August is upon us, and for some, it is a bittersweet time because it means the carefree days of summer are quickly counting down and that school bell is about to ring. Of course, that also means a time of celebration that the kids are headed back to school too. Am I right parents!?
You can indeed have a great weekend getaway in Franklin, Tennessee any time of the year. And we just happen to have a guide for how to spend a weekend in Franklin, but whether trying to squeeze in that last-minute trip before the kids head back to school or just that one last getaway before the fall and football season kicks off here are five can’t miss things this August.
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Southern Whiskey Society
August 25, The Factory at Franklin
Any whiskey and bourbon fan knows there are run-of-the-mill whiskey tasting events then there are immersive, mind-blowing whiskey experiences. Southern Whiskey Society is definitely of the mind-blowing kind! This whiskey experience will feature over 30 southern distilleries providing samples, along with nine award-winning southern chefs preparing mouth-watering food tastings. For VIP ticket holders, you get an extra hour of the event that will include some exclusive bourbon tastings of things I can’t say here, but let’s just say you’re not going to find them on the shelves of your favorite local whiskey shop. On top of all that, you can also take test rides in the newest model Tesla!
Great Americana BBQ Festival
August 24-25, The Park at Harlinsdale Farm
If we know one thing in Franklin, it is good BBQ, and the Great American BBQ Festival is a Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned competition featuring over 80 teams. Now if you’ve been to a BBQ competition before you know that sometimes it’s a big let down because you get to smell all the goods, but not taste them. That’s not the case here, so you better come hungry! Outside of watching the competition, you can take a trip through BBQ Alley to sample selections from the competitors, all the while washing it down with flavors from local distillers and craft brewers. (For the 21-and-over crowd of course!) Filling the gorgeous Park at Harlinsdale Farm in downtown Franklin, live music will play all day throughout, and all can enjoy the classic car show and kid’s area. To make an entire weekend of it, plan to get in Friday night for the ‘Flavor of Franklin’ where local restaurants will showcase their best takes on BBQ dishes.
Masters & Makers Trail
Make a leisurely stroll around all of Williamson County, savoring both the spirit – and spirits – of the community along the Masters & Makers Trail. Whether a fan of a sipping a glass of wine, perfectly crafted barley and hops, nosing an aged whiskey, or all three you’ll find stops along the trail for you. At Arrington Vineyards, you can get the “premiere experience” with a perfectly curated pairing from the master vintner himself, and if you’re lucky possibly have co-owner and country music star Kix Brooks fill up your glass. Beer fans and soccer fans alike, you’ll want to try the official beer of the Nashville SC at Mill Creek Brewing Co. Whiskey lovers, you’ll never forget a distillery tour with “Pops” at Leiper’s Fork Distillery, and at H Clark Distillery not only can you sip the creations of the man who re-wrote Tennessee’s whiskey distilling laws but he’ll also surprise you with a ‘life-changing’ gin too! Be sure to pick up a Masters & Makers passport at any of the stops and once you’ve completed the trail, return to the Visitor Center in downtown Franklin for a fun gift!
Hit all the Farmer’s Markets
There are incredible farmer’s markets all across Franklin and Williamson County. Don’t believe me, check out this guide to Five Farmer’s Markets that will Blow Your Mind by Jamie, Visit Franklin’s resident Farmer’s Market expert. You really can get an authentic taste of a community [pun fully intended] through its farmer’s markets and the unique features or quirks they have. A few can’t miss ones are the Leiper’s Fork Farmer’s Market. Aside from the ‘shopping carts’ being Radio Flyer red wagons, and the selections overflowing with incredible local-grown products you’ll also find an incredible spot for kids to play and have fun, along with live music. Not just any live music either. Did you see the story where Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires were casually playing tunes at a farmer’s market? That was the Leiper’s Fork market! The Thompson’s Station Farmer’s Market takes place on the grounds of the beautiful Homestead Manor, and out at the Nolensville Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, let me just say “potato donuts” and I’ll let you thank me later!
The Open Road
A last getaway of summer wouldn’t be complete without some time riding with the windows down, and the music turned up along the Natchez Trace Parkway. The national scenic byway is one of the most scenic highways in the United States, and right here in Franklin sits the highlight of the Natchez Trace at the picturesque double arch bridge. Aside from hitting the open road, you can make it the ultimate relaxing getaway by slowing down for a stay in the village of Leiper’s Fork at Pot N’ Kettle Cottages, or explore the miles of trails and overlooks at Timberland Park.
So what is your plan for a last getaway of the summer? Let us know in the comments below.