Perhaps the top attraction in Nashville, Tennessee, and the one most important for music fans, is the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, founded in 1961.
This downtown attraction documents the genre’s creation, influenced by other styles, as well as artists to come out of the Music City. The building design itself looks like a piano keyboard, pictured above, and has one of the largest collections of music-related items in the world.
What to See at the Country Music Hall of Fame
Start your visit upstairs, where the Taylor Swift Center for Education is located. There’s also an area where changing exhibits are on display. The main exhibit is a timeline of country music, showcasing its roots in mountain, Old Time, and gospel music from the Appalachian Mountains with guitars and other artifacts. Round the corner where you’ll see a unique car and a wall of gold records.
On the second floor, you’ll find more exhibits on modern country music, featuring some of the artists you know and love as well as their costumes and instruments.
Don’t miss the iconic “Nudie Suits,” pictured below, that were popular in the early days of country thanks to artists like Hank Williams. There are also interactive playing music and offering commentary.
In addition to being a museum, there is an actual hall of fame that honors iconic musicians, producers, and members of the industry. Past inductees include Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Loretta Lynn, and Johnny Cash. Ceremonies take place every year to welcome a new class, complete with bronze sculptures on the wall.
Combination tickets can also be purchased to tour Historic RCA Studio B and Hatch Show Print.
Tips for Visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame
Tickets start at $15.95 for youth and $25.95 for adults with optional add-ons. Seniors and students are $23.95, military is $22.95 and children under 5 are free. There is no onsite parking, but plenty of paid lots nearby.
Book your Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Admission or the Nashville Combo with the Country Music Hall of Fame, RCA Studio B, and Hatch Show Print entry. And don’t miss the National Museum of African American Music nearby.
Where to Eat Near the Country Music Hall of Fame
The Country Music Hall of Fame is convenient to a number of restaurants, open no matter what time of day you visit. Etch has an eclectic menu for lunch and dinner, including happy hour and favorites like fish tostadas and Argentinian beef tenderloin.
Bakersfield has Mexican dishes like tacos and taquitos, along with the venerable margaritas. The Diner is open nearly 24 hours and serves drinks throughout, with coffee, milkshakes, brunch, and even sushi on the menu.
Where to Stay Near the Country Music Hall of Fame
If you want to stay near the Country Music Hall of Fame, you’re in luck. The Omni Nashville has an outdoor pool, five onsite restaurants, and a spa.
I received complimentary admission from Visit Music City.