You could easily spend an entire week exploring Franklin, Tennessee. The Great American Main Street, storied history, and live music alone could fill any itinerary, and those are just part of the reasons Franklin was named the “Best Southern Town” by Garden & Gun Magazine.
You could spend days making your way from one restaurant to the next and taking in the scenery each night, but sometimes you can only squeeze in a weekend getaway.
If you’ve only got 72 hours to spend in Franklin, you’ll want to make sure you hit these hot spots!
Any trip to Franklin has to start with a leisurely stroll down Main Street. Aside from taking in the beauty of the architecture and breathing in that authentic sense of Americana, you can also map out your go-to shops and restaurants.
An excellent way to check out the historic downtown area is with a Franklin on Foot tour, which is a guided walk through town that shares the incredible history that’s taken place in the city.
After all that walking, and maybe a little shopping too, it’ll be time to eat. The recommendation here is Gray’s on Main.
The long-time pharmacy is now a world-class southern cuisine destination that is sure to please as much with its ambiance as it is your dinner.
For that after-dinner treat, either head to the bar a Gray’s on Main for one of their handmade crafted cocktails (get the Anthem Spirit and thank me later!) or walk down to Kilwins for a sweet treat they’ll make right in front of you.
Begin your morning at The Factory at Franklin. You could honestly spend an entire day at The Factory, but since you only have the weekend grab a 100 Layer Donut from Five Daughters Bakery and a cup of deliciousness from Honest Coffee Roasters as you browse around the many shops. After a browse around the shops at The Factory, step back in time for a lesson in Franklin’s rich history.
Take a tour at one, or all four, of the Franklin area’s Civil War sites. Carnton, Carter House, Rippavilla, and Lotz House each offer an individualized and unique perspective on the events of the 1864 Battle of Franklin, from both a broad historical overview and an inside look at the experiences of the families living in these historic homes on the day of the battle. Also, while you are on Main Street in downtown Franklin, take a moment to see the March to Freedom statue and the markers remembering the experiences of black Franklin residents throughout Franklin’s history.
After a step back into history, if you are a fan of the outdoors, a trip down the Harpeth River with Paddle Dog Adventures is in order! A lazy paddle down the river in either a canoe or a stand-up paddle board is the best way to cast away any stresses in the world.
If the outdoors aren’t for you, head down to Nolensville, home to the world-famous Martin’s BBQ Joint’s original location, so an afternoon snack is undoubtedly in order. To walk off that hearty lunch, also leave time to take a ride and “Discover 31A,” which is the highway lined with shops, restaurants, murals, and more.
You simply cannot spend a weekend in Franklin without live music, so finish off your Saturday night by catching a show at one of the dozens of live music venues across Franklin and Williamson County.
If the idea of sipping a glass of wine atop a beautiful hillside as you listen to music sounds like the perfect evening for you, head to Arrington Vineyards. The beautiful spot owned by country music star Kix Brooks is the perfect place to catch Music in the Vines each weekend.
Start your morning with a visit to Leiper’s Fork and with a hearty breakfast at the Country Boy Restaurant. Grab some biscuits and gravy at the counter, or settle in at the Community Table of Wisdom for a real taste of the local flavor. After breakfast, a stroll through the village is in order.
Make your way through the art galleries, antique shops, and boutiques. You’ll be greeted by a delightful scent, matched only by the beauty of the art in David Arms Gallery, find works from over 75 artists across the South at The Copper Fox, and be wowed by the works in Leiper’s Fork’s oldest art outpost, Leiper’s Creek Gallery.
Grab lunch at Fox & Locke in Leiper’s Fork, where it doesn’t get more down-home than great BBQ on a paper plate with a glass of sweet tea. Don’t be surprised when you walk in and it feels like a world-class music venue, too, because it is. Like the legendary secret clubs in New York where comedians test out their newest material, the stage at the Fox & Locke also continues to host some of the biggest names in music. You never know who you may have pop up on the stage there!
After lunch, give your taste buds a real treat with a visit to Leiper’s Fork Distillery.
The hour-long tour of their historic location and distillery operation will perfectly set up the tasting experience to follow for any whiskey or bourbon fan. A little shy of sipping on a little “brown water” straight? Settle in on the porch of the historic cabin at the distillery for one of their signature cocktails.
After your tour, roll the windows down, turn up the radio and explore the beauty of the Natchez Trace Parkway. The two-lane National Park that stretches 444 miles from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee, provides some of the most scenic views you can ever imagine.
What are some of your “must-dos” during a weekend getaway to Franklin? Let us know in the comments below!