Bicentennial Capitol Mall

Downtown & the Gulch

Downtown Nashville's 19-acre green lung swoops grandly north from the Tennessee State Capitol, giving unparalleled (and much televised) views of its white antebellum columns. It's a fine place for a stroll, especially on a Saturday when the Nashville Farmers Market is in full swing nearby. The park also hosts events, such as the city's New Year's Eve celebration.

Constructed in 1996 to commemorate Tennessee's 200th birthday, the park is decorated with various lessons in the state's history and attractions. Plot a route on the 200ft granite map of Tennessee, complete with rivers, roads and county lines, at the park's southern end, or read about the state's past along the Pathway of History. The centerpiece of the park is the 2000-seat Tennessee Amphitheater.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Downtown & the Gulch attractions

1. Tennessee State Museum

0.19 MILES

This engaging museum, which moved into spiffy new digs in 2018, offers a worthy, balanced look at the state's past, with Native American handicrafts,…

2. Tennessee State Capitol


This 1845–59 Greek Revival building was built from local limestone and marble by slaves and prison inmates working alongside European artisans. Around the…

3. 5th Ave of the Arts


Home to several visual art galleries, Nashville’s premier art district is just a quick walk up from the honky-tonks on Broadway. This historic block is…

4. Nashville Public Library – Downtown

0.66 MILES

For an excellent overview of the Civil Rights movement in Nashville, check out the Civil Rights Collection, a permanent exhibit in the 2nd-floor galleries…

6. Frist Art Museum

0.91 MILES

A top-notch post office turned art museum and complex, hosting traveling exhibitions of everything from American folk art to Picasso, and as off-the-wall…

7. Riverfront Park

0.93 MILES

This narrow park sits between downtown and the Cumberland River. Take your pooch for a romp in the dog park, have a picnic as you watch the barges from…

8. Johnny Cash Museum & Store

0.95 MILES

Nashville's museum dedicated to 'The Man in Black' is smallish but houses the most comprehensive collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia in…