The Best Museums to Visit in Nashville, Tennessee
Jun 29, 2022 at 8:00 AM in Things to Do by
Nashville may be known as Music City, but there’s more here to see than just Honky Tonk Row. Beyond the bright, buzzing neon lights of the music venues, the cowboy boot-clad crowds and the crooning voices spilling out onto the streets, Nashville offers quieter spots to explore the city’s history and heritage during the daytime, before you head out to enjoy the latest in live music once night falls.
Wondering where to get started? Here are some of the best museums to visit in Nashville, Tennessee.
1. The Tennessee State Museum
To learn more about the broader state in general, visit the Tennessee State Museum. Tracing more than 10,000 years of Tennessee history, the museum features six permanent exhibitions, plus changing galleries and a hands-on children’s gallery. One of the best parts? Parking and admission are both free at this museum.
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2. The Frist Art Museum
If you’re always down to visit a new art museum, stop by the Frist Art Museum in downtown Nashville. The family-friendly venue displays a range of artwork from a range of artists, from local creators to internationally-known masters. The museum also houses the Martin ArtQuest Gallery, which features 30 art-making stations — perfect for getting hands-on and channeling your own creativity.
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3. Cheekwood Estate & Gardens
Located a little further beyond downtown, Cheekwood Estate & Gardens blends history and an art museum with gorgeously landscaped outdoor grounds and children’s activities. The 1930s estate and family home includes a Georgian mansion, more than 50 acres of gardens and more than 7,000 items in a permanent collection of historical and artistic artifacts.
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4. The Parthenon
The Parthenon is equally unique. Part historic structure, part art museum, this venue is a full-scale reproduction of the Greek Parthenon and is the only building of its type in the world. Originally built for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, it now houses a 42-foot statue of the goddess Athena, plus a range of other artwork.
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5. National Museum of African American Music
So much of Nashville’s music scene and heritage can be traced back to the South’s African American communities. Explore this facet of not just Nashville and music history, but of American history as well, at the National Museum of African American Music. One of the newer museums in Music City, it offers a world-class learning experience for every age and stands as the only museum in the world “dedicated to preserving and celebrating the many music genres created, influenced and inspired by African Americans.”
Photo courtesy of https://www.nmaam.org/wade-in-the-water
Need more ideas for what to do, where to go, where to stay, where to eat and more while in Nashville? Keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming Nashville, Tennessee, Discovery Map guide and, in the meantime, check out all the cool Discovery Map guides for Tennessee, with guides available for Chattanooga, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and other top destinations around the state.
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