The majesty of Belmont Mansion attracts visitors from around the world to its beautiful setting just east of Hillsboro Village. Its elegant architecture is accentuated by extensive, elaborate gardens and foliage.
One of Nashville’s staples on the National Register of Historic Places since 1971, Belmont Mansion has served as the antebellum home of the wealthy Acklen family, a women’s college, a temporary headquarters of the Union Army, and a museum, which it remains to this day.
Today, the Belmont Mansion stands as a gateway back to 19th century Nashville. Visitors can appreciate a vast art collection inside the mansion, as well as learn more about Nashville’s rich history courtesy of its museum, today maintained by the Belmont Mansion Association and Belmont University.
Country Music Hall of Fame
The Country Music Hall of Fame is one of Nashville’s main attractions. Known as “The Smithsonian of Country Music,” the museum possesses an unparalleled collection of historical artifacts and extensive galleries pertaining to Music City’s rich history of sound and culture.
Each year, new exhibits are added to the museum to complement its educational centerpiece, the Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music exhibit. Throughout the 350,000 square foot museum, visitors can listen to and learn about the greatest country artists of all time in incomparable depth.
The Country Music Hall of Fame operates Hatch Show Print, the legendary letterpress print shop whose works frequently appear in the Ryman Auditorium and on the Grand Ole Opry. Since 1879, Hatch Show Print has visually documented Nashville’s cultural history in stunning fashion.
Nashville SC has collaborated with Hatch Show Print to connect their famous designs and style with soccer’s emergence in the city. In 2021, the club partnered with the shop to create hand-carved designs to be featured on matchday posters, such as the May 23 match against Austin FC.
One of Nashville’s newest parks, Cumberland Park opened in 2012 and has quickly become one of the city’s main destinations for families looking for a fun-filled day. Situated along the east bank of the Cumberland River and adjacent to downtown Nashville, the Cumberland Park project has restored over 1.6 acres of meadow and riparian grasses to the area.
Attractions at Cumberland Park include a stone climbing wall, mazes made out of plants, sand play areas, walking paths, and outdoor seating to accommodate visitors. The park also features an outdoor amphitheater with seating for over 1,200 guests.
Nashville SC has close ties to Cumberland Park. Club Majority Owner John Ingram, CEO Ian Ayre, and staff participated in a tree-planting event at Cumberland Park last year as part of the club’s Day of Service under the MLS WORKS Greener Goals initiative.
Fisk University has been a staple of Nashville since its founding in 1866, which makes it the city’s oldest institution of higher learning. Its campus, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, spans 40 acres and features remarkable, historic architecture.
The university’s notable alumni are as numerous as they are distinguished; significant historical figures W. E. B. Dubois, historian John Hope Franklin, record executive Mathew Knowles, Pulitzer Prizer winner David Levering Lewis, and many others all call Fisk University an alma mater.
The Fisk University Jubilee Singers, an A capella group comprised of Fisk students, are among Fisk’s famous exports. The group is renowned for their musical talent and have toured along the Underground Railroad, the U.S., and Europe. The Jubilee Singers have been awarded a National Medal of Arts and their 1909 recording of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” was added to the United States National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress.
Each year, history lovers and Civil War buffs flock to Fort Negley in appreciation of this militarily strategic site’s rich history. The Civil War’s largest inland stone fortification, Fort Negley served as the centerpiece of the Union Army’s occupation of Nashville.
Largely constructed by freed Black Americans and runaway slaves, Fort Negley’s pivotal location, extensive armaments, and sheer size deterred Confederate attacks and helped to consolidate Union power in the state of Tennessee, which rejoined the Union in 1867.
Fort Negley’s visitors center offers a variety of educational materials, including two films on Fort Negley’s history and access to the National Park Service’s Civil War Soldier and Sailors System database, which provides information on the men who served in the Union and Confederate armies of the Civil War.
Founded in 1912, Hadley Park and its 30 acres have been a fixture of Nashville’s landscape for years. It boasts a community center, baseball fields, picnic shelters, tennis courts, a public swimming pool, a bandshell, and beautiful natural features.
Hadley Park was intended for the usage of Nashville’s Black citizens, becoming an important site for the city’s Black community during a time in which segregation persisted. Situated between Tennessee State University, Fisk University, and Jefferson Street, Hadley Park served as a veritable heart of the Black community.
The park’s history and present continue to honor this mission; stone columns erected in the 1930s pay tribute to Black Nashville citizens who died fighting for their country during World War I. The monuments stand out prominently among the park’s rolling terrain and tree-lined landscape.
History and architecture lovers alike can both enjoy a visit to the beautiful Hermitage Hotel in the heart of Nashville. A staple of the city’s high life since the 1910s, the Hermitage Hotel is a stunningly-preserved example of Beaux-Arts classicism.
One of the last remaining buildings of its time in the central district of Nashville, the Hermitage Hotel has played host to a number of key historic moments, including being the site of a special convention at which the Tennessee Senate voted to approve the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Tennessee’s approval meant that the amendment would be ratified.
A fixture on the National Register of Historic Places, the Hermitage Hotel’s elegant look remains as striking as it was upon its initial opening to the public.
Hungry for a quick bite to eat or eager to bring some of Nashville’s unique style back home? If so, a leisurely stroll through Hillsboro Village is the perfect morning or afternoon activity for any Nashville visitor.
Featuring a wide array of restaurants that can satisfy any palette, Hillsboro Village is a well-known breakfast and lunch destination. Local favorites like Pancake Pantry and Fido are a great way to start an activity-filled morning, while Hopdoddy Burger Bar and the Grilled Cheeserie help visitors re-fuel before a night full of fun and excitement in Music City. Make sure to stop by Jeni’s Ice Cream for a sweet end to any trip!
Nestled between the beautiful Vanderbilt and Belmont University campuses, Hillsboro Village is an ideal walking area. Window shopping is another staple of Hillsboro Village, as fashion shops that showcase Nashville’s endearing style trends like Impeccable Pig, Scout & Molly’s, South Boutique, and A Thousand Faces all make for must-visit locations along the main streets of the Village.
Historic Jefferson Street
Historic Jefferson Street is among Nashville’s most culturally rich areas, serving as the African-American community’s historic center in the city. By the 1920s and ‘30s, Jefferson Street became a popular neighborhood for the Black middle class and home to an array of Black churches.
Jefferson Street is adjacent to three historically Black universities: Fisk University, Meharry Medical College, and Tennessee State University. During the Civil Rights era, Jefferson Street became a site of Nashville Sit-ins. The area also earned a reputation as a music haven for rock and roll and rhythm and blues, with famous performers like Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, James Brown, and Ray Charles all having played on Jefferson Street.
The Buchanan Arts District is a veritable hub of music and the arts. Galleries and murals abound in the Buchanan Arts District, whose grassroots vibes and popular eateries make a visit a fun destination for tourists and locals alike.
Home to Nashville SC’s Geodis Park, the Nashville Fairgrounds is a major site of activity and community-building in the Nashville area. The Nashville Fairgrounds are also the location of the Fairgrounds Speedway, the second-oldest continuing track in the U.S.; the Nashville Flea Market, and the Tennessee State Fairground Sports Arena.
The Nashville Fairgrounds’ 117 acres play host to extensive indoor and outdoor events, conferences, and trade shows to the benefit of the Nashville community. Despite its history in establishing Nashville as a major horseracing destination, today the Nashville Fairgrounds feature a diversity of activities.
Just outside Geodis Park, recreational soccer fields and a heavily-frequented dog park keep the Fairgrounds bustling year-round. The Fairgrounds are a great place for families and children of all ages to enjoy a day in Nashville.
Nashville's Farmers Market
The bright colors of locally-grown produce and the smells of freshly-baked goods at the Nashville Farmers’ Market attract the eyes and noses of any passerby, but its the unmatched quality of these goods that keeps Nashville natives and tourists coming back for more at this open-air market.
Operating well into its third century as a staple of the Nashville community, the Nashville Farmers’ Market is host to over 150 farm sheds staffed by local farmers, artisans, and small business owners. Seasonal specialties are always in high demand, but the market’s international food hall with roughly twenty restaurants always has something for everybody. Stop by for a taste of Nashville residents have enjoyed since 1802.
National Museum of African American Music
Since opening in 2020, the National Museum of African-American Music has become one of the many music-related institutions attracting visitors from across the country to the Music City. The museum is dedicated to showcasing the countless ways in which African-Americans contributed to and shaped music in our country.
The National Museum of African-American Music is the only museum of its kind in the country, and its commitment to preserving the remarkable achievements of African-American artists renders it a must-see destination. Building on and diversifying Nashville’s status as the Music City, the museum focuses closely on African-American artists whose careers included time in Nashville, such as Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, the Fisk University Jubilee Singers, and many others.
Throughout its 56,000 square feet, the National Museum of African-American Music boasts interactive and immersive exhibits that entertain and educate museumgoers. These exhibits trace the culture and contributions of African-American artists from the 1600s to today.
Nashville SC has worked with the National Museum of African-American Music in promoting their mission. In fact, the museum will host exhibits at GEODIS Park’s music-themed WeHo Club, a section of the stadium for members that features live music, all-inclusive food and drinks, and private lounge access.
RCA Studio B and Music Row
Nashville’s status as “Music City” is perhaps best encapsulated in the rich history of Music Row, the city’s entertainment hub during the development of the famous “Nashville Sound.”
Home to a wide array of recording studios, publishing houses, licensing firms, and other entertainment industry commerce, Music Row’s contributions to global music are as diverse as they are unparalleled. Take RCA Studio B, for example, where music legends like Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Eddy Arnold, the Everly Brothers, Willie Nelson, Chet Atkins, and others have all worked and recorded.
Today, Music Row is as alive as ever; vibrant restaurants, honky tonks, and live entertainment venues abound. The music industry continues to thrive on Music Row, with several key entertainment firms calling the heart of Music City home still today.
Sulphur Dell, named after its location’s sulfur springs, is a notable site of sporting significance in the Nashville area. The historic park boasted unusual dimensions, including disproportional outfield fencing and a playing field fully below street level.
Demolished in 1969, Sulphur Dell was home to Nashville’s baseball teams from its founding during the Union Army’s presence in the city during the Civil War. Teams like the Americans, Seraphs, Tigers, Vols, and Negro League Elite Giants all called the famous ballpark home.
Today, the memory of Sulphur Dell remains present in Nashville. Upon the site of Sulphur Dell, the city erected First Horizon Park, the home of the Milwaukee Brewers’ AAA affiliate Nashville Sounds.
The Frist Center for the Visual Arts
Since 2001, The Frist Center for the Visual Arts has been home to some of Nashville’s — and the country’s — finest contemporary art. Throughout its 24,000 feet of gallery space, the Frist Center boasts an innovative exhibition schedule that constantly updates to feature the region’s best emerging visual art.
This family friendly institution features the popular Martin ArtQuest Gallery, an interactive exhibit where museumgoers can learn through art and make their own masterpieces. With an excellent in-house cafe and a well-stocked gift shop, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at the Frist Center.
Because the Frist Center is always updating its exhibits, this former U.S. Post Office building is a frequented location by Nashville locals and tourists alike. During the summer, its Frist Fridays provide visitors with live music and hors d’oeuvres in addition to its extensive art collection.
Since opening in the 1930s, Nashville’s Parthenon has served as an iconic site for tourists and locals alike and an homage to Nashville’s moniker as “The Athens of the South.” Its sheer size and intricate attention to detail capture the eyes and imaginations of all those who visit the scenic Centennial Park, and it remains an active art museum.
In addition to its architectural homage to the ancient Greek Parthenon, the Parthenon hosts a variety of art and artifact exhibits pertaining to 5th century BCE Athens. The mission of the state-owned site is to educate visitors on the legacy of the ancient Greeks, the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, and the rebuilding of the Nashville Parthenon.
No visit to Music City could be complete without a stop at Ryman Auditorium, best known today for hosting the Grand Ole Opry. Named after prominent 19th-century Nashville businessman Thomas G. Ryman, Ryman Auditorium became a cultural wonder of the world in the 1920s, when entrepreneurial show promoter Lula C. Naff brought acclaimed acts like Charlie Chaplin, Harry Houdini, Bob Hope, Katherine Hepburn, and even President Theodore Roosevelt.
Beginning in 1943, the Ryman Auditorium became the home of the Grand Ole Opry weekly country music stage concert, bringing superstars like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, and countless others directly to the Nashville community and television screens across the world.
Recently renovated in the ‘90s, The Ryman is the recipient of six Pollstar Magazine Theatre of the Year awards and has been named Academy of Country Music’s Venue of the Year. It’s unparalleled acoustics grant concertgoers an unforgettable listening experience, and its rich history is sure to leave visitors in awe.
Third Man Records
Nashville is synonymous with music, and the city’s rich music culture is nowhere best captured than at Third Man Records. The world’s only live venue with direct-to-acetate recording capabilities, Third Man Records is a must-visit destination for music lovers, particularly fans of listening to vinyl records.
Stepping inside Third Man Records transports you back fifty years, with a novelties lounge complete with a video jukebox and a Mold-A-Rama machine that turns Third Man Records founder Jack White’s famous red Airline guitar into wax replicas.
An innovator in the music industry and a preserver of music’s past, Third Man Records imbues its visitors with a renewed appreciation of the sacred art of music.
TN State Capitol
A fixture of the Nashville landscape since 1859, the Tennessee State Capitol stands as an elegant testament to the people of Tennessee. The building houses both houses of the Tennessee legislature and the Governor’s Office, and it is designated as a National Historic Landmark and a mainstay on the National Register of Historic Places since 1970.
Guided tours of the TN State Capitol are available during weekdays, and highlights include a Military Branch museum as well as permanent and temporary museum exhibits. The permanent exhibits pay tribute to Nashville’s extensive history and notable citizens, dating back to 13,000 BCE.
The Capitol’s temporary exhibits serve to complement their permanent exhibits educating the public on Tennessee’s history. This Spring, temporary exhibits on display at the Capitol include Let's Eat! Origins and Evolutions of Tennessee Food, The State of Sound: Tennessee’s Musical Heritage, and Ratified! Tennessee Women and the Right to Vote, among many others.
Woolworth on 5th
Woolworth on 5th has been a heavily-trafficked destination for Nashville natives in the known for decades, first opening its doors in 1913 as one of the city’s original “five and dime” stores. The iconic building has served as an eatery dating back to 1925 and was recently renovated in 2018 to recapture the building’s original architecture and style.
Woolworth on 5th was a key site in Nashville’s Civil Rights era. Sit-ins organized and led by students from nearby historically Black universities took place at the venue, and Woolworth on 5th has been designated as a historic site in the Fifth Avenue Historic District registry.
In 2022, Woolworth on 5th is set to reopen as a "first-of-its-kind" theatrical residency spearheaded by country music fixture Chuck Wicks and entrepreneur Rob Bellenfant. The Woolworth Theater will host live music, plays, and songwriter nights in addition to functioning as a trendy cocktail lounge in downtown Nashville.