Ok, so just when you think you can't take one more famous country music home tour only to end up looking thru yet another long gated driveway...along comes a place like Fontanel Mansion.
Yes sure, the main entry is normally locked and gated but the folks over at Fontanel have keys and free shuttles that will not only deliver you to the front steps of this impressive 27,000 square foot mansion but will do it 7 days a week and from Downtown Nashville too.
Fontanel Mansion & Farm Photo Gallery
Fontanel Mansion was built for Barbara Mandrell and her family back in the 1980's and they owned the 136 acre property until 2002 when it was sold to its current owners, Dale Morris and Marc Oswald. Country Music Fans might recognize the mansion from CMT's hit show, Gone Country or any numerous of other photo and video shoots.
One of the most impressive pieces of information about the mansion is that local architect firm, Tuck-Hinton had a hand in its design and building. But then again, if you know anything about the Tuck-Hinton then you will know that these guys have been involved in the building of some of Nashville's most impressive structures that include; the Adventure Science Center, Bicentennial Mall State Park and the Country Music Hall of Fame just to name a few.
The Fontanel Mansion itself is, of course, filled with plenty of unique Mandrell family items, right down to a family bible, but it is also filled with a ton of other great Country Music memorabilia that its current owners have garnered over the years too. Unlike most other home tours, guests to Fontanel actually get really explore, relax and enjoy the home - yes, you can even touch the items too. Not only can you touch the items, after their guided tour, visitors can sit, relax with a refreshment, and stay as long as they wish in the pool atrium. Now that's some good ole southern hospitality, don't you think?
The Fontanel property, which I've nicknamed the Fontanel Complex, is not just a home tour nor is it a museum - it's really an entire complex filled with numerous and varying things to see and do. Fontanel has the mansion, a restaurant, a very impressive outdoor music venue, a studio, and plenty of walking trails.
I was pleasantly surprised, and think that the neighbors will be too, to find that when visiting Fontanel you can drive out to the property and enjoy any number of their amenities alone and/or all of them and without even having to take the mansion tour. In fact, walking the Trails at Fontanel are free and open to the general public during the day although you do need to check in upon arrival and the restaurant is open seven days a week to the general public for breakfast lunch and dinner.
The Fontanel Restaurant will no doubt be a stand out for visitors and locals alike because it offers some tasty food, in a relaxing setting, and, as well, for a good price too.
I will have to say that while I absolutely love the works of Tuck-Hinton and any food from the Fontanel Restaurant, I was totally impressed by the Fontanel's outdoor music venue, The Woods at Fontanel. Trust me, when I say that it is most definitely, any road crews dream stage!
Concert goers will no doubt love this outdoor venue layout too as it's graded so that there's not one bad view of the stage and it's lined with thick wooded trees on three sides and the stage on the fourth. But oh yes, it gets better because situated to one side are concessions & bathrooms and on the other hillside, their will be rustic tiered sky boxes! The Woods can hold up to 2,500 people and parking capacity is 1,200. The folks at the Woods of Fontanel will even be offering valet parking too.
Yes, I can honestly say that a visit to the Fontanel Complex is most definitely not your every day run of the mill tour by any means... not even close.