The former home of Country Music Hall of Famer Barbara Mandrell, Fontanel mansion is a luxe log home in Nashville, Tennessee. The home, nestled in the woods and fronting a vast lawn, comprises 33,000 square feet (10,058 square meters) of living space including more than 20 rooms, 13 baths, five fireplaces, and an indoor shooting range.
Once the gathering place for the Mandrell family, the mansion at Fontanel was named after the soft spot on a baby’s head and what Mandrell wanted the home to be: a comfortable place. The Mandrells lived here, in what is known to be the world’s largest log cabin home, until 2002, when Fontanel was sold to investors who turned the estate into an attraction open to the public.
Draws at Fontanel include mansion tours, which reveal the property’s luxury accompanied by country music and involve a high level of accessibility, as tour guides encourage visitors to sit on the furniture and get up close to the memorabilia. Beyond the mansion, nature lovers can explore the estate’s Trails and Conservation Greenway on foot, and those keen on adventure can get a thrill at the Adventureworks Zipline Forest. Prichard’s Distillery and the Natchez Hills Tasting Room serve up hand-crafted Tennessee whiskey and locally grown wines, and the Carl Black Chevy Woods Amphitheater, a 4,500-seat natural outdoor venue, hosts events throughout the year; attending one of these performances is another great way to experience the Fontanel property.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Trails and Conservation Greenway are free and open to the public during the day, but their use requires check-in upon arrival.
- Kids under 6 years old, as well as active duty military personnel, can tour the mansion free of charge.
- Café Fontanella offers Southern and Italian food with live music daily.
- Visitors can stay on the property by booking the room at the Inn at Fontanel.
- The mansion at Fontanel is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Fontanel mansion is in Nashville, off the Old Hickory Boulevard exit of I-24 West. Arriving by taxi, car service, or organized tour is the preferred transportation of most visitors.
When to Get There
Fontanel mansion tours are available daily, except when the estate is hosting special events such as weddings. It’s best to book ahead for summer, weekends, and holidays.
Country Music Memorabilia
In addition to family photos from the Mandrell family collection, Fontanel is filled with country music memorabilia from Kenny Chesney, Gretchen Wilson, the Eagles, Buck Owens, and other musicians. The current owners manage many contemporary musicians, and evidence of that deep involvement in Music City is on display for up-close viewing.