When it comes to scenic views, Franklin takes home the gold. Its natural beauty is a big reason that visitors flock to the area in the fall; you won’t find vibrant foliage, lookouts where you can see for miles, a picture-perfect Main Street, and rolling Tennessee hills just anywhere.
With deep hues of red, orange, and yellow falling on storied trees, you won’t want to miss these spectacular, photo-worthy views around our town.
Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge
One of the most photographed spots in Middle Tennessee is the double-arched, 145-foot-high Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge. Located at milepost 438, the bridge runs across Highway 96 and Birdsong Hollow with a breathtaking view of the valley below.
There are a few photo-ops here that you won’t want to miss. First, park north of the bridge and walk down a paved path to get down to the Birdsong Hollow Overlook, where you’ll see the bridge peeking through colorful leaves. If you take the exit south of the bridge, you’ll find a parking area that lends a skyward view of the bridge.
Finally, and perhaps most famously, you’ll want to venture out onto the bridge itself. You’ve likely seen this view before—it has been the subject of amateur and professional photographers since 1994. If you find yourself speechless, you’re in good company.
Look out onto a valley that doubles as an artist’s canvas, with a stretch of road running through red sugar maples and orange oaks. It’s an absolute must-see.
Whether you’re hoping to fill your feed with photos of the Tennessee scenery or you’re looking for a great backdrop for Polaroids with friends, Arrington Vineyards is versatile and consistently beautiful.
Overlooking rows of grapes, fields, and Tennessee farmland from a rolling hillside, Arrington is the perfect spot to sit and enjoy a picnic—often with live jazz music in the background—while you soak in the scenery. In my opinion, this view pairs best with a glass of vintage 2017 Red Fox Red, which happens to also lend itself well as a photo prop.
Winstead Hill Park
History lovers will appreciate the view from the top of Winstead Hill Park: it was General John Bell Hood’s command post as he observed his advancing troops in 1864.
The view looks north down Columbia Pike towards Main Street. While this is a more developed view than some of the untouched beauty you’ll see at other overlooks, it is still stunning in autumn and provides a fascinating look into our past and the Battle of Franklin.
At Winstead Hill Park, there are two entrances—one is closer to the overlook, and one leads towards the park’s walking path. Choose your adventure! Please note that getting to the top of this lookout spot requires some stairs and a rocky path.
The Park at Harlinsdale Farm
Photos off a dock at a reflective pond? Check. Photos in front of an old horse barn? Check. Photos in a field? Check. Photos in front of a historic home? Check. The list goes on.
The Park at Harlinsdale Farm, located smack in the middle of Franklin, is a slice of heaven. Peak fall color comes at the end of October and early November, but trust me—you can pick any day of the season and find the perfect shot.
White fences, weathered walls, colorful shutters, and vast, open spaces make Harlinsdale a local favorite for both family photos and all-around relaxation. Plus, there’s plenty of parking.
Right off the Natchez Trace, you’ll find a celebration of autumn like you’ve never seen before in the unincorporated village of Leiper’s Fork.
Imagine your favorite small-town television show, and then deck out their Main Street or town square with mums, pumpkins, cornstalks, and strings of light. You’d be pretty close to how Leiper’s Fork celebrates—if you added in a handful of local art galleries, live music, fire pits, small-batch whiskey, rocking chairs, and decked-out front porches.
There is something to see, and photograph, at every stop along Old Hillsboro Road. In fact, rolling into town, you’ll even see an old police car to welcome you into this little Mayberry.
Tucked away in Bethesda around some backcountry roads, you’ll find the hidden gem of Pulltight Hill.
When you need to take a two-lane drive, roll down the windows, and explore the beautiful Tennessee countryside with fields, farms, forests, and all the fresh fall air your heart can handle.
Up Pulltight Hill Road, you’ll find a few spots to pull over—one paved, others on the shoulder—and observe the landscape that has inspired many a Tennessee ballad. It’s a peaceful, low-traffic view away from city noise.
You’ll find all sorts of Instagram opportunities down Franklin’s historic Main Street, which gets a seasonal makeover come October. (This year, we’re “painting” the town orange!) With quaint boutiques and shops framed by changing leaves and festive decor, there’s never a bad picture down Main Street at golden hour.
Grab a cup of hot chocolate from Kilwin’s for a shot of the perfect sip, snag an old-fashioned cinnamon roll at Merridee’s Bread Basket to snap some #FranklinEats, or twirl around in the neon lights of the Franklin Theatre to capture a piece of our town’s history.
Lynwood Way Lookout
A stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle, Lynnwood Way Lookout off of Franklin Road is a peaceful roadside park with a view that transforms into an impressionist painting of fall color.
Take an easy drive up to the lookout, and you’ll find plenty of room to park. The great thing about Lynnwood is that it’s a lesser-known lookout spot—meaning you can relax with few other visitors.
Lynnwood is especially photogenic at sunset, where layers of dusky color fill the sky. Sit on the red brick wall with the whole family to get a fall photo worthy of this year’s Christmas card.