As much as mansion residents enjoy when you show up at their front door unannounced and expect a full tour, it’s always aggravating when they don’t have proper tour-guide training. Get the real deal with today’s Groupon to Belmont Mansion. Choose between the following options:
- For $10, you get a holiday tour for two (up to a $20 value).
- For $15, you get a one-year family membership (a $30 value).<p>
The former home of Adelicia Hayes Franklin Acklen Cheatham, Belmont Mansion is Nashville’s largest house museum and one of the few 19th-century homes with a history centered around a woman’s life. The independently wealthy Adelicia and her second husband completed construction of the antebellum manor in 1853, styling it after an Italian villa surrounded by lush gardens. In a guided tour with a group of no more than 15 people and two friendly ghosts, pairs can venture in each of the 36 lavish rooms, which have been meticulously renovated and span more than 10,000 square feet. Each jaunt through the manor takes approximately an hour, with 45 minutes dedicated to the wheelchair-accessible lower portion of the home and 15 minutes upstairs. From November 15 to January 4, the mansion dons festive garb in honor of the holiday season. Guests can also journey into the gift shop, stocked with mansion merchandise, jewelry, and artwork.
By opting for the family membership, customers and all household members, with the exception of temperamental pet cats and giraffes, receive unlimited admission to the museum for one year, plus 10% off in the museum gift shop, a newsletter subscription, and invites to special events. Membership fees help fund the continued restoration and preservation of the home and the family’s collection.
Walking through Belmont Mansion's Victorian-era plantation is like exploring an alternate history. The stories presented by the 2,000 artifacts that fill the 18 rooms are all true, but in place of the 19th-century South's traditionally male-dominated household, tour takers witness evidence of a plantation controlled, enlivened, and energized by a woman. After inheriting a fortune from her first husband, Adelicia Hayes Franklin Acklen Cheatham oversaw the construction of the mansion with her second husband, basing the style off an Italian villa and completing the project's first phase in 1853. Over the years it would change appearances as dramatically as a caterpillar on Halloween—sometimes by her hand and sometimes not. She commissioned a Prussian-born architect to expand and embellish the house six years after completion, and fled as the Civil War's Battle of Nashville destroyed most of the plantation's outbuildings, including the greenhouse, bear house, and zoo. After Adelicia sold her home in 1887, it transformed into a girl's school, then a girl's academy and junior college, and, in 1952, became part of the Belmont University campus.
Today, Belmont Mansion is the largest house museum in Tennessee, inviting visitors to wander past cast-iron neoclassical statues in the gardens, to cross the fountain courtyard, and to study the original water tower and few remaining gazebos. Stoic marble busts, decorative boxes, and a four-post bed fill the interior's 10,000 square feet, alongside more than 120 works of art. During a themed art tour, which is not included with this Groupon, expert docent Mancil Ezell introduces visitors to these masterpieces, including two 400-year-old Flemish paintings. And for those bright-eyed visitors captivated by the surroundings, the staff also coordinates weddings, building on a tradition established when Adelicia married her third husband on the grounds in 1867.
1900 Belmont Blvd.
Nashville, Tennessee 37212