Explore Nashville

Cheekwood: Inside and Out

Back in the late 1800s, before there was a Starbucks on every corner, a man named Joel Cheek developed a blend of coffee and marketed it through The Maxwell House, which was the finest hotel in Nashville at the time. In 1928, when a company called Postum (now General Foods) purchased Maxwell House’s parent company for more than $40 million, Cheek and his family full of investors cashed in. His cousin, Leslie Cheek and his wife, Mabel, bought land in West Nashville and commissioned New York residential and landscape architect Bryant Fleming to build a limestone mansion and formal gardens. From 1932 to the 1950s, generations of Cheeks made it their home. Today, the 55-acre attraction, which opened to the public in 1960, is home to both an art museum and botanical gardens. The gallery presents both permanent and rotating exhibits; the grounds include pools, fountains, a Japanese garden, an herb garden, a wildflower garden, the Carell Woodland Sculpture Trail and incomparable views of the surrounding Tennessee hills. C heekwood is a gorgeous place to spend the day—and don’t bother packing a lunch. Their Pineapple Room restaurant, which overlooks the west lawn, offers everything from fried green tomato salad to black Angus beef burger and double chocolate brownie sundae.

—Danny Bonvissuto