Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
The Country Music Hall of Fame invigorates the skyline in downtown Nashville's entertainment district. Inside, the Museum presents the crown jewels of its vast collection to illustrate country music's story as told through the turns of two centuries. A treasure trove of historic country video clips and recorded music, dynamic exhibits and state-of-the-art design, a regular menu of live performances and public programs, a museum store, live satellite radio broadcasts, on-site dining, and fabulous public spaces all contribute to an unforgettable museum experience.
Grand Ole Opry House
The Grand Ole Opry is a milestone venue for any country music artist who hopes to someday make it big. Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Tex Ritter and Minnie Pearl all performed here making it as much an entertainment venue as a historical artifact. Today, the Opry is still a launching point for careers, much as the Apollo Theater is for rhythm & blues performers. No trip to Nashville would be complete without experiencing the music phenomenon of the world-famous 4,400-seat Grand Ole Opry. The Grand Ole Opry is the world’s longest-running radio show and showcases the best in country music, bluegrass and more.
General Jackson Showboat
Spend an unforgettable evening on the historic 300-foot-long General Jackson Showboat. Styled in the grand tradition of the paddlewheel riverboats that cruised the great Southern waterways in the 1800s, the General Jackson was named after the first steamboat to operate on the Cumberland River in 1817. Today, it's just as active as its predecessor. Whether you want to spend an evening of dining and non-stop dancing under the stars, or you're more in the mood for a lazy afternoon cruise under the clear blue Southern sky, the General Jackson captures the essence of a bygone era.
Andrew Jackson was the first President not to come from aristocracy. Despite his ordinary heritage, he built the Hermitage, a large Antebellum plantation now restored as a museum dedicated to Old Hickory. In addition to revolving exhibits, a film on the history of the President and costumed tour guides, visitors will certainly want to see the first Hermitage cabins, where the former penniless orphan and future political leader and his wife, Rachel lived before achieving financial and political stability. In 1804, when Jackson bought the first 425 acres of what would become The Hermitage, middle Tennessee was still dangerous frontier.
Belle Meade Plantation
For much of the country, the historical connotation of the southern plantation echoes a dark time in our nation's history in the American south, however, these mansions recall a grand, if mistaken time of cultural independence. Belle Meade, the self-proclaimed Queen of Tennessee plantations expresses that delicate balance of pride and regret in its restoration. The imposing 1853 Greek Revival mansion and gabled Carriage House has been restored to its Confederate glory, with tours and guides in period dress. Not to be ignored, however is the 1832 slave cabin that pre-dates the mansion still stands on the property as a reminder of the sacrifices.
Athens, Greece isn't the only city with a classical stone temple dedicated to the arts. Nashville's Parthenon confirms the city's place as the "Athens of the South." The concrete replica of the Greek temple marks the city's place as a cultural and artistic Mecca. Though country & western music wasn't an original staple of the original Parthenon, the city has gone to great lengths to incorporate its history with that of the world at large. Today, the to-scale replica of the Greek landmark serves as an art museum featuring not only classical works but also those of modern artists such as Andy Warhol. In the early 1990s, sculptor Alan LeQuire's "Athena Parnthenos," a 42-foot statue of the Greek goddess Athena was added to the structure, cementing its place in mid-South culture.
The original, and now winter, home of the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium is a showcase for the best and most promising in country & western, bluegrass and zydeco acts. The Ryman Auditorium was the home of th Grand Ole Opry from 1943 -1974. During that period, the building gained nationwide recognition as the Mother Church of Country Music featuring pioneering performers such as Bill Monroe, Hank Williams, and Patsy Cline who helped shape the future of country and bluegrass music.
Daytime tours of this country tourism mecca showcase the legendary auditorium's history and highlights, even letting visitors stand on the Ryman's awe-inspiring stage. From Merle Haggard to Coldplay, a concert at the Ryman is quite simply a beautiful musical experience.
Tennessee State Museum
The Tennessee State Museum is one of the largest state museums in the nation with more than 60,000 square feet of permanent exhibits and a 10,000 square foot changing exhibition hall. The museum's interpretive exhibits begin 15,000 years ago and continue through the early 1900s interpreting Tennessee's history during the Prehistoric, Frontier, Age of Jackson, Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods. These sections include special displays of furniture, silver, weapons, quilts, and paintings produced by Tennesseans. There are reproductions of an early 19th century grist mill and authentic settings of an 18th century print shop, frontier cabin, Antebellum parlor, and Victorian painting gallery. The Tennessee State Museum's Civil War holdings of uniforms, battle flags and weapons are among the finest in the nation.
The Tennessee Titans play in one of the NFL's most beautiful stadiums - LP Field (formerly The Coliseum). After 30 years of playing in Houston at the Astrodome, the team, then known as the Houston Oilers, began wanting a new football-only stadium in the mid 1990's. After numerous attempts failed to get a stadium in Houston, the team decided to move to Nashville.
Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
Displaying many animals and hosting activities for the family, including a large playground with two-story netting that you can swing onto (off a rope), or just jump and roll around on. The zoo is getting bigger and better every day. Recent additions include an aviary where you can feed lorikeets nectar by hand, an alligator area and an amazing hand-carved wooden carousel.