20 Things in #FranklinTN that are Fun and Free!

Pro Tip: The best things in life really are free! If you’re anything like me (#BallinOnABudget) you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck! Now don’t get me wrong, I love to splurge on a nice dinner while I’m traveling. But that means I have to cut some costs throughout my trip. So, when I’m planning a trip, you’ll often find my Google search history littered with variations on “Free things to do in {insert city}, {insert state}.”

We’ve got tons of ways for you to experience Franklin on the cheap! From walking tours and live music to festivals and hiking, here are 20 ways to explore Franklin at no cost to you.

Want to start planning your #FranklinTN adventure? Grab our free Visitor Guide!

Winstead Hill is a Civil War site in Franklin, TN

Winstead Hill

Want a sweeping view of WIlliamson County while getting your dose of daily history? Head up to Winstead Hill, where Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood stood and studied Union Gen. John M. Schofield’s strong defensive position leading up to The Battle of Franklin. The park is 61 acres and includes a 3/4 mile walking trail.

Cars n' Coffee

Cars & Coffee

Every Saturday Morning, 8-10:30 a.m.

I’m not going to lie – cars aren’t really my thing, but coffee totally is! If you’re a morning person and looking for a way to meet locals, Cars & Coffee is a great way to start your day.

This event is completely free and showcases exotic and antique cars from all over Middle Tennessee.

The Westhaven Farmers Market takes place every Wednesday afternoon in Franklin, Tennessee

Meet a Farmer at one of many Farmers Market

One of my favorite free activities is perusing the local farmer’s markets and connecting with local makers, artisans, and producers. Franklin, TN has some great markets (listed below). If you want more info, click on over to this blog post for the inside scoop on all the markets!

  • The Factory at Franklin Saturdays, 9a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Thompson’s Station Wednesdays May – October, 10a.m. – 2p.m. 
  • Nolensville Saturdays May -October, 8a.m.-12p.m. 
  • Berry Farms Tuesdays May – September, 2-6p.m.

Explore the Williamson County Archives & Museum


Love history? Take a step back in time at the Williamson County Archives & Museum! You can look at Franklin artifacts, go on a selfie hunt, and learn more about the rich history here in Williamson County.

Art Scene is a monthly art event in Downtown Franklin, Tennessee

Be Seen at Art Scene

1st Friday of Every Month

Art Scene is one of my favorite times of the month. Every first Friday, folks flock to Downtown Franklin to explore locally made art hung in shops and galleries all over town.

The Natchez Trace Bridge is a double arched bridge in Franklin, Tennessee and offers scenic views

Visit the Natchez Trace Bridge and Overlook

Looking for an epic selfie spot (or maybe just a good view of scenic Franklin?) Head over to the Natchez Trace Bridge to see what all the fuss is about! Looking for an even bigger adventure?

Hop on the 444-mile Natchez Trace and ride it all the way to Natchez, Mississippi (and while you’re at it, explore the Americana Music Triangle).

The McGavock cemetery in Franklin, Tennessee is located at Carnton.

Wander the McGavock Confederate Cemetery at Carnton

John and Carrie McGavock designated two acres of land adjacent to their family cemetery as a final resting place for nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers killed during the Battle of Franklin.

Today, the cemetery is maintained by the Battle of Franklin Trust and is a great place to sit and reflect on a nice day.

Listen to Music at Arrington Vineyards Music in the Vines

Weekends April – November

You can find tons of live music in Franklin, Tennessee, but Music in the Vines is a one-of-a-kind experience! The music is free, so bring a picnic lunch and a blanket and enjoy the tunes.

Gallery 202 is an art gallery in Historic Downtown Franklin that sells fine art, jewelry, and more.

Peruse Gallery 202

Gallery 202 houses a diverse collection of art in Downtown Franklin, Tennessee. You can peruse anything from paintings and antiques to jewelry and pottery (and be sure to ask about the history of the building while you’re there).

Dickens of a Christmas is a free holiday festival in Historic Downtown Franklin, TN

Enjoy a Street Festival in Downtown Franklin

Downtown Franklin is known for hosting a great festival or two! Here are some of them you can’t miss!

  • Main Street Festival April 
  • Pumpkinfest October
  • Celebration of Nations October 
  • Dickens of a Christmas December 

Take a Hike at Timberland Park

If you’re looking to enjoy the great outdoors, check out Timberland Park. Located at milepost 437.2 of the Natchez Trace Parkway, Timberland Park offers over 3 miles of natural hiking trails with ADA accessibility, an Interpretive Center, and a picnic area.

Take a Self-Guided Walking Tour

Begins at the Visitor Center

Looking to get some exercise while you learn about the history of Franklin? Stop by the Visitor Center and pick up a self-guided walking tour.

The walking tour offers 6 different paths that cover arts & antiques, civil war history, architecture, and more.

The 40-foot Christmas Tree Illuminates Main Street in Franklin, Tennessee

Celebrate the Christmas Tree Lighting in Downtown Franklin

There’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit than watching the Christmas Tree lighting in Downtown Franklin! Hundreds of people flock to the downtown square to count down and watch Main Street (literally) light up.

Observe the Battle of Franklin Illumination

Each November, the Battle of Franklin Trust honors the 10,000 lives lost during the Battle of Franklin with an illumination ceremony. With 10,000 luminaries, this memorial is one you can’t miss.

Celebrate the Holidays at a Christmas Parade

The holiday spirit is in full swing at the Franklin & Leiper’s Fork Christmas Parade! For your classic, kid-friendly parade, head to Downtown Franklin for marching bands, horses, and of course – the Big Man Himself!

Leiper’s Fork Christmas Parade is also kid-friendly, and truly one of a kind! You’ll see pot-bellied pigs, dogs wearing costumes, and tons of other characters.

Each year, Franklin, Tennessee hosts a 4th of July Parade on Main Street

See the Fourth of July Parade in Downtown Franklin

The Fourth of July Parade is a time-honored tradition here in Franklin, TN. What better way to celebrate our independence than literally parading down Main Street?

Pull up a seat at Holiday Storytime at the Visitor Center

Saturdays in December

Holiday Storytime at the Visitor Center is becoming one of our most loved holiday season events! Kids can pull up a seat, listen to a story from Santa Claus (or Elf on the Shelf or the Sugarplum Fairy) and meet their favorite holiday characters in person.

Porchfest will return to Westhaven on June 17

Enjoy Westhaven Porchfest


Westhaven Porchfest is something you’ll only find here in Franklin! Community members turn their porches into stages and musicians from all over the area serenade the neighborhood with tunes.

Dance at Bluegrass Along the Harpeth Fiddlers Jamboree


Want to catch some authentic Bluegrass music? Bluegrass Along the Harpeth Fiddlers Jamboree features locals who love (and are awesome at playing!) bluegrass music. The event also hosts a bluegrass competition with categories like Flat-Top Guitar, Old-Time Banjo, and Freestyle Dance.

Viva! NashVegas Radio Show happens at Kimbro's Pickin' Parlor every other Saturday in Downtown Franklin, Tennessee

Catch a Live Radio Show at Viva! NashVegas Radio Show

Saturdays, 11AM, Live from Kimbro’s Pickin’ Parlor

Viva! NashVegas Radio show features Grammy award-winning artists from all over the globe.

Yes – you can see Grammy-award winning artists for $0.00! It’s been described as a mix of “Hee Haw” and “Prairie Home Companion” and blends comedy, music, and more.

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Jamie Cox