Downtown's Best Museums
The weather’s a bit brisk these days, and you might not want to plan on doing much of anything outdoors. That’s why we’re featuring eight museums where you can huddle inside during the cold winter months and learn a bit about country music stars and their influence on Music City. Continue reading and make it a point to bring your friends and family along when you (re)visit all eight this year!
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
The world’s largest music museum is right here in Nashville! Make a trip to visit the esteemed Country Music Hall of Fame and learn about the history behind storied musicians like George Strait, Dolly Parton, and Elvis Presley (to name just a few). Spend time paying homage to inductees past and present at the Hall of Fame Rotunda, and then feast your eyes on priceless artifacts: rhinestone costumes, seasoned instruments, and tear-stained lyric sheets. What more could you want?
Frist Art Museum
Known for hosting a spectacular array of fine art from all corners and regions of the world, the Frist has become a popular destination for anybody in the vicinity of downtown Nashville. Even if you’ve been there before, there’s always something new to see since they update their galleries every 6 to 8 weeks. The beautiful art deco building is something to behold; we promise if you venture inside, you won’t forget the breathtaking works of art on display!
Tennessee State Museum
Absolutely free to enter, the brand new 137,000-square-foot Tennessee State Museum is designed to bring the state’s rich history to life. Also known as the “Smithsonian of Tennessee,” this museum is dedicated to the preservation of the material culture of Tennessee and Tennesseans. Stop in to check out permanent and temporary exhibitions that cover everything from the state’s fabulous musical heritage to 19th-century art to Civil War and Reconstruction history. Worth noting is the Tennessee Time Tunnel exhibit, which combines content-rich artifacts and stories that tell the history of each era of the state’s history. For anybody with a family in tow, the children’s gallery presents wonderful learning opportunities for kids. Be sure to pop over to the nearby Nashville Farmers’ Market to grab some lunch afterward!
Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum
No matter what kind of music you’re into, the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum preserves the memories and efforts of musicians in all genres. Located in the historic Nashville Municipal Auditorium, this premier attraction honors not just the household names, like Jimi Hendrix, but also gives lesser-known session musicians, like L.A session drummer Hal Blaine, their due. The museum itself is creatively divided into cities that have a rich history of recorded music, such as Detroit, Nashville, and L.A. Once inside, be sure to check out the GRAMMY Museum Gallery which allows guests to explore the history of the music awards in depth and with interactive exhibits. Always adding new collections, the Musicians Hall of Fame has something for new and repeat patrons alike!
The Patsy Cline Museum
Though she left us too soon at the young age of thirty, Patsy Cline left an indelible mark on American culture as a whole. For casual listeners and devotees alike of Patsy Cline’s musical style, this museum, located on 3rd Avenue South, just off Broadway, celebrates the rich life and tradition that is Miss Patsy Cline. Aficionados will relish the opportunity to check out never-before-seen artifacts, personal belongings, videos, and much more! Make a plan to stop by any day of the week or pop up to check it out when you’re finished snooping around the Johnny Cash Museum (located on the lower level of the same building).
The George Jones Museum
Immerse yourself in George Jones’s life and legacy when you visit his museum on 2nd Avenue just north of Broadway. Throughout his career, Jones had more songs on the Billboard chart and more Top 40 songs than any other country music star in history. The museum is a tribute to the Texas-born country singer-songwriter who took the nation by storm in the 1960s and whose influence is still felt today amongst the country music faithful. Browse timeless memorabilia up close at one of Nashville’s most iconic stops!
Johnny Cash Museum
Located at 119 3rd Avenue South between Demonbreun and Broadway, the Johnny Cash Museum is a celebration of the Man in Black who remains one of the most iconic music stars of the 20th Century. The museum deliberately overwhelms visitors with a vast inventory of memorabilia, artifacts, and souvenirs that speak to the life and legend of Cash himself. Visitors will embark on a three-dimensional journey through the gallery with cutting-edge interactions and green screen technology. The museum is just one of a handful of Nashville attractions to receive a coveted AAA Gem Rating. Schedule a time to go pay homage!
Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and Museum
The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and Museum features figures from every sport and celebrates athletes, coaches, and teams who have made an impact in the history of sports in Tennessee. More than 50 years old, this museum has over 500 honorees and inductees and, at its core, embraces the spiritual force of sportsmanship. Whether you’re in town for the weekend or a Nashville native, come enjoy exhibits on everyone from Pat Summitt to Peyton Manning.