Check out these top stops on the road from Atlanta to Franklin
Ah, Atlanta. A-town. The ATL.
I have a special place in my heart for Atlanta, as my two dearest friends live there. There’s Meredith…my childhood friend of 25 years who will always make me laugh harder than anyone on the planet… and Sarah, a loyal friend that I met at my first job out of college who is a rockstar mom of three with another on the way.
I don’t make it down to see them enough, but when I do, I love to turn the journey into a true road trip and take some time to stop and see the sights along the way.
If you’re planning a road trip from Atlanta, Georgia to Franklin, Tennessee this fall, here are some suggestions to keep you entertained along the way. This is the third in a three-part road trip series, so feel free to check out our road trip guides from Birmingham and Louisville too.
Route: Atlanta > Chattanooga > Franklin
8 AM: Breakfast at Buttermilk Kitchen
Before hitting the road, fill your tank in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia with Buttermilk Kitchen. Everything is handmade from scratch, even the butter! You absolutely can’t go wrong with the Chicken Biscuit or Buttermilk Pancakes. Or- if you’re looking for something a little different, check out the Pimento Omelet, an omelet filled with Benton’s Bacon, pimento cheese, and house-made red pepper jelly.
9 AM: Hit the road
Turn up the jams and head up I-75 toward Chattanooga. Be sure to request the Franklin, Tennessee visitor guide ahead of time so you can start plotting out your itinerary along the way. (In the passenger seat, of course!)
11 AM: Lookout Mountain, Point Park
Roll the windows down and take a drive to the top of Lookout Mountain to Point Park, where you will find a beautiful ten-acre memorial park that overlooks downtown Chattanooga and the Lookout Mountain Battlefield. Take a stroll around the paved walking path, snap some photos and learn about Civil War history. Or- take a ride on the Incline Railway, Chattanooga's 100-year-old railway that takes you on a steep incline for a mile up to the top!
Noon: Lunch at Blue Plate
Drive back down the mountain and into downtown Chattanooga to eat at Blue Plate on the Chattanooga Riverfront, overlooking the Tennessee River. A modern diner, Blue Plate serves up a mix of breakfast foods, sandwiches, salads, and burgers. My favorite is the loaded chips, they are hand-cut and topped with black bean queso, house cheese sauce, mixed cheese, and pico. Top it off with the Double Diner Burger or Grilled Portobello sandwich!
1:30 PM: Bluff View Art District
Walk off that lunch and check out the Bluff View Art District, a historic neighborhood featuring an art gallery, gardens, plazas and courtyards, a coffee shop, and restaurants. The art district sits on stone cliffs that offer beautiful views of the river, downtown Chattanooga, and the Walnut Street Bridge. Pop into Rembrandt’s Coffee House and enjoy a few minutes on the patio, then grab your coffee to go because it’s time to hit the road to Franklin!
3 PM: Depart Chattanooga for Franklin
Hit the road again and turn up our Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival playlist on Spotify!
5 PM: Arrington Vineyards
You’re almost there! Located just 20 minutes from downtown Franklin, you’ll find picturesque rolling countryside and award-winning wines Arrington Vineyards. Check out their tastings, grab a bottle and enjoy the scenery.
7:30 PM Dinner at Gray’s on Main
Hooray! You’ve made it to Franklin, Tennessee! If you haven’t had enough delicious food already, top it off with dinner and drinks at Gray’s on Main, located in the heart of Franklin’s historic Main Street. Set in a beautiful 1876 Victorian Building that used to be a landmark pharmacy for nearly a century, Gray’s is known for their handcrafted cocktails, upscale Southern dining and live music. I’d recommend their fried pimento cheeseballs as an appetizer, and you can’t go wrong with the grilled pear pizza or shrimp & grits.
The only thing left to do is to relax and enjoy the rest of your stay in Franklin, Tennessee!
Do you have some trusty favorites on your road trip from Atlanta to Franklin? Tell us in the comments below!