If it weren't for coffee that was deemed "good to the last drop," Nashville might never have gotten Cheekwood Botanical Garden. In the early 20th century, the Cheek family produced a superior blend of coffee and marketed it through the Maxwell House, Nashville's finest hotel at the time. In 1928 the now-wealthy family built Cheekwood, a handsome Georgian-style mansion on a hill overlooking a wooded 100-acre estate. Turned into a botanical garden and art museum in the 1950s, Cheekwood has now become a central player in the city's art scene. The art collection, which isn't always on view, is built around the holdings of the Nashville Museum of Art and includes a broad range of American and contemporary work, as well as outdoor sculptures displayed on the Woodland Sculpture Trail. The gardens include pools, fountains, seasonal installations, and extensive boxwood plantings. The Japanese garden, with its bamboo "walls," is a serene, calming hideaway. And don't miss the Bell Chandelier, a fiber-optic piece held over from Bruce Munro's recent "Light" exhibit that hangs in the rotunda staircase. A restaurant, the Pineapple Room, sells boxed lunches that can be eaten on the grounds. You'll probably want to leave at least three hours to tour the whole site. Note that some areas outside have steep hills and uneven footing, limiting accessibility for those with mobility issues.
Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art
1200 Forrest Park Dr.
Our Rating Hours Nov–Apr Tues–Sat 9am–5pm, May–Oct Tues–Thurs and Sat 9am–5pm, Fri 9am–10pm Phone 615/356-8000 Prices $14 adults, $10 college students, $7 kids age 3–17, $12 seniors Web site Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art
Map1200 Forrest Park Dr. Nashville
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.