Welcome to Franklin, Tennessee – a charming and vibrant city that has quickly become a favorite destination for visitors. Nestled in Williamson County, just south of Nashville, Franklin offers a unique blend of history, culture, and Southern hospitality. With its picturesque Main Street, historic landmarks, top-notch dining options, and a myriad of outdoor activities, Franklin offers something for everyone.
Steeped in history, Franklin boasts a rich and colorful past. The city played a significant role in both the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement, and its historic downtown area is a testament to that heritage. The beautifully preserved buildings, brick sidewalks, and charming storefronts create a perfect backdrop for strolling and immersing yourself in the history of the city.
While Franklin embraces its history, it also embraces modernity. The city has experienced a boom in recent years, attracting visitors and new residents with its vibrant arts scene, excellent shopping options, and a lively atmosphere. Whether you’re interested in exploring the local craft breweries, browsing the art galleries, or discovering unique boutique shops, Franklin has it all.
History of Franklin, TN
Franklin, Tennessee has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. Named after Benjamin Franklin, this charming city played a significant role in the Civil War and is known for its historic significance in the American South.
Originally inhabited by Native American tribes, the area now known as Franklin was settled by European pioneers in the late 1700s. The city became a thriving agricultural and trade center, with the arrival of the railroad in the 1830s further driving its growth and prosperity.
However, it was during the Civil War that Franklin gained national attention. On November 30, 1864, the Battle of Franklin took place, leaving a lasting impact on the city. The battle was a crucial point in the war, with Confederate forces attempting to halt Union General John Schofield’s advance. The battle resulted in a Union victory but came at a heavy cost, with thousands of casualties on both sides.
Today, visitors can explore Franklin’s rich history by visiting its many historic sites and landmarks. One of the most well-known is the Carter House, which served as a field hospital during the Battle of Franklin. The Carnton Plantation is another must-visit, offering a glimpse into the lives of the residents before, during, and after the battle.
In addition to its role in the Civil War, Franklin also played a significant part in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1947, Franklin High School became the first public high school in Tennessee to be integrated, marking a milestone in the fight for equality.
Today, Franklin continues to preserve its history while embracing growth and development. The city’s historic downtown area is a testament to its past, with beautifully restored buildings, charming shops, and a vibrant atmosphere. Visitors can also enjoy historical walking tours, uncovering the stories and landmarks that make Franklin such a unique destination.
Attractions in Franklin
Franklin, Tennessee offers a wide range of attractions that cater to all interests. From historic landmarks to cultural experiences, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this charming city.
The historic downtown area of Franklin is a major draw for visitors. With its beautifully preserved buildings, brick sidewalks, and charming boutiques, it’s a delight to stroll along Main Street and take in the sights. The Downtown Franklin Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers a glimpse into the city’s past.
For history enthusiasts, Franklin is home to several captivating museums. The Lotz House Museum provides a fascinating look at the Battle of Franklin and the impact it had on the residents of the city. The Franklin Theatre, a beloved landmark, offers a unique blend of history and entertainment, showcasing live performances and classic films.
Nature lovers will find plenty to explore in and around Franklin. The Natchez Trace Parkway, a scenic road that stretches for miles, offers breathtaking views and opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and picnicking. The nearby Harpeth River State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and hiking.
Art and culture thrive in Franklin as well. The Leiper’s Fork Arts District is home to numerous art galleries and boutiques, showcasing the talent of local artists. The Franklin Art Scene, held on the first Friday of each month, allows visitors to explore the vibrant art scene and meet the artists behind the works.
Families visiting Franklin will not be disappointed. The Franklin Recreation Complex offers a variety of activities, including sports fields, playgrounds, and walking trails. The SOAR Adventure Tower provides a thrilling experience with its ropes courses and zip lines, perfect for adventure seekers of all ages.
With its rich history, natural beauty, and vibrant arts scene, Franklin, Tennessee truly offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in exploring the past, enjoying outdoor activities, or immersing yourself in the local art and culture, Franklin is a destination that will leave you captivated and longing to return.
Dining Options in Franklin
Franklin, Tennessee is a culinary hotspot with a diverse range of dining options to satisfy any palate. From traditional Southern cuisine to international flavors, the city offers a vibrant food scene that will delight food lovers.
For those craving authentic Southern fare, Franklin has numerous options. The Loveless Cafe is a must-visit, famous for its mouthwatering biscuits, fried chicken, and country ham. Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant is another Southern favorite, serving up delicious barbecue, fried catfish, and homemade desserts.
If you’re in the mood for international cuisine, Franklin has you covered. For Mexican flavors, try Tito’s Mexican Restaurant or Pueblo Real Mexican Restaurant. If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, Mangia Nashville is a popular choice, offering classic dishes like pasta, pizza, and tiramisu.
Franklin is also known for its farm-to-table restaurants, where fresh, locally sourced ingredients take center stage. The Red Pony Restaurant is a prime example, offering creative dishes that showcase the flavors of the region. 55 South prides itself on its Southern-inspired menu, featuring dishes like shrimp and grits and crawfish etouffee.
Beyond traditional dining experiences, Franklin is also home to a vibrant food truck scene. The Franklin Food Truck Festival, held annually, brings together a wide variety of food trucks offering everything from gourmet burgers to artisanal ice cream.
For those seeking a sweet treat, Franklin has numerous options. The Kilwins Franklin is a popular spot for handmade chocolates and fudge, while Frothy Monkey serves up delicious pastries and specialty coffee. Don’t miss out on ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams or Hattie Jane’s Creamery, both known for their unique flavors and quality ingredients.
Whether you’re in the mood for comfort food, international flavors, or sweet delights, Franklin’s dining scene has something to satisfy every taste. With its wide range of options, you’ll be sure to find a memorable culinary experience in this food lover’s paradise.
Shopping in Franklin
Franklin, Tennessee is a shopper’s paradise, offering a diverse range of shopping experiences. From unique boutiques to upscale retail centers, the city has something to suit every style and preference.
The historic downtown area is a prime destination for shoppers. The charming Main Street is lined with a variety of shops, showcasing everything from antique treasures to trendy fashion boutiques. Here, you can explore local shops like Philanthropy, which offers a curated collection of clothing, accessories, and gifts, or Landmark Booksellers, a haven for book lovers.
Those looking for upscale shopping experiences will find their fix at The Mall at Green Hills. This premier shopping center boasts a wide range of high-end brands, including Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Gucci. The Mall at Green Hills also features an array of dining options, making it a one-stop destination for shopping and dining.
If you’re in search of unique finds and handmade items, Franklin’s artisans and craftsmen have got you covered. The Factory at Franklin is a repurposed factory that now houses eclectic shops and studios. Here, you can browse through local art, jewelry, home decor, and more. The Artisan Gourmet Market is a must-visit for food lovers, offering a selection of artisanal foods, wines, and spirits.
In addition to the downtown area and shopping centers, Franklin is also home to a variety of specialty stores. The Copper Penny is a boutique that offers a stylish selection of clothing, shoes, and accessories, while the Shoppes on Main is a collection of shops featuring handmade goods, vintage finds, and antiques.
For a unique shopping experience that combines history and retail therapy, don’t miss out on the Franklin Farmer’s Market. This seasonal market showcases local farmers, artisans, and craftsmen, offering a wide selection of fresh produce, handmade goods, and local delicacies.
Whether you’re looking for high-end fashion, one-of-a-kind treasures, or locally crafted goods, Franklin has it all. Take some time to explore the city’s shops and discover the perfect memento to remember your visit or find that special item you’ve been searching for.
Outdoor Activities in Franklin
Franklin, Tennessee is blessed with natural beauty and a wealth of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply looking to relax in the great outdoors, Franklin offers plenty of options to suit every interest.
One of the top outdoor attractions in Franklin is the Natchez Trace Parkway. This scenic road stretches for miles and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Take a leisurely drive along the parkway, stopping at overlooks and picnic spots along the way. If you’re up for some exercise, the parkway also features hiking trails that allow you to explore the beauty of the area on foot.
For those who enjoy water activities, the Harpeth River is a must-visit. Grab a kayak or canoe and paddle your way along the river, enjoying the peacefulness and serenity of the surrounding nature. Fishing enthusiasts will also find plenty of opportunities to cast their lines and try their luck at catching bass, catfish, and other local fish species.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, Franklin has you covered. The SOAR Adventure Tower is a thrilling outdoor attraction that features multiple levels of ropes courses, zip lines, and climbing walls. It’s a great place for both kids and adults to challenge themselves and have an unforgettable adventure.
For a more laid-back outdoor experience, Franklin boasts several parks and green spaces where you can relax and enjoy the fresh air. The Pinkerton Park offers walking trails, picnic areas, and a playground for families to enjoy. The Westhaven Lake is another popular spot, with a walking trail surrounding the lake that provides beautiful views and a peaceful atmosphere.
Golf enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise in Franklin, as the city is home to several premier golf courses. The Golf Club of Tennessee and the Westhaven Golf Club are just two examples of the exceptional courses available, providing a challenging game and stunning views of the Tennessee countryside.
Whether you prefer hiking, biking, fishing, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature, Franklin offers a wide range of outdoor activities to satisfy your adventurous spirit. Soak in the natural beauty, breathe in the fresh air, and create unforgettable memories as you explore the outdoor wonders of this charming city.
Events and Festivals in Franklin
Franklin, Tennessee is a city that knows how to celebrate, and throughout the year, it hosts a variety of events and festivals that showcase its vibrant culture, music, and community spirit. From live music concerts to food festivals, there’s always something exciting happening in Franklin.
One of the most anticipated events in Franklin is the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival. Held annually in September, this multi-genre music festival attracts renowned artists and draws music lovers from all over the country. In addition to the fantastic music lineup, the festival also includes local food vendors, craft beer, and artisanal goods.
For those interested in history and heritage, the Main Street Festival is a must-attend event. This two-day festival, held in April, celebrates Franklin’s rich culture and features live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, and a classic car show. It’s a wonderful opportunity to experience the charm of downtown Franklin while enjoying family-friendly activities.
The Franklin Rodeo is another highlight on the events calendar. This annual rodeo, held in May, brings together professional cowboys and cowgirls for a thrilling display of talent and skill. Attendees can witness traditional rodeo events such as bull riding, barrel racing, and roping, creating an action-packed experience for all ages.
Food lovers will rejoice at the Taste of Williamson event. This culinary extravaganza, held in March, features samples from the area’s top restaurants, wineries, and breweries. It’s a fantastic opportunity to savor a wide range of flavors and support local businesses.
As Christmas draws near, the Dickens of a Christmas festival transforms downtown Franklin into a winter wonderland. Inspired by Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” this annual event features costumed characters, horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, and festive decorations. It’s a delightful way to get into the holiday spirit and experience the magic of Christmastime in Franklin.
These are just a few examples of the many events and festivals that take place in Franklin throughout the year. From live music and cultural celebrations to food-focused events and holiday festivities, there’s always something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant and welcoming community.
Accommodation Options in Franklin
When it comes to accommodations, Franklin, Tennessee offers a diverse range of options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. From historic bed and breakfasts to modern hotels, there is something for everyone in this charming city.
For those seeking a unique and immersive experience, Franklin is home to several charming bed and breakfasts. These historic homes turned accommodations provide a cozy and intimate atmosphere, often with beautifully appointed rooms and personalized service. The Carnton Plantation and The Franklin House Bed and Breakfast are just two examples of these delightful options.
If you prefer the convenience and amenities of modern hotels, Franklin has plenty to offer. From well-known chains to boutique hotels, there is a wide selection to choose from. The Harpeth Hotel, located in downtown Franklin, offers luxury accommodations with a touch of Southern hospitality. The Hilton Franklin Cool Springs and the Residence Inn by Marriott Franklin Cool Springs are two other popular choices for those looking for a comfortable and convenient stay.
For a more budget-friendly option, Franklin has a range of motels and inns that offer comfortable and affordable accommodations. The Best Western Franklin Inn, the Baymont by Wyndham Franklin, and the Quality Inn & Suites Franklin are just a few examples of these options.
Another popular choice for travelers is vacation rentals. Franklin has a variety of vacation rental properties available, from cozy cottages to spacious homes. These rentals provide the comforts of home, allowing visitors to have a unique and personalized experience during their stay.
Regardless of the type of accommodation you choose, one thing is certain – you’ll be welcomed with warm Southern hospitality. Many of the accommodations in Franklin offer exceptional service and go above and beyond to ensure their guests have a memorable stay.
Whether you’re looking for a charming bed and breakfast, a modern hotel, a budget-friendly option, or a vacation rental, Franklin has a multitude of accommodation choices to suit every traveler’s taste and budget. Rest assured, you’ll find a comfortable and welcoming place to stay while enjoying all that this vibrant city has to offer.
Transportation in Franklin
Getting around Franklin, Tennessee is convenient and easy with a variety of transportation options available to visitors. Whether you’re exploring the city or venturing beyond its limits, there are several ways to navigate the area.
If you’re arriving by air, the closest major airport is the Nashville International Airport, located approximately 25 miles north of Franklin. From there, you can rent a car or take a taxi, ride-share service, or shuttle to reach your final destination in Franklin.
Once you’re in Franklin, having a car is the most convenient way to get around. The city has well-maintained roads and ample parking options, making it easy to navigate and explore. Car rentals are available at the airport and throughout the city, providing flexibility for travelers to explore at their own pace.
In addition to driving, Franklin offers public transportation options. The Franklin Transit Authority operates bus routes that connect various parts of the city, making it convenient for residents and visitors to travel without a car. The bus routes cover many popular destinations, including shopping centers, downtown Franklin, and major residential areas.
If you prefer to explore on foot, the historic downtown area of Franklin is pedestrian-friendly and easily walkable. Strolling along the charming streets allows you to take in the picturesque surroundings, browse through shops, and enjoy the local atmosphere. Many attractions, shops, and restaurants are within walking distance of each other, making it convenient to explore the city center.
For those who enjoy cycling, Franklin has a growing network of bike lanes and trails. Renting a bicycle is a great way to explore the city and its beautiful surroundings, including the Natchez Trace Parkway and Harpeth River State Park. Several bike rental shops can be found in Franklin, providing options for all ages and skill levels.
If you’re planning to venture outside of Franklin, there are also transportation options available. Ride-share services like Uber and Lyft operate in the area, providing convenient and reliable transportation to nearby destinations or back to the airport. Additionally, taxis are available for hire, providing another alternative for getting around.
With its well-connected road network, public transportation options, walkability, and bike-friendly environment, getting around Franklin is a breeze. Whether you choose to drive, take public transportation, walk, or cycle, you’ll find that navigating the city and exploring its surrounding areas is a seamless experience.
Franklin, Tennessee is a hidden gem that offers a rich blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, food lover, outdoor adventurer, or simply seeking a charming getaway, Franklin has something for everyone to enjoy.
With its historic downtown area, visitors can immerse themselves in the city’s past, strolling along Main Street and exploring the beautifully preserved buildings. The rich history is further showcased in museums and landmarks that tell the story of Franklin’s role in the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement.
The city also offers a vibrant arts scene, with art galleries, live performances, and cultural festivals that showcase the talents of the local community. The range of dining options is impressive, from traditional Southern cuisine to international flavors and farm-to-table experiences.
For those who love the outdoors, Franklin provides opportunities to explore the natural beauty of the area. From scenic drives along the Natchez Trace Parkway to kayaking on the Harpeth River, there are plenty of activities to enjoy in the fresh air.
Throughout the year, Franklin hosts a variety of events and festivals that celebrate music, food, history, and the community. These events bring people together and create a lively and welcoming atmosphere.
When it comes to accommodations, Franklin offers a range of options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. Whether you prefer the charm of a historic bed and breakfast or the convenience of a modern hotel, you’ll find a comfortable place to rest and relax.
Getting around Franklin is a breeze, with options like rental cars, public transportation, walking, and cycling. Exploring the city and its surrounding areas is convenient and allows you to fully experience all that Franklin has to offer.
In conclusion, Franklin, Tennessee is a captivating destination that combines history, culture, outdoor adventures, and Southern hospitality. It’s an inviting city that will leave you with unforgettable memories and a desire to return. So, pack your bags and come discover the charm and allure of Franklin, Tennessee.