Mention Leiper’s Fork to a Tennessee native, and they’ll likely tell you to “Hush!” We like to think of this quaint little village unspoiled by urban sprawl or big city developers as our own special secret — but today, I’m spilling the tea and sharing what makes Leiper’s Fork one of our all-time favorite day trip destinations. But there’s a reason that it’s turned into one Franklin’s top attractions.
Just don’t tell anyone else about it, okay?
Located just a few miles from the historic Natchez Trace Parkway, Leiper’s Fork was settled in the early 1800s and quickly became a popular rest stop for travelers. Clearly, some of those travelers liked what they saw there because, by the early 1900s, Leiper’s Fork had its own railroad stop as well as several shops and lumber mills, a blacksmith, a college, a handful of churches, and a bank.
In 1995, a group formed with the intention of preserving Leiper’s Fork’s historic structures — Thanks to their efforts, the town today is a perfectly charming, nostalgia-filled spot for an afternoon of shopping, a romantic dinner date, or a quiet retreat with friends and family.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say the shops you’ll find in Leiper’s Fork are among the best in the state. We make time to browse here several times a year because it’s never crowded, and every store contains a treasure trove of carefully-curated finds that truly suit every age, temperament, and budget.
The Copper Fox Gallery
At The Copper Fox Gallery and artist David Arms’ gallery inside a renovated barn next door, you’ll find an exquisite selection of local art and crafts, jewelry, books, and antiques. Across the street is Serenite Maison — one of my favorite shops on earth. Housed in a turn of the century general store, it’s filled with lovely country French and Italian antique finds.
Creekside Trading Company
Creekside Trading Company is chock full of local arts and crafts, home decor, gifts, jewelry, and clothing. Props Antiques is the place to go if you’re traveling with kids — In addition to some wonderful Americana-style antiques, Props has retro-inspired toys, games, and candy.
And The Pick-It Fence is filled with gift options, furniture, jewelry, and more.
Leiper’s Fork Distillery
While you’re in town, make time for a visit to Leiper’s Fork Distillery. Here, whiskey tours and tastings are offered, and if you like what you’ve tried, you can buy a bottle or two in the gift shop.
All that shopping is guaranteed to make a person hungry, and Leiper’s Fork offers some fantastic dining options.
Fox & Locke
Fox & Locke (formerly Puckett’s of Leiper’s Fork) has been a legendary local gathering spot with several changes in ownership and various iterations as a grocery store, restaurant, and music venue over a span of nearly 70 years. In 2022, Fox & Locke returned to its namesake roots, and folks from near and far continue to gather here for live music, cold beer, and classic Southern food.
Looking for something a little more romantic? Opt for 1892, an upscale restaurant in a historic home offering inventive seasonal cuisine. You’ll want to make reservations ahead of time if you’re planning on dining here.
Big Bad Breakfast at the Country Boy
For breakfast or lunch, you can’t go wrong with family restaurant Big Bad Breakfast at the Country Boy. Open since 1968, it’s the oldest diner in Williamson County. Here, you’ll find big country breakfasts as well as Southern favorites like fried chicken, fried catfish, and fried okra.
Come to Leiper’s Fork once, and you’ll definitely be back — and like all good Tennesseans, I’m betting you’ll want to keep this time-honored ‘secret’ all to yourself!