Tennessee State Museum, Nashville

#10 of 28 in Museums in Nashville
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
Featuring special sections dedicated to Native American cultures, colonial explorers, and European settlers, Tennessee State Museum offers history buffs of all ages an entertaining and educational insight into the state's colorful past. With more than 5,500 sq m (60,000 sq ft) of permanent exhibits, this is Nashville's largest museum, featuring a vast collection of uniforms, weapons, and flags from the Civil War. The museum also houses some of history's quirkier artifacts, like a hat Andrew Jackson wore for his presidential inauguration, Davy Crockett's powder horn, and a wine chest used by Mexican President Santa Ana. The museum store offers handmade crafts and jewelry, as well as Tennessee-themed magnets, posters, mugs, and caps. Work out when and for how long to visit Tennessee State Museum and other Nashville attractions using our handy Nashville online trip builder.
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Tennessee State Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
925 reviews
  • Lots of great stuff to learn from here. It’s free which is really nice. The parking lot is huge. I enjoyed my time here! — Ross Senack  more »
  • The Museum is free and has a large number of exhibits. We got about halfway through the went across the street to the Farmers Market for lunch. After lunch we returned to finish.  more »
  • Museum has many interesting exhibits showing Tennessee life and history. Great place to take the family for an afternoon.  more »
  • The gorgeously curated and stylish housing of Tennessee's history we've long needed. This is a world-class museum, and reminded us of the best we've seen in places like Reykjavik and Osaka. Entry is free, so if you haven't been yet - there's no reason not to - especially if you remember the state museum we had before.
  • So many interesting exhibits. Spent a couple of hours and had to rush. Could easily spend a whole to see it all. Beautiful building. Plentiful free parking right in front. Don't let your GPS send you to "Tennessee State Museum FOUNDATION"!!! That's a 20 minute walk from the museum.
  • Great museum! Plan to spend at least 2 hours here if you want to see it all. Since it's free you can always come back for more. We've been to just about every attraction on the Nashville list over the past 25 years and this is one of the better ones.
  • It's free, you can park for free and learn about the state from the beginning of time till present day. They have tons of multimedia and modern exhibits to explore. You need at least 2-4 hours to really absorb and see everything. Staff was helpful and welcoming. The place is super fresh and clean. I'm surprised it's not advertised more at the airport or throughout the city. From the beautiful building to the enjoyable videos playing, this one even beats the State Museum of Louisiana.
  • Good quality museum. Was expecting the usual washed down version of history, but the museum takes the checkered past head on. Was thoroughly impressed by the coverage given to the Native Peoples, there is an entire section dedicated to the history of the states geographical formation, which was an interesting section. Also impressive was the blunt treatment of Andrew Jackson, the museum did not look to tell a narrative, just simply allow the historical facts to speak. A rather impressively sized collection of Civil War artifacts as well. There was a portion dedicated to the African American experience in Tennessee, and the history of Civil Rights section was informative as well. There was a small art section, which I hope will continue to grow. I was able to go on my break from work, so I only spent 2 hours there. I plan on going and spending a few more hours reading some of the parts I missed. Best part, admission is free, and you can guide yourself through the entirety of the museum.

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