A Walk on Tennessee Capitol Hill, Nashville (Self Guided)

Capitol Hill is the site of Tennessee legislation. It is a spectacular combination of the past meeting the present, with open-air museums, modern towers, state buildings, bridges, and other attractions. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the heart of Tennessee.
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A Walk on Tennessee Capitol Hill Map

Guide Name: A Walk on Tennessee Capitol Hill
Guide Location: USA » Nashville (See other walking tours in Nashville)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
Author: mary
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Tennessee Performing Arts Center

1) Tennessee Performing Arts Center

The Tennessee Performing Arts Center opened in 1981 as the premier theater venue in the state. It consists of the James K. Polk Theater, Andrew Jackson Hall and the Andrew Johnson Theater, totaling 3,803 seats. It is home to the Nashville Ballet, the Nashville Opera and the Tennessee Repertory Theater.
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Tennessee State Capitol

2) Tennessee State Capitol (must see)

Designed by architect William Strickland (1788–1854) of Philadelphia and Nashville, who is buried within the walls, the Tennessee State Capitol was built between 1845 and 1859 and is one of Nashville's most prominent examples of Greek Revival architecture. The building, one of 12 state capitols that does not have a dome, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and named a National Historic Landmark in 1971.

Monuments on the Capitol grounds include statues of two of the three Tennessee residents who served as President of the United States: Andrew Jackson by Clark Mills and Andrew Johnson by Jim Gray. The second President from Tennessee, James K. Polk, is buried in a tomb on the grounds, together with his wife, Sarah Childress Polk. Other monuments on the grounds include the Sgt. Alvin C. York Memorial by Felix de Weldon, the Tennessee Holocaust Commission Memorial, the Sam Davis Memorial, the Sen. Edward Ward Carmack Memorial, and the Memorial to Africans during the Middle Passage. The Charles Warterfield Reliquary is a group of broken limestone columns and fragments removed and saved from the State Capitol during the mid-1950s restoration, located near the northern belvedere on Capitol Drive.

Why You Should Visit:
Great place for a quick rest and sightseeing. The major rooms are open if not in session. The building sits on top of a hill which allows for very pretty views of downtown.

Tip:
Be prepared to go through a metal detector and security before entering but once inside you can wander around on your own.
There is a brochure for self-guided tours, but going with a guide is also an option and is definitely the way to see this beautiful, historic building.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8am-4pm
Free guided tours: 9-11am / 1-3pm (every hour, on the hour)
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William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower

3) William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower

The William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower, or Tennessee Tower, is a skyscraper in downtown Nashville, that houses Tennessee government offices. The tower was built for the National Life and Accident Insurance Company and served as its National Life Center until the State of Tennessee acquired it on January 3, 1994. Over 1000 state employees who had been assigned to numerous locations now work in the building.

The building is named in honor of William R. Snodgrass, a career public servant who served as Tennessee's Comptroller of the Treasury from 1955 till 1999.

The tower was struck by lightning on August 31, 2003, which caused a firepump to turn on the sprinkler system. This caused flooding and extensive damage to the elevator shafts.

Prior to being purchased by the state, the building was used to display messages by turning on lights in the windows on the front of the building. After being dormant for 10 years a new message - "Peace" was displayed on December 17, 2007.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
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Tennessee State Library and Archives

4) Tennessee State Library and Archives

The Tennessee State Library and Archives was opened in 1953. It was constructed as a memorial to World War II veterans. In 2003 it was listed on the National and Tennessee Registers of Historic Places. The Library regularly exhibits vast collections of historic materials.
5
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

5) Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park (must see)

This 19-acre urban park is in immediate proximity to the State Capitol. An open-air museum opened on June 1, 1996, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the establishment of Tennessee’s statehood, it features fountains, granite maps, historical monuments and markers that describe different aspects of the state's history as well as its natural attractions and landmarks. Visitors year-round can also enjoy the farmer's markets and flea markets the park hosts.

In 2006, the Nashville Business Journal ranked the Bicentennial Mall as the number one tourist attraction in Nashville. In 2011, the American Planning Association listed the park as one of the top ten public spaces in the United States.

Why You Should Visit:
Awesome views of the Capitol building and downtown. Water features great for kids, a huge map of TN on the ground and fascinating history wall outlining the history of TN (and earth) running the park's full length.

Tip:
Plan at least 30 mins for a walk through the park. More time will be needed when reading the historical facts.
Try to stick around for when the clock strikes every hour to be serenaded by the bell towers at one end of the park.
Then walk over to the Farmers Market for great food, farm produce at great prices, local honey, and just a nice piece of rural TN in the middle of a busy city.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 6am-10pm
Free admission
6
Nashville Municipal Auditorium

6) Nashville Municipal Auditorium

The Nashville Municipal Auditorium is an indoor concert and sports venue opened in 1962. The building has two levels consisting of a 9,432-seat arena and a 63,000-square foot exhibition hall.
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Victory Memorial Bridge

7) Victory Memorial Bridge

The 1,900-foot Victory Memorial Bridge, over the Cumberland River, was constructed in 1956. It was built to replace a wooden covered bridge demolished in 1851 to make room for passing steamboats. The bridge was named in memory of Nashville's fallen soldiers in World War II.

Walking Tours in Nashville, Tennessee

Create Your Own Walk in Nashville

Create Your Own Walk in Nashville

Creating your own self-guided walk in Nashville is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Vanderbilt Neighborhood Walk

Vanderbilt Neighborhood Walk

In this area you will find Vanderbilt University, Peabody College and Belmont University. Visit the neighborhood of National Historic Landmarks and learn about the history of the state's educational system. Enjoy a game with the Vanderbilt Commodores at the university's stadium!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Downtown Daily Life

Downtown Daily Life

Enjoy a good local beer at the Yazoo Brewing Company and walk down Lower Broadway to the Shelby Street Bridge. Visit the honky-tonk bars, listen to great live music on your way and watch the sunset on one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
Nashville's Skyscrapers Walking Tour

Nashville's Skyscrapers Walking Tour

Alongside different antique style buildings, Nashville's skyscrapers fit in well with the city's architectural landscape. The best evidence of this is the breathtaking view from the top floor of a skyscraper. This tour highlights some of the most interesting buildings in the city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 km
Jewels of African American Education in Nashville

Jewels of African American Education in Nashville

As a part of its great history, Tennessee is proud of its institutions of higher education for African Americans. This sightseeing tour will guide you to Nashville's famous Fisk University and its legendary Jubilee Hall, Tennessee State University and its glorious Gentry Complex. Take this tour to discover some of the most significant pages in American history.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
Religious Sites of Nashville

Religious Sites of Nashville

Being at the heart of Tennessee, Nashville features a great number of churches, cathedrals and other places of worship. Take the following walking tour to discover the most beautiful and interesting religious buildings in the city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Music City Landmarks

Music City Landmarks

Due to its legendary sites, Nashville is well-known all over the world as Music City, USA. This is a tour guide of the historic places where many music hits were born, including RCA Studio B on Music Row, the Exit/In club, the Sommet Center and many others.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Nashville for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Nashville has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Nashville, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.