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Top 10 Accessible Attractions in Nashville
By: Danielle Max | May 16 2017

Nashville and country music go together, like, well, Nashville and country music. It’s impossible to imagine one without the other. Home to the Grand Ole Opry, the world’s longest-running live radio show, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Johnny Cash Museum, Nashville is never far from its music roots. But there’s plenty of other attractions too – from art to zoos and even a replica of an iconic Greek building, (you’ll know it when you see it) – making Nashville a great destination, even if country music’s not your thing.

 


Live music: Tommy Sims | Courtesy of Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation

1. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
222 5th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203
1. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
222 5th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203
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Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum | Courtesy of Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation

For a heel-kicking good time, put the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum top of your must-visit list. Dubbed the “Smithsonian of country music” due to its unrivalled collection, the museum will immerse you in the history and sounds of country music though artifacts, photographs, video and interactive touchscreens. This self-guided museum allows you to design your own experience and there’s enough to do to keep dedicated music fans happy all day (and more than enough for lovers of other genres).

An entrance access ramp is located on the Fifth Avenue side of the building. The museum has elevator service at all levels. A limited number of courtesy wheelchairs are available from the guest services desk on a first-come, first-served basis.

Wheelchair accessible restrooms are available on all floors of the museum, with accessible water fountains located by each.

The Ford Theater and CMA Theater both have designated wheelchair accessible areas.

There are benches in the children’s corner on the third floor, as well in the theaters on the second and third floors.

The audio tour is T-coil compatible. Headsets are available upon request with the standard audio wand rental.

Large print guides of the museum tour are available at the guest services desk.

Sign language interpreters and guided tours for visitors who are blind or have low vision are available for most programs upon request. Call 615-416-2001 or contact the museum online at least two weeks in advance to reserve a guide.

Find out more here.

Parking: Paid parking available at the Music City Center and Hilton Hotel located across the street from the museum.

Public Transportation: Music City Circuit stops at the museum.

Top Tip: Your ticket is valid all day with come-and-go privileges. Just keep your ticket and show it at the elevator when you are ready to re-enter the museum.

 

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Historic RCA Studio B | Courtesy of Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation

If the Country Music Hall of Fame isn’t enough to quench your thirst for sound, add on a tour of Historic RCA Studio B. Once the recording home of musicians such as Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, Eddy Arnold and the Everly Brothers, visitors can learn about the studio’s important place in the evolution of Nashville as the Music City. Tours of Studio B depart hourly between 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. daily from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Historic RCA Studio B tours are wheelchair accessible.

Entry to Studio B is via a ramp.

There are accessible restrooms located on site.

Parking: Paid parking available at the Music City Center and Hilton Hotel located across the street from the museum.

Public Transportation: Music City Circuit stops at the museum.

Top Tip: You can only visit Historic RCA Studio in conjunction with a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

3. Ryman Auditorium
116 5th Ave North, Nashville, TN 37219
3. Ryman Auditorium
116 5th Ave North, Nashville, TN 37219
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Ryman Auditorium | Courtesy of Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation

Visiting Ryman Auditorium, home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-1974, is a religious experience for true country music fans, but the auditorium actually has real religious roots. Established in 1892 as the Union Gospel Tabernacle, Ryman Auditorium is a National Historic Landmark and must see for any Nashville visitor. Take a self-guided or guided backstage tour and discover what makes the Ryman, the “Soul of Nashville.” 

Both the self-guided and guided tours are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair-accessible seating is available for all performances on the main floor and balcony.

All restrooms facilities at the Ryman are wheelchair accessible. There are restrooms in both the upper and lower lobbies.ASL interpretation is available. Call 615-889-3060 at least three weeks in advance.

Find out more here.

Parking: Paid parking lots and street meters are located around the Ryman Auditorium.

Public Transportation: Music City Circuit stops at the Ryman Auditorium.

Top Tip: Always fancied yourself as a star? Visit the Ryman's recording studio and cut your own CD. Choose from a selection of classic songs or bring an original composition of your own and record your rendition right in the Ryman Auditorium!

4. The Frist Center for the Visual Arts
919 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203
4. The Frist Center for the Visual Arts
919 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203
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Frist Center for the Visual Arts | Courtesy of Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is a nonprofit art-exhibition center, with approximately 24,000 square feet of gallery space, dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, state and regional artists, as well as major U.S. and international exhibitions.

A limited number of courtesy wheelchairs are available at the entrance nearest the Frist Center Café, near the entrance on 9th Avenue, and in the coat check area (photo ID required). A large wheelchair with a 24-inch seat is available. There are also two four-footed adjustable canes and a rolling walker available for check out through the Member Desk or Coat Check. 

Assistive listening devices are available for visitors with hearing disabilities who are attending programs in the Frist Center Auditorium. Contact the staff member managing event to obtain headset that provide amplification of sound via an infrared transmission signal.

On the first Saturday of each month, certified American Sign Language interpreters will be available for both the 1:30 p.m. Docent Walk-up Tour and the 4:30 p.m. Architecture Tour. The Docent Walk-up Tours focus on one of the current exhibitions and require gallery admission. The Architecture Tours explore the Frist Center’s landmark Art Deco building and are free. No advance reservation is required for either tour.

Email or call 615-744-3331 at least three working days in advance to arrange ALS interpreters at other times at no additional charge.

Large-print booklets containing exhibition wall text and labels are available for check out through the Audio Tour Desk.

Gallery Guides at 30-percent larger than the regular size are available for exhibitions when applicable.

Large magnifiers to facilitate looking at artwork details may be borrowed from the Visitor Services and Member desks and from the Information Desk just inside the galleries.

There is braille signage on rooms throughout the building. Information in braille is available for exhibitions and can be checked out at the Visitor Services desk.

iPod Audio Tours are available to rent for most exhibitions.

For select exhibitions, visitors will be able to experience art through verbal description, scent experience and tactile exploration. Email to find out more. 

Large-type and Braille menus are available in the Frist Center Café.

Find out more here.

Parking: Five designated accessible parking spaces are available in the Frist Center Visitor Parking Lot for vehicles displaying the appropriate hang tags and license plates. The distance from the lot to the entryway in the Turner Courtyard is approximately 125 yards. There are also accessible, clearly marked public parking spaces on 9th Avenue near Broadway and at the rear courtyard.

Public Transportation: Bus #87, #89 or #92 to 10th Past Broadway stop (1-minute walk).

Top Tip: Make sure you check out the Frist Center Café. It has tables that can accommodate wheelchairs and large-type and braille menus.

5. The Parthenon
2500 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203
5. The Parthenon
2500 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203
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The Parthenon | Courtesy of Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation

No, your eyes do not deceive you. That really is a recreation of The Parthenon right in the middle of Centennial Park… This curiosity was originally built for Tennessee's 1897 Centennial Exposition and today serves as Nashville's art museum. The focus of the Parthenon's permanent collection is a group of 63 paintings by 19th and 20th century American artists. Additional gallery spaces provide a venue for a variety of temporary shows and exhibits.

The Parthenon is wheelchair accessible.

There are on-site braille brochures for use inside the Parthenon. In addition, braille text is located on the upper (Athena) level on various text panels. Braille text is also attached to the Elgin cast pedestals to the right just as the visitor approaches the pedestal.

Several pieces of American art housed in the Cowan Gallery are explored through either Braille text or tactile exercises that explain specific paintings, including Blashfield’s “The New Dress” and William Merritt Chase’s still life “Fish.

The Parthenon offers a special tactile tour to groups of three or more blind visitors or those with low vision. The tours include tactile exploration of miniature Athena and Parthenon models, columns, frieze pieces and a full-size Gryphon. In addition, guests experiment with spatial elements of the building and enter the tunnel area of the museum (unavailable to the general public) to explore the casts for the outdoor Pediment sculpture and the original walls of the 1897 building.

Email to find out more about the tours.

Find out more here.

Parking: Free on-site parking around the Parthenon.

Public Transportation: Bus #3 and #5 to West End Ave & 27th Ave S WB (9-minute walk).

Top Tip: If you want to go inside the Parthenon, bring cash. A 2.3-percent convenience fee is added to all credit card transactions.

6. Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
4580 Rachel's Lane, Hermitage, TN 37076
6. Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
4580 Rachel's Lane, Hermitage, TN 37076
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Andrew Jackson's Hermitage: Home of the People's President. | Courtesy of Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation

Take a break from modern politics and take a step back into history at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. The site, once home to the seventh president of the United States, is one of the oldest historical site museums in the United States (it first opened to the public way back in 1889!). Costumed interpreters lead visitors through the mansion, in which over 85 percent of the objects are original to Jackson’s lifetime.

The Andrew Jackson Visitor Center, including theater, exhibit gallery, gift shop and Kitchen Cabinet Café, is completely accessible for guests in wheelchairs. Courtesy wheelchairs are available.

The Hermitage pathways are smooth asphalt and there is a ramped entrance to the garden.

The Hermitage mansion is accessible on the first floor, and a photographic tour of the second floor is available for visitors unable to climb stairs.

A golf cart is available to transport visitors needing assistance from the Andrew Jackson Visitor Center to The Hermitage mansion.

Motorized and non-motorized wheelchairs are welcome in the mansion, however, the size of the interior spaces prevents the use of motorized scooter chairs.

Printed mansion and audio tour scripts are available.

Assisted listening devices are available for the film in the Visitor’s Center. The film is also closed-captioned.

Find out more here.

Parking: Free on-site parking.

Top Tip: If you don’t want to take a guided tour, opt for an audio tour (included in admission) to get the most out of the site and take things at your pace.

7. Adventure Science Center
800 Fort Negley Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37203
7. Adventure Science Center
800 Fort Negley Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37203
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Adventure Science Center | Courtesy of Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation

If you are tired of explaining to people just what it’s like operating in a world that is not geared towards to those with disabilities, pay a visit to the Adventure Science Center. The lauded Mission Possible explains how science and medicine team up to make life easier for people with disabilities. The interactive experience features obstacles that everyday life presents for people with disabilities – and the machines of rehabilitative medicine designed to overcome them. Mission Possible is just one of the nearly 175 hands-on exhibits focused on biology, physics, visual perception, listening, mind, air and space, energy and earth science found at the center. Other programs include daily science demonstrations, Discovery Cart activities and workshops.

The Science Center has a limited number of courtesy wheelchairs available on a first come, first serve basis at the front desk (photo ID required).

Tell the front desk if you have difficulty climbing stairs if you are visiting the planetarium. They will pass the information on to the planetarium staff who will guide you to suitable seats.

Assistive listening devices are available for use in the planetarium. Ask the ticket taker or presenter before the show begins.

Parking: Free on-site parking.

Public Transportation:

Top Tip: Take advantage of the Twilight Special. Arrive after 3:00 p.m. and receive free general admission when you purchase a 3:30 p.m. planetarium show ticket at the regular price or arrive after 3:30 p.m. and pay only $6 (all ages) for general admission (prices subject to change).

8. Grand Ole Opry
2804 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN 37214
8. Grand Ole Opry
2804 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN 37214
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Grand Ole Opry | Courtesy of Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation

You can’t visit Nashville without seeing the Grand Ole Opry “The Show that Made Country Music Famous.” The show, which began back in 1925, is broadcast around the world live from Music City, and is a must-see for devotees of country music (and everyone else). As well as seeing a broadcast of the show, you can take a backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry House to learn about the music that built a city and to find out the secrets of some of the biggest stars in country music history. If you take an after-show tour, you might even get the opportunity to walk on the famous Opry stage and into the famed wooden circle from which countless stars have strutted their stuff.

Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis (photo ID required). Wheelchair lifts are available on the second level for access to the seating areas. Accessible seating is available for purchase online or at 615-871-OPRY.  

FM Assistive Listening Devices (ear speaker, headset and neck loop) are available in The Opry Shop for the shows (photo ID required).

Qualified interpretation is available with three weeks’ notice. Call 615-871-OPRY to arrange this service.  

The venue cannot accommodate Segway personal transportation devices. 

Find out more here

9. Johnny Cash Museum and Café
119 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201
9. Johnny Cash Museum and Café
119 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201
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Johnny Cash Museum and Cafe

If you want some more music – and let’s face it, this is Nashville, of course you want some more music! – walk the line right on over to the Johnny Cash Museum. The museum celebrates the “Man in Black,” right down to his signature outfit. Enjoy interactive exhibits, footage of live performances, see Cash’s guitars, records, handwritten lyrics and letters and even his bible. Want to take Johnny Cash home with you? Pose in front of a green screen with Cash and get prints to take with you.

The museum is wheelchair accessible.

Parking: There are parking lots as well as ample street parking around the museum.

Public Transportation: Bus #33, #37, #38, #60, #84, #86, #93 or #96 to 3rd Avenue North & Broadway Avenue NB (3-minute walk).

Top Tip: If you're hungry, stop by the Bongo Java Café on the ground floor of the museum and order a bowl of chili, which is made from Cash’s personal recipe.

10. Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
3777 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN 37211
10. Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
3777 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN 37211
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Nashville Zoo | Courtesy of Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation

The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is a 200-acre zoo and historic plantation farmhouse. The zoo houses some 365 species and almost 2,300 individual animals. At Critter Encounters, Lorikeet Landing, Shell Station and Kangaroo Kickabout, visitors can have personal encounters with some of the zoo’s tamer animals, including goats, lorikeets, tortoises and even kangaroos.

The pathways, exhibits and facilities are all accessible.

Wheelchairs or electric scooters are available for rent at the zoo entrance on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Guests with a service dog are asked to alert a guest services staff member at the front entrance upon arrival. Service dogs are restricted from the following areas as a safety precaution for the zoo animals in Lorikeet Landing, Kangaroo Kickabout and Critter Encounters.

Find out more here.

Parking: On-site parking.

Public Transportation: Bus #52 to Nolensville Pike & Zoo Road SB (9-minute walk).

Top Tip: Each Thursday and Sunday at 10:00 a.m. docents lead guests on a tour of the Zoo. There is a limit of 25 people per tour (pre-registration is not required). Tours meet near Entry Village.

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