For years, Franklin’s quintessential charm has been likened to the tropes found in made-for-TV holiday movies. Having grown up in the city myself, I can confirm the holiday magic that fills the streets each holiday season, creating the perfect real-life movie set for your own story to come to life.
While the homes and businesses across the city glow with seasonal decor, Main Street itself also beautifully transforms: tasteful garlands twirl around lamp posts, strings of lights glitter against trees, and storefronts display miniature holiday scenes. It’s a postcard brought to life – and just as its edges fray over time, the sharp edges often accompanying a Hallmark main character are sure to soften as well.
From books to baking and farms to fine jewelry, discover the stories waiting to unfold in Franklin each holiday season.
A Love Story at Landmark Booksellers
While the shelves in the 19th-century building are lined with stories, discover your own within Landmark Booksellers. Housed in an early 1800s building on Main Street, the charming bookshop is a backdrop worthy of the silver screen with countless story opportunities – maybe you’ll fall in love with an old friend perched in a vintage armchair or learn a life lesson between the pages of a good book.
The shop itself came to life in Karen Kingsbury’s New York Times bestselling book-turned-Hallmark-movie, The Bridge. It details the story of Landmark’s owners, Joel and Carol Tomlin, as they face a flooded store, all while two studying students simultaneously fall in love.
Uncover your own story at Landmark this season, or pluck one from the shelves to enjoy cozying up by a fire at home.
Franklin’s Holiday Bake Off
A stroll through Franklin brings just as many holiday smells as it does sights. With a bakery seemingly on every block, Franklin sets the stage for a friendly bake-off waiting to happen. Who will come out on top? Entering the competition is the locally-owned Franklin Bakehouse serving homemade pastries, custom cakes from Sugar Drop, decadent donuts from Five Daughters Bakery, gourmet cookies from Triple Crown Bakery, and seasonal truffles from Kilwins.
The competition heats as entrants race to plate their creations before the clock runs out. Oh no! A cookie is dropped, icing is smudged, pastries depuff. Putting the competition aside, the good people of Franklin band together to get the job done. Everyone’s a winner, and somewhere, a brand-new love story begins.
Falling on the Farm: Lasting Love in Leiper’s Fork
What’s a Hallmark movie without a charming bed and breakfast? In Leiper’s Fork, the rustic GratiDude Ranch is the perfect setting for a country Christmas story. With accommodations ranging from two to 14 guests in cottages and ranch houses, the main character will inevitably leave behind their big city roots for the comfort of a bucolic small town.
Will they take over a shop in the village? Open a bakery in town? Pen a novel based on their own love story with a local ranch hand? The possibilities are endless.
Holiday Heirlooms at Walton’s Jewelry
Jewelry often holds sentimental value, serving as a material reminder of a moment, a person, or a commitment. The possibilities expand with the addition of antique jewelry – and at Walton’s Jewelry, each piece carries a storied history all its own. An unsuspecting proposal (which, of course, takes place in the middle of the town square) takes a turn as the bride-to-be discovers her new engagement ring is engraved with the name of an ancestor, sending the couple on an adventure rooted in heritage.
Or, follow the story of Walton’s founder herself – Melba, a powerful female entrepreneur in the 1970s staking her claim in Main Street’s history before it even began – all with the support of her husband, Jack, who loved her until the very end. A love story without which I wouldn’t be here writing this blog.
Whichever Hallmark movie trope is your favorite, it’s sure to be found across Franklin. Bundled up with a hot cocoa in hand, stroll the streets this season and watch your own sentimental story unfold.