Nashville’s unmissable landmarks and historical sights

From seeing where musical history is made at the Grand Ole Opry to marveling at the Parthenon, here’s a guide to the best architectural, natural, and historic landmarks in Nashville.

Nashville has well and truly earned its place as the heart of Southern culture, and one of the best ways to get a feel for the city is to visit some of the impressive landmarks and monuments there. From the massive Bridgestone Arena and Country Music Hall of Fame to the beautifully landscaped gardens in Centennial Park, there are many historic, architectural, and natural landmarks to be found in Nashville. Whether you are with friends, family, or traveling solo, here are 15 of the best Nashville landmarks you don't want to miss.

Historic and architectural landmarks in Nashville

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1. The Parthenon

This replica of the Greek Parthenon was built for the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition and is just as magnificent as the original. Inside you can find 63 paintings by 19th and 20th-century artists, replicas of the Elgin Marbles, and a 42-foot statue of Athena.

Highlights:

While entry to the Parthenon requires an admission fee, you can still get great views of the building from various places in Centennial Park. Explore the best vantage points on a city tour.

Address and opening hours:

2500 West End Ave., Nashville, TN, 37203. Open 9:00 AM-7:00 PM Monday-Thursday.

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2. Tennessee State Capitol

When it comes to outstanding construction in Nashville, the Tennessee State Capitol building is one of the best architectural landmarks to visit. The building was designed in 1859 by architect William Strickland in the Greek Revival style. Today, the Capitol remains the seat of government in Tennessee as well as the burial place of several historical figures.

Highlights:

To see this magnificent building illuminated at night, take a ride on an after-dark trolley sightseeing tour.

Address and opening hours:

600 Dr. M.L.K. Jr Blvd, Nashville, TN, 37243. Open 9:00 AM-4:00 PM Monday-Friday.

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3. Grand Ole Opry House

The Grand Ole Opry is a landmark country music and variety show that has been running in Nashville since 1925. Take some time to explore one of the most significant historic landmarks in Nashville and maybe catch a show here afterward.

Highlights:

Have a look through the venue before or after the show and learn about its history with a Grand Ole Opry backstage tour.

Address and opening hours:

600 Opry Mills Dr., Nashville, TN, 37214. Opening hours vary.

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4. Ryman Auditorium

First built in 1892, the Ryman Auditorium is one of the most significant Nashville landmarks. Wander through its halls to understand why it is known as the Mother Church of country music.

Highlights:

Explore the building with a self-guided tour and learn about the Soul of Nashville.

Address and opening hours:

116 5th Ave. N, Nashville, TN, 37219. Open 9:00 AM-4:00 PM daily.

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5. Country Music Hall of Fame

The Country Music Hall of Fame details the history of country music through a series of interactive exhibits, rare memorabilia, and fascinating personal stories. Housed in an impressive modern building, this is one Nashville landmark no one should miss.

Highlights:

Stop by the Taylor Swift Education center to take part in instrument and songwriting programs on the weekends, or catch a panel discussion.

Address and opening hours:

222 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville, TN, 37203. Open 9:00 AM-5:00 PM daily.

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6. Belmont Mansion

One of the largest house museums in Nashville, the Belmont Mansion is an Italian-style villa built by Adelicia and Joseph Acklen in 1853. Today the mansion serves as a museum dedicated to the lives of the people who lived there as well as architecture in the South during that period.

Highlights:

You can reach the mansion easily on a hop-on hop-off trolley tour.

Address and opening hours:

1901 15th Ave. S, Nashville, TN, 367212. Open 10:00 AM-3:30 PM daily.

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7. Belle Meade Plantation

One of the most renowned Nashville landmarks, the Belle Meade Plantation was built in 1807 as a farm for thoroughbred horses. Today this 34-acre property houses a museum, a winery, a restaurant, and restored buildings designed to show what life was like back in the plantation's heyday.

Highlights:

The Belle Meade mansion itself is built in the Greek Revival style of architecture. Self-guided tours of the grounds are free.

Address and opening hours:

5025 Harding Pike, Nashville, TN, 37205. Open daily, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM.

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8. Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Home of the Nashville Symphony, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center was constructed in 2006 to resemble the 19th century concert halls of Europe. In addition to classical symphonies, the center also hosts musical events from other genres.

Highlights:

The building's main venue, the Laura Turner Concert Hall, has 30 unique soundproof windows. The public gardens are free to explore throughout the day and even during performances.

Address and opening hours:

1 Symphony Pl., Nashville, TN, 37201. Opening hours depend on events.

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9. Bridgestone Arena

The Bridgestone Arena, built in 1996, is home to the Nashville Predators from the National Hockey League. As a multi-purpose built sports venue, the arena hosts many major sports events in Nashville and serves as a concert venue for major artists as well.

Highlights:

Get a view of the arena from above on a Downtown helicopter tour.

Address and opening hours:

501 Broadway, Nashville, TN, 37203. Opening hours depend on events.

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10. John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge

Spanning 3,150 feet over the Cumberland River, the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge is the longest pedestrian bridge in the world. Not only is the bridge an architectural landmark in itself, but it also offers amazing views of the Nashville skyline.

Highlights:

The bridge offers easy access from Downtown Nashville in the west to Cumberland Park in the east. Travel between the two on a guided walking tour.

Address:

Nashville, TN, 37201. Open 24/7.

Scenic and natural landmarks in Nashville

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11. Centennial Park

Centennial Park is one of the largest urban parks in Nashville. Many of the exposition buildings are gone, but you can find historical markers for these locations throughout the park, along with scenic gardens and lakes.

Highlights:

Learn about the musical history of the park on a private city tour with a local singer-songwriter.

Address and opening hours:

2500 West End Ave., Nashville, TN, 37203. Open 6:00 AM-8:00 PM daily.

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12. Bicentennial Capitol Mall

Built in 1996 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Tennessee's statehood, the Bicentennial Capitol Mall commemorates various aspects of the state. The mall contains a 200-foot map of Tennessee made in granite, an amphitheater, and a WWII memorial.

Highlights:

Among the most beautiful attractions in the mall are the 31 fountains representing each of Tennessee's rivers, along with a 95-bell carillon.

Address and opening hours:

600 James Robertson Pkwy., Nashville, TN, 37243. Open 8:00 AM-4:30 PM Monday-Friday.

13. Andrew Jackson's Hermitage

Not too far from central Nashville, you can find the hermitage where Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States, once lived with his family. The hermitage itself is a wonderful museum of early 19th-century life, but the real natural landmarks can be found in the wilderness trails around the area.

Highlights:

Purchase a grounds pass to explore the museum, then take a leisurely stroll along the hiking trails that surround it.

Address and opening hours:

4580 Rachels Ln., Hermitage, TN, 37076. Open 9:00 AM-6:00 PM daily.

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14. Cumberland River

The Cumberland River is the large river that flows through Nashville and separates Downtown from the eastern neighborhoods. It is one of the South's major waterways, flowing from the Appalachian Mountains through to the Tennessee River, and is one of the most prominent natural landmarks in the city.

Highlights:

There are many ways to explore the natural environment of the Cumberland River. One of the best is with a Downtown kayak rental to admire the natural scenery at your leisure.

Address and opening hours:

Meet at E Bank Greenway, Nashville, TN, 37213. Tour times vary.

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15. Natchez Trace Parkway

A great natural habitat with breathtaking vistas and rare fauna, the Natchez Trace Parkway stretches from Nashville all the way across the border into Mississippi. Discover the unspoiled wilderness of mountains, valleys, and rivers that were once used as transportation for centuries by everyone from local tribes to European colonists.

Highlights:

The best way to experience the Parkway is on a scenic Helicopter Tour. See the majestic landscape of this region from high above.

Address and opening hours:

Meet at 110 Tune Airport Dr., Nashville, TN, 37209. Tour times vary.

FAQs

What is the oldest historic landmark in Nashville?

Andrew Jackson's Hermitage, just outside of the city center, is the oldest building in Nashville. The hermitage was built in 1804 and was the home of Andrew Jackson until he died in 1845.

What are some free landmarks to visit in Nashville?

The Frist Art Museum and Tennessee State Capitol are some free architectural landmarks to explore. For more scenic landmarks, there is also Centennial Park, the Bicentennial Capitol Mall, and the view from the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge.

Are there any guided tours that focus on the architecture of Nashville's landmarks?

Yes, there are many tours available that focus on the architecture of Nashville. You can find walking tours throughout Nashville, as well as bus and segway tours.

How can I get the best views of scenic landmarks in Nashville?

Some of the best scenic views can be found at the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge and the Bicentennial Capitol Mall. Further out from the city, the Natchez Trace Parkway has amazing views of the surrounding landscape of Tennessee.

What are some natural landmarks near Nashville worth visiting?

Andrew Jackson's Hermitage offers some natural scenic trails not far from the center of the city. Alternatively, Natchez Trace Parkway features unspoiled wilderness stretching far to the southwest.