9 Things to Do That Will Make You Feel Like a Local

If you’re anything like me, one of the first questions you ask when you visit a new city is “where do the locals hang out?” Lucky for you, the Visit Franklin team is full of #FranklinTN natives, as well as folks like me who have been in Tennessee long enough that they now call it home.

Maybe you’re planning a trip to Franklin, Tennessee for the first time or perhaps you’ve been here too many times to count! Regardless – you’ll blend right in with this local guide to Franklin.

Request your visitor guide to start planning your adventure in #FranklinTN!

Bicentennial Park is a passive park located in Franklin, TN. It has walking and biking trails that wind along the Harpeth River.

1. Bicentennial Park

This park, located just two blocks from Main Street in downtown Franklin, winds it’s way along the Harpeth River and makes for a great afternoon stroll.

During my lunch break, you can find me, as well as lots of other locals, getting my steps in and taking in the scenery! Though the park is considered to be passive, it’s a great place to get active while visiting Franklin, Tennessee.

Steps, not your thing? Our friends at Pedego Electric Bikes offer bike rentals and are located nearby. You can cruise with ease up those tough hill using pedal assistance!

2. Yats

I’m from Indiana originally – affectionately known (by me and me alone) as “Home of Yats!” Imagine my joy when they announced they would be opening a location right here in my backyard!

Yats is located in the heart of Cool Springs and is a great local hang featuring some of the best Cajun cuisines around! It’s an ideal spot for a quick bite to eat after an afternoon of shopping at CoolSprings Galleria. Can’t decide between two of their delicious menu items? You’re in luck – they offer a half-and-half deal for just $8.75!

3. Halfway Market

Don’t be fooled by the unassuming exterior of Halfway Market. This Williamson County staple is home to some of the best southern cooking you can find! Locals rave about their biscuits and gravy, burgers, and BBQ.

Halfway Market is “halfway to anywhere” in Williamson County and is excellent for an afternoon pit stop after a tour at Leiper’s Fork Distillery. With so many gems like this fading away in the world, it’s nice to know that Halfway Market (and their delicious frog legs!) are here to stay!

Winstead Hill is a historic site in Franklin, TN and offers sweeping views of Williamson County.

4. Winstead Hill

Historically, Winstead Hill served as Lt. General John Bell Hood’s command post for the Confederate Army during the Battle of Franklin. At 4 p.m., Hood ordered his army forward which in turn led to the bloodiest four hours of the Civil War. Today, Winstead Hill offers sweeping views of Franklin and Williamson County and makes for a great educational walk on a spring afternoon.

5. Faded Farmhouse

When locals are looking for a unique gift or a one-of-a-kind piece of decor, you’ll find them perusing The Faded Farmhouse, located just down the road from Arrington Vineyards.

The shop offers everything from dried lavender to Flour Sack Towels. Can’t carry everything home in your suitcase? Don’t worry – they also ship for a $5 flat fee in their online store.

Tiny Little Donuts is a new donut shop in Franklin, TN

6. Tiny Little Donuts

Psst – here’s a secret! Tiny Little Donuts is now open in Franklin, Tennessee and it’s already become a local legend! Folks stop in on their morning commute for 100 (yes, 100) tiny little donuts to bring to the office, or they’ll just buy 10 or 20 if they’re feeling modest.

They’ll often kick back outside this Airstream trailer with a cup of Frothy Monkey coffee, eat a donut (or 100, who am I to judge?), and catch up with other locals on the hottest news out of Williamson County.

Ravenswood Mansion is the center of Marcella Vivrette Smith Park in Brentwood, TN

7. Marcella Vivrette Smith Park

Who knew that the bustling city of Brentwood, Tennessee was home to more than six miles of rugged hiking trails? Locals do, that’s who! Wildlife on the trails is abundant, and the park makes for a beautiful morning activity on a warm summer day.

Marcella Vivrette Smith Park, highlighted at its center by the historic Ravenswood Mansion built in 1825, also features a bike path, athletic fields, and a playground.

8. The Pond

If you know me, you know I have a special place in my heart for dive bars. Located just blocks north of downtown Franklin, The Pond is a Franklin, Tennessee staple. This watering hole has is known for its live music, comedy, and Walking Dead viewing parties. You can even spot locals singing karaoke and cheering on the Nashville Predators!

The Movie Gang is a local movie event in Franklin, TN at the Franklin Theatre

9. The Movie Gang

The Movie Gang has revived the movies of your childhood and brought them back to the silver screen. On the day of a Movie Gang event, you can hear the buzz along Main Street – locals, both young and old, asking one another if they’re excited for tonight’s screening of Home Alone or Ghostbusters.

You’ll find everyone – from young families to elderly couples, pulling up a chair and digging into some Franklin Theatre popcorn while they kick back and enjoy the show!

What’s a local secret you’ve learned since visiting Franklin, Tennessee? Let me know in the comments below!

Jamie Cox