Plan Your Visit
After sustaining significant damage in the May 2010 flood, the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park’s 31 “Rivers of Tennessee” fountains are now re-opened to the public. The recovery process included a complete redesign with upgrades to meet current health code standards, and installation of LED lights, allowing the fountains to be illuminated in stunning colors. We are pleased to invite the public to come enjoy the Bicentennial Mall fountains once again.
New Civil War Exhibit in Visitor CenterA new Civil War exhibit, Tennessee - Struggle for the Heartland 1861-1865, is now open to the public at Bicentennial Mall’s Visitor Center as part of Tennessee’s Sesquicentennial Celebration. The exhibit is free and open to the public during normal Visitor Center operating hours.
For more information on Tennessee’s Sesquicentennial Celebration, please visit www.tnvacation.com/civil-war/events.
The Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is located in the shadow of the State Capitol in downtown Nashville. The 19-acre park is designed to complement the Tennessee Capitol Building, give visitors a taste of Tennessee's history and natural wonders, and to serve as a lasting monument to Tennessee's Bicentennial celebration.
2013 Events - For more information, call 615-741-5771.
Mar. 23 - Kites and Kids Day
Apr. 20 - Foundation Fighting Blindness’ VisionWalk
Apr. 27 - Country Music Marathon
May 4 - Whole Kid Festival promoting Children’s Mental Health
May 5 - Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Walk and Fundraiser
May 18 - Walk Me Home promoting Adoption Awareness
Sept. 14 - Hydrocephalus Association’s 5k Walk
Sept. 20/22 - Rottweiler Dog Show
Sep. 28 - Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Walk to Cure
Oct. 5 - Walk Now for Autism Speaks
Oct. 18/19 - Bicentennial Capitol Mall presents Tennessee’s History Festival
Park ProgramsPark Tours
A free park tour is conducted every Wednesday at 2 p.m. CT. Additional times are at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. CT on the first Monday of each month. The tour meets under the train trestle outside the Visitor Center. The tour lasts approximately 1 hour, and discusses the significance of the park and the history of Tennessee. No sign-up necessary, except for groups of 25 people or more. For more information, please call 615-741-5280.
Park Rangers provide interpretive tours of the park, historical presentations in period dress and off-site programs by reservation. Topics illustrate Tennessee’s rich history from early settlement days to present time. To schedule an interpretive tour, presentation or off-site program, please call 615-741-5771.
Picnic PavilionsPicnic tables located under the train trestle are on a first-come first-serve basis.
RestaurantsNashville Farmers' Market is located next to the park and houses a selection of locally owned and operated restaurants and shops inside its Market House, open year-round. Also, food & beverages are available from a variety of local merchants in outdoor sheds, particularly during May-November peak growing season.
RestroomsRestrooms are available under the train trestle.
Historical SignificanceWith the urban building boom in downtown Nashville during the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Tennessee State Capitol disappeared from sight on the east, west and south sides. The northern side of the Capitol was not conducive to the construction of skyscrapers due to the swampy conditions that existed in many areas between the Capitol and the Cumberland River. Ironically, the historic French Lick that attracted wildlife, Indians, trappers and settlers to what would become Nashville also preserved the remaining view of the Capitol and became the home of the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. In order to save the one remaining view of the Capitol and to commemorate Tennessee's 200th birthday, the concept of a mall similar to the one in Washington, DC, took shape.
Here are some historical features to look for when you visit Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park:
Tour BusesTour buses are welcome at the park.
HonorsThe Nashville Business Journal 2006 Book of Lists ranks Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park as Nashville's #1 Tourist Attraction.
On Oct. 3, 2011, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park was designated as one of the Top 10 Great Public Spaces in the U.S. for the American Planning Association’s 2011 Great American Places Program. Learn more.