What’s New in Franklin This Spring
Whether you have been to Franklin dozens of times and have a list of favorite spots at the ready, or you are planning a first visit to the home of America’s Favorite Main Street, you’ll find a fresh set of reasons and new hot spots to explore! Franklin has stared on recent lists like Big 7 Travel’s “Most Charming Small Towns Across America,” and Forbes’ “Best Spring Break Vacations for Adventure Seeking Travelers.” There are a number of places that have recently opened – or are set to open this spring – that highlight exactly why Franklin continues to get so much love. Here’s a guide to help you eat, explore, learn, and relax this Spring in Franklin!
Eat & Drink
Beer lovers unite as not one, but two new taphouses opened along Franklin’s iconic Main Street in February. Americana Taphouse is the newest concept from A. Marshall Hospitality – the same minds behind Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant – has dozens of local beers on tap at all times, plus a robust selection of unique takes on traditional Southern food favorites. Hello Hot Chicken PBLT – pimento cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato – sandwich! And be sure to save dessert for their take on Chattanooga Tennessee’s famed Moon Pie!
If you are all about the beer, Hop House Tennessee Taps, just off historic Main Street, tops your must-visit list. This haven for beer is tucked into a tight space but filled with character and over 30 beers on tap from Tennessee breweries alone. That’s on top of taps dedicated to breweries of neighboring states and a menu for the health-conscious that features no fried food. Settle in for a night of fun, as this has quickly become one of downtown Franklin’s top spots for a nightcap too – they are open until midnight.
Two other spots to satisfy your thirst in Nolensville. Mill Creek Brewing Co. has debuted a new line of IPAs in their taproom – Daze Craze – that come in three different varieties. They have also included a full new menu from the taproom kitchen! Nearby, whiskey lovers can dive into a glass of that brown water from Wheeler’s Raid Distillery. They have five varieties of whiskey and rye to try, but you’ll want to plan your visit around a Friday or Saturday night when their tasting room transforms into a live music venue.
Those whiskey lovers looking for a fine dining experience can head to the new 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails in downtown Franklin. With a dining room that gives a heavy nod to the whiskey that Tennessee is known for, you may find yourself in the center of a dining room encapsulated by white oak staves – giving it the feel of dining inside a whiskey barrel. Chef Cassie Upshaw fills each plate with a memorable creation, while the handcrafted cocktails feature spirits from around the world – including the finest Tennessee whiskey and bourbons.
Everyone with a sweet tooth in the morning (or afternoon, we don’t judge) has two new locations to find incredible donuts. Tiny Little Donuts, who’ve been known for slinging tasty treats from inside a classic Airstream has opened a second location in Franklin, while newcomer Peace Love & Little Donuts will set up shop inside the Hill Center in Brentwood this Spring.
Four new hotels – totaling 450 rooms – have opened in Franklin since September, including the first hotel along Franklin’s famed Main Street in decades. The Harpeth Hotel, a Curio Collection by Hilton, and its 119 rooms now provide visitors to America’s Favorite Main Street the option of parking their cars and spending days exploring the charming downtown. The hotel itself is nestled on the banks of its namesake, the Harpeth River, and has used to look, feel, and design to connect itself with Franklin’s robust history.
You can find a book for the weekend in the on-site library which is curated by the charming owners of Landmark Booksellers, or never leave your room and relax by letting the lavish hospitality services offered by the hotel spoil you! When you get hungry, you have incredible onsite options with 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails or McGavock’s Coffee & Provisions for a quick pick-me-up.
See & Do
The Factory at Franklin continues to expand with new shops and offerings. A whole new space with shops full of must-have staples from across the Southeast like Fork of the South General Store, numerous fashion boutiques, and even a new Urban Thrifter which is a self-proclaimed side hustle from nationally renowned designer Kim Leggett of City Farmhouse.
Historic Civil War sites Carnton & Carter House have added additional tours that dive even deeper into the many angles of the Battle of Franklin story, and the people who were here in Franklin both during and long after the fateful November night in 1864. The newest specialty tours include a 90-minute tour focused on slavery as an institution and the specific people who were enslaved at both Carnton & Carter House, while the other new tour takes a 90-minute deep dive into politics and the road to the Civil War with a focus on slavery playing a central role during the expansion of the United States. The new tours are in addition to the current hour-long tours of each historic home and the extended battlefield tours at which take guests on a 90-minute tour of the battlefield area.
Those looking to escape reality a bit can find that inside The Rabbit Hole VR, which at more than 6,000 square feet is the Southeast’s largest virtual reality gaming arcade. With dozens of different arcade games – and escape games – you can play solo or as a group and challenge yourself with some of your favorite games. If casually touring the world is more your speed, you can also slip on the VR goggles and instantly find yourself walking among the penguins in Antarctica, or exploring a city halfway across the globe.