How to Experience Franklin if it’s Your Second Time Visiting

It’s no secret that there’s something magic about your first visit to Franklin, Tennessee. Folks visit us from all corners of the world and fall in love with our Great American Main Street, great live music scene, genuine southern hospitality, and scrumptious meals.

Often, as soon as they board their flight back to London, England, or load up the car to drive back to Dallas, Texas, they’re already dreaming about their next visit.

Return trips to Franklin, Tennessee are always packed with nostalgia (“Remember that delicious BBQ we had Puckett’s?”) and it’s often like seeing an old friend. But maybe this time when you visit Franklin, you want to take a new approach and get off the beaten path.

Perhaps you want to try a new restaurant, stay at a new hotel or vacation rental, or even get a fresh perspective of the city. Ensure your second or third or tenth visit to Franklin is just as magical as your first with this guide!

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Leiper's Fork is located just outside of Franklin, TN and offers dining, shopping, and lodging options for travelers.

Explore beyond Franklin

Chances are, you spent some of your first visit to Franklin walking along Main Street, stopping in every store, and eating a scoop (or two!) of ice cream from Kilwin’s or Sweet CeCe’s. On your return visit to Franklin, you should definitely walk along Main Street for at least an hour – something new is sure to have popped up – but once you’ve shopped, consider branching out to the other communities that make Williamson County great.

You’ll find antiques and BBQ in Nolensville, art galleries and music in Leiper’s Fork, hiking trails, and high fashion in Brentwood, coffee and hospitality in Fairview, and distilleries and delicious fare in Thompson’s Station.

The best places to see a sunrise in Franklin, TN

Catch a sunrise

First time trips can be a little tiring. Sometimes, it feels like I need a vacation after my vacation! From the planning to the walking to eating all the time, it just takes it out of you!

Since you’ve been to Franklin before, slow down and take a breather. You don’t have to do it all! Enjoy the sunset (or rise) from the Natchez Trace Parkway or Harlinsdale Farm.

Elevate your Food Experience

Chances are, you’ve visited Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant or Gray’s on Main. They’re both mighty tasty and you’ve probably been craving some fried pimento cheese since you left, so by all means, visit them again!

But after you’ve got your fill, plan to visit another Franklin culinary gem, like Red Pony! At Red Pony, you’ll find regulars chatting up the bartenders, first-time guests devouring Shrimp & Grits, and Owner/Executive Chef Jason McConnell cooking up a storm.

Shop off Main Street

Main Street shopping is wonderful, isn’t it? After you stop by the newest additions – Philanthropy Fashion, Philanthropy Home, and Tin Cottage to name a few – hop in the car or catch a Lyft to Hill Center Brentwood.

Here, you’ll find men’s fashion retailers like Peter Millar, women’s boutiques like fab’rik, and outdoor retailers like REI.

Do What the Locals Do

While you may not call Franklin “home,” it can feel like it for a few days! Dive in headfirst and do what the locals do! Take a walk (or go for a morning run) at Bicentennial Park, eat Cajun food at YATS, and attend an event with The Movie Gang. Here are 9 ways to make you feel like a local.

Hot Air Balloon rides are available throughout Williamson County and Franklin, TN

Get a New Perspective

You’ve seen Franklin from the ground, but why not get a new perspective? You could hike to a high point (like Fort Granger or Winstead Hill) and learn more about the Battle of Franklin (you’ve toured CarntonCarter, and Lotz House, right?) or you could take to the skies and soar in a hot air balloon!

Find hiking trails in Brentwood, TN

Go for a Hike

People familiar with Franklin and Williamson County always brag about our scenic views and Tennessee countryside.

Get up-close and personal with the Tennessee wildlife with a free hike through Marcella Vivrette Smith Park or purchase a day pass to Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary. Both parks are located in Brentwood and offer sweeping views and lots of wildlife.

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile national park that stretches from Nashville, TN to Natchez, MS

Stay a Little Longer

There are 212 million vacation days forfeited by Americans each year. (Project Time Off) With that little nugget of information, I encourage you to stay in Franklin, Tennessee a little longer!

Extend that weekend trip to include Monday. You can even add a few days and travel the entirety of the Americana Music Triangle or drive the 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway!

See What’s New

As a return visitor, you’ve probably stopped by our visitor center-right? Right?! We’d love to see you again (or meet you for the first time!) Our knowledgeable information specialists know everything there is to know about what’s new, what’s moved, and what’s improved in Williamson County. Plus, the Visitor Center is the best place to find a souvenir for the ones you left back home.

How many times have you visited Franklin? Any advice for Franklin rookies? Let us know in the comments below!

Jamie Cox