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27+ Fun Things to Do in Franklin, Tennessee

best-things-fun-franklin-tennessee

Why not explore great historical landmarks, beautiful scenery, and mesmerizing cultural sites in like Franklin, Tennessee?

Franklin is one of the biggest cities in Tennessee. A well-known place for its lively music, fascinating history, and historic Main Street, there are hidden treasures in Franklin awaiting to discover.

In this blog, we’ll show you some top things that you can do and you can visit during your travel to Franklin.

There are breathtaking places and activities to take a look into. Let’s hit the road!

1. Walking Around Downtown Franklin

downtown-franklin-TN
Franklin-TN Downtown Franklin © visitfranklin.com

Downtown Franklin is one of the places you don’t have to forget to visit. It is situated in a 16-block district with lots of antique shops, art museums, fashion boutiques, historic homes, music venues, and award-winning restaurants.

Downtown Franklin Association, a non-profit organization, manages the preservation and promotion of attractions like the Carnton Plantation, the Carter House, the Lotz House, the McConnel House, and the Franklin Theater.

2. Take in the small town charm on the Historic Main Street in Franklin, TN

Franklin-TN Main Street

Don’t miss the chance to visit the historic Main Street. Main Street is Franklin’s top favorite attraction and a Great American heritage site. It is registered in the National Register of Historic Places.

Located just 17 miles from Nashville, Franklin nestled in Downtown Franklin is a beautiful getaway for locals and tourists alike.

A sophisticated site with lots of activities to discover. Main Street is truly a gem that runs a 16-block district of historic places.

Franklin-TN Downtown Franklin Fest © visitfranklin.com

Main Street Fest is one of the perfect reasons to visit Franklin. Every April of each year, the downtown district showcases the works of more than 150 merchants, artisans, and craftspeople. Shop affordable and extraordinary finds in various stalls.

In partnership with the corporate sector, this spring event also features live entertainment and music, food, a kid zone, a pet zone, and even a free movie at the Franklin Theater.

3. See Movies and Concerts at Franklin Theater

Catch a show at the Franklin Theatre

As a treasured tourist attraction, Franklin Theater is one of the oldest structures in historic downtown Franklin. The theater was constructed in the 1930s

Franklin Theater rolled a hundred movies on Main Street for almost 70 years. Franklin Theater is re-built with an estimated US$8 million investment in a much fantastic shape than before.

With a seating capacity of 600 seats downstairs and 130 seats in the balcony, it continuously shows movies.

Currently, the theater is a multipurpose venue for music, theater acts, live performances and bands, community events, family events, and concerts aside from showing movies.

4. Historical Tour at Carnton

Franklin-TN Carnton Plantation and Carnton House © visitfranklin.com

Carnton Plantation is one of the important historical landmarks in American history where American Civil War took place in 1860s.

The site nearly situated when the Battle of Franklin broke out. Around 10, 000 men died in a fight between Union soldiers and Confederate soldiers.

Carnton Plantation became the largest field hospital for the Confederate armies in the ground. The plot owners eventually donated part of the plantation and buried nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers.

It’s just a mile away from another famous landmark, the Carnton House where some of war memorabilia are preserved.

5. Civil War Tour at Lotz House Museum

Franklin-TN Lotz House Museum © visitfranklin.com

This museum showcases different hand carved skills of the house owner, Johann Albert Lotz, dated back in 1856.

In November 30, 1864, the house was caught in the middle of the American Civil War in Southern region particularly Franklin.

The Lotz House Museum features the “Bloodiest Five Hours” depicting disruption of lives and homes during the Battle of Franklin.

6. Wine and Dine at Grays in Main

Gray’s on a Main is a must when visiting Franklin, TN

At the heart of Main lies one of the top-rated restaurants in Franklin, the Grays. Grays on Main is a relic of the past that embraces the future.

The place is originally by the T.K. Fleming Company and built in 1876. With the iconic Gray’s neon sign, new owners restored and maintained its design.

Today, the historic drugstore building transformed into a music venue and restaurant where locals and tourists can meet. Grays memorabilia keeps the building’s character.

The restaurant serves America’s favorites like burgers, salads, sandwiches, shrimp, chickens, etc. Grays is also a vegetarian-friendly bar. They offer vegetarian and gluten-free options.

After. a delicious meal at Gray’s head upstairs for live music

The whiskeys and craft beers are also unique that you can keep coming back. Grays have kid-friendly meals, too.

Added to delicious food is music. Talented performers serenade guests with the vibrant tunes from country to rock and pop. From a couple date to a family eat-outs, Grays is the best place for you to enjoy food and music.

7. A Luxurious Stay at The Harpeth Hotel

Franklin-TN The Harpeth Hotel © visitfranklin.com

If you want to stay at Franklin for a quick weekend getaway, reserve a room at The Harpeth Hotel.

The Harpeth Hotel, a Curio by Hilton property, is Franklin’s first boutique luxury hotel that offers premium accommodations at the heart of downtown Franklin.

The hotel has stylish interiors and modest aesthetic of 119-room property.

Guests can enjoy the finest restaurants and cafes like 1799 Kitchen and Cocktails and McGavock’s Coffee Bar and Provisions.

The 1799 Kitchen and Cocktails is a prestigious chef-operated restaurant that features Franklin’s finest wines and whiskeys.

Visitors can also grab coffee or lunch at McGavock’s Coffee Bar and Provisions, an Instagram-able European-designed street café.

Located between Second Avenue and the Harpeth River, Harpeth Hotel is just walking distance from the famous Main Street. Feel the vibe of Main’s attractions, shops, antique houses, cafes, and restaurants goes with the tour.

After a hectic tour adventure around and about Franklin, TN, have some coffee, dine, and rest at Harpeth Hotel’s stylish suites. Treat your loved one or your family with sumptuous meals and premium accommodation.

8. Grab coffee and brunch at Frothy Monkey in Franklin, TN

One of the neat things about this small town is that so many fun things to do are in walking distance! Just a short walk from the Harpeth Hotel and we were at Frothy Monkey. Yes, the name sounds funny but they have some of the best coffee us coffee fiends have ever had. While their regular cup of joe is fantastic, you should also try the honey latte with rosemary. Of course brunch is fabulous too. We loved the chroizo biscuits.

9. Picnic at secret location at Natchez Bridge in Franklin

Stop for a picnic at the Natchez Bridge. in Franklin, TN

Most park at the entrance to the Natchez Bridge coming from town. They stop at the bottom and take a pictures at the sign. Then they traverse the bridge, but once you get the end of the bridge, there’s a small lot where you can park and take advantage of a great view of the bridge. There’s also a fantastic little spot for a picnic.

10. Get a Meal at Connors Steak and Seafood

Franklin-TN Connors Steak and Seafood © visitfranklin.com

After being busy touring Franklin, feed your hunger at Connors Steak and Seafoods that offers fresh seafoods and premium aged steaks.

Awarded with three-diamond rating from AAA, their menus include prime steaks and cuts from lunch to dinner together with shrimps and grits, crab cakes, pasta, sandwiches, and burgers.

Wide variety of wines and cocktails are also served and have been recognized by publications like Wine Spectator.

11. Touring Around by Franklin on Foot (Walking Tours)

Franklin-TN Franklin on Foot Walking Tour © visitfranklin.com

If you’re still confused where to start or where your next destination is, tour around with an expert local tour guide from Franklin on Foot. They can assist you and walk you around Franklin popular tourist destinations.

12. Visit a friendly alpaca in Mistletoe Farm Alpacas

Franklin-TN Mistletoe Farm Alpacas © visitfranklin.com

Meet and greet your gentle friend, an alpaca, on the Mistletoe Farm Alpacas. The alpacas farm owner welcomes guests to show the farm around. You can even buy crafts and learn weaving.

Grab some craft from the farm shop made from alpaca fiber and learn to spin, weave, and felt on their weaving classes.

13. Buy Fresh Produce at Franklin Farmers Market

Franklin-TN Franklin Farmers Market © visitfranklin.com

The Franklin Farmers Market keeps its mission to conserve Franklin’s fertile farmlands by establishing a place where farmers sell their fresh produce.

These products include fresh milk, vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs, baked goodies, pottery, jewelry, and handcrafted woodwork and furniture, etc.

Now, Franklin Farmers Market has more than 80 farmers from all over Franklin.

14. Battle in Franklin Tour at Carter House

Franklin-TN Carter House © visitfranklin.com

Fountain Branch Carter moved and built a brick house in Franklin. Carter and his family went into farming with 288 acres of land.  

A quiet family’s lives were disrupted when their home became the center of the Civil War. The family left no other choice but waited the war to end.

In 1951, the State of Tennessee bough the house and resulted to a living proof that happened during the Battle in Franklin.

15. Enjoy Music, Art Galleries, and Shops in Leiper’s Fork

Check out Fox and Locke for bbq and live music in Leiper’s Fork

Leiper’s Fork is a great escape from city life. Located at Franklin, Williamson County, Leiper’s Fork is one of the best places to experience culture, music, and southern vibe.

It’s a rural village with great shops and restaurants, some of the notable establishments in Franklin placed in Leiper’s Fork are the following 9 more things for fun in the Franklin area.

  • Fox and Locke
  • 1892 Leiper’s Fork
  • Country Boy
  • Leiper’s Fork Market
  • Prop’s Antique
  • David Arms Gallery
  • The Spa at Leiper’s Fork
  • Pot N Kettle Cottages
  • Creekside Cabin Inn

16. Sightseeing at Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

Franklin-TN Double Arched Bridge in Franklin

Situated at the Natchez Trace Parkway, one of the National Parks in United States, the double-arched bridge is one of the park’s highlights. The bridge connects from Franklin, Williamson County and Nashville, down to Natchez, Mississippi.

Also, take advantage of visiting Natchez Trace Parkway. One of the biggest parks in Franklin, a 444-mile byway and park leads to three states like Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.

17. Dine Luxuriously at McConnell House

Franklin-TN McConnell House © visitfranklin.com

McConnell House is a prestigious events place at the heart of downtown Franklin. A boutique dining place, it is an old jail made of brick built early 1920s.

The house is carefully restored to be a 6,000 square feet events venue for weddings, family events, birthdays, corporate events, exclusive dinner, and other private occasions.

18. Art Gallery Tour at Gallery 202 in Clouston Hall

Franklin-TN Gallery 202 in Clouston Hall © visitfranklin.com

Gallery 202 is an art gallery located near downtown Franklin. Built in 1821, the house was a town home for Clouston family. It turned into a field hospital during the Civil war for Missouri Regiment.

Today, it houses several antiquities like antique wood carves, art collections, jewelries, glassware, and pottery.

19. Explore Timberland Park

Franklin-TN Timberland Park © Timberland Facebook Page

Timberland Park is a 72 acres plot of land located in Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 437.2. It’s less than a mile away from Tennessee Highway 96 (Double Arch Bridge) from the parkway entrance.

The park features the 2000 sq ft park center. Park visitors can enjoy hiking, bird watching, and wildlife conservation center’s animals like deer, raccoon, fox, wild turkey, and squirrel.

20. Shop Till You Drop at The Factory in Franklin

Franklin-TN The Factory in Franklin © visitfranklin.com

Initially constructed in 1929, The Factory housed various well-known companies like Dortch Stove Works, Magic Chef, and Jamison Bedding Company.

The site is masterfully renovated that it preserves the original architectural and structural details up to date.

The Factory is now a mix of music studios, shopping, dining, art galleries, meeting venues, live theaters, and offices.

21. Picnic Experience at Arrington Vineyards

Franklin-TN Arrington Vineyard © arringtonvineyard.com

A magnificent vineyard might make you come back to Franklin more.

Arrington Vineyard is perfect for a picnic experience. The vineyard tour packages include picnic in the grounds, wine tasting, and music. Yes, music and you heard it right.

Food Truck Fridays and “Music in the Vines” (live music on the weekends) make the tour memorable and sweet. Arrington Vineyard have slowly turned into one of Southeastern top attractions.

You are allowed to bring blankets, camping tables and chairs, tents, even camping tents to enjoy the beauty of 95 acres wide vineyard.

22. Ride on a Middle Tennessee Hot Air Balloon Adventure

Franklin-TN Middle Franklin Hot Air Balloon Adventure © visitfranklin.com

If you want to see the whole Tennessee up above, try riding a hot air balloon.

Stationed in Williamson County outside of Nashville, a family-run ballooning company prides itself the views of hidden gems in Franklin like beautiful lakes, mesmerizing wildlife, and rolling hills of Middle Tennessee.

23. Climb Higher at Soar Adventure Tower

Franklin-TN Soar Adventure Tower © visitfranklin.com

The tower is a four-level adventure structure with over 100 climbing platforms. Soar Adventure Tower is a perfect place for kids and kids at heart.

Levels 1 to 3 are best for children. But Level 4 has some challenging climbs that makes your heart pound more.

24. Site Tour in Noble Spring Dairy

Franklin-TN Noble Spring Dairy © visitfranklin.com

Noble Spring Dairy sits in the rolling hills just 6 miles outskirt of downtown Franklin. It’s a registered dairy and goat farming company.

Experience the information and educational tour along with goat-cheese making and cuddling a fluffy baby goat.

The broad farm includes numerous valleys and natural springs, and protected by a conservation easement through The Land Trust for Tennessee, classified as always be farmland.

The farm produces many goat products available at farm shop, and some stores in Franklin and Nashville areas. They produce goat cheese, goat milk, goat milk yogurt, and goat milk soap.

25. Gallery Tour in David Arms Gallery

Franklin-TN David Arms Gallery © davidarms.com

Owned by David Arms, the gallery is nestled in Leiper’s Fork. It is tucked inside a historic barn with rich exciting old-time stories for guests.

Dedicated his life to art and painting, the gallery has numerous still-life paintings from birds and flowers to landscapes made by David Arms himself.

26. Strolling in Parks of Franklin

Franklin-TN Fort Granger © visitfranklin.com

Franklin is blessed with charming public parks and rolling hills, Fort Granger is one of the popular parks ready to be discovered.

Fort Granger Park is 14.5 acres of land with tranquil walking trail overlooking the south of Tennessee.

You can also visit The Park at Harlinsdale Farm, the largest park in Franklin. Other parks that you can visit in Franklin are Cotton Gin Historic Park, Aspen Grove, Liberty Park, Winstead Hill and others.

27. Shop Vintage Finds in the Franklin Antique Mall

Franklin-TN The Franklin Antique Mall © thefranklinantiquemall.com

There are many vintage shops in Franklin, but the one of the famous of is Franklin Antique Mall.

Situated in downtown Franklin, The Franklin Antique Mall features more than 60 antique dealers that offers old treasures, unique accessories and jewelries, exquisite home decors, furniture, and nostalgic memorabilia and collectibles.

Franklin, TN has more attractions and activities to offer

Franklin-TN Historic Downtown Franklin © visitfranklin.com

With these activities and places, a day is not enough to enjoy your stay. There is so much to do and see in Franklin, Tennessee.

You can dine in upscale spots or keep it casual in Franklin’s stylish restaurants. You can also shop with different specialty stores.

You can tour around top attractions within or on the outskirts downtown. You can experience the warmth of Southern hospitality like no other in Franklin TN.

About the author

Malika Bowling

Malika is the author of several books including Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More! and the founder of Roamilicious. She is also a Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultant. Follow us @Roamilicious on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for the content not shared on the blog. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter (subscribe box below) and never miss a contest, giveaway or the latest must visit restaurant!