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8 Digital Passports for Your Next Franklin Visit

8 Digital Passports for Your Next Franklin Visit

There’s a digital passport for everything in Franklin, from sampling small-batch spirits to meeting spirits from the past. Sign up for a passport to get to know Franklin and get in on the fun!

Masters & Makers

Explore Williamson County’s beautiful countryside while you sample some of Tennessee’s best wine, beer, and spirits on the Masters & Makers Trail. 

Kick off the trail with a wine flight at Arrington Vineyards, country star Kix Brooks’ award-winning winery featuring a stunning view of the Tennessee hills. Bring your own picnic – or grab gourmet take-out from Simply Living Life, available on-site every weekend April through November – to enjoy while listening to live music and taking in the scenery. Sample wines for any palate, whether you prefer a glass of red, white, sweet, or rosé. I highly recommend trying a refreshing glass of Arrington’s frosé any time of the year.

For small-batch spirits, swing over to H Clark Distillery in picturesque Thompson’s Station. Located in a historic building once used to store grains for railroad transport, H Clark Distillery became the first legal distillery in Williamson County in over 100 years after founder Heath Clark helped change the county’s legislation. H Clark Distillery keeps tradition at the forefront of everything they do, and you can taste the difference in each hand-crafted, small batch of Tennessee Bourbon, Black & Tan Whiskey, and Heirloom Gin.

Leiper’s Fork Distillery

The next stop for grain-to-glass spirits is Leiper’s Fork Distillery, a renovated 200-year-old log cabin-turned-still located in the quaint village of Leiper’s Fork. Take a tour of the beautiful ground, hear the rich backstory behind the distillery’s heritage, sample high-quality whiskey in the tasting room, and then pick up a unique souvenir. I can’t get enough of the Whiskey & Tobacco scented candle they keep in stock – I could smell that smell for the rest of my days.

Curio Brewing Company

Love beer AND coffee? The Masters & Makers Trail has just the place for you. Curio Brewing Company in Franklin brilliantly serves specialty roasted coffee (you can also find them on the Craft Coffee Trail) and draft beers, both brewed in-house, as well as rotating guest taps. Whether you’re craving a matcha latte or a Scottish red ale, you get the best of both worlds at Curio.

Mill Creek Brewing Company

Just looking for a taproom that serves up great beer and food? Look no further than Mill Creek Brewing Company in Nolensville, where the motto is “Less Fuss. More Beer.” Need I say more? Sip on a selection of premium and seasonal local brews from a can or from a pint glass while you catch up with friends or enjoy Mill Creek’s award-winning Smashville Burger. 

Sound good? To get started on the Masters & Makers Trail, download the digital passport here or pick up the printed version at the Visitor Center in downtown Franklin, visit four of the five stops, and turn in your completed passport at the Visitor Center in exchange for a prize.

Craft Coffee Trail 

Whether you’re a decaf devotee, espresso enthusiast, or cold brew connoisseur, there’s a cup of coffee with your name on it on the Craft Coffee Trail.

Frothy Monkey

Downtown Franklin is home to several amazing coffee shops, starting with local favorite Frothy Monkey. Order a classic roast with cream and sugar, or splurge on one of their signature drinks – my go-to is the Monkey Mocha, an espresso blended with chocolate and banana syrup.

McGavock’s Coffee Bar

Moving over to 2nd Street, McGavock’s Coffee Bar & Provisions is located inside downtown’s beautiful Harpeth Hotel, and the atmosphere does not disappoint. The European-style bar is the perfect place to enjoy a cup of locally-roasted Honest coffee while getting some work done or hanging out with friends.

Coffee House at Second & Bridge

The Coffee House at Second & Bridge is a coffee shop with tons of character and a spacious outdoor seating area down the street. If you’re lucky, you just might be able to snag the red porch swing, the perfect perch for sipping coffee or taking selfies.

Southerner’s Coffee Shop

Ever been to a coffee shop on wheels? Southerner’s Coffee Shop is a combo drive-thru and walk-up mobile coffee shop, ideal for those hectic days when you need a quick coffee fix. Bring the kiddos along and for a fun treat like a cotton candy or bubblegum flavored smoothie!

The Good Cup

Speaking of kid-friendly spots, this next stop on the trail serves up amazing espresso, iced coffee, and specialty brews as well as breakfast and lunch. At The Good Cup, you’ll find sips and eats for customers of all ages, and you can feel good knowing that this neighborhood coffee shop gives back to the community by supporting local artists and philanthropic organizations.

Just Love Coffee Cafe

Another shop committed to the community is Just Love Coffee Café McEwen Northside – one of the newest (and best) additions to Franklin’s coffee scene. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Just Love McEwen is a one-stop shop for great food and a wide array of drinks, including the White Chocolate Tiramisu blend that is amazing as it sounds.

High Brow Coffe + Tea

You’ll find a collection of unique storefronts lining the main street of Franklin’s Westhaven community, including High Brow Coffee + Tea. A commitment to quality ingredients poured into every cup makes this amazing coffee shop worth a visit, and you might just see the classic High Brow Jeep Wagoneer, affectionately known as “Woody” to Franklin locals, parked out front!

Coffee and Coconuts

Located in the neighborhood of Berry Farms, Coffee and Coconuts are known as Franklin’s “Local Oasis,” and for good reason. In addition to the craft coffee and quality food, you’ll find a freshly cracked coconut on the menu, perfect for sipping on refreshing coconut water and pretending you’re at the beach (tiny umbrella optional).

RedByrd Coffee Shop

Heading on down to the village of Leiper’s Fork, the RedByrd Coffee Shop operates out of a handcrafted tiny home with plenty of charm. Choose from RedByrd’s seasonal drinks, like the Summer Spritzer menu (don’t knock the Cold Brew Pomegranate Spritzer till you try it!), or their list of classic and signature drinks.

Mama’s Java Cafe

If you’ve never been to Mama’s Java Café in downtown Nolensville, you’re in for a treat. They’ve got the perfect drinks for every season, from the summery Iced Raspberry Silk Latte to the warm Pumpkin Caramel Latte that just screams, “It’s Fall, Y’all!” If you’re feeling daring, try the Latte of the Day, which could be anything from the English toffee and butter rum Harry Potter latte (J.K. Rowling fans, rejoice!) to the peanut butter-y Fluffernutter Latte.

Ready for a pick-me-up? Sign up for the Craft Coffee Trail digital passport here, or stop by the Visitor Center in downtown Franklin to get started. Once you’ve visited five of the eleven stops, you’ll receive one of our best prizes yet.

Murals of Williamson County

Up your selfie game with the Murals of Williamson County digital passport!

Franklin and its surrounding communities are dotted with amazing, colorful murals that serve as perfect photo backdrops and sources of inspiration. From the bright, floral design of the “This Girl Can” mural in Nolensville to the vibrant “Welcome to Franklin Postcard” scene just outside of downtown Franklin, there’s a photo-op for everyone in Williamson County!

Download the passport here, snap photos in front of your favorite works of art, then tag Visit Franklin on Instagram (@visitfranklintn) for a chance to be featured and win a prize!

Historic Homes of Hincheyville

Stroll through one of Franklin’s most historic neighborhoods on the Historic Homes of Hincheyville Walking Tour!

Named after Hinchey Petway, an early Franklin settler, Hincheyville is primarily comprised of single-family houses built circa 1828-1935. Take a step back in time as you view the intricate architectural details that are true rarities in the modern world, and learn the background story behind every brick and plot of land that makes each home take on a character of its own. 

Sign up for the Historic Homes of Hincheyville digital passport here, or stop by the Visitor Center in downtown Franklin to pick up a Walking Tours brochure and accompanying map.

Sweet Treats Trail

Whether you’re craving a waffle cone stuffed with delicious scoops or a decadent cupcake piled high with icing, you’re sure to find your dream dessert on the Sweet Treats Trail

Itty Bitty Donuts & Specialty Coffee

If you wake up in the morning with fresh donuts on your mind (or daydream about them throughout the day), follow your sugar craving down to Itty Bitty Donuts & Specialty Coffee in Nolensville for some bite-sized sweets perfect for dunking in a cup of freshly brewed E&B coffee. If Brentwood is your preferred spot, get your groove on with Peace Love & Little Donuts, a 1960’s themed donut shop perfect for “Feeding your Inner Hippie.”

Jeni’s Splended Ice Creams

Later in the day, cool off with a trio from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, the perfect treat for beating the summer heat. Stick with twists on the classics, such as Honey Vanilla Bean or Darkest Chocolate, or add in a scoop of something unique, like Wild Lavender or (my personal favorite) Brown Butter Almond Brittle.

Sweethaven

If Sweet Cream Biscuits & Peach Jam ice cream isn’t your jam, Sweethaven has swirls topped with sprinkles that taste as good as they look. For the frozen custard lover, Andy’s in Spring Hill is serving up treats that are well worth the drive.

Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop

If a warm, decadent dessert is your cup of tea, grab a slice of pie or cake fresh from the oven. Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop has all the Southern favorites, from house-made Blueberry to dreamy Chocolate Cream.

Papa C’s Pies

For a little something extra, try the Steeplechase Derby from Papa C’s Pies, a classic pecan pie (whether you say “pee-can” or “puh-khan,” I’ll try not to judge) with a Ghirardelli chocolate and bourbon twist.

Pies by Gigi

For signature, seasonal, and savory selections, Pies by Gigi offers summer-ready flavors like Lime Icebox and year-round staples like Apple Crisp.

Ivey Cake

For cupcakes that come with clever names or personalized cakes for special occasions, place an order at Ivey Cake for a dozen cupcakes that range from Cheat Day (extra chocolatey) to Total Flake (coconut) or a customized creation perfect for a celebration.

Schakolad Chocolate Factory

Sometimes, you just need straight-up chocolate, and that’s where the Schakolad Chocolate Factory comes in. Head over to Cool Springs to pick up rich truffles and hand-dipped strawberries, chocolate bars and novelties, and even chocolate paint! Seriously, dreams do come true.

Triple Crown Bakery

Not sure what you’re in the mood for? Triple Crown Bakery in downtown Franklin has a variety of freshly baked treats, from homemade strawberry “pop-tarts” (picture a light, flaky pastry stuffed with strawberry filling and topped with sprinkles) to specially decorated cookies and amazing cakes that are almost too pretty to eat.

Kilwins

While you’re downtown, be sure to stop by Kilwins, a confectionery serving up over 75 different handmade products, including their signature chocolates and barks, old-fashioned ice cream, and caramel apples sliced and ready to enjoy.

Sugar Drop

For a more hands-on experience, sign up for a class at Sugar Drop, a bakery that serves up lessons on buttercream, cookie decorating, and more, in addition to their ready-made desserts. 

Sounds pretty sweet, right? To complete the Sweet Treats Trail, simply sign up for the digital passport here or pick up the printed version at the Visitor Center in downtown Franklin, visit five of the thirteen stops, then head back to the Visitor Center to redeem your prize.

Midnight Sun Scavenger Hunt

Explore Franklin and learn the story of Midnight Sun on the engaging, family-friendly Midnight Sun Scavenger Hunt.

Before you begin, you should know a bit about Midnight Sun’s backstory. Let me take you back to 1940 when little Joe Lewis Wilson, an all-black colt, was born. As his name would suggest, the colt started out as an “average Joe” with his plain, gangly appearance, but he would soon change the Tennessee Walking Horse industry forever and gain a new name with a strong meaning.

After being purchased by a man who saw his potential, Joe Lewis Wilson made his way to Franklin’s own Harlinsdale Farm in 1944 for training and lodging. A local saw Joe training and commented that “the horse was as powerful as the sun and black as midnight.” The name Midnight Sun seemed a much better fit for the growing stallion, and from there, Midnight began his reign as the “World Grand Champion Tennessee Walker” by winning the title at the 1945 & 1946 Celebrations. 

Although Midnight Sun lived until 1965, his legacy is carried on through his lineage of champions. In fact, nearly 90% of today’s Tennessee Walking Horses can trace their ancestry through Midnight Sun, and only four World Grand Champions during the latter half of the 20th century fell outside Midnight Sun’s lineage.

On the Midnight Sun Scavenger Hunt, the whole family can work together to solve clues and find 10 horse statues hidden around Franklin. Download the digital passport here (the printed version is also available for download or pick up at the Visitor Center), solve the clues, and then pick up your prize. 

Bonus: The new Midnight Sun activity booklet filled with coloring pages and puzzles is the perfect addition to the scavenger hunt! Stop by the Visitor Center for a free copy.

Great American Main Street

Explore Franklin’s award-winning Main Street on the Great American Main Street walking tour! This loop includes historic homes, storefronts, churches, and sites such as the Nashville-Franklin Interurban Railway that transported passengers to Nashville until 1941. 

Learn the history behind each building and site as you discover Franklin’s rich history and small-town charm. To get started, download the digital passport here, or pick up a Walking Tours brochure and accompanying map from the Visitor Center in downtown Franklin.

Want more haunted history? Sign up for Franklin on Foot’s amazing guided ghost tours here!

Haunts & Headstones

It’s no secret that Franklin serves as the final resting place for hundreds of Civil War soldiers who lost their lives during the Battle of Franklin in 1864. On the Haunts & Headstones walking tour, you’ll explore two cemeteries that house the remains of the fallen soldiers, including the Unknown Soldier whose bones were discovered in 2009 during a construction project, as well as the graves of some of Franklin’s early settlers and the sites of some of Franklin’s oldest residences. 

The oldest home on the Haunts & Headstones tour is the Kinnard House, built circa 1810 by Gideon Blackburn, an important figure in Franklin’s Presbyterian history. Following close behind is the Knight House, built in 1812 and the home of City Farmhouse today.

Ghost sightings on the Haunts & Headstones sites range from Sallie Ewing Carter, who acted as a secret spy during the Civil War, to a young boy named Felix who likes to frequent the Visitor Center on Fourth Avenue. Don’t be afraid; Franklin’s ghosts, much like its current residents, are known to be very friendly and hospitable!

To start your Haunts & Headstones experience, download the digital passport here, or pick up a Walking Tours brochure and accompanying map from Felix’s favorite hangout, the Visitor Center in downtown Franklin.

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