The Ultimate Franklin Fall Bucket List

Franklin is certainly a sight to behold in the fall. The crisp weather, vibrant blue skies, autumn leaves, and harvest decorations make walking through the town feel as if you’ve stepped inside an autumn-themed Hallmark movie.

Take a drive down the country roads outside Franklin and the red, orange, and gold-hued hills of Williamson County will leave you absolutely speechless. 

Lucky for us, there are plenty of fall-themed activities in and around Franklin over the next few months. Here are a few of our favorites. 


Did you know Middle Tennessee’s largest family fall festival takes place in downtown Franklin? More than 112,000 people attended last year! This year, the 38th annual Pumpkinfest will take place on Saturday, October 28th.

On that day, tens of thousands of people will flock to Main Street to enjoy seasonally inspired food and drinks, arts and crafts, and entertainment. This is one bustling festival you don’t want to miss!

Gentry’s Farm

For many Franklin families, visiting Gentry’s Farm in the fall is a rite of passage. The seventh-generation farm just a few minutes from downtown opens to the public every weekend in October. It offers hayrides, pumpkin picking, a cornfield maze, and lots of outdoor activities for kids.

The Natchez Trace Parkway

When Middle Tennesseans want to see fall color, they head straight for the Natchez Trace Parkway. This 444-mile, federally protected road runs from Nashville to Natchez, Mississippi, and one of its most beautiful stretches cuts right through Williamson County.

Hop on in Franklin at the award-winning Double Arch Bridge at milepost 438 for breathtaking views of Tennessee hardwoods, and continue down the roadway for a few minutes or a few hours — There’s plenty to see and do along the way.

Leiper’s Fork

Just a few minutes’ drive from Franklin, you’ll find Leiper’s Fork, a pint-sized historic village brimming with Southern charm– and fall is one of my favorite times for a visit!

This is one town where you literally can’t go wrong, no matter which of its businesses you decide to check out. Every one of its handful of restaurants is delicious, and every shop is exquisitely curated. Leiper’s Fork is an unforgettable way to spend an autumn afternoon.

Morning Glory Orchard

‘Tis the apple season at Nolensville’s popular Morning Glory Orchard and the grounds are open for self-guided walking tours October 17th through the 28th, Tuesdays through Fridays from 9am to 2pm. Self guided tours are $5 per person and visitors are welcome to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the beautiful apple and peach orchards, then head to to the retail store to purchase orchard-fresh apples, cider slushies, pumpkins, mums, fresh baked goods, local honey and jams, and other seasonal products.

Morning Glory Orchard is also offering special reservation-only events throughout the fall, including painting workshops, food and drink tastings, catered picnics with all the fixings, and more. Check their website’s events page for details.

Wine Down Main Street

Adults will want to mark their calendars for the 20th annual Wine Down Main Street Saturday, November 4th from 7-10 p.m. It’s one of Franklin’s most popular yearly events.

Buy your tickets online and head to Main Street to taste wines, shop, sample food from local restaurants, and enjoy live music. And if you truly want a big night out, opt for the VIP experience — You’ll be treated to a private food and wine-tasting event in the Franklin Theatre. Proceeds from all tickets benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee. 

Scenic Drives

I’ve traveled far and wide and can tell you with confidence that Williamson County has some of the most beautiful scenic backroads in America — and the best time to enjoy them is in the fall.

From century-old barns to covered bridges to stone walls built during the Civil War era, there’s so much to see on Franklin’s country roads. Check out a list of all my favorite scenic drives here — Several of these are local favorites, and you won’t find them listed anywhere else!

Steaming Fall Beverages

Nothing says autumn like a seasonal coffee drink, and Franklin has some of the best cafes in the state where you can enjoy them.

Sit back and savor a Sweater Weather Latte on the front porch swing at the Coffee House at Second and Bridge in downtown Franklin, or boost your work productivity with a cinnamon-spiced Roosevelt Latte at The Factory’s Honest Coffee Roasters. No matter where you go in Franklin, you’ll find a coffeehouse nearby ready to serve up your favorite hot fall beverage.

Oktoberfest at Mill Creek Brewing Company

Head to Nolensville’s Mill Creek Brewing Company on Saturday, September 23rd, for its annual Oktoberfest celebration, featuring live music from Beacon Vocals and The Nashville Polka Guys.

This is a family-friendly event – it includes a bounce house – so feel free to bring the whole crew out for some German-inspired October food, drinks, music, and fun.

Franklin Farmers Market

For all your harvest-inspired recipes, head to Franklin Farmers Market at the Factory on any autumn Saturday for local produce, baked goods, food trucks, and arts and crafts.

This year-round market always has lots of fabulous Tennessee products to choose from, and we visit often. You’ll find it outside The Factory on Saturdays, rain or shine.

Franklin Digital Passports

One cool way to see Franklin in all its fall glory is with a free digital passport. Choose from one of eight self-guided passport tours (Haunts & Headstones is a good one for October!), sign up to access it on your phone, and enjoy exploring.

Once you’ve finished the tour, you can pick up a prize for completion at the visitor center in downtown Franklin.

Timberland Park

Enjoy the changing leaves on a walk in rustic Timberland Park, located just off the Natchez Trace Parkway in Franklin. All the hikes here are lovely, but I especially recommend the 2.5 mile Big East Fork Reserve loop trail, which includes a hilly forest, a beautiful meadow, a large pond, and other surprises.

Be sure to pick up a map at the Visitor Center before you set off on the trails to avoid getting turned around.

Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary

This gorgeous 300-acre nature sanctuary offers lots of family-friendly events in the fall. From Owl Prowls and guided fall color hikes to fall plant sales and poetry workshops, there are plenty of fun things to choose from over the next few months at Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary.

Once you visit, you will definitely be planning a return trip!

Lucky Ladd Farms

Families won’t want to miss the Fall Family Pumpkin Festival at Lucky Ladd Farms on October 19th!

Lucky Ladd offers more than 50 attractions, including a pumpkin patch, a corn maze, a petting zoo, pony rides, and much more. It was voted Middle Tennessee’s Best Farm in 2022 by readers of Parent Magazine and named the #1 Pumpkin Patch in the state by Travel Channel. Don’t leave without picking up some goodies from the farm market, which offers fresh kettle corn and delicious caramel apples.

Looking for more? Check out the Fall 2023 Guide here for trip itinerary ideas, more fall activities, and more!