With so many music-centric museums to explore in Music City, how do you make time to visit each one? Here’s our recommendation: Clear off a few upcoming weekends + use this roundup to plan your visits.
Want to add an extra element of fun? Be on the lookout for these 18 iconic guitars on display at museums across the city.
📍 222 Rep. John Lewis Way S. | ⏰ Daily, 9-5 p.m. (6 p.m. on Friday + Saturday)
- Bio: Coined the “Smithsonian of country music,” the CMHF first opened in 1967 on Music Row before moving to its downtown location and offering 350,000 sqft of exhibition galleries, archival storage, retail stores, and event space.
- Fast fact: The museum has been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums — signifying it operates at the highest standard — making it one out of 1,100 accredited museums of the 33,000 nationwide.
📍 401 Gay St. | ⏰ Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Bio: The museum recognizes well-known stars, musicians who played on hit records as studio players + displays the instruments played on those recordings. The Grammy Museum Gallery showcases the history of the GRAMMY Awards and allows guests to interact with stages of the recording process from start to finish.
- Fast fact: You can contribute $10 a month to become a patron of the Musicians Hall of Fame Backstage Episodes (think: exclusive on-camera interviews with past and present artists for subscribers).
📍 510 Broadway | ⏰ Sunday-Monday, 12-5 p.m. + Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Bio: Visitors can anticipate many interactive experiences throughout the museum, including a special bracelet (for $1 more) to save playlists + videos to watch later at home.
- Fast fact: NMAAM is the only museum of its kind dedicated to preserving and celebrating the history of Black music in America.
📍 119 3rd Ave. S. | ⏰ Daily, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Bio: This downtown Nashville museum features the largest and most comprehensive collection of The Man in Black artifacts in the world. Guests can expect to see performance clothing, letters, and instruments in the self-guided, interactive experience.
- Fast fact: The Johnny Cash Museum was rated on Forbes and National Geographic’s must-see travel destination lists.
📍 2004 Jefferson St. | ⏰ Closed for renovations through at least August
- Bio: This museum founded and curated by Lorenzo Washington tells the story of Jefferson Street’s music scene — a scene that played host to R&B, blues and rock ‘n’ roll greats like Jimi Hendrix, Etta James, Ray Charles, and Little Richard.
- Fast fact: The museum also doubles as a full-service music production studio and band rehearsal staging hall.
📍 119 3rd Ave. S., second level | ⏰ Daily, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Bio: This self-guided tour chronologically walks you through the life of the legendary musician via halls filled with her personal belongings, videos, and never-before-seen artifacts.
- Fast fact: Along with The Johnny Cash Museum (in which The Patsy Cline Museum is located directly above), The Patsy Cline Museum took home one of the top three spots on USA Today’s “10 Best Music Museums in North America” list in 2020.
📍 111 Broadway, ste. 200 | ⏰ Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Bio: Browse artifacts from Glen’s early years and humble upbringings to his rise to fame — like intimate family photos, stage outfits, instruments, and his golf collection. The museum turns into an event venue at night called the Rhinestone Stage + features weddings, songwriter rounds, and other performances.
- Fast fact: If you want a quick preview of what to expect, you can take a virtual tour via the museum’s website.
📍 2613A McGavock Pk. | ⏰ Daily, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. (8 p.m. Friday + Saturday)
- Bio: This museum encourages you to snap photos of personal items from Willie Nelson and 30+ other country music trailblazers — like Waylon Jennings, Conway Twitty, Dolly Parton, and Kenny Rogers.
- Fast fact: The attached store is Nashville’s largest gift shop featuring Willie Nelson and other artist’s merchandise + Nashville souvenirs.
If you’re like us and you waste no time on the weekends, use this interactive map to get from one museum to the next with ease.