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Good For Kids

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There was a cool art frame display as well with a view of the lawns.
Photo Credit: guyonthego

Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art

1200 Forrest Park Drive Nashville, Tennessee 37205
Open Tuesday-Sunday 9:00am-5:00pm & on Friday till 10pm May-October
615-356-8000 3 hours
October 2011 Summer, Fall, Spring
$10-29 Nashville Tennessee
Website Nature Gardens
First review
Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art opened in 1960 and is located 15 minutes from Nashville. The name Cheekwood is the combination of two last names from the family that owned the estate previously located here. The 55 acre property includes a handful of theme gardens, a sculpture walk, several art galleries, a gift shop and a restaurant. Cheekwood also hosts special events such as musical performances and lectures. Temporary art exhibits are presented throughout the year.

In the early 1900s the Cheek family created and promoted a new blend of coffee. One of the best hotels in Nashville, called the Maxwell House, began selling the blend, and the rest as they say is history. The family sold their coffee interests in 1928 for over $40 million which was real money back then and purchased about 100 acres to build an estate. Family members resided on the property until 1957 when it was offered to the community for use as the current botanical garden and art museum. Civic groups helped to develop the facilities, and the Nashville Museum of Art donated its collection.

The visit took place in fall, so the gardens were not as vibrant or colorful as would have been the case in spring or summer. Also, there was plenty of company on a Sunday afternoon. It's usually less crowded during the week. Better attractions included the Japanese Garden - small but serene and slightly exotic, the Martin Boxwood Gardens - terraced gardens next to the former Cheek mansion, the mile long sculpture trail - 15 differnt sculptures, and a large model train - popular with both kids and adults. The gardens were more interesting than the permanent art collection, such as porcelain and silver pieces. Most art is displayed in the Cheek mansion which now functions as a large art gallery. Modern art is shown in former garages and support buildings. Before visiting it's a good idea to check Cheekwood's website to see what exhibits or events are current or coming up and plan accordingly. Cheekwood had enough content and attractions to appeal to most people, but those into art and gardens will find it of greatest interest.
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