At the Belle Meade Plantation, step back into the Old South and get a feel for what it might have been like to live on a plantation in the 1800s. Located just west of Nashville, Tennessee, the historic plantation mansion’s grounds now function as a museum. A visit to the plantation tells the story of the Old South from the slavery era to the Civil War.
First bought in 1806 and continually expanded throughout the 19th century, the Belle Meade Plantation became world renowned as a first-rate thoroughbred horse-breeding establishment. Visiting the Greek Revival mansion reveals Belle Meade’s rich history and offers insight into the distinct Southern culture of the Antebellum and Reconstruction eras. Guided tours cover the mansion’s first and second floors, which are filled with original furnishings and period antiques. Book your visit online in advance to guarantee entry or visit as part of a southern plantations tour from Nashville.
Things to Know Before You Go
- All visits are by tour only, led by a costumed tour guide.
- Mansion tours are offered every 30 minutes throughout the day, with the last tour beginning at 4pm.
- The grounds and the first floor of the mansion are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Belle Meade Plantation is located about nine miles west of Nashville, about 15 to 20 minutes by car. The No. 5 bus runs from downtown Nashville to the plantation, stopping just a short walk from the grounds.
When to Get There
The Belle Meade Plantation is open year-round, but feels particularly festive when its halls are decked with Christmas decorations beginning in early November. If you do not purchase tickets online in advance, arrive first thing in the morning—on-site tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis.
Exploring the Belle Meade Plantation
Your ticket to Belle Meade Plantation includes access to the plantation’s gardens and other historic buildings, including a dairy, horse stable, log cabin, carriage house, and mausoleum. There is also a winery where you can enjoy a complimentary wine tasting before sitting down to dinner at the Harding House restaurant.