This gem of a town in Tennessee is a charming day trip or weekend getaway from Nashville. Stroll along Main Street where live music pours from the open doors of soulful southern restaurants and explore verdant countryside dotted with horse farms and antebellum manses. This small town may be brimming with civil war history, but with current, hip vibes, Franklin is far from outdated.
eat and drink
55 South- Some of the south's best seafood is transported along highway 55, where this spirited bar/restaurant gets its name. The bar may get a little noisy, it's worth it for the Cajun-style red beans and rice. https://www.eat55.com/
Gray's on Main- A charming downtown pharmacy turned restaurant that's worth a visit for the decor alone. Enjoy updated southern classics in a lovely setting featuring hardwood floors, vintage metal ceiling tiles, and a funky gallery wall. Be sure to check out their solid music lineup on Saturdays. http://www.graysonmain.com/
Ellie's Old Fashioned Donuts- Don't let the long line deter you from visiting this delicious donut stand at the Franklin Farmers Market. The line moves quickly and once you get to the front, be sure to order a classic cinnamon sugar as well as their seasonal donut. Note: Ellie's is cash-only, but if you forget, they graciously give you your donuts then direct you to the ATM. https://www.facebook.com/ElliesDoughnuts/
Saffire- Check out this swanky restaurant located in the ever-so-posh Factory in Franklin. The menu features southern classics infused with international tastes. Be sure to order something from the bar- the wine list is excellent, cocktails are topnotch, and the taps run Tennessee's best local brews. https://saffirerestaurant.com/
Leiper's Fork Whiskey Distillery- For a totally immersive experience, head over to the small village of Leiper's Fork to try their small-batch Tennessee whiskey. They'll even mix you a cocktail before giving you a tour of the premises. http://leipersforkdistillery.com/
see and do
Franklin Farmers Market- This bustling market is a favorite activity in Franklin each Saturday between 8:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Wander around colorful stands, featuring local produce, artisanal goods, and crafts (both cute and kitschy). Before you go pick up a handheld at one of the several delicious food trucks and enjoy some live music. http://franklinfarmersmarket.com/
Carnton Plantation- This plantation home is now a beautiful setting for weddings and special events, but it has a chilling past. Once used as a Confederate hospital during the Battle of Franklin, the home held thousands of dying or dead soldiers who were later buried in the cemetery on the grounds. Be prepared for an impactful history lesson during this visit. https://boft.org/carnton/
Explore Main Street- It wouldn't be a true visit without a traipse down Main Street in this charming old town. Stop into Gray's for lunch and explore some of the shops and boutiques.
The Legendary Kimbros Pickin' Parlor- This fantastic bar and music venue is tucked away in a residential area of Franklin. Walk in, order a beer, and take a seat with the regulars to listen to whatever up-and-coming artist is in that night. Simple and no frills, this place is a must. https://www.facebook.com/thelegendarykimbros/
Excursion to Leiper's Fork- Hop in a car and head 15 minutes out of town to the tiny, quirky village of Leiper's Fork. Essentially a crossroads between Franklin and Nashville, the village is a picker's dream with several antique shops and art studios. If you're hungry, stop into The Country Boy or the original Puckett's Grocery for some greasy soul food, plain and simple .