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Journal / Music

Nashville's Music Museums

The weather outside is frightful…or is it? Nashville winter weather is unpredictable. There may be a blizzard; it may be balmy. If you’re visiting Music City from December through March, you may be able to sit outside at Bobby’s Rooftop Lounge or stroll downtown streets. Or you might want some options that allow you to have some fun without bundling up. Below are seven options for indoor Music City fun in Nashville’s various music museums.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Perhaps there is no museum better known in Nashville than the iconic Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Start here for context on how Music City got its moniker. You’ll learn that country music is broader and more nuanced than you expected as you explore its roots in gospel and blues. Make sure you get a ticket that includes the tour of Historic RCA Studio B.

National Museum of African American Music
The pre-eminent place to learn about Black music and the influence of Black musicians on a variety of genres, the National Museum of African American Music is a must-stop for Nashville visitors. The interactive museum is located in the Fifth + Broad complex, so it is easy to stay warm and shop and eat and drink before and after. Visiting NMAAM may make you want to go more in-depth on the Nashville Black music scene. If that’s the case, head to the Jefferson Street Sound Museum. Lorenzo Washington will tell you tales of Jefferson Street’s musical heyday.

Patsy Cline Museum
When it comes to square footage, the Johnny Cash Museum and the Patsy Cline Museum might seem smaller than some of your other music museum options. But these two museums, which are located on different floors of the same building, are chockful of memorabilia. The families of both Cash and Cline work with owner Bill Miller and his team to provide personal anecdotes and perspective on the lives of their beloved relatives/hit makers.

Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum
While other museums are about the stars—the bling and the bright lights—the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum is focused on the people who make the sounds, but who are people you might not recognize. From here you’ll learn about sessions musicians and others who have played on the biggest recordings of all time. And added bonus: the museum is just two blocks from the Bobby Hotel.