Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park • Nashville

It is 19 incredible acres dotted with monuments and wonders to behold established for Tennessee’s Bicentennial Celebration in 1996. Located near the Capitol in downtown Nashville, its central location lends itself to discovery in just a short trip to this picturesque location. Walk along the different paths and experience the rich history of Tennessee.

The centerpiece of the World War II Memorial is an 18,000-ton black granite globe,  suspended by a thin veneer of water. There is a bench honoring each of the 7 Tennessee recipients of the Medal of Honor.  Tennessee Map Plaza has a 200-foot-wide granite map depicting geographical regions, including every city, county, river, highway and railroad in TN.

The Rivers of Tennessee Fountains is a collection of 31 geyser-like spray fountains commemorating TN’s major lakes and rivers. Located in the middle of the park is the 2,000-seat Tennessee Amphitheater, with terraced lawns and a dramatic view of the State Capitol, where outdoor concerts are held. The Court of Three Stars’ red, white and blue circle with 3 stars represents the food, music, cultural and geographical differences of the Great Divisions (eastern mountains, the rolling hills of middle TN, western delta).

Surrounding the Court is the 95-bell Carillon housed in 50 Greek-style columns representing the state’s 95 counties. The carillon plays part of the Tennessee Waltz every 15 minutes. The Walkway of the Counties is a path that indicates each of the state’s counties; under each marker is an interred time capsule scheduled to be opened on Statehood Day 2096. Located on the west side of the Mall, the 1,400-foot-long Pathway of History is a wall engraved with significant events in the history of the state from its founding until the bicentennial. A symbolic break in the wall represents the division within the state and the nation during the Civil War.

Visit the Farmer’s Market across the street, the restaurants and shops are open every season; or try to attend an event in the Greek-inspired amphitheater.


*Editor’s Note: By Nancy Radlauer,; Schedule extra time to stroll through and read the inscriptions in Pathway of History – a granite timeline of Tennessee and American history. Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is not-to-be missed.

Visit: 600 James Robertson Pkwy, Nashville; 615-741-5280; tnstateparksbicentennial