Tennessee State Museum
Holiday Travel Guide

From mastodon bones to dugout canoes, cotton gins to 12-string guitars, it’s easy to follow the trail of Tennessee history at this museum.

The Tennessee State Museum has a strong focus on the history of the South and holds one of the largest Civil War Collections in the USA. Its permanent exhibits cover more than 60,000 square feet (5,574 square meters) with an additional 10,000 square feet (929 square meters) devoted to ever-changing showcases. Set aside half a day to fully explore its many treasures.

The museum’s permanent exhibits are arranged in chronological order, making navigation easy. Start your visit by investigating the First Tennesseans exhibit. Here you’ll see relics from prehistoric and ancient Indian cultures, such as a shaman’s medicine tube.

Next, move to the Frontier section, which traces the often-bloody footsteps of the Spanish conquistadors, the English and French explorers, and the early European settlers. Step inside a log cabin and admire a covered Conestoga wagon, just two of the many full-scale replicas within the museum.

Learn about the state’s development in The Age of Jackson, dedicated to the life and times of the Southern general and plantation owner who became the seventh president of the United States. Then move on to the Antebellum section to admire the crafts, artworks and finery of a prosperous pre-Civil War Tennessee.

Look for the revolver once owned by Nathan Bedford Forrest, the infamous Confederate soldier turned Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, in the extensive Civil War and Reconstruction section.

Follow the stories of women's suffrage and Prohibition in the final permanent display, The New South. This section also contains many fine examples of crafts from the late 1800s and early 1900s, including a renowned collection of Tennessee pottery.

The museum resides on the bottom three floors of the James K. Polk Center near the State Capitol in downtown Nashville. It’s open Tuesday to Saturday, with the exception of major holidays. Paid parking is available in the adjacent parking garages, or on the street. The free Music City Circulator bus stops at the museum.

Tennessee State Museum


Top Tennessee State Museum Hotel Deals

Knights Inn Nashville
Knights Inn Nashville
1.5 out of 5
The price is HK$458 per night from 28 Jun to 28 Jun
Knights Inn Nashville
DoubleTree by Hilton Nashville Downtown
DoubleTree by Hilton Nashville Downtown
3.5 out of 5
315 4th Avenue N, Nashville, TN
The price is HK$1,468 per night from 5 Jul to 5 Jul
DoubleTree by Hilton Nashville Downtown
Omni Nashville Hotel
Omni Nashville Hotel
4 out of 5
The price is HK$1,578 per night from 6 Jul to 6 Jul
Omni Nashville Hotel
Holston House Nashville, in The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
Holston House Nashville, in The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
4 out of 5
The price is HK$1,609 per night from 27 Jun to 27 Jun
Holston House Nashville, in The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
Drury Plaza Hotel Nashville Downtown
Drury Plaza Hotel Nashville Downtown
3 out of 5
The price is HK$1,398 per night from 7 Jul to 7 Jul
Drury Plaza Hotel Nashville Downtown
Grand Hyatt Nashville
Grand Hyatt Nashville
4 out of 5
The price is HK$1,741 per night from 5 Jul to 5 Jul
Grand Hyatt Nashville
The Capitol Hotel Downtown, Ascend Hotel Collection
The Capitol Hotel Downtown, Ascend Hotel Collection
3 out of 5
The price is HK$1,308 per night from 5 Jul to 5 Jul
The Capitol Hotel Downtown, Ascend Hotel Collection
Dream Nashville
Dream Nashville
4 out of 5
The price is HK$1,538 per night from 20 Jul to 20 Jul
Dream Nashville
Renaissance Nashville Hotel
Renaissance Nashville Hotel
4 out of 5
The price is HK$1,623 per night from 5 Jul to 5 Jul
Renaissance Nashville Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.