Must-See Architecture in Nashville

If you’re vacationing in or near Nashville, there are plenty of things to do to keep you busy. From dinner cruises to country music concerts, you’ll undoubtedly find plenty of things to do in Nashville, TN. Just make sure you don’t forget to slow down and take some time to soak up the architecture.

The city was founded in 1779, so you can bet there is some amazing architecture in the area. Just taking a walk downtown is a great way to discover beautiful buildings, but if you’re looking for some of the best buildings in the area, check out the locations on this list.

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt Universityhas a long and storied history that dates back to the 1800s. It offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, making it one of the most coveted universities in the United States.

There’s no need to schedule a special tour of the university if you don’t want to. The campus is extensive and features many different buildings.  Spend a lazy afternoon walking through campus, or bring a picnic basket and enjoy lunch on the green lawn.


Think you have to go all the way to Greece to see the Parthenon? Think again! A perfect recreation of the Parthenoncan be found in Nashville!

This architectural wonder is a full-scale replica of the actual building located in Athens. This amazing building was originally to be temporary for the Centennial Exposition in Tennessee. It was meant to house the festival’s art gallery, playing into the area’s reputation for being the “Athens of the South.”

After going derelict, it has been restored, and it has become a must-visit site for everyone visiting Nashville.

READ MORE: Why you should visit Nashville NOW.

Tennessee Capital

If you’re looking for great architecture, it’s always a good idea to visit the state’s capital, no matter what state you end up in. That’s definitely the case when it comes to the Tennessee state capital.

Designed by William Strickland and built between 1845 and 1859, this beautiful building features towering columns in the style of Greek Revival Architecture. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and it’s a National Historic Landmark. Curiously, it’s one of only 12 capitals that does not have a dome, making it even more unique.

You can always gaze at the building from afar, but if you really want to appreciate its architecture, take a tour. They are available in the morning and afternoon during the week. A self-guided tour is also available after grabbing an informational pamphlet from the Information Desk.

Grand Ole Opry

No trip to Nashville is complete without a visit to the Grand Ole Opry. It is a staple of the community and has a long and storied history in the area. The building is worth appreciating from the street, but a tour of the interior will make you feel like you’re part of the action.

It’s not just the Grand Ole Opry that’s worth your time. There are a lot of great sites to see near the Grand Ole Oprytoo! A few notable spots include:

  • Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center is the definition of grandeur.
  • The Opry Mills are on the old site of the Opryland theme park.
  • Ryman Auditorium is the original home to the Grand Ole Opry.

Frist Center for the Visual Arts

There’s plenty to do around the museum, and there’s plenty to do inside the museum too. There are rotating exhibitions that keep things fresh, as well as staple artwork that is always on display. There are plenty of three dimensional pieces, like sculpture and furniture, for those who are more interested in three dimensionalart and architecture, and less interested in paintings.

By all means, catch a show or find a few fun activities the whole family will love, but don’t forget the simple things too, like architecture. There are many beautiful buildings in Nashville that are sure to earn your admiration.

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