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Best Historic Locations in Nashville

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Tucked away in the Belle Meade neighborhood of the city, about 9 miles (14.48 kilometers) from downtown, the Percy Warner Park offers an expansive area of green respite for the residents of the city. Together with the Edwin Warner Park, these two are known as the Warner Parks and cover an area of 2684 acres (1086 hectares). One of the most visited parks in the state, the Percy Warner Park has picnic areas, walking trails, an equestrian center, horse trails, golf courses, and more. Plus, the park has earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places because of the rich heritage it preserves.

Known as one of the top studios in Nashville, the Historic RCA Studio B is where some of the music industries greatest hits were recored. With over 35,000 songs recorded here, not to mention over 1,000 of those being top American hits, this Music Row attraction is a bonafide Nashville landmark. Daily tours allow guests to get a firsthand look where the music, stories and the magic were made. Close your eyes and you can almost hear Elvis with his Southern accent or Dolly Parton belting out Jolene.

It is fitting that the "Athens of the South" is home to the world's only full-size replica of the ancient Parthenon. Forty-six Doric columns encircle the building. The largest bronze doors in the world, weighing 7.5 tons each, stand at the East and West entrances. Featured is Athena Parthenos, the tallest indoor sculpture in the Western world. Sculptures and friezes are modeled from Elgin Marbles at the British Museum in London. There are also four art galleries. While the prices are reasonable, you can avail discounts for groups of ten or more with a reservation.

Loved by locals and tourists alike, this 1853 mansion was once the centerpiece of a 5,400-acre (2,185 hectares), 19th-century thoroughbred farm and nursery that back then sheltered president Andrew Jackson's thoroughbred. Awash in a stately Greek Revival style, the plantation boasts a dramatically-picturesque landscape that is dotted by many plantation remnants like a stable, the Hardings Cabin and the restored slaves quarters. Still referred to as the “Queen of Tennessee Plantations,” the present 30-acre (12-hectares) environs includes many of the original outbuildings and an antique carriage collection. The plantation has also played host to many famous guests including Presidents Grover Cleveland and General Sherman. Lending insights into the indelible plantation legacy left behind by John Harding, the Belle Meade Plantation is deeply entrenched in a long-standing lineage which has been an important part of the cultural history of America.

A striking glimpse into America's antebellum eon, the Hermitage tells tales of the life of the country's seventh president, Andrew Jackson. Built in 1835, this historic edifice is a confluence of culture and long-standing history. While living at the Hermitage, Jackson ran a general store, tavern and thoroughbred horse racing tracks nearby, which eventually inspired him to cease his work on the Supreme Court and focus on the Hermitage and its nearby enterprises. This classic Greek Revival mansion retains Jackson's original architecture and furnishings. Permeated with the sounds of a biographical film and museum exhibits, the site of the mansion preserves the original 1804 slave cabins, Jackson's tomb, Tulip Grove Mansion, Old Hermitage Church, and Tennessee Confederate Soldier Cemetery. The estate grounds also shelter a delightful plantation. An integral chapter in the course of American history, the Hermitage greatly immortalizes the 'People's President'.

Once the former location of Nashville's publishing and printing industry, Printers Alley has now become the city's epicenter for nightlife. A sign, extending across Church Street, marks the entrance to this brick-paved, bar-lined alleyway. Neon signage lights up the evenings, beckoning customers. From restaurants to live music bars, Printers Alley is filled with unique and interesting nightlife gems and is even known to be a prime spot where great musicians have performed and gotten their big breaks.

Built in 1862, Fort Negley is an inland fort believed to be one of the largest in the country. Covering over 180,000 square feet (16723 square meter), this all-stone structure did not serve a military purpose post the Battle of Nashville. For the longest time post World War II, entry to the fort was restricted. Later, a restoration project to conserve the adjoining wooded area of the fort was undertaken by local authorities in 2000. And, a visitors center was incorporated into the structure in 2007. Interactive exhibits, a video montage, and tour guides entertain visitors at the Fort Negley Park and Visitors Center which is open for visits at no admission fee.

Perched atop a prominent hill, this magnificent whitewashed building presides over downtown Nashville's skyline with indubitable grace and finesse. Constructed between 1845 to 1859 by well-renowned architect William Strickland, the structure's design is a stunning specimen of exquisite Greek-Revival architecture. What makes the building really unique is the fact that it is one of only ten capitol buildings to not feature a dome. The building's neoclassical facade is perhaps one of its most salient features that effortlessly captivates onlookers with its assemblage of elegant Corinthian stanchions and pronounced neoclassical rooftop. The facade's beauty is enhanced quite drastically at night when its sharp edges are highlighted by a series of ambient lights. Its interiors are equally as impressive, with the governor's house chamber being the building's centerpiece.

This landmark was once home to Adelicia Acklen, one of the wealthiest women in 19th century America. Built in 1850 in the style of an Italian villa, it was originally intended to be the summer home of the Acklens. The personally guided tour, showcases a variety of original furnishings of the period as well as Mrs. Acklen's valuable, one-of-a-kind collection of artwork and statues.

Step back into time as costumed docents take you on a guided tour of life as it was in the 1800s. Stroll through the lovely boxwood garden and view the plantation outbuildings. Special exhibits and events, such as "Celtic Music Festival" and "Heirloom Quilts" are scheduled throughout the year. The Peach Orchard Gift Shop offers a variety of mementos. Space is also available to rent for group gatherings.

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