Chattanoogans, if you’re looking for an easy weekend trip, look no further than the road that leads to Franklin, Tennessee. Since it’s such a quick drive, you’ll have plenty of time along the way to stop and smell the roses, as they say.
You’ll find tons of scenic beauty, art, and delicious food to keep you fueled along the way. This is not the first part of our road trip series, so make sure to check out our other road trip articles from Birmingham, Louisville, Tupelo, and Atlanta.
I’m here to guide you on the perfect road trip from Chattanooga to Franklin, Tennessee. So buckle up, we are going off the beaten path and taking in the scenic route!
Chattanooga the Scenic City
Before leaving town, you can’t skip the most important meal of the day! I recommend starting off with breakfast at Aretha Frankenstein. With that kind of name, expectations are already high.
On the outskirts of the city sits a pretty little restaurant with the best pancakes in Chattanooga. If you’re looking to add some sugar to your morning, I’d recommend the Elephants Gerald. If you’re more into a classic meal, I’d suggest the Super Dave Scramble!
After that big breakfast, you’ll need to walk it off a bit. After getting on the road, make your first stop at Ruby Falls and enjoy the scenery. With plenty of kid-friendly attractions and caves to explore, you’ll burn off those breakfast calories in no time.
Venture into America’s deepest caves and the prettiest underground waterfalls. If you have some extra time, check out Lookout Mountain or Rock City.
Head Into The Caverns
Hop back in the car after your Ruby Falls adventure and make your next stop McMinnville! Sticking with our theme of scenic beauty, you’ll find another incredible stop to explore caves at Cumberland Caverns.
This place has 32 miles of caves and underground passageways, the best rock formations around, underground waterfalls, and pools.
Before you get too far, you have to stop and refuel at Juicy’s Wellness Cafe, an amazing place for juice and sandwiches in McMinnville.
I recommend the Green Goddess if you’re trying to meet all the food groups today, or for something a little sweeter go with the Road Runner. These juices are sure to reenergize for the trip to the next town.
Manchester we are on our way!
Trekking through the underground sure does make a girl hungry. While in Manchester, check out Bites of Europe, a little place known to have the best German cuisine in the south!
You have to try the Jager Schnitzel or if you’re too afraid to pronounce that in front of the waiter, go with the Fish and Chips. This little diner is sure to treat you like family.
While in Manchester, home of the famous Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, make sure you take time to go on a public art hunt around town. Snap some photos at the mural installations in downtown Manchester that wind down the Little Duck River Greenway.
With four installations already up and more on the way, this is the perfect spot to spruce up your Instagram feed. Be sure to check out the newest mural- a three-part jewel-toned American eel mural designed by Ivan Roque.
Head up the interstate another hour or so until you hit your final destination, Franklin, and call ahead on the way to Cork & Cow to set your dinner reservation!
Go straight into town and check out Franklin’s beautiful historic Main Street, which is a dream for any shopper. Make your way through White’s Mercantile, where you’ll find a general store for the modern tastemaker, owned by singer/songwriter Holly Williams.
After you’ve shopped and explored Main Street, head on over to Cork & Cow, offering delicious upscale southern food. Sit back and relax, this is just the start of your Franklin adventure!
What did we miss? Let us know your favorite stops from Chattanooga to Franklin in the comments below.