If anything comes to mind when you think of Nashville, it will most likely be the music. That is because, as noted in this post, Nashville is most well known for its connection to the music, especially country music. But, did you know that the city is also home to some beautiful historic mansions?
At least a few of them served as plantations during the 19th century while others simply served as private homes of well known residents of Nashville. All of these historic mansions are Nashville, Tennessee attractions that you can actually visit.
Belle Meade Plantation
Belle Meade Plantation is located on Harding Pike in Nashville. This historic mansion was built in 1807 by John Harding who was a well known thoroughbred breeder. This mansion served as a plantation for breeding the thoroughbreds during the 19th century. In fact, it was widely regarded as the best thoroughbred stud farm in the United States at the time.
This mansion was once home to Iroquois who was the first American bred thoroughbred to win the Epsom Derby. Another notable thoroughbred, Bonnie Scotland, was also housed there. African American slave labor was used during the 19th century for thoroughbred breeding at the plantation. This mansion is of the Greek Revival architectural style.
Today, tours are offered for the mansion. There will be tour guides there who will show you around as you learn about and immerse yourself into its history as a plantation. In addition to the main building, you will be able to tour the outbuildings including a dairy, horse stable, carriage house, mausoleum, gardens, and a log cabin. A restaurant called Harding House is available onsite.
If you are looking for souvenirs, you can head to the onsite gift shop at the mansion. The admission prices for the weekdays are $24 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $13 for youth aged from 6 to 18. The weekend prices are $28 for adults, $24 for seniors, and $13 for youth aged 6 to 18. Those aged 5 and under will get free admission. You can purchase the tickets to the mansion by going here.
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage is located on Rachels Lane in Nashville. This was the presidential home of Andrew Jackson who was the seventh president of the US from 1829 to 1837. This is one of the largest presidential homes in the United States. This mansion functioned as a plantation where cotton was grown. As was the case with Belle Meade Plantation, African American slave labor was used at this plantation.
This mansion is built in the Greek Revival architectural style. This mansion is now open to the public for tours. You can check out every one of the rooms at the mansion and learn about the life of Andrew Jackson, his family, and the countless visitors that Andrew received at his mansion. You can also learn about the slave labor that was used to grow the cotton at the plantation.
I would suggest that you go with the VIP Tour option as it is the best way to experience this mansion. An experienced guide will walk you around the main residence building, the grounds, the gardens, and the tomb of Andrew Jackson. You can also check out hundreds of items that belonged to Andrew. Best of all, you will get to go on the balcony to soak in the gorgeous views.
The VIP Tour goes for $50 per person. You can purchase the VIP Tour tickets here.
Belmont Mansion is located on the northern portion of the Belmont University campus in Nashville. This is the largest house museum in the state of Tennessee. This mansion was built in 1849 by Adelicia Acklen who was the widow of wealthy slave trader, Isaac Franklin. She decided to build Belmont Mansion following the death of Isaac in which she inherited his plantations in Louisiana.
After Adelicia built Belmont Mansion, she used it primarily as her summer residence. During her days at the mansion, she was the wealthiest woman in the state of Tennessee. During her days, the mansion included rose gardens, gazebos, and a large collection of animals. They even served as the first public park and zoo for Nashville which was open to the public six days of the week at that time.
Even though this mansion never functioned as a plantation, it still relied on a large number of African American slaves in order to maintain it. The mansion is designed in a mixture of Greek Revival and Italianate architectural styles. In the present day, Belmont Mansion is open for tours to the public.
You can tour the building itself and the grounds and explore the mansion’s history, the life of Adelicia Acklen, and the slave laborers who helped to maintain the mansion. The admission prices are $16 for adults, $15 for seniors, $14 for military members, $11 for college students, $7 for ages 13 to 18, and $5 for ages 6 to 12. Admission is free for these aged 5 and under. You can buy your tickets here.
Cheekwood is located on Forrest Park Drive in Nashville. This mansion once served as the primary residence for the Cheek family of prominent businesspeople who owned and operated C.T. Cheek & Sons and the Cheek-Neal Coffee Company. Both of these companies were based in Nashville. This mansion was built in 1932 and continued to be in use by the Cheek family until the 1950’s.
The mansion was very expansive. In fact, it was expansive enough that the Cheek family could ride around the grounds on their horses. This mansion is built in the Georgian architectural style and draw inspirations from the grand English manors of the 18th century.
Unlike the other mansions that I have listed here, slave labor was never used at this mansion given the fact that slavery was already abolished in the US by the time that the mansion was built by the Cheek family. It is possible, though, that the Cheek family hired housemaids to perform chores at the mansion. This mansion now functions as an art museum and botanical garden that is open to the public.
There is also an onsite restaurant called the Pineapple Room. The admission prices for the art museum and botanical garden are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, $16 for college students, and $13 for those aged 3 to 17. Admission is free for those aged under 2. You can buy the admission tickets by going here.
These historic mansions are the Nashville, Tennessee attractions that aren’t only gorgeous, but also can be visited as well. Some of these mansions were plantations while others weren’t.
If you are seeking out a hotel to stay overnight at in Nashville, I am here to lend you a helping hand. These are the two hotels that I would suggest you to stay overnight at.
DoubleTree by Hilton Nashville-Downtown
This hotel is located on 4th Avenue North in downtown Nashville. There is an onsite restaurant and bar called 4th & U. There is an outdoor area at the hotel, known as Patio 315, with large lawn games, fire pits, and TVs. Starbucks Coffee is also located onsite. There is also an indoor heated pool at the hotel. You can use the hotel’s 24-hour fitness center for your workout needs.
All of the hotel rooms offer WiFi, mini refrigerators, and coffee makers. The suites will also offer microwaves, stoves, living rooms and dining tables. All of the hotel rooms and suites will also offer breathtaking views of downtown Nashville. The average rate for a standard room range from $180 to $480. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or view some photos.
Clarion Hotel Nashville Downtown – Stadium
This hotel is located on North 1st Street in Nashville’s downtown. This hotel offers complimentary breakfast. There is an onsite restaurant and bar at the hotel. The hotel offers an indoor heated swimming pool. A fitness center is also available for you to use. Some of the hotel rooms will offer sweeping views of downtown Nashville’s skyline.
All of the hotel’s rooms come with WiFi, mini refrigerators, and microwaves. The average rate for a standard room range from $113 to $320. You can book your stay and/or check out some photos by going here.
What are your thoughts? Have you been to any of these gorgeous historic mansions before? Feel free to leave a comment below.