Whether you’re looking for an unforgettable day trip, a romantic weekend away, or a few scenic Southern days to add to your upcoming Nashville vacation, Franklin is the ideal place to do it.
Here, you’ll find beautiful scenic drives, delicious restaurants, delightful shops and boutiques, historic sites, live music, distilleries, hiking trails, and much more. Here are some of our favorite Williamson County road trip destinations:
Take the gorgeous, federally protected Natchez Trace Parkway to Leiper’s Fork; it’s truly one of the best road trip destinations you’ll find in all of Tennessee. This pint-sized historic village is rich in Southern charm and boasts a unique selection of shops, art galleries, and restaurants.
A couple of my favorite spots include Leiper’s Fork Distillery, Serenité Maison, David Arms Gallery, and Fox & Locke (formerly Puckett’s of Leiper’s Fork), but it’s hard to pick favorites because every shop and eatery here exudes the town’s welcoming, make-yourself-at-home spirit.
Franklin, Tennessee is widely recognized as one of the nation’s best small towns and now with the opening of the luxurious Harpeth Hotel, you can enjoy the majority of the town’s attractions on foot! It’s a quick walk to Main Street, where a wide array of boutiques, restaurants, and gift shops will keep you busy browsing all day long.
Learn about the town’s fascinating history on a tour with Franklin on Foot. Head to Carnton and discover how families survived the Battle of Franklin. Enjoy a decadent dinner at Culaccino downtown, where the chewy pizza crust undergoes a 72-hour fermentation process.
And if you’re in town on a Saturday, it’s worth your while to stop by the year-round Franklin Farmer’s Market at The Factory, which offers local produce, food trucks, baked goods, and local arts and crafts. You could easily turn your day in Franklin into a weekend — There’s so much to do here!
A short drive from Franklin and Nashville, historic downtown Nolensville is a fantastic day trip destination. Favorite shops here include The Painted Dragonfly (filled with delightfully curated gifts and home goods) and the Nolensville Toy Shop, both located in beautiful historic homes on Nolensville’s main drag.
Head inside the trendy Nellamoon boutique and you’ll feel as if you’re in an Instagram post; not surprisingly, a stylish Instagram influencer is its owner. Browse unique Amish-made foods and housewares at the Nolensville Feed Mill. Enjoy tours and tastings at Mill Creek Brewing Co. and Wheeler’s Raid Distillery.
Stop by the Southern Hospitality Diner for a classic meat-and-three dining experience and follow up your meal with coffee and donuts at Itty Bitty Donuts. A day spent here pretty much guarantees you’ll be back again sooner rather than later.
Spring Hill/Thompson’s Station
Want to experience the area like a true local? We love making the scenic drive to Preservation Park in Thompson’s Station. It’s a quick and beautiful 20 minutes from Franklin and home to one of my favorite little-known hikes in Middle Tennessee.
Once part of the Civil War’s Battle of Thompson’s Station, the grounds here now offer spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and a trail just about anyone can walk with ease. Follow up your hike with a meal in nearby Spring Hill. Our favorite places to eat here include Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes & Fries and Nelly’s Italian Café. Both options are fast-casual and absolutely delicious.