Tennessee State Museum

Did you know that Nashville is home to the FREE newly renovated Tennessee State Museum? This Museum features original artifacts owned by three native Tennessee United States president as well as military war heroes like Sgt Alvin C York. Take your time and explore Tennessee history and make memories with your family.

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Tennessee State Museum

The Tennessee State Museum offers a complete look at the history and culture of the state of Tennessee from prehistoric days. You continue through the exhibit halls and trace time all the way through current events.

Tennesee State Museum Early Tennessee History

One of the things we love finding in museums are original artifacts. The Tennessee State Museum contains authentic pieces that were owned by Presidents, statesman and military heroes.

The Tennessee State Museum is “new” and “old”. It has been in existence since 1937 when the Tennessee General Assembly created a state museum to consolidate World War I mementoes and other collections from the state, the Tennessee Historical Society and other groups.  It reopened at it’s current location in October, 2018 and now encompasses 137,000 sq. ft. of administration and gallery space.

You are welcome to take pictures throughout the museum, but no flash photography.

Tennessee STate Museum Exhibits

The Tennessee State Museum features six permanent exhibitions that tell a variety of stories from the First Peoples to the Present Day. You begin your tour learning about the natural history and diverse animal and plant life then work your way through the people and culture of Tennessee history. 

Tennessee State Museum

Your self guided tour takes you on a journey where you learn the stories of the various people groups that called Tennessee home – from the Southeastern Indians, enslaved and free African Americans, the various wars, Andrew Jackson, President Polk and finishes with the current culture and artists that live and flourish in Tennessee.

There are original artifacts that belonged to World War II hero Sgt Alvin C York as well as items owned by Presidents Andrew Jackson, James Polk and Andrew Johnson.

Tennessee State Museum

No museum that shares the history of Tennessee would be complete without a full gallery designated to the culture and rich heritage of the musical greats.  There are exhibits that focus on various performers, artists and composers who have lived and are working in the Tennessee area

Tennessee State Museum

Real Life Tip: Take the time to look for the unusual exhibits, connect history with real life and talk about the things you see in each museum. Remember that not every one has the same attention span or interests, so when you find that one member of the family is losing focus, take a minute to pose a picture or laugh at something random. Remember that your ultimate purpose of visiting museums with your kids is making memories and building connections.

Tennessee State Museum

Children’s Area:

Don’t miss the Children’s Area on the first floor. This open room is perfect for letting the kids get creative in their own way with plenty of space to move about and let go of energy while learning about the state of Tennessee on their terms. Take time to walk around the large floor map and explore the various areas of the state while you discover Tennessee’s history and culture in a hands-on way.

Children's Museum Tennessee State Museum

Things to Know:

  • Admission to the museum is FREE.
  • Free parking is available in the parking lot between the Farmers Market and the Museum.
  • Free lockers are available when you enter the Museum for large backpacks, diaper bags and oversize purses.

1000 Rosa L Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN 37208

There is no admission charge to the Tennessee State Museum’s permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Other Nashville Attractions

Looking for other Nashville Attractions? Don’t miss the Antique Archaeology store

Antique Archaeology Nashville Tennessee
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