Last week, I wrote about my love of RV venturing our way to book stores around the country. (Specifically, I wrote about Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN.) But my nerdiness does not end there. Not by a long shot! I also love touring homes of authors and past presidents, and while this may make me sound like the least exciting person in the universe, I feel fairly confident that some of you also enjoy these types of places. (Fellow nerds, leave me some confirmations in the comments!)
All this to say, guess where else we visited while in Nashville? Think 1800s. Think controversial president. Think…oh wait. The title of this blog gives this away. So, well, yes. – We visited Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. And I am so happy we did!
Years ago, I read H.W. Brands’s Andrew Jackson, His Life and Times. My boss knew that I read a lot of history and biographies, and this, along with a nice, happy check, was his Christmas gift to me. At the time, I knew very little about Jackson. And this book did not disappoint. Wanting to learn more, I got the audiobook version of Jon Meacham’s American Lion, Andrew Jackson in the White House. Ever since, I have wanted to visit The Hermitage.
But at the time, I lived in Seattle, and Nashville seemed so far away. Now I live in Tennessee, and guess what. Nashville still seems so far away.
We were in Nashville for other reasons at the beginning of November, and on the drive back home, I saw the sign off of I-40 for The Hermitage. Bill generously offered to stop. My initial thought was: No. I would want to plan a trip to the Hermitage. Do a bunch of research first. Re-read both of my Jackson books. But here it was. – The exit in one mile.
“Okay,” I said hesitantly. It went against my better judgment – being so willy nilly with a place I’ve wanted to visit for well over ten years; but the fact of the matter is, we don’t get near Nashville often in our travels. In fact, nearly never. So who knew when we’d be back.
Welcome to The Hermitage…
Originally built between 1819 and 1821, she’s a beauty. (I believe this version of the home that you see below dates to its 1834 re-design.)
Good news for RVers: We get our own parking area. (Why there were also cars parked in the RV/Bus area that day, I’m not sure.)
If you know little to nothing about Andrew Jackson, their brochure provides a helpful overview.
Also helpful for some historical perspective before the house tour is the video in the Visitor’s Center.
The Visitors’ Center includes an impressive exhibit chronicling Jackson’s life and times.
The tour of the mansion itself is conducted by guides stationed throughout the house and took about half an hour. Most of the rooms are visible but unenterable, with a clear plexiglass type boundary.
As for the grounds, you roam at your own pace. Wear comfy shoes!
Some Helpful Info
4580 Rachel’s Lane, Nashville, TN 37076
9 AM – 5 PM (last ticket sold at 4 PM) – (Hours may be different depending on the time of year. Call or go to their website first.)
Have you visited The Hermitage? What did you think of it??