What are Nashville’s Best Museums?

Music City is full of history. It’s home to a wide variety of excellent museums celebrating art, history, music, and other specialty topics. This post is a guide to all of Nashville’s local museums so you can decide which ones you’ll enjoy visiting the most.

Music Museums

It’s probably no surprise that Nashville’s most popular museums are music museums. And there are plenty of them! Whether you visit a legendary venue, a museum celebrating a musical genre, or a collection dedicated to a specific singer, Nashville’s music museums celebrate the city’s significant role in country music and culture.

Ryman Auditorium

Ryman Auditorium is a living museum bursting at the seams with history. This legendary spot is one of the most famous music venues in the U.S. and holds especially significant importance in Nashville. Opened as a church in 1892, the Ryman was a cultural center for the growing city, eventually becoming home to the Grand Ole Opry for more than 30 years, and catapulting many music stars on their rise to fame.

Today, you can tour the museum to see photos, one-of-a-kind memorabilia, and even stand on the famous stage where so many legends have performed. While you’re there, see a show! The Ryman’s calendar is packed with concerts and performers spanning all genres. Ryman Auditorium is the place to understand how Nashville became–and still is–known as Music City.

Cost: Adults (12+) $25.95 / Child (4-11) $16.95

Address: 116 Rep. John Lewis Way N., Nashville, TN 37219

Website: https://ryman.com/

Grand Ole Opry

Known as the true home of country music, the Grand Ole Opry is a must-visit for country music fans. Opened in 1974 as the permanent home for the Grand Ole Opry, the longest-running live radio broadcast in the world, fans can now take a self-guided or backstage tour of the venue to see unique memorabilia and hear behind-the-scenes stories of the stars who have performed there. Even get a chance to stand on the iconic circle, the 6-foot round of stage that was relocated when the Opry moved from the Ryman in the 1970s.

Cost: Adults (12+) $35.70 / Child (4-11) $32.95

Address: 2804 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214

Website: https://www.opry.com/

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum boasts an extensive collection of musical memorabilia, including costumes and instruments. The museum has a number of permanent and rotating exhibits centered around music history and musicians like Bob Dylan and Kacey Musgraves. In addition to being the home of Hatch Show Print, the Country Music Hall of Fame also manages the CMA Theater and the historic RCA Studio B.

Cost starting at: Adult $27.95 / Youth $17.95

Address: 222 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville, TN 37203

Website: https://countrymusichalloffame.org/

National Museum of African American Music

The National Museum of African American Music is the only museum centered around educating, preserving, and celebrating the music that was created and inspired by African Americans. Spanning more than 50 genres including blues, jazz, spirituals, and hip hop, the museum features artifacts, memorabilia, clothing, and photos that bring this important musical history to life. Tour the museum’s permanent exhibits to learn about gospel and the African American religious experience, songs of the Civil Rights movement, the Harlem Renaissance, and more.

Cost: Adult $24.95 / Youth (7-17) $13.50 / Children 6 and under are free

Address: 510 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203

Website: https://nmaam.org/  

Willie Nelson & Friends Museum

The Willie Nelson and Friends Museum celebrates the legend Willie Nelson and more than 30 other country music pioneers. See memorabilia and personal items from Willie, Waylon Jennings, Conway Twitty, Dolly Parton, Jeannie Seely, Patsy Cline, and more. The museum seeks to educate fans about the origins of country music and the artists and songwriters who have built the genre into what it is today. It also has a large gift shop with t-shirts, bandanas, and other Nashville souvenirs. 

Cost: Adult $9.95 / Kids under 12 are free with paid adult admission          

Address: 2613A McGavock Pk, Nashville, TN 37214

Website: https://willienelsonmuseum.com/

Johnny Cash Museum

Fans of the Man In Black can’t miss the Johnny Cash Museum. It houses the largest collection of Johnny Cash memorabilia in the world and takes visitors on a journey through Cash’s early career, rise to fame, and romance with his wife, June Carter Cash. Dine in the museum’s cafe or the BBQ restaurant located next door after your visit.

Cost: Adult $22.95 / Youth $18.95 / Children 5 and under are free

Address: 119 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201

Website: https://www.johnnycashmuseum.com/

Glen Campbell Museum & Rhinestone Stage

Learn about the rags-to-riches story of Glen Campbell, one of the most decorated musical artists in history. The Glen Campbell Museum & Rhinestone Stage takes visitors on a journey from Campbell’s roots as the 12th child of a poor sharecropper in Arkansas to one of the most respected performers of the rock ‘n’ roll era, playing with the likes of Elvis and The Beach Boys. The Glen Campbell Museum features one-of-a-kind artifacts from his early years, his stage clothes, and guitars and instruments used throughout his career.

Cost: Adult $19.50 / Youth (6-17) $17.00 / Child (5 and under) Free with adult admission

Address: 111 Broadway Suite 200, Nashville, TN 37201

Website: https://www.glencampbellmuseum.com/

Hatch Show Print

Founded by brothers Charles and Herbert Hatch in the 1870s, Hatch Show Print is famous for its hand-printed posters promoting some of Nashville’s biggest concerts and events. Hatch Show Print’s working letterpress shop is located on the first floor of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Be sure to visit the Hatch Show Print gallery located on the second floor of Ryman Auditorium, as well, where you’ll see posters from some of the venue’s most famous shows throughout the decades.

Cost (with Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum tour): Adult $47.95 / Youth $32.95

Address: 222 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville, TN 37203

Website: https://hatchshowprint.com

GRAMMY Museum Gallery at the Musicians Hall of Fame

The GRAMMY Museum Gallery® at Musicans Hall of Fame and Museum gives guests of all ages the opportunity to explore the history of the GRAMMY Awards®, interact with the recording process, and even get on stage. Visitors can play drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, or sing along with Ray Charles and the Raelettes, explore the studio, and visit exhibits centered around songwriting, engineering, and producing. The GRAMMY Museum Gallery® has a permanent home inside the Musicans Hall of Fame on the first floor of the Nashville Municipal Auditorium. It’s fun for music fans of all ages.

Cost: Adults $28.00 / Children $15.00

Address: 401 Gay Street, Nashville, TN 37219

Website: https://www.musicianshalloffame.com/

Historic RCA Studio B

Recording studio RCA Studio B is famously known as the birthplace of the Nashville Sound, a crooning, soft style of country music that became popular in 1957. RCA Studio B has been a recording home for countless music legends, including Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, and Waylon Jennings. It’s located on the historic Music Row among other legendary recording studios and is open for tours seven days a week.

Cost (with Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum tour): Adult $47.95 / Youth $37.95

Address: 1611 Roy Acuff Pl., Nashville, TN 37203

Website: https://studiob.org/

The Patsy Cline Museum

The Patsy Cline Museum honors the life of country music legend Patsy Cline. Though she died tragically in 1963 at the age of only 30 years old, she remains one of the biggest and most well-loved names in country music history. The museum features never-before-seen artifacts, videos, photos, personal belongings, and more. Celebrate the life and memory of Patsy Cline and the legacy she left behind. The museum is located on 3rd Ave. above the Johnny Cash Museum.

Cost: Adult $19.95 / Child (6-15) $15.95 / Ages 5 and under free with adult admission

Address: 119 3rd Ave. S., Second Level, Nashville, TN 37201

Website: https://www.patsymuseum.com/    

Art Museums

Nashville’s not just a great destination for music; It’s also a hub for art in general. Be sure to visit the city’s many incredible art museums on your next visit and walk away inspired.

Frist Art Museum

Housed in a 1930s-era art deco building that originally served as the city’s post office, the Frist Art Museum is the most popular art gallery in Nashville. Visitors can explore the museum’s impressive permanent and rotating exhibits, including works by Frida Kahlo. The Frist is also great for families, with kid-friendly exhibits, like works by Eric Carle, and a kids’ art studio where little artists can create and take home their own paintings and drawings.

Cost: Adults $15.00 / 18 and under free

Address: 919 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203

Website: https://fristartmuseum.org/

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

Cheekwood Botanical Garden in Bloom. Nashville.

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens is a 55-acre garden and historical estate in Nashville. With dining, multiple gardens, and seasonal festivals like Cheekwood Harvest and Holiday LIGHTS, it’s a popular spot for Nashville locals and visitors alike. It’s also home to art galleries with curated collections of paintings, textiles, furnitures, silver, and books from the Cheek family’s personal collection. Favorite works of art are Andy Warhol and Jamie Wyeth’s portraits of each other.

Cost starting at: Adult $20.00 / Youth (3-17) $13.00 / Children ages 2 and under free

Address: 1200 Forrest Park Dr., Nashville, TN 37205

Website: https://cheekwood.org/

The Parthenon

Constructed in 1897 as a part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, the Parthenon is a to-scale replica of the famous structure in Greece. Visitors can tour the Parthenon, which includes a 42-foot statue of Athena, as well as an impressive art museum. The museum features permanent collections of regional art as well as a variety of rotating exhibitions throughout the year.

Cost: Adults $10.00 / Youth (4-17) $8.00 / Children 3 and under free

Address: 2500 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203

Website: https://www.nashvilleparthenon.com/

History Museums

Nashville has a long history, beginning in 1806 when James Robertson first settled on the banks of the Cumberland River, through the Civil War, the Civil Rights movement, to today. The city’s historical museums are great for anyone interested in experiencing local and national history.

Tennessee State Museum

Featuring exhibits and art that depict the history of the state of Tennessee, the Tennessee State Museum is free and open to the public. Permanent exhibits include features on the state’s natural history, first peoples, and role in the Civil War and Reconstruction. Learn about Tennessee, the significant role it played in U.S. history, and more.

Cost: Free

Address: 1000 Rosa L Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN 37208

Website: https://tnmuseum.org/

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage

The Hermitage is the former home of President Andrew Jackson. Located just outside Nashville, this sprawling estate has more than 30 historic buildings including the original mansion, a museum, and breathtaking gardens. It’s one of the largest and oldest site museums in the world and offers daily tours, exhibits, and reenactments. It’s also home to Natchez Hills Winery and Vineyard.

Mansion Tours Cost: Adult $24.00 / Youth (5-12) $15.00 / Children 4 and under free

Address: 4580 Rachel’s Lane, Nashville, TN 37076

Website: https://thehermitage.com/

Belle Meade Plantation

Originally built in 1819 as a plantation home, the historic Belle Meade Plantation and its grounds are open for daily tours. See the mansion, as well as the quarters of the enslaved people who lived there, the plantation grounds, and the carriage house on a guided tour. The site is also home to a winery offering daily tastings.

Cost starting at: Adult $26.00 / Youth (6-17) $15.00

Address: 110 Leake Ave., Nashville, TN 37205

Website: https://visitbellemeade.com/

Belmont Mansion

The Belmont Mansion is one of the most well-preserved historic homes in the country. Completed in 1860, it was the largest house in the state of Tennessee prior to the Civil War. It was inhabited by Adelicia Acklen and her husband, Joseph, well-known and influential figures in Nashville. In 1887, the home was sold to a land development company, and eventually to two women from Philadelphia who turned it into a women’s school called Belmont College. Today, Belmont Mansion is the center of the beautiful Belmont University campus.

Cost starting at: Adult $18.00 / Youth (6-12) $6 / Children 5 and under free

Address: Corner of Acklen Ave. and Belmont Ave., Nashville, TN 37212

Website: https://www.belmontmansion.com/            

Other Museums

Nashville’s museums aren’t limited to music, art, and history. There are museums to entertain every kind of visitor, no matter what your interests might be. From agriculture to science, from cars to celebrities, Music City offers a place for every kind of hobby.

Tennessee Agricultural Museum

Step into Tennessee’s past at the Tennessee Agricultural Museum. It boasts an array of more than 3,000 artifacts giving visitors an idea of life in the state in the 19th and 20th centuries. The site also has historic cabins, heirloom gardens, and two levels of exhibits for exploring. Self-guided tours are free, and school and bus tours are also welcome.

Cost: Free

Address: 440 Hogan Road Nashville, Tennessee 37204

Website: https://www.tn.gov/agmuseum.html

Adventure Science Center

Located in downtown Nashville, the Adventure Science Center is an independent, not-for-profit science and technology center. Spanning 44,000 square feet with more than 175 exhibits focused on biology, weather, sound, astronomy, space, physics, and more, this impressive center is perfect for interesting and inspiring young minds. It also houses the state-of-the-art Sudekum Planetarium.

Cost: Adults (13+) $18.00 / Youth (2-12) $14.00

Address: 800 Fort Negley Blvd, Nashville, TN 37203

Website: https://www.adventuresci.org/

Lane Motor Museum

Gear heads will love the Lane Motor Museum, with 150 unique cars and motorcycles and the largest European collection in the U.S. This working museum houses vehicles dating from the early 1900s up to modern day and features military vehicles, microcars, amphibious vehicles, motorcycles, prototypes, and one-of-a-kinds.

Cost: Adults $12.00 / Seniors (65+) $8.00 / Youth (6-17) $3.00 / Age 5 and under free

Address: 702 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN, 37210

Website: https://www.lanemotormuseum.org/

Cooter’s Nashville (Dukes of Hazzard Museum)

For fans of the Dukes of Hazzard, Cooter’s Nashville is a must-visit. Operated by Cooter himself, Ben Jones, this museum features pictures, costumes, props, and other artifacts from the beloved TV show. Plus, see Daisy’s Jeep, Rosco’s patrol car, Cooter’s tow truck, and the famous General Lee, the 1969 Dodge Charger that became a pop culture icon.

Cost: Free

Address: 2613 McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN 37214

Website: https://cootersplace.com/cooters-nashville/

Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame

Located inside Bridgestone Arena, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame is a museum honoring athletes and coaches for their achievements on and off the field. It was created to educate and inspire young athletes to make a positive impact in their communities. The museum honors over 500 inductees from every sport, including football, soccer, and golf.

Cost: Adults $3.00 / Children $2.00

Address: 501 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203

Website: http://tshf.net/

Madame Tussauds Museum

Visit the world-famous wax museum, Madame Tussauds, right here in Nashville. Take pictures with your favorite stars (almost) in real life. Millions of visitors have visited Madame Tussauds since its first museum opened over 200 years ago; the Nashville museum was opened in 2017.

Cost: $22.99 – Book online in advance and save

Address: Opry Mills, 515 Opry Mills Dr, Nashville, TN 37214

Website: https://www.madametussauds.com/nashville/

What Else Should You See While You’re in Town?

What else should you do during your visit to Nashville? Check out our recommendations for must-see things to do in Music City. Planning a date night? Make it unforgettable with these tips.

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