COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.

Tennessee State Museum

Holiday Travel Guide
Tennessee State Museum showing interior views and military items

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.

Top Trending Hotels Near Tennessee State Museum

Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown
Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown
4 out of 5
The price is HK$1,393 per night from 9 Aug to 9 Aug
Located in Downtown Nashville, this hotel is steps away from War Memorial Auditorium and Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Nashville Broadway and Tennessee State ...
4.2/5Excellent! (940 reviews)
"Great staff!"

Reviewed on 27 Jul 2021

Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown
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$1,471 per night from 22 Aug to 22 Aug
Located in Downtown Nashville, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ryman Auditorium and Riverfront Park. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and Bridgestone ...
4/5Very Good! (900 reviews)
"Very close to Broadway St. we walked the whole time other than going to grand ole opry."

Reviewed on 24 Jul 2021

DoubleTree by Hilton Nashville Downtown
Grand Hyatt Nashville
Grand Hyatt Nashville
4 out of 5
The price is HK$2,023 per night from 22 Aug to 22 Aug
Located in Downtown Nashville, this spa hotel is steps away from Frist Center for Visual Arts and Nashville Broadway. Bridgestone Arena and Ryman Auditorium ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (302 reviews)
"Parking Lot was gravel, My Shower was not cleaned had all kinds of someone else hair."

Reviewed on 27 Jul 2021

Grand Hyatt Nashville
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.

Popular places to visit in Tennessee State Museum

Search flights


Top Tennessee State Museum Hotel Deals

The Capitol Hotel Downtown, Ascend Hotel Collection
The Capitol Hotel Downtown, Ascend Hotel Collection
3 out of 5
The price is HK$1,028 per night from 23 Aug to 23 Aug
The Capitol Hotel Downtown, Ascend Hotel Collection
Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown
Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown
4 out of 5
The price is HK$1,393 per night from 9 Aug to 9 Aug
Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown
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$1,471 per night from 22 Aug to 22 Aug
DoubleTree by Hilton Nashville Downtown
Grand Hyatt Nashville
Grand Hyatt Nashville
4 out of 5
The price is HK$2,023 per night from 22 Aug to 22 Aug
Grand Hyatt Nashville
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$1,737 per night from 1 Aug to 1 Aug
Holston House Nashville, in The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
Dream Nashville
Dream Nashville
4 out of 5
The price is HK$1,780 per night from 16 Aug to 16 Aug
Dream Nashville
Drury Plaza Hotel Nashville Downtown
Drury Plaza Hotel Nashville Downtown
3 out of 5
The price is HK$1,400 per night from 23 Aug to 23 Aug
Drury Plaza Hotel Nashville Downtown
Hyatt Place Nashville Downtown
Hyatt Place Nashville Downtown
3 out of 5
The price is HK$1,550 per night from 1 Aug to 1 Aug
Hyatt Place Nashville Downtown
Omni Nashville Hotel
Omni Nashville Hotel
4 out of 5
The price is HK$2,109 per night from 23 Aug to 23 Aug
Omni 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.