Nashville’s Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art!

Cheekwood is a 55-acre botanical garden and art museum located on the historic Cheek estate. Originally built as the home of Leslie and Mabel Cheek in 1929, Cheekwood is one of the finest examples of an American Country Place Era estate. Since being converted into a museum of art and botanical garden in 1960, Cheekwood has presented world-class art exhibitions, spectacular gardens, and a beautiful historic estate unlike anything else. Each year, Cheekwood welcomes over 250,000 annual visitors, making it one of the Nashville‘s top cultural attractions, with approximately 13,000 member households. Visitors enjoy family activities, programming for all ages, and year-round festivals celebrating the four seasons. From 150,000 blooming bulbs in the spring to one million holiday lights in the winter, there’s always something new and magnificent to see at Cheekwood.

  •  Admission:
    • Members (with membership card and photo ID): Free
    • Children (2 and under): Free
    • Youth (3 – 17): $13.00
    • Adults (18 – 64): $20.00
    • College Students (with ID): $16.00
    • Seniors (65 and up): $18.00
    • Military Personnel (with current military ID): 50% discount
    • Parking: $5.00 per vehicle
  •  Tours:
    • Public Tours:
      • Free public tours of the gardens, Museum of Art and temporary exhibits are offered to the public on Saturdays and Sundays to individuals and families. Tour availability varies by season.
    •  Botanical Garden and Arboretum Tours:
      • Explore Cheekwood’s unique botanical gardens and level IV arboretum, including colorful seasonal gardens, historic plant and tree collections, a nationally accredited dogwood collection, and The Carell Woodland Sculpture Trail. Please note that tours are generally not held during heavy rain or other inclement weather

    •  Group Tours:
      • Perfect for parties of 15 or more
      • Complimentary admission for the driver and the group leader are included in the price of the tour
      • Ideal for church groups, camps, community organizations, professional groups and clubs
      • Groups can explore Cheekwood on their own or enjoy a docent-led tour of our art exhibitions, botanical gardens and the historic Cheek Mansion
      • Self-guided: $16.00 per person
      • Guided: $22.00 per person
      • Guided Tour Opportunities include: Insider’s View, Cheekwood Highlights, Garden Reflections, Temporary Exhibitions or the Carell Woodland Sculpture Trail
      • Two weeks advance notice for self-guided tours and four weeks advanced notice for guided tours is preferred but not required
      • 25% deposit when booking with final count and payment is due one week prior to the visit
    • School Groups:
      •  Cheekwood offers free admission to school groups located in Tennessee, Southern Kentucky, and Northern Alabama
      • Chaperones joining the tour will be charged a group rate of $16 per person
      • School groups may select from a variety of tours of temporary and permanent art exhibitions, botanical gardens, and the historic Cheek Mansion.
      • Tours are available Tuesday – Friday (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
      • Each tour lasts approximately 60 minutes
      • Advance reservations are required
      • Teachers may be asked to present their teacher ID upon arrival
      • Guided or self-guided
      • Guided tours are typically organized around a general theme
      • Maximum Tour Size: 120 persons
      • Larger groups will be asked to come on separate days
      • Tours are designed to actively engage students in the galleries and often include both discussion and student-driven discovery
  • Hours of Operation:
    • Tuesday – Sunday (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
    • Pineapple Room Hours:
      • 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    • Closings:
      • Memorial Day
      • June 3rd, 2017
      • Labor Day
      • Thanksgiving Day
      • Christmas Day
      • New Year’s Day
      • The Cheek Mansion is currently closed for a major restoration and will reopen on June 17th
  • Entrances & Paths:
    • Each parking lot includes reserved spaces for those with mobility challenges
    • Grounds are accessible by paved pathways throughout the gardens and leading to the museum
    • Many garden areas can be reached in a variety of ways, including stair-free options for most specialty gardens
    • Wheelchair ramps and an elevator are available at the Museum of Art
    • However, due to the historic nature of the institution, certain pathways may be narrow, uneven, or steep
    • Select rooms are completely inaccessible by wheelchair
  • Shuttle Service:
    • Cheekwood has a shuttle that runs from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and can transfer you between all of the buildings on the grounds
    • However, please note that not all areas of the grounds are accessible by shuttle
    • Simply ask any of the staff at the Visitor Services Center or Gift Shop to call the shuttle for you
  • Restrooms:
    • Accessible restrooms are located within each building
  • Wheelchairs:
    • Cheekwood provides manually operated wheelchairs as a courtesy to all of our guests
    • They are available on a first come, first served basis and can be checked-out from the Visitor Services Center
  • Dining & Shopping:
    • The Pineapple Room Restaurant:
      • Open Tuesday – Sunday (11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
      • Call 615-352-4859 for reservations

      • Open for dinner for First Thursday Nights in the Gardens and Holiday LIGHTS (call for reservations)
      • For large gatherings, please see the Group Menu
      • Box Lunches can be purchased for groups of 10 or more and enjoyed at any of the picnic tables throughout the grounds
      • Pineapple Room Menu
      • Easter Sunday 2017 Specials
    • The Gift Shop:
      • Open year-round
      • Members get 10% off of all purchases
      • Located in the same building as the Pineapple Room Restaurant
      • A wide selection of books on gardening and the arts
      • Fun accessories to decorate your garden or to help it grow
      • Exceptional gifts for any special occasion including but not limited to birthdays and weddings
      • Objects to brighten and beautify your home
      • Many Nashville, Cheekwood, and specific exhibition themed items
      • MORE!!!
  • Visitor Guidelines:
    • For the safety of guests and the environment:
      • Cheekwood is a smoke-free environment
      • Certified service animals are permitted
      • Other pets are prohibited
      • Good walking shoes are recommended
      • Firearms and other weapons are prohibited
      •  Walking is only permitted on paved walkways, mulched trails, and mown lawn areas
      • There are multiple areas where wheelchairs and strollers are not accessible (Accessibility maps are available at Visitors Services)
      •  Picnics are permitted in designated areas in the gardens
      • Guests are not permitted to bring their own alcohol
    • Please refrain from the following while visiting the Museum of Art:
      • Touching the fine art, decorative art (including furniture), and exhibited objects and casework
      •  Bringing food and drink into the mansion
      • Using flash photography, tripods, and selfie sticks
      • Bringing strollers into the mansion
      • Bringing large bags, purses, luggage (it is recommend that you store these items in your vehicle during your visit)
      • Taking cell phone calls (cell phones may be used for non-flash photography)
      • Unauthorized lecturing (groups of six people or fewer are allowed to convene to discuss works of art quietly without disturbing other visitors)
      • Using pens, colored pencils, oil paints, charcoal, watercolors or easels (all visitors, including groups of art students, are permitted to sketch in the Museum of Art on paper that does not exceed 12” x 18” with lead pencils only; if individuals need to sharpen their pencils, they must use their own containers to collect the shavings)
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The Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville!

A National Historic Landmark, the Tennessee State Capitol sits on the highest hill in the central city of Nashville. The Tennessee State Capitol building, standing as proudly today as it did when it opened in 1859, is a beautiful and magnificent tribute to the people of Tennessee. This graceful structure is the last work that was designed in the Greek Revival Style by renowned architect William Strickland, who considered it his crowning achievement. When Strickland died suddenly during the construction of the building in 1854, he was buried in its north facade. The cornerstone for the building was laid on July 4th, 1854, and the construction of the structure finished in 1859. Built using Tennessee Limestone, the establishment utilizes the Ionic and Corinthian orders, the two most highly regarded orders in Greek architecture. To match the elegant exterior, the interior uses cast iron, an unorthodox building material of the 1840s, as seen in the highly decorative spiral staircase and library balconies. The grounds of the State Capitol contain statues honoring Civil War hero Sam Davis, World War I hero Sargent Alvin York, and former Presidents Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson. The tombs of President and Mrs. James K. Polk are also located on the Capitol grounds, along with six cedar trees in commemoration of the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust. When visiting the State Capitol, visitors may enter the building at the west entrance and go through the security check.

  • Guided Tours:
    • Lead by museum staff
    • Begin at the Information Desk on the first floor across from the main stairwell
    • Monday – Friday (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
    • Closed holidays
    • Groups of 10 or more should make  reservation prior to the visit by calling the Public Programs Department
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Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame!

  • Admission:
    • Members: Free
    • Children (5 and under): Free
    • Youth (6 – 12): $14.95
    • Adults (13 and up): $24.95
    • Students: $22.50
    • Seniors (60 and up): $22.50
    • AAA: $22.50
    • Military: $21.50
    • Military Youth (6 – 12): $13.00
    • Gold Package:
      • Youth (6 – 12; $3.00 savings): $17.95
      • Adults (13 and up; $3.00 savings): $26.95
      • Museum Admission
      • Audio Tour
    • Platinum Package:
      • Youth (6 – 12; $3.00 savings): $29.95
      • Adults (13 and up; $3.00 savings): $39.95
      • Museum Admission
      • Historic RCA Studio B Tour
    • Membership:
      • Individual: $50.00
      • Family: $100.00
      • Unlimited free admission to the Museum
      • Discount admission to Historic RCA Studio B
      • 10% discount at the Museum Store, 2|22, Red Onion, and Hatch Show Print
      • Free admission to most programs and activities
      • Advanced ticket purchase opportunities.
      • New online benefits
      • Much more!!!
  •  Hours:
    • Open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    • Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day
  • Museum policies:
    • No weapons allowed
    • Service animals are welcome with the proper permit
    • No food or drink is allowed inside the museum galleries
    • No flash photography is allowed inside the museum galleries or during most museum programs
      • Please feel free to ask a member of staff if you need assistance turning off your flash
    • No video recording is allowed in the museum galleries, on the Studio B tour, Hatch Show Print Tours, or during other museum programs
  • Additional Information:
    • All packages are available for purchase at the museum, but why stand in line? Save time; prepurchase now and select “Print at Home” upon check out! Membership discounts do not apply to ticket package purchases.
    • Have your payment ready prior to reserving tickets. You will be prompted to pay for tickets immediately. Otherwise, tickets will be released for others to purchase.
    • Due to the high demand for Studio B Tours, times cannot be changed on arrival date. Historic RCA Studio B tours are not eligible for refunds or exchanges on or after the scheduled day of arrival. Studio B Tours are only sold in conjunction with Museum Admission in the Platinum Package. Transportation is included.
    • Tickets purchased online will not be mailed in advance. They can be picked-up at the Museum’s Information Desk, which is located inside the main entrance. Please present your confirmation letter, along with your ID, to the Information Desk associate upon your arrival.
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The Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville!

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The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is a nonprofit art exhibition center, with approximately twenty-four thousand square feet of usable gallery space, dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, state, and regional artists, as well as major U.S. and international exhibitions. Located at 919 Broadway in Nashville, the Frist welcomes casual, comfortable attire as its members and visitors move about the gallery space, looking at and observing the various works of art that line its walls. The Frist Center opened in April of 2001 and since that time has hosted a spectacular array of art from not only the regions but also from around the world. Unlike any traditional museum, the Frist has become a strong magnet for Nashville’s rapidly expanding and evolving visual arts scene. There is always something new and exciting to see at the Frist due to an exhibition schedule that has new and different works of art moving through the astonishing decor of the building every 6 – 8 weeks. Click here to see a list of current and upcoming exhibitions at the Frist. The Frist Center is a family-friendly place, and one of the most popular attractions within the Center is the innovated Martin ArtQuest Gallery. It’s a colorful space that is alive with the sounds of learning through the making of art. There are a multitude of ArtQuest activities that are available for people for all ages and from all walks of life. ArtQuest teaches through activity with its 30 interactive stations along with the assistance of its knowledgeable staff and volunteers. ArtQuest offers a multitude of activities for people of all ages, including but not limited making prints, painting with original watercolors, and creating sculptures. It’s free with gallery admission for adults and always free for youth 18 and under. Make sure to stop at the gorgeous Gift Shop during your visit to the Frist! In the gift shop, you will find a fabulous array of books, art supplies, stunning jewelry, blown glass, clothing, prints, pottery, and educational materials. Items are offered within a wide range of prices, so there will probably be something that you love that you can afford! The Frist Center Café features a variety of delicious homemade soups, desserts, salads, and sandwiches, all of which make the Café a popular place for brunch, lunch, afternoon snacks, and dinner.

  • Vision& Mission
    • Vision:
      • To inspire people through art to look at their world in new ways.
    • Mission:
      • To present and originate high-quality exhibitions with related educational programs and community outreach activities.
  •  Hours:
    • Open 7 days a week
    • Monday – Wednesday (10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.)
    • Thursday – Friday (10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.; Martin ArtQuest closes at 5:30 p.m.)
    • Saturday (10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.)
    • Sunday (1:00–5:30 p.m.; Café opens at 12:00 p.m.)
    • Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day
  • Admission:
    • Members: Free
    • 18 and younger: Free
    • College Students with ID: $9.00
      • Admission is free for college students with school ID on Thursday and Friday evenings from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (with the exception of Frist Fridays)
    •  Adults: $12.00
    • Seniors (65+): $9.00
    • Active Military (with current military ID): $7.00
    • Groups of 10 or more (with advance reservations): $10.00
    • An iPod Audio Tour is available to purchase for $3.00 (members free)
    • The following major credit cards are accepted: Discover, Master Card, Visa and American Express

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What would Eddie do in Nashville? (Podcast)

What would my friend Eddie do if he were to visit Nashville? Find out by listening to my most recent podcast!

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The Grassmere Historic Home in Nashville!

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IMG_0829 (1)The Grassmere Historic Home was built by Colonel Michael C. Dunn and was completed somewhere around 1810, making it the second oldest residence in Davidson County that is actually open to the public. When it was built, it did not have the ornate front and back porches that it has now. Lee Shute, Dunn’s son-in-law, purchased the farm for $10,000.00 in 1846. Multiple years later, Shute sold the 346 acre property to his son, William Dickson Shute, for a grand total of $5.00 as a “loving gift” to William and his new bride, Lavinia. William and Lavinia renovated the home after the Civil War, adding the porches between 1876 and 1881. They also added the smokehouse, kitchen, and three-tiered garden. They grew many crops, including sweet potatoes, hay, wheat, and corn. They raised swine and cattle and sold flowers and apples from their garden. William and Lavinia had four daughters: Leila, Maggie, Venie, and Kate. Kate married William Croft at Grassmere in 1888. They had two daughters, Margaret, who was born in 1889, and Elise, who was born in 1894. Croft moved his family to Cuba in 1902 for business. However, Margaret and Elise returned to Grassmere every summer to stay with their grandparents and aunts. They returned to Grassmere in 1931 and stayed there until their deaths. Margaret died in 1974, and Elise died in 1985. In 1964, long before they died, the Croft sisters entered into an agreement with the Children’s Museum of Nashville, which is now the Adventure Science Center. The agreement stated that the museum would pay property taxes and assist with the upkeep of the Grassmere home while the sisters lived the remainder of their lives there. Following their deaths, the museum would undertake ownership of the property and buildings. The sisters placed one stipulation in their agreement: they wanted their property to be maintained as a “nature study center,” preserved to educate the people of Nashville about animals and the environment. In 1990, the museum opened the Grassmere Wildlife Park, which displayed primarily North American animals, offered educational programs, and provided nature trails for hiking. The park was closed in 1995 due to financial complications and therefore became Nashville Metro property by default. The city of Nashville was bound by the will of the sisters to preserve the property as a nature center, so the Nashville Zoo was invited to relocate to the Grassmere site. The Nashville Zoo began management of the Grassmere property in December of 1996. In 1998, the Zoo partnered with the Metro Historical Commission and the Metro Parks Department to restore the home. In the spring of 1998, the Grassmere Historic Home opened to visitors from the public for the first time. The Grassmere Historic Farm opened in 1999, including a barn for livestock, a coop for chickens, and shed for machinery and equipment, and multiple pastures. The Nashville Zoo now offers a cookbook that gives a glimpse into Middle Tennessee life throughout the 1800s through food and cooking – Attic Heirlooms: Recipes from Grassmere,which is available for $15.00 in the Zoo’s Gift Shop. The cookbook includes photos of past Grassmere residents, helpful cooking tips, and more. Revenue from your purchase will go to help support the Grassmere Historic Home and Farm.

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The dining room, where the family would sit and eat together.

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A sitting, or “living,” room.

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A bedroom, used specifically for young children.

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Another bedroom, used specifically for older children.

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The smokehouse behind the main house. Slaughtered hogs were hung and smoked here.

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The slave house behind the main house.

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A shed/barn-like structure outside behind the house, used for storing things like farming equipment, buggies that are pulled behind horses, and saddles.

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A small grave yard behind the house, holding the bodies of the twenty unknown individuals that worked or lived on the property within its stone walls.

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A grave yard, significantly larger than the previous one, that holds the bodies of the individuals who were extremely important to this home and the property that it sits on, including but not limited to Michael C. Dunn, William Dickson Shute, and Lavinia.

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Nashville’s Greer Stadium: a history lesson! (Podcast)

To learn a little bit about Greer Stadium in Nashville, follow the link to listen to the second podcast that I have ever created! To learn more about Greer Stadium, click here!

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A little bit to know about the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere!

The Nashville Zoo is an absolutely amazing place for people of all ages. Having opened in 1990, the Zoo has been open for 27 long years. There is something for people of all ages from all walks of life. The Zoo is full of a multitude of different types of animals, including but not limited to giraffes, meerkats, monkeys, birds, and alligators. There is pretty much always some kind of fun event going on at the Zoo, so make sure to follow through to the official website of the Nashville Zoo to find out more useful information about things like upcoming events and extra attractions and get your tickets to the Zoo today! (Be sure to come back to my blog next week to learn more about the Grassmere Historic Home!)

  • Hours of Operation:
    • Open 7 days a week
      • January 2 – March 10 (9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
      • March 11 – October 12 (9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
      • October 13 – December 31 (9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
  •  Parking: 
    • Members: Free
    • Non-Members: $5 per vehicle
  • Admission:
    • Tickets can be purchased online prior to visit through the online store
    • Nashville Zoo Members: Free
    • Children under 2: Free
    • Children 2 – 12: $11.00
    • Adults and Teens: $16.00
    • Seniors 65+: $14.00
  • Group Tickets:
    • Any non-school group purchasing 20 or more tickets with one payment qualifies for a group discount
    • These tickets are good any day during normal Zoo hours and are valid through the calendar year
    • Children (2-12): $10.00
    • Adult (13+): $14.00
    • Senior (65+): $13.00
  • Military Discount:
    • $1.00 off admission for military personnel and everyone in their party when they present their military ID
  • Stroller and Wheelchair Rental:
    • Not available for reservation
    • Only available on a first-come, first-serve basis
    • Personal wheelchairs and strollers are welcome 
    • Single Strollers : $9.00
    • Double Strollers : $11.00
    • Manual Wheelchairs : $9.00
    • Electric Wheelchairs : $30.00
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Nashville’s Centennial Park!

Centennial Park, located on West End and 25th Avenue North, is one of Nashville‘s many beautiful, spacious outdoor areas. Thousands of people visit the park each year to visit the museum, see exhibits, attend festivals, and just enjoy the beauty of nature within and around the park. There is so much to do at Centennial Park, so if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, the weather is supposed to be gorgeous Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. For more information about Centennial Park and its history, click here!

  • Features of the park:
    • An exact replica of the Parthenon
      • Check out the original Grecian Parthenon here.
      • To learn more about the Parthenon, be sure to come back to my blog and be on the look out for my upcoming post that will go into more detail about the Parthenon in Nashville. 
    • A one mile walking trail
    • The Centennial Art Center
    • Various Historical Monuments
    • Sand volleyball Courts
    • An events shelter
    • A dog park
    • An exercise trail
    • A sunken garden
    • Much More!!!
  • Pavillion (events shelter):
    • Located near the corner of 28th Avenue North and Poston Avenue
    • Adjacent to the Centennial Park Arts Activity Center
    • Steps away from the children’s playground
    • Close to the restroom facility
    • Available for rent
      • Be sure to follow the link to the Pavillion website for more information about renting the shelter.
  • Park Hours:
    • Dawn to 11:00 p.m. daily
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The Centennial Art Center

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The bridge between the Sunken Gardens and Lake Watauga

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An exact, full scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece

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Some information about Nashville’s Fort Negley!

The Fort Negley Visitors Center is a historical and educational outdoor recreation center that is located in Nashville, Tennessee. Fort Negley is situated about two miles from Lower Broadway’s entertainment, music, and sports venues Downtown Nashville. Fort Negley itself is a wonderful place where people are given a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a specific part of history as they learn about the events that took place during that time period. The Fort Negley Visitors Center is a great resource that can be used to explore the fragile relationship between the city of Nashville and the Federal Government during the time period of the Civil War as well as to learn about the site’s relevance during the 20th century and beyond. For more information about upcoming events at Fort Negley, be sure to check out the Fort Negley website!

  • Offerings and services:
    • Interactive exhibits
    • Two twenty minute videos covering the 1862 surrender of Nashville and the building of Fort Negley
    • Education panels along paved paths for self-guided walking tours
    • Educated staff and volunteers available to answer questions
    • Programming for school field trips and scout groups, history and nature education events, tours for scheduled groups, and living history events
    • A great place to walk and bring a leashed dog
    • A great view of the city during park hours
    • Home of the Nashville Civil War Roundtable and Fort Donelson Camp 62, Sons of Union Veterans
  • Mission Statement:
    • “It is the mission of the Fort Negley Visitors Center to promote a greater understanding of the social, political, and military forces central to Nashville and Middle Tennessee during the era of sectional conflict in American history.”
  • Core Values:
    • Promote historical education based on facts and primary sources
    • Offer a variety of quality programs
    • Employ and cultivate staff dedicated to enhancing the visitor experience
    • Encourage visitors to continue the search for knowledge
    • Provide a safe environment for people to learn and discuss
  • Park Hours:
    • “The Park is open year round from dawn to dusk for self-guided walking tours. Sites maps are available in the mailbox posted behind the stone gates. Restrooms are available during visitors center hours of operation.”
  • Visitors Center: Winter Hours (September – May):
    • Tuesday: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • Wednesday: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • Thursday: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • Friday: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • And by Appointment
  • Visitors Center: Summer Hours (June – August)
    • Tuesday: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • Wednesday: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • Thursday: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • And by Appointment
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