Tennessee State Museum

Downtown & the Gulch

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, interactive exhibits and quirky historical artifacts such as President Andrew Jackson's inaugural hat and a dress worn by First Lady Sarah Childress Polk. There's also a hands-on Children's Gallery and space for changing exhibits.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Downtown & the Gulch attractions

1. Bicentennial Capitol Mall

0.19 MILES

Downtown Nashville's 19-acre green lung swoops grandly north from the Tennessee State Capitol, giving unparalleled (and much televised) views of its white…

2. Tennessee State Capitol

0.57 MILES

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

0.79 MILES

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

0.84 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

1.06 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

1.12 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. Jefferson Street Sound

1.14 MILES

Musicians like Muddy Waters, Etta James and Jimi Hendrix all played in clubs on Jefferson St, the heart of the city's Black community during segregation…