The City of Nashville is proud to be the heart of the country music industry and home to the world-famous Grand Ole Opry. Visitors enjoy a nightlife in the Port of Nashville that reflects the city's status as a country music center, and other music venues welcome non-country types. Known as the Athens of the South, the Port of Nashville is also a center for higher education, and much of the city's cultural life grows from the large university community there. The Parthenon, an art museum at the center of the Port of Nashville's Centennial Park, holds a replica of the massive Athena Parthenos statue in Athens' original Parthenon. History buffs in the Port of Nashville enjoy visiting Fort Nashborough, a reconstruction of the early settlement, and Fort Negley, a somewhat restored Civil War fort. The Port of Nashville has many great restaurants that serve the best of local cuisine that includes barbecue, hot chicken and fish, and the locally-traditional "meat and three."
The Port of Nashville has a humid subtropical climate with mild winters and hot humid summers. Located at the center of the Nashville Basin, the city is surrounded by rich farm lands and diverse wildlife. Winters tend to be fairly short in the Port of Nashville, and spring and fall last a comfortably long time but punctuated with severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Temperatures in the Port of Nashville range from an average high of about 26°C (80°F) in July and August to an average low of about 3°C (38°F) in December and January. Rainfall is heaviest in the spring and fall, peaking at 12.7 centimeters (just above five inches) in May and falling to 7.6 centimeters (just under three inches) in October. Humidity levels in the Port of Nashville are greatest in the summer, ranging from an average high of about 90% in August and September to an average low of about 78% in March. Snow comes to the Port of Nashville from November through early April, peaking in late January at around 9.6 centimeters (3.8 inches).
Located about 15 minutes east of the downtown Port of Nashville, The Hermitage is thought to be the most authentically-preserved presidential home in the Nation. Home to Andrew Jackson, seventh President of the United States, The Hermitage contains Jackson's original furniture, artwork, wallpapers, textiles, and personal items. About 16 million people have visited The Hermitage since it opened as a museum in 1889.
In addition to the home, the gardens and grounds occupy one of the biggest open spaces in the Port of Nashville. Covering over 450 hectares, the property contains 32 historic buildings, several archaeological sites, a formal garden, a vegetable garden, a cotton patch, and two springs. The formal one-acre flower garden is typical of the English garden that has enjoyed popularity since the Middle Ages. Many of the plants in the garden were planted while Jackson lived there or are descendants of those plants. Jackson had his wife Rachael buried there in 1829. In 1831, David Morrison designed the tomb under which Jackson was buried when he passed away. Other Jackson family were buried in the nearby plot. Plants are in bloom throughout the year in the beautiful garden.
Part of the story of The Hermitage includes the 150 slaves who labored there. From 1804 until 1865, slaves lived and died and were purchased and sold at The Hermitage. Little is known about the slave community, but oral tradition, archaeology, and a few documents paint a picture of that life. The museum presents stories and images that reflect the lives of the enslaved people. The Port of Nashville's Hermitage is open from early April to mid-October every day from 8:30am until 5pm and from mid-October through late March from 9am until 4:30pm.
The Port of Nashville is home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Open every day but Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, the facility is open from 9am until 5pm. Live performance add to the regularly-changing exhibits in this popular Port of Nashville attraction, and ticket packages are available for guided or audio tours.
The Museum's permanent collections include more than 23 moving images presenting a visual history of country music from the 1920s through today. The Bob Pinson Recorded Sound Collection contains 200 thousand recorded cylinders and disks that include 98% of country recordings made before World War II. The Oral History Collection contains 666 interviews with performers, songwriters, and country music business people. The museum also has a collection of still images and photographs dating from the 1920s through the present that tell the story of country and American folk music. The Artifact Collection contains over 800 costumes, more than 600 instruments, and hundreds of other objects that document the history of country music.
One of the Port of Nashville's most popular attractions is the 2500 square meter (27 thousand square foot) Fontanel Mansion, one of the world's most beautiful log homes and former home of country star Barbara Mandrell and husband Ken Dudney. This Port of Nashville home has seen celebrity guests like Dick Clark, Bob Hope, Oprah Winfrey, Minnie Pearl, and many others. The home contains memorabilia like Buck Owen's guitar, Kenny Chesney's tour jacket, and items from artists like Alabama, The Eagles, and DeFord Bailey. Tours of the home are led by storytellers and musicians from the Port of Nashville who share inside information about the home and its occupants. The mansion has two kitchens, indoor pool and shooting range, 13 bathrooms, and five fireplaces.
The Port of Nashville's Fontanel Mansion is open seven days a week from 9am until 3pm, with the one and a quarter hour tours beginning on the hour. Visitors should make advance reservations, and tickets are $22 for adults; $20 for seniors, students, educators, and active military; and $12 for kids from six to 15.
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