Belle Meade Plantation

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERABelle Meade Plantation

Literally translating to mean "beautiful meadow," this gorgeous brick mansion was built in 1820 as John Harding’s family plantation and home. The land itself has seen countless uses, from hunting to farming, to trade routes and eventually a plantation. Sitting on 200 acres of land, Harding used the plantation for successful cotton cultivation, as well as a highly popular bout in Civil War era racehorse breeding. Many thoroughbreds were raised and raced through John Harding’s legacy, which is a legacy you can still see coursing through the racetracks today.

Belle Meade is also known for housing the history of the Harding-Jackson innovative approach to farming, as well as preserving the area’s historic economic status during war times, the mansion itself eventually falling victim to post-war economic depression.

A tour of Belle Meade, an architecturally defined Greek Revival style mansion, includes a look at the dairy, horse stable, carriage house, mausoleum, gardens, and original log cabin. There are also opportunities to do some shopping at the gift shop, fine dining at the on-site restaurant, or perhaps some adult drinking with free wine tasting at the area’s winery on your way out!