With just about a month until students start making their way back to Music City, the Vanderbilt Programming Board is giving students the opportunity to help choose the Passport to Nashville locations for the upcoming academic year. A VPB survey posted on Facebook listed 15 destinations which will offer free admission if selected. Currently, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Frist Art Museum, Johnny Cash Museum, Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage and the Adventure Science Center participate in the program. Before you pick your top five, here’s a rundown of each spot.
With its recognizable brightly colored pyramids visible from the highway, the Adventure Science Center offers excitement for all ages. The simulated moonwalk, beekeeping exhibit and laser game are just a few of the engaging activities available.
Belle Meade, meaning beautiful meadow, is a large former plantation founded by John Harding in the nineteenth century. Today, tours of the mansion feature guides in period dress and a wine tasting for guests over 21.
This mansion, just around the corner from campus, was built in 1853 and was intended to be the summer estate for the Acklens. Surrounded by extensive gardens, this property also functioned as a meeting place during the Civil War.
Cheekwood estate and gardens is a beautiful property that has photo-worthy flowers in the spring and elaborate holiday lights in the winter. The mansion is also open to explore, and guests can see the art gallery upstairs and the antique furniture on the main level.
The Country Music Hall of Fame, also known as the “Smithsonian of country music,” has an unrivaled collection of artifacts, photographs and video footage documenting the evolution of country music.
The Frist Art Museum offers an artistic oasis in the middle of Nashville, showing new exhibits every six to eight weeks.
The Grand Ole Opry is the home of the live daily radio show, which began in 1925. This venue, about a twenty minute drive from campus, began hosting the show in 1974 and is a top destination for visitors from around the world. Backstage tours are available, and the shows often have high-profile country music stars like Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town and more.
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, Home of the People’s President, allows visitors an inside look into the life of a man who had a lasting impact on American history.
The Johnny Cash Museum is a must-see for any fan due to its extensive collection of memorabilia, costumes and more. Since its opening in 2013, the Cash museum has been ranked #1 music museum in the world by Forbes, Condé Nast and National Geographic Traveler.
This museum dedicated to the life and impact of country music legend Patsy Cline is right above the Johnny Cash Museum.
The Nashville Zoo has a wide range of animals from Mexican spider monkeys to flamingos to anacondas. The exhibits spread out over the property are fun and educational for a group of friends to explore.
This spectacle in Centennial Park, right across from the Barnes and Noble on West End, is a replica of the historic structure in Athens, Greece. Inside the Parthenon, a 42-foot statue of Athena is the main focal point.
Take a whole group of friends out to Pinewood Social for a night of bowling and food. Each lane accommodate up to 8 people, and the neon lettering and wooden lanes makes it a nice Insta-worthy location.
The original home of the Grand Ole Opry radio show, Ryman Auditorium is located right in the heart of downtown Nashville. Dive into the rich history with a tour and sit in the pews of the “Mother Church of Country Music.” Rave reviews from artists including Taylor Swift and Coldplay praise the special character of this venue.
This lively venue downtown is a destination for line dancing and live music. The perfect place to break out the cowboy boots, it showcases a real Nashville experience.
Photo by Emily Markert