6 Museums in Nashville That You Should Visit on Your Next Stay-Cation

When people think of Nashville, country music typically comes to mind. But Nashville is also rich in culture, housing an abundance of fascinating museums and art galleries. Whether you are a huge history buff or you enjoy checking out different art exhibits, you will quickly feel right at home in Nashville. If you are just visiting, you can still check out the city’s thriving cultural scene. But before you go, it wouldn’t hurt to assemble a list of spots you want to visit. To make this task easier for you, we’re reviewing 7 of the most popular museums in Nashville. Check them out now!

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1. The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

Learn about the history of country music in this fascinating museum

Clothing, instruments, posters, and even vehicles are featured in this vast museum. Image courtesy of Yelp

222 5th Ave S | Sobro, Downtown | countrymusichalloffame.org

The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum is dedicated to preserving the rich history of country music. Dubbed the “Smithsonian of country music,” this historic museum houses 350,000 square feet of galleries, archival storage, performance theaters, and classrooms. It even features the Taylor Swift Education Center where kids of all ages can learn more about the culture of country music. A couple of its most popular attractions include the Hatch Show Print, a legendary letterpress operation, and the Historic RCA Studio B, the oldest recording studio in Nashville. 

“Lots of interesting memorabilia, clothing, instruments, vehicles, posters, recordings, photos...great history and timeline from the origins of country music all the way to the present. The place is beautifully designed and kept. There is just so much to see, and very must a must-see in Music City!” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum.

2. Johnny Cash Museum

Legendary museum where you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about Johnny Cash

Thousands of Johnny Cash memorabilia are featured in this popular museum. Image courtesy of Yelp

119 3rd Ave S | Downtown, Sobro | johnnycashmuseum.com

Since 2012, visitors from all over the country have walked through the legendary halls of the Johnny Cash Museum. Hundreds of artifacts attributed to the famous Man in Black can be explored in this vast museum. 

Feeling hungry? The Johnny Cash Museum recently added a new Bongo Java coffee shop and cafe. A gift shop filled with apparel, accessories, houseware, stickers, vinyl, and more is available on-site! Make sure you visit it before you leave. You’re definitely going to want to take a piece of memorabilia with you on your way home. 

“My friend is a huge Johnny Cash fan so while in Nashville we just had to visit the museum. The museum might seem small but there is so much history packed inside that you'll end up spending hours in there. Tons of interactive exhibits to check out. Lots of old outfits and photos to look at and read up on. There is also a photo spot where they superimpose your photo with Johnny.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Johnny Cash Museum. 

3. George Jones Museum

Museum and bar dedicated to the legendary George Jones

Grab a drink and enjoy a live performance at this popular museum. Image courtesy of Yelp.

128 2nd Ave N | Downtown Nashville | georgejones.com

At the George Jones Museum, delicious food, live entertainment, and historic memorabilia dedicated to the famous singer seamlessly blend together. Inside the museum, you’ll find one-of-a-kind suits, guitars, awards, and even a massive chair where you can take photos! 

After you finish exploring the museum, you can sit down to enjoy a refreshing drink and some delicious food. Live music events are also held on a regular basis. Love to dance? Special events like line dancing parties are also held every Friday. 

“LIVE. MUSIC. That's all I have to say. The night we went, they had my girl Cassidy playing. We actually chilled sat and watched her perform for the rest of the night. I had to rate this place a 5 because the vibes are just right. And this place is tucked away from all the noise and chatter of the main bars. If you want a place to relax and hear good music, check this place out!” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for George Jones Museum.

4. Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art

Stunning and unique museum filled with dozens of art exhibits

Photo of Cheekwood - Nashville, TN, United States. Chihuly
This 55-acre estate features both an art museum and botanical garden. Image courtesy of Yelp.

1200 Forrest Park Dr | Bellevue | cheekwood.org

Located in the Bellevue neighborhood, the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art is a 55-acre estate featuring a spectacular showcase of natural beauty and art. This historic center was actually built by the Maxwell House Coffee fortune. Since then, it’s been regarded as one of the greatest examples of an American Country Estate in the country.

As you explore the botanical garden, you will find a gorgeous collection of gardens complemented by a vast, natural landscape. There are 11 different gardens in total. Once you’re finished exploring the garden, don’t forget to swing by the museum. Stunning collections filled with paintings and sculptures await you. 

“Cheekwood is a wonderful place to visit and we're so glad we got a membership this year. The manor house is very fun to tour and it's only a bit extra per ticket to tour it (if you don't have a membership). The gardens are beautiful and it's a fairly large area around the estate, so you can go wander for a while while maintaining distance with others.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art. 

5. Tennessee State Museum

Educational museum where you can learn more about Tennessee’s rich past

Explore the Tennessee Time Tunnel to learn about the state’s fascinating history. Image courtesy of Yelp.

1000 Rosa L. Parks Blvd | Downtown Nashville | tnmuseum.org

History is brought to life at the historic Tennessee State Museum. Located in Downtown Nashville, the Tennessee State Museum features a wide selection of informative collections and exhibits. Artifacts dating back to prehistoric times to today can be found inside this vast museum. This includes dozens of artwork, furniture, textiles, and photographs all produced by Tennessee locals. 

Right now, on-site group tours are still on hold. However, you can take a virtual guided tour of the museum. These tours explore the museum galleries, artifacts, and various costumes that were worn back in the day. 

“On the second floor at the Tennessee State Museum you get to see the history of Tennessee from millions of years ago and how the landscape of the state was formed to present day. It is separated by time periods...The best part: the museum is free! How cool is that? It took me about two hours or so to get through the entire museum.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Tennessee State Museum.

6. Frist Art Museum

Popular museum featuring a roster of ever-changing exhibits

View artwork sourced from local, regional, national, and international collections. Image courtesy of Yelp.

919 Broadway | Downtown Nashville | fristartmuseum.org

The Frist Art Museum is the perfect destination for both art lovers and casual admirers alike. Numerous exhibitions are featured there at a time, such as the Picasso: Figures, Creating the American West in Art, N2020: Community Reflections, and Liliana Porter: Man with Axe and Other Stories. Some of these exhibitions are featured in-person, while others are available online. However you decide to view these exhibitions, you will be awed by the gorgeous work displayed by their talented artists. Educational workshops are also available for people who want to dive further into the art. 

“We came here during the 50th years of the Very Hungry Caterpillar and let me tell you, what an amazing expo. My baby, even though he is just 9 months old enjoyed every bit of it. He even created his 1st painting! It's so cool they had a play area for kids to get creative, adults can create too don't be shy. That room is on the second floor and the family bathroom is also nearby.” - Yelp Review

Nashville houses a wide selection of fascinating museums to explore. Whether you are an avid music fan or you love exploring various art exhibits, you can easily find a museum that suits your interests and tastes. Which ones do you plan on visiting next? Let us know!

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