Housed downtown in a former U.S. Post Office building, Nashville’s Frist Center for Visual Arts, 919 Broadway, offers a variety of visual art exhibitions and family-oriented educational programs.
After a look around, head to the world’s only full-scale reproduction of the Parthenon, West End Ave. and 25th Street (2600 West End Ave.) in Centennial Park. Nashville’s famous Greek temple features a 42-foot statue of Athena as well as the city’s art museum.
For cultural diversity, check out the Aaron Douglas Gallery at Fisk University, Jackson Street at 17th Avenue North (1000 17th Ave North), with works from the university’s prestigious African, African-American, modern, and contemporary art collections.
You’ll be ready for a refreshing walk through Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, James Robertson Parkway. In addition to a beautifully landscaped bird’s-eye view of the Tennessee Capitol (Fifth Avenue between Union and Deaderick Streets), you’ll see an extraordinary wall depicting the state’s history and a 200-foot granite map of the state, a tower with 95 bells representing Tennessee counties, and 31 fountains representing major rivers of Tennessee.
Drive about 20 to 30 minutes east to The Hermitage, Home of President Andrew Jackson, 4580 Rachel’s Lane, and enjoy a homestyle lunch at Café Monell. Then tour the home, garden, farm, and archaeology sites.
Make your next stop Belle Meade Plantation, “Queen of the Tennessee Plantations,” 5025 Harding Road. Once a renowned thoroughbred horse farm, there’s now a winery, and the home is filled with original furnishings from the 1850s.
Travellers Rest Plantation, 636 Farrell Parkway, home of Nashville founder John Overton, showcases frontier times and is Nashville’s oldest public home.
Drive to Belmont Mansion, 1700 Acklen Avenue. One of the most elaborate and unusual homes in the South, it was built by Adelicia Acklen, who protected her fortune by conspiring with both Confederate and Union forces during the Civil War.
As you head back towards downtown, drive through the campus of Vanderbilt University, 2201 West End Avenue. Art lovers may choose to detour at Sarratt Gallery, which features exhibits of contemporary art by regional and national artists.
Enjoy a relaxing cocktail and gourmet Southern cuisine at The Capitol Grille in the historic Hermitage Hotel, 231 Sixth Avenue North, Tennessee’s only five-diamond and five-star property.