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The staff of the Tennessee State Museum offers free guided tours of the historic State Capitol and the grounds surrounding the building.
Hours for Guided Tours:
Monday through Friday at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.,
All tours begin at the Information Desk on the first floor. Groups of ten or more should make a reservation prior to their visit by calling the Public Programs Department at (615) 741-0830 or toll-free (800) 407-4324.
Please note: the Tennessee State Capitol is closed to visitors on weekends and state holidays. Click here for a list of state holidays.
Location and Access:
600 Charlotte Ave, at the top of Capitol Hill.
When visiting the State Capitol, visitors may enter the building at the west entrance and go through the security check. Tours begin at the Information Desk located on the first floor across from the main stairwell. The Motlow Tunnel entrance to the State Capitol on Charlotte Avenue may be used by individuals who cannot climb the stairs to the west entrance. Visitors with special needs should call 615-741-1886 during regular office hours (Mon.-Fri. between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
Get directions via Google Maps
Planning Your Visit:
There is no private parking for the Tennessee State Capitol. During the week, visitors must park in paid lots or at street parking meters. On weekends, visitors may park free in the state employee parking lots around the State Capitol.
All street metered spaces are free to the public Monday-Friday after 6 p.m. and Saturday after 12 p.m. (Note: some meters may have reserved jackets and are closed to public use during these times.)
Click here for a complete list of parking lots and fees
Walking, Biking & Public Transportation:
The Tennessee State Capitol is conveniently located in Downtown Nashville. Walking Tour maps that include tours of both downtown as well as in and around the area are available for purchase at Nashville Civic Design Center for $5.
Bike racks are located at 6th Avenue North and Union Street. There is also a Nashville Bi-Cycle bikeshare dock located in that area. Bikes can be rented at Nashville B-Cycle. Click here for more information about rates and stations.
There is a nearby stop on the free service offered by the Music City Circuit. Click here for more information on route and hours of operation.
The Tennessee State Capitol stands today much as it did when it first opened in 1859, and is a magnificent tribute to the people of Tennessee. This graceful structure was designed by noted architect William Strickland who considered it his crowning achievement. When Strickland died suddenly during construction in 1854, he was buried in the north facade of the Capitol.
The cornerstone for the building was laid on July 4, 1845, and construction finished in 1859. The grounds of the State Capitol contain statues honoring Sam Davis, Sgt. Alvin York, and Presidents Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson. The tombs of President and Mrs. James K. Polk are also located on the Capitol grounds.
One of the oldest working capitols in the United States, the Tennessee State Capitol serves as home of the Tennessee General Assembly and houses the governor’s office. The building, one of 12 state capitols that does not have a dome, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and named a National Historic Landmark in 1971.
Photography is allowed in the State Capitol, but you must turn your flash off.