There are so many Nashville landmarks worth your time. Nashville has a rich history along with an unbeatable music scene and a growing restaurant scene. All these factors combined make Nashville an incredible place to visit, filled with plenty of historical sites and attractions.
With so many great things to do in Nashville, you’ll want time during your trip to see some of the best Nashville landmarks and historical attractions. From historic sites like the Tennessee State Capitol to the Country Music Hall of Fame, there’s so much to explore.
As a Nashville local, I don’t want you to miss out on seeing Nashville’s rich history and culture. I’ve put together a guide to some of the most famous landmarks in Nashville.
Table of Contents
- 15 Famous Sites & Landmarks
- Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
- Grand Ole Opry House
- John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge
- Belmont Mansion
- Tennessee State Museum
- Tennessee State Capitol
- Belle Meade Plantation
- Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
- Ryman Auditorium
- Music City Walk of Fame
- Nashville Parthenon
- Music Row
- General Jackson Showboat
- Belcourt Theatre
- Cheekwood Estate
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15 Famous Sites & Landmarks
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
One of the largest museums in the world, all dedicated to country music.
Right in the center of Downtown Nashville, the Country Music Hall of Fame is an experience you’ll only find in Music City. The Hall of Fame honors those in the music industry who have impacted the genre. One of the most popular Nashville museums, it houses over 2 million artifacts.
The museum is a dream for die-hard country music lovers who will love memorabilia like Maybelle Carter’s guitar, plenty of rhinestone stage costumes, and iconic handwritten song manuscripts. Even if you aren’t a huge country fan, there’s such an extensive collection that you’ll find plenty to interest you.
Grand Ole Opry House
A live music venue, home of the longest-running broadcasts in the world.
The Grand Ole Opry Show first began in 1925. The world’s longest-running radio broadcast featured music legends like Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, and Loretta Lynn performing from the stage at the Ryman. In 1974, the show moved to a new location in Music Valley.
The Grand Ole Opry House continues to host rising country artists and legends weekly. Country fans can get tickets to watch the Grand Ole Opry.
Today, when the Grand Ole Opry isn’t being recorded, the Opry House hosts more than just country artists. Check out the list of upcoming shows to see if your favorite artists will be there.
👉 Pro Tip: Don’t have time to catch a show? Take one of the backstage tours to learn more about the history of the iconic broadcast that brought country music into homes around the US.
John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge
An iconic landmark with amazing views of Nashville.
Originally built in 1909 to connect Downtown Nashville to East Nashville, the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge spans the Cumberland River. Today, the bridge is a pedestrian-only walkway (with a bike lane through the middle).
The bridge stands out in Nashville’s skyline and has been featured in many music videos. It’s also the perfect spot for a stroll to enjoy views of the river and downtown skyline.
The bridge is part of the Metro Nashville Greenway system. The pathway to the bridge begins Downtown, making it easy for visitors to enjoy.
📚 Related Reading: Looking for a downtown hotel? Here’s a guide to where to stay in Nashville.
Explore the largest house museum in Tennessee built before the Civil War.
Located on the Belmont University Campus, the Belmont Mansion was constructed between 1849 and 1860. Adelicia Acklen was one of the wealthiest women in the United States at the time. The home interior of the Italian-style villa she had built has been restored to its 19th century appearance.
Many antiques and artworks are on display in the mansion. If you’re interested in history or art, it’s worth taking a tour of the Belmont Mansion and its grounds.
🚗 How to Get There: One of the easiest ways to see Nashville’s landmarks is with Old Town Trolley Tours. The hop on bus tour takes you to 13 different locations in Nashville, and you don’t have to worry about parking.
Tennessee State Museum
Walk through Tennessee history.
The Tennessee State Museum in Downtown Nashville is perfect for history lovers of all kinds. The exhibits start with the First Peoples of Tennessee and go all the way through the state’s history to the modern-day.
You’ll find everything from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War to Tennessee’s music industry. Entrance to the museum is free. It also happens to be near both the Tennessee State Capitol and the Nashville Farmers’ Market. The entire area is a perfect way to spend a morning or afternoon.
Tennessee State Capitol
Visit one of the oldest state capitols still in use today.
The Tennessee State Capitol in Downtown Nashville was constructed between 1845 and 1859. The beautiful building is one of the oldest working capitols in the United States.
The capitol grounds have multiple statues of historical figures as well as the graves of President James K. Polk and his wife. You can take a self-guided tour of the Tennessee State Capitol.
If possible take one of the guided tours because the tour guides are excellent at explaining a mix of historical facts about Tennessee and its state capitol.
Belle Meade Plantation
See what life was like during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Just outside of Nashville in Belle Meade, this estate was once a plantation and thoroughbred breeding farm. Today, the Greek Revival style home is open to visitors.
As you tour the estate, you’ll learn both about the wealthy family who owned the property as well as the enslaved people who worked in the house and on the grounds.
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
The home of the 7th president of the United States.
A few miles south of Nashville, you’ll find The Hermitage, the home of former President Andrew Jackson. The Hermitage is one of the most visited presidential houses in the United States.
The antebellum mansion has been converted into a museum. It contains a surprising amount of original furniture. While the mansion is impressive, the grounds steal the show. Besides being beautiful, the grounds contain walking paths that take visitors on an informative tour highlighting the lives of the enslaved men and women who lived on the estate. It’s a topic that’s often glossed over on similar properties.
The Hermitage is well worth the visit for anyone interested in American history.
📚 Related Reading: Best Day Trips from Nashville
The historic venue that helped launch country music to a wide audience.
The Ryman Auditorium in downtown is both a museum and a functioning music venue. The Ryman has hosted some of the most iconic moments in country music. The tabernacle-turned-auditorium was home to the Grand Ole Opry for years. It’s where Johnny Cash first met June Carter and where many country music careers started. The Ryman helped make Nashville into Music City.
You can either take a tour of the Ryman during the day to see behind the scenes and get a chance to stand on the iconic stage. Or, you can see a show in the evening. Today, artists of all genres play at the Ryman Auditorium. It’s one of my favorite music venues in Nashville.
Music City Walk of Fame
A public park honoring music legends from all genres.
Right in the heart of downtown, the Music City Walk of Fame is a tribute to figures in Nashville’s music industry. You’ll find stars honoring everyone from Elvis Presley to Reba McEntire to the Fisk Jubilee Singers.
The park is free and open to the public. It’s a nice way to spend half an hour outdoors finding stars for your favorite people in the music industry.
👉 Pro Tip: The park is right next to the Country Music Hall of Fame. It’s easy to visit the two sites back-to-back.
A full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens.
Wondering how the Parthenon ended up in Nashville? Before Nashville became Music City, it was known as “The Athens of the South” thanks to the many colleges here. The Parthenon Republica was built in 1897 for Tennessee’s Centennial Exposition.
The Parthenon, located in Centennial Park, has a full-scale replica of the statue of Athena. The Parthenon also doubles as an art museum that features American artists.
👉 Pro Tip: Leave time to explore Centennial Park after visiting the Parthenon. It’s a great location for an easy stroll or a picnic.
Where some of music’s biggest names recorded albums.
With a nickname like Music City, it’s no surprise that the music industry is a big part of Nashville. The area known as Music Row is filled with businesses and other sites relating to this musical heritage.
As you drive down the row, you’ll see historic sites like RCA Studio B, the recording studio where Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, the Everly Brothers, and many others recorded albums. Buildings in the area still house working record label offices, radio stations, and recording studios.
👉 Love Music History? See RCA Studio B, the birthplace of the Nashville Sound, as well as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Music with a combo ticket to the two attractions.
General Jackson Showboat
Enjoy dinner and a show while cruising the Cumberland River.
If you want to view Nashville’s landmarks from a different angle, take a cruise on the General Jackson Showboat. The cruise includes a meal and a show. It’s the perfect way to take in the scenery surrounding the Cumberland River while relaxing. You’ll get a chance to take beautiful photos of downtown from the deck.
The cruise begins at Opry Mills near the Gaylord Opryland Resort. The resort is one of our favorite places to stay in Nashville.
A historic theater that’s a must-visit for film buffs.
This historic theater was constructed in 1925. The first movies shown here were silent films. Today, the Belcourt Theatre is a non-profit film center. It shows everything including independent releases, documentaries, foreign films, and classic films. You can even catch films screened in 35mm film.
Seeing a movie at the Belcourt Theatre is a special experience, especially for film lovers. Take a look through their showings and don’t miss the chance to see a movie at this unique theater.
👉 Read Next: Best Places to Go in Tennessee
A well-kept estate with beautiful botanical gardens and a museum.
Just outside of Nashville, Cheekwood is a popular place for locals and visitors. The mansion on the grounds was built in 1929 and is now an art museum.
The mansion is beautiful, but the real draw is the botanical gardens. During the spring, hundreds of thousands of bulbs are planted. While you expect a crowd in the spring, the gardens are just as popular during the fall thanks to the pumpkin patch. Even in the winter, tickets for the Christmas light display tend to go fast.
Touring these elaborate gardens is the perfect outing for everyone from families to couples.
👉 Read Next: 37 Best Things to Do in Nashville
You could easily spend days exploring all the iconic landmarks in Nashville. Hopefully, this list has helped you decide on several sites that appeal to you.
Enjoy exploring these Nashville landmarks.
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