Music Row, Studio B's unassuming exterior belies its historical significance as the birthplace of the 'Nashville Sound'.

Inside the Coutnry Music Hall of Fame
13. Country Music Hall of Fame
Neighborhood: Downtown

The Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville stands as a majestic tribute to the genre's storied past, present, and future. Located in the heart of Music City, this iconic institution celebrates the artists, songwriters, and contributors who have shaped the vibrant tapestry of country music. Inside, immersive exhibits chronicle the evolution of country music, showcasing artifacts ranging from Elvis Presley's solid gold Cadillac to Dolly Parton's flamboyant stage costumes.

A concert at EXIT/IN
Neighborhood: West End

The Exit/In in Nashville stands as a landmark in Music City's music scene, renowned for its vibrant history and eclectic lineup of performances. Since opening its doors in 1971, this historic venue has hosted an impressive array of artists across genres ranging from rock and punk to country and alternative. Legendary acts that have played here over the years include Neil Young, Johnny Cash, and R.E.M.

Musicians on stage at Station Inn
15. Station Inn
Neighborhood: The Gulch

The Station Inn in Nashville is a legendary venue steeped in the rich history of bluegrass and roots music. Nestled in the heart of the Gulch district, this unassuming yet iconic establishment has been a hub for both seasoned musicians and eager listeners since 1974.

16. Grand Ole Opry House
Neighborhood: Music Valley

The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville stands as an iconic symbol of country music's rich heritage and enduring influence. Since opening its doors in 1974, this legendary venue has been the spiritual home of the Grand Ole Opry, the longest-running radio broadcast in history. Located just outside downtown Nashville, the Opry House has hosted countless legendary performances by country music's biggest stars, from Hank Williams and Patsy Cline to modern icons like Carrie Underwood and Garth Brooks.

Inside the beautiful atrium at Geylord Opryland
17. Gaylord Opryland
Neighborhood: Music Valley

Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville holds a unique place in the city's history as a monumental destination blending hospitality, entertainment, and cultural significance. Originally opening as the Opryland Hotel in 1977, it quickly became renowned for its sprawling layout featuring lush gardens, cascading waterfalls, and indoor atriums. It is one of the largest non-gaming hotels in the United States.

Songwriter rounds at Bluebird Cafe
18. The Bluebird Cafe
Neighborhood: Green Hills

The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville is a cherished institution renowned for its intimate atmosphere and pivotal role in shaping the careers of countless singer-songwriters. Tucked away in a nondescript strip mall, this unassuming venue has gained global recognition as a crucible of raw talent and authentic musical storytelling. Since its inception in the early 1980s, the Bluebird has hosted iconic performances that have defined the essence of Nashville's songwriter scene.

The Natchez Trace Parkway in the fall
19. Natchez Trace Parkway
Neighborhood: Bellevue

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile drive through exceptional scenery and 10,000 years of North American history stretching from Nashville to Natchez, Mississippi. Completed in 1994, the double-arched Trace bridge that spans Birdsong Hollow received the Presidential Award for Design Excellence in 1995 for its innovative design that rises 155 feet above the valley below. The bridge is just a short drive from downtown Nashville and makes for a cool spot to explore.

20. Frist Art Museum
Neighborhood: Downtown

The Frist Art Museum in Nashville is a cultural beacon celebrated for its diverse exhibitions and architectural grandeur. Housed in an Art Deco building that was once Nashville's main post office, the Frist Center opened its doors in 2001 and has since become a cornerstone of Music City's arts community.

Know of a historic spot we missed? Email [email protected] and give us a tip! ❤️

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