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Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Located slap bang in the middle of downtown Nashville, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is definitely no shrinking violet. Indeed, if the museum’s striking architecture is anything to go by, it’s actually a bit of a show-off. But you know what they say; if you’ve got it, flaunt it. And the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has got it in spades.

Housed within the museum’s cavernous 350,000 square feet of exhibition space, you’ll find a whopping 2.5 million artifacts. All of which, in one way or another, are related to the great American art form that is country music. Amongst the most popular display pieces are Elvis’ “gold” Cadillac, Johnny Cash’s black suit, and Carl Perkins’ blue suede shoes.

In many ways, the biggest compliment I can pay the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is to stress that it’s much more than just a Mecca for country music lovers. Indeed, even if country music isn’t your cup of tea, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum remains a must-see.

Exploring the Exhibits

Standalone exhibits are one thing. A series of exhibits that tie together to tell a compelling story is quite another. The latter is what you can expect from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. As a whole, you see, the museum’s collection contextualizes the development of country music within the ever-shifting framework of American history. Accordingly, displays dedicated to early pioneers such as Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams sit cheek by jowl with those honoring later luminaries like Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton.

The museum’s sociological cum historical approach is exemplified by the colorfully named Outlaws & Armadillos exhibit. This engaging exhibit deftly examines the cultural forces which reshaped country music during the 1970s. Even if grand sociological treatises aren’t your thing; not to worry. A more restrained, dare I say intimate, the approach is showcased by the Brooks & Dunn exhibit. Here the focus centers simply on the country superstars’ incredible story. Nothing more, nothing less.

Don’t for one second think, however, that the museum is somehow backward-looking. The American Currents celebrates the incredible talents of groundbreaking artists such as Lil Nas X, Blanco Brown, and Tanya Tucker. While the Kacey Musgraves exhibit is dedicated to one of country music’s hottest young talents.

Community Engagement Programs

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is committed to giving back to the community. Public programs range from archive film screenings to concerts to Q and A sessions with country music legends. Moreover, children are similarly well catered to. The museum offers a clutch of family-friendly programs including instrument workshops, dancing lessons, and songwriting camps.

Quick Bites & Retail Therapy

With 3 on-site restaurants – Bajo Sexto Taco, Red Onion, 2122 – that specialize in everything from Mexican cuisine to Southern favorites, there’s no excuse for going hungry during your visit.

Nor can there be any complaints about the number of retail options available. The museum, you see, is home to 4 separate stores, which sell everything from books to accessories and original art to country music souvenirs.

Parking & Public Transit Options

The museum is surrounded by convenient parking options. Indeed, in the immediate vicinity, you’ll find no end of surface lots and parking garages. In terms of public transit, the museum is well served by Nashville’s WeGo Public Transit service. In fact, a whole host of routes (15,18,34,52,55) pass within a stone’s throw of the museum’s front door.

Hours and Admission

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is open 7 days a week, between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. Admission for adults is set at $25.95. The fee for youths (6-12) stands at $15.95. Admission is free, meanwhile, for children under the age of 5.

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