Is Belle Meade Worth Visiting? | Easily Explained

Only located 8 miles away from the ever-popular city of Nashville, the Belle Meade Historic site & Winery tour is one of the most popular attractions in the state.

In this article, we will go over everything that you need to know prior to going to the Belle Meade tour, including what to expect during the tour, what you can't miss, and if the tour is worth it.

Table of Contents

What is the Belle Meade Tour?

The Belle Meade mansion & winery tour provides visitors with a detailed look into how important the Harding family, Jackson family, and the women, men, and children who labored there were to the history of Tennessee.

belle meade mansion front

What originally started as a log cabin with 250 acres, would eventually transform into a mansion along with 5,400 acres of land.

Visitors will be educated on:

  • How the families made (and ultimately lost) all of their money
  • How they were impacted during the war, and after the war
  • How their horses are still impacting the world today
  • The history behind each room in the house along with the history of the families who lived there

Is Belle Meade Worth Visiting?

The Belle Meade tour is absolutely worth it.

This tour does a great job catering to most ages, and from our experience, we would say that this tour is best for teenagers and adults.

belle meade mansion looking out

The reason for this is the emphasis on the educational component of the tour where the (extremely friendly and awesome) tour guide will take guests through each room.

Here, the tour guide will explain everything and anything involved with the items in the room, the people, and how the all of it has changed over time.

For us (adults), it was fantastic as we were very completely hooked on the history of the mansion and listening to every word that the tour guide let out.

However, I'm not sure if my younger self would have enjoyed it and appreciated it as much.

That's not to say that kids can't enjoy the tour, as they absolutely can. 

It's simply to provide perspective from what we've seen.

What to Expect in the Tour

We purchased tickets for the 45 minute Mansion Tour that includes complimentary Wine tasting at the end of the tour.

Before the Tour

You'll first want to head to the Wills Visitors Center to purchase your ticket, or to redeem your ticket if you purchased online.

wills visitor center belle meade

After you've received your tickets, the staff member will provide you with a map/brochure.

They'll then explain that you'll want to meet in front of your tour spot about five minutes before your tour.

As you walk towards the designated spot, you'll have your first impression of the gorgeous and massive property.

Pro Tip

Being on time is crucial for not just this tour but any tour, as the tour guides are told the number of people to expect for a certain time.

If you're late, you'll not only delay the tour for yourself, but the entire group, and the tour guide may need to start the tour without you.

Beginning of the Tour

We met at the front of the mansion, where we were immediately blown away by the beautiful landscaping of the property as well as the size of the building.
belle meade front of the mansion

Our amazing tour guide, Tom would then count the group and lead us inside of the mansion.

Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures inside of the mansion, but we were able to take pictures outside of it.

Tom would lead us inside of the main entrance of the house, and he would explain the history of the families, those who worked for the families, the house, and how two horses in particular made them a fortune.

Those two horses were:

  • Bonnie Scotland
  • Iroquois

The house contains many 'original' items who have withstood the test of time.

As visitors walk through the house, it'll almost feel like they used a time-machine, due to how well everything is preserved.

Tour Layout

  • Main entrance area
  • Each room individually downstairs
  • Each room individually upstairs

End of the Tour

After your tour guide has provided you with a crash-course of Tennessee history, you'll head over to the winery to get your taste buds going.

belle meade winery tour

FYI - The blackberry wine is by far the most delicious one.

Favorite Parts of the Tour

  • Learning about how the families made most of their money
  • How they were impacted by the war
  • How the horses impacted the Kentucky Derby and still do today
  • The delicious wine tour
  • Walking around the property afterwards

Types of Tours

It's important to know that there are multiple tours.

We experienced the Mansion Tour, but there's also the Journey to Jubilee and Southern Food Traditions.

  • Journey to Jubilee - Focuses on the stories of the African-Americans who were brought to, and born at, Belle Meade from 1807 through the years following Emancipation.
  • Southern Food Traditions - Outdoor walking tour and food samples

How Long Does it Take to Go Through the Tour?

45 minutes to an hour, but you're able to walk around the property afterwards as well.

It took us a little under an hour and a half for the entire experience.

How Much Does the Belle Meade Tour Cost?

Depending on which tour that you choose, and if it's on a weekday or weekend, it can range between $28-$40 for adults.

It's typically consistently $15 for youth tickets (ages 6-17).

You can purchase tickets directly from the Belle Meade website.

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