Restored to its 1853 elegance, Belle Meade Plantation Nashville Tennessee is known as the Queen of Southern Plantations. Once world-renowned as a thoroughbred stud farm and nursery in the 19th century, Belle Meade was the home of Iroquois, the only American-bred winner of the Epsom Derby.
The sprawling grounds feature the elegant 1845 Greek Revival mansion and nine other historic buildings including an 1832 slave cabin and the colossal 1890 Carriage House containing an antique carriage collection.
In 1807, John Harding bought a small log cabin and 250 acres directly on the Natchez Trace. A few years later, Harding started construction of a larger brick house and began to call his farm Belle Meade or beautiful meadow. By 1839, Belle Meade Plantation had become the most successful and influential thoroughbred horse breeding operation in Tennessee.
Just before the start of the Civil War in 1860, Belle Meade Plantation had grown to more than 3500 acres in size with one of the largest slave populations in the Southern United States.
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville Tennessee
When you visit Belle Meade Plantation, your tour starts with costumed guides taking you on a 45 minute tour through the beautiful Greek-Revival mansion built by the Harding Family in 1845.
Belle Meade Plantation tours also include access to many other buildings on the grounds including the stables, carriage house, dairy, gardens and mausoleum. Please allow at least two hours to fully enjoy the home and grounds at Belle Meade.
Once your tour of Belle Meade Plantation concludes, there is a free wine tasting for all guests of legal age at the Belle Meade Winery. If you work up an appetite during your tour, the Harding House at Belle Meade Plantation serves a fantastic lunch daily and brunch on weekends.
Visit Belle Meade Plantation
Belle Meade Plantation is located in the small town of Belle Meade, Tennessee – about 10 minutes SW from downtown Nashville via US Route 70S. Parking at Belle Meade Plantation is free and easily accessible by cars, buses and motor homes.
- Visit Belle Meade Plantation online at BelleMeadePlantation.com
- Address – 110 Leake Avenue, Nashville, TN 37205
- Phone – 615-356-0501 and toll free 800-270-3991
- Open – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 7 days a week
- Closed – Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day
Tennessee Antebellum Trail Tour and Itinerary
We invite you to come visit the Tennessee plantation homes from a bygone era and make sure you allow yourself ample time to enjoy your trip. The Tennessee Antebellum Trail is a completely self-guided and self-paced tour so you can visit all the homes and sights on the trail at your leisure.
The following sample itineraries are just a guide to help you plan your trip. One of the favorites on the Tennessee Antebellum Trail is the Two Day Tennessee Antebellum Trail Experience, where you tour Belle Meade Plantation and seven other beautiful Antebellum plantation homes while taking a relaxing drive through the beautiful Tennessee countryside.
For history loving Civil War enthusiasts, the Tennessee Antebellum Trail Civil War Tour sample itinerary will help guide you along as you go from plantation to battlefield and from cemetery to monument.
For all the thrill seeking spooky history fans and fanatics, there is a tour made just for you – the one of a kind Tennessee Antebellum Trail Ghost Tour! Walk The Hermitage mansion and cemetery grounds by lantern. Conduct a paranormal investigation at Rippavilla. Take a candlelit evening cemetery tour in Franklin. So, if you’re looking for ghosts, you can find plenty of them on the Tennessee Antebellum Trail!