Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tour Guide Tuesday: Belle Meade Plantation

Welcome back to.....

Belle Meade Plantation
The Belle Meade Plantation is a slice of Nashville history located right off Harding Pike.  The plantation covers about 6 acres, and it has been carefully maintained to capture a piece of southern heritage.  The mansion on the property was home to both the Harding and Jackson families for over a century and holds a rich story of the rise and fall of their family business, Thoroughbred horses.  The tour encompasses the main home, as well as slave quarters, stables, and a new winery on the property. 

I took advantage of the mild winter we are having and visited the plantation a few weeks ago. I am not typically a history buff nor too intrigued by horses, but was pleasantly surprised by our trip to the plantation.  We started with a late lunch in the Harding House on the property.  The menu captured southern charm from pulled pork, to gumbo, to fried green tomatoes . The restaurant was cozy and quiet, perfect for conversation, it is a well kept secret. 

Then we walked about the property for the self guided tour portion.  Following a map, we wandered through the slave quarters, checked out the play house and ventured through the stables.  Once the official tour started, we were met by the tour guide in front of the mansion with our small group, about 10 people.  The home was absolutely beautiful! It is amazing to see how well homes were built, with no detail overlooked, over a hundred and fifty years ago.  Each room was more fascinating than the last, and even had indoor plumbing far before many others.  No photography was allowed in the house, or I would share more pictures!

The tour concluded with a tour of the newly established winery and complimentary tastings of their unique blends.   

Tips for your trip to the Belle Meade Plantation
1. Check out Groupon, that's where I got 2 tickets for 16 dollars!
2.  If you are looking to purchase wine on Sundays, check out the winery on the property, it is one of the only places in Nashville allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays.
3. Plan enough time to read the displays in the self guided areas, you may learn a thing or two about Tennessee history!

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