Before he became president, Andrew Jackson purchased the Hermitage property in 1804 for $3,400.
Nashville has a storied past. Founded in 1779, the area was home to two U.S. presidents and the site of Civil War battles. Many of the plantations and mansions that existed then are still available to visit and tour today. Don’t miss a trip to the home of President Andrew Jackson, as well as the forts and museums that bring the Old South to life.
4580 Rachel's Lane, 615-889-2941
Home to President Andrew Jackson before and after his presidency, The Hermitage has been restored from post-Civil War dilapidation into a National Historic Landmark. Since it opened as a museum in 1889, more than 15 million people have visited. The 1120-acre plantation includes 32 historic buildings, among them Jackson’s mansion and slave cabins.
Tennessee State Capitol
600 Charlotte Avenue, 615-741-2692
Tennessee’s Capitol is one of the oldest functioning capitols in the United States. Completed in 1859, convicts and slaves were responsible for the physical labor of erecting it. Today, the National Historic Landmark continues to be a stunning example of Greek Revival architecture in the heart of Nashville. On the grounds, you can find the tombs of President James K. Polk and his wife, Sarah, as well as statues of famous Tennesseans.
Tennessee State Museum
505 Deaderick Street, 615-741-2692
The history of Tennessee is incomplete without noting the Civil War, and this museum features many uniforms, battle flags and weapons. Artifacts on display include a hand-drawn map of the Shiloh battlefield prepared for Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard and “Boy Hero of the Confederacy” Sam Davis’ boot that was cut open by Union troops to search for hidden papers.
1100 Fort Negley Boulevard, 615-862-8470
After Nashville surrendered to the Union Army in 1862, it built Fort Negley to defend against Confederate soldiers. Negley was the largest inland masonry fort built during the Civil War and required the labor of more than 2,700 free blacks and slaves to complete. Before you see the fort, check out the Visitors Center, which features historical film and exhibits.
The Carter House
1140 Columbia Avenue, Franklin, Tennessee, 615-791-1861
Built in 1830, the Carter House was at the center of “the Gettysburg of the West”—the Battle of Franklin—on November 30, 1864. The brick house was used as the Federal Command Post while the Carters and two neighboring families took refuge in the cellar. Don’t miss a tour to see the property’s farm office, which is the most bullet-damaged building still standing from the entire Civil War.
1111 Columbia Avenue, Franklin, Tennessee, 615-790-7190
Located across the street from The Carter House, the Lotz House has been on the National Historic Register since 1976. It opened in 2008 as a Civil War house museum, offering visitors a peek at historic furnishings and antiques, as well as stories about the Battle of Franklin.
1345 Carnton Lane, Franklin, Tennessee, 615-794-0903
Located less than two miles from both the Carter House and Lotz House, the historic Carnton Plantation served as the largest Confederate field hospital during the Battle of Franklin when nearly 10,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing. Following the war, two acres of the estate became a cemetery for more than 1,400 Southern soldiers.
Belle Meade Plantation
5025 Harding Pike, 615-356-0501
Once a thoroughbred horse farm, the Belle Meade Plantation is an example of the quintessential Antebellum home. The mansion, built in 1853, is available to tour, as are other historic buildings. Don’t miss a trip to the winery—the first and only one in Nashville—and stay for a meal at Belle, the southern-inspired café on site.
Travellers Rest Plantation and Museum
636 Farrell Parkway, 615-832-8197
Two weeks before the 1864 Battle of Nashville, Travellers Rest became the Army of Tennessee’s headquarters under Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood. Today, it is the oldest historic home open to the public.
1900 Belmont Boulevard, 615-460-5459
Belmont Mansion, completed in 1853 by Adelicia Acklen, is the largest house museum in Tennessee. During the Civil War, Acklen secretly schemed with both the Confederate and Union armies to maintain her fortune once the war ended. The mansion is one of few 19th century homes whose history revolves around a woman.