20 Best Things to Do in Franklin, TN

Franklin, TN
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Franklin is situated in Williamson County in central Tennessee.

It is a sprawling city with a rich history.

Named after Benjamin Franklin, this city was a flourishing agricultural center.

The settlement dates back to 1799.

One gruesome incident attached to the city was the Civil War battle fought on November 30, 1864.

After that, the city progressed gradually and emerged as a unique and upcoming city.

It is a subtle blend of growth and aged history.

This city offers a variety of places to visit and activities to enjoy.

These are the best things to do in Franklin, Tennessee:

Hail a Cab to Downtown Franklin

Shops at Franklin’s downtown
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Franklin's downtown stands as a testimony to the fact that the city has preserved its culture and history very well.

The brick sidewalks and Victorian architecture are aesthetically pleasing and give it a vintage vibe.

Drone shot of Downtown Franklin
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You can browse through boutiques, antique shops, and local cafes.

The restaurants here sell the best food options at affordable rates.

You can also check out the local stores to shop for clothes or gifts for your loved ones.

Red brick buildings in Downtown Franklin
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Book a Stay at Dark Horse Recording Studio

Exterior view of Dark Horse Recording Studio
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Music devotees and country music fans can stay at a recording studio in Franklin.

Dark House Recording Studio is one of the studios available for a stay.

This is one of the renowned studios Taylor Swift and over 65 other artists recorded their albums.

The cottage available for overnight stays is located in a private and silent space in the studio's vicinity.

It can house seven people at a time and consists of three bedrooms and two baths.

You may even get a studio tour if you're lucky enough!

Make Your Way to the Gorgeous Leiper's Fork

Fenced lawn at Leiper’s Fork
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Small towns and villages are often known for being very charming and friendly, and Leiper's Fork is no different.

It's also revered for its authenticity and picturesque neighborhood.

You can try out various activities here.

Scenic view of Leiper's Fork
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If you are a music fanatic, you can go through the vinyl records.

You can also sit down for breakfast at one of the local eateries.

Leiper Fork's most happening place is the Distillery.

A narrow stream flowing through Leiper's Fork
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Seeing bourbon being brewed right before your eyes will be an exciting experience.

They also let you taste some flavors.

Leiper's Fork is a gem worth exploring.

Join the Carnton Classic House Tour

Exterior view of the Carnton House
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Franklin is known for its rich history.

Carnton and its surrounding plantation stood as a witness to the grave battle of Franklin.

Today, the grounds include a cemetery that serves as the resting place for 1,500 soldiers.

Touring Carnton may take up to an hour.

Closer view of the Carnton House
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Inside, the house looks like something straight out of an old American romance novel.

You can get an additional 30 minutes to walk through the outer spaces.

Hiring a guide might be a good option as they convey Carnton's story beautifully.

The storytelling connects you to the house and enriches the experience.

Backyard of Carton House
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Have Lunch at The Factory

The Factory is a one-stop destination for shopping and eating.

It was once a stove factory and is now home to local stores and restaurants.

This place is also known as a venue for various live performances, fairs, and festivals.

Events are organized now and then to engage the audience and make tourist trips worthwhile.

The Factory offers a range of restaurants and delicacies to explore.

Visit in the afternoon and indulge in Franklin's lip-smacking cuisine.

For dessert, satisfy your sweet tooth cravings and nibble on pretzels, donuts, and more pastries.

Spend your day at The Factory and view Franklin from a local's perspective.

Embrace Nature at the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

Natchez Trace Parkway with green lawn in the foreground
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The Natchez Trace Parkway is a double-arched bridge.

It's a natural beauty displaying scenic views.

The best time to visit is during sunset when the sky boasts pretty tangerine hues.

Bird's eye view of the Natchez Trace Parkway
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The bridge's structure itself is iconic, but the panoramic views from here are impeccable.

This place is perfect for anyone who wants to experience solace and needs some peace.

Shop for Fresh Produce at the Franklin Farmers Market

Radishes at Franklin’s Farmer Market
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The Franklins Farmer Market offers the city's best farm-fresh veggies, fruits, and dairy.

Freshly baked goods and various types of meat are sold here as well.

Shopping here helps support local farms and boost the local economy.

You'll also be treating your taste buds to the best and freshest flavors, as their products come straight from local farms.

You can shop for souvenirs here, too, as local craftspeople participate in the market festivities to sell their handmade goods.

Rumble through the Timberland Park

Timberland Park is quite near the Natchez Parkway.

It covers 72 acres and comprises more than 3 miles' worth of hiking trails.

Come to the park and walk through the woods, which are snow-capped during the winter season.

The trails are peaceful, and the park is well-groomed, making it easy for tourists to navigate and enjoy.

It's the best place for an outdoor adventure in Franklin.

Catch a Show at Studio Tenn

Studio Tenn is Franklin's very own theater company.

They convey their stories and tales through their performances.

The regional theater company performs classical dramas, musical theater, and educational and inspirational plays.

The Town of Franklin is one of the most performed plays and is widely loved.

All the actors portray the ethos of the city.

You should watch the play at least once to better understand Franklin's culture, ethnicity, and art.

The tickets are available on the spot and are not that costly.

Boost Your Energy at Liberty Park

Liberty Park is spread over 84 acres.

It is an active park with innumerable activities for you to enjoy.

Liberty Park comprises a golf course, dog park, walking trail, baseball court, and much more.

If you are an athlete, this place is just for you.

You can go for a refreshing run or a brisk walk with your earphones plugged in.

The local authorities are constantly finding ways to make this park a go-to place for all.

There are small rides available for children, too.

Perfect for a lovely evening stroll, it's a peaceful place to surround yourself with greenery.

Check Out the Historic Gentry's Farm

Gentry's Farm is one of the oldest farms in Franklin.

It was owned by a family whose lineage dates back to 1849.

The vast farm spans 400 acres and is set near the rolling hills of Franklin.

You can spend a weekend here and enjoy the farm experience.

You get to go on a hayride, a pumpkin patch, and other fields.

It's an excellent way to get a taste of the countryside life in Franklin.

Small kids will especially learn a lot while staying here.

The owners are interactive and make you feel at home.

They have been carrying the legacy for 165 years.

If you are fortunate enough, the owners may even share local stories at night over a bonfire.

The couple adds new activities every year.

It'll be a different and memorable experience.

Dive into the Memoir at Winstead

Signboards at Winstead Hill Park
Srmiller50, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located south of downtown Franklin, Winstead Hill Park is a historical site and memorial park.

It's a former battlefield, to be precise.

The park comprises a 61-acre battlefield, a walking trail, and a civil war monument.

Imparting valuable history lessons, Winstead Hill Park conveys the story of the Civil War and commemorates the soldiers who fought bravely for their people.

There is a bronze map that paves the path.

It is a true reflection of the battle that was fought here.

Gallery 202 is an art gallery that presents the artwork of more than 25 local artists.

It has everything from intricate sculptures to divine paintings.

As a tourist, you shouldn't miss out on this one.

It is a diverse place with many items displayed.

You'll be amazed by the style and proficiency of the artworks presented.

If you are someone who finds stories in paintings and are fond of reading between the lines, then this place must top your list of places to visit.

Say a Prayer at St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Tall brick building of St. Paul Episcopal Church
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St. Paul's Episcopal Church is at the end of the downtown area.

This church was initiated in 1827, but services were first held in 1834.

It is a masonic structure with balconies on the second floor.

During the war, this shrine was used as a barrack to shield from the enemy forces.

The interiors are old and exquisite, while the courtyard is wide and calm.

The stained glass window is one of the church's most remarkable features.

They're called Tiffany glass windows.

The church is a peaceful place to enjoy a quiet moment and say a prayer.

Shop for Souvenirs at Winchester Antique Mall

Winchester Antique Mall is one of the oldest shops in the city.

It sells authentic products and has a lot of options.

The prices are affordable, too.

They display beautiful antiques that may entice you.

You surely want to take souvenirs back home, and this place is the best option for that.

The antique mall offers a range of products suiting various preferences.

Didn't have time to buy anything special for your family or friends?

This is the place to grab something truly memorable at an affordable budget.

Learn about the Civil War at Lotz House Museum

The Lotz House Museum in Franklin is best known as the Civil War's Battle of Franklin site.

It also features the work of German immigrant Johann Albert Lotz, a classically educated carpenter.

A skilled carpenter and piano builder, Lotz turned his house into a showcase for his most valued works.

He also utilized his talents to make exquisite pieces of furniture that are still in use in his family's home today.

Additionally, the museum focuses on the history of Franklin and the surrounding area during the American Civil War.

Tour the City with Franklin on Foot

Local firm Franklin on Foot offers walking tours of Franklin's most prominent historical landmarks.

Initially established in 2003, Franklin on Foot now provides a wide range of excursions tailored to a particular niche audience.

The firm offers a variety of unique experiences, including history tours, ghost tours, Civil War tours, cemetery tours, and cuisine tours.

Children's tours are also available, and special excursions may be arranged upon request.

Franklin on Foot offers instructive and entertaining in-class activities to area elementary schools wherein tour operators lead groups of kids on a field trip.

Explore the Carter House

Fountain Branch Carter, an entrepreneur who lived in Franklin with his wife and twelve children, previously owned the Carter House.

Fountain experimented with farming once he finished building his house.

The Carter family's small-scale farming venture has grown into significant financial potential.

The Carter farm grew from 19 acres of land to 288 acres in 20 years.

Franklin's Battle of Franklin was fought right in the middle of Carter's farm and house.

The Carters had no option but to flee and wait for the war to conclude when a Federal general seized control of their home.

The state of Tennessee bought the Carter residence in 1951.

Visitors may now take a tour of the historic mansion.

Have a Blast at SOAR Adventure Tower

One of the best things to do with kids in Franklin is to tackle the SOAR Adventure Tower, which has four levels of unlimited fun.

More than 100 climbing components spread over the amusement park's four stories, which may be enjoyed by thrill-seekers of all ages.

It has enough area at the tower's base for little children to play.

Take on over a hundred challenges and make your way through all four levels with the team.

Once you've reached the top, you may also play 18 holes of mini-golf or grab a beverage from the bar.

Admire the Breathtaking Scenery from a Hot Air Balloon

Middle Tennessee Hot Air Adventures is a family-owned business.

This firm provides hot air balloon rides over Franklin, Nashville, and the rolling hills of Middle Tennessee,

During the week, there are two scheduled excursions every day.

Spectacular sunrises and sunsets may be seen by passengers on both morning and evening cruises.

From April through November, guests of all ages are welcome to Middle Tennessee Hot Air Adventures throughout its flying season.

You may fly in the winter, but you'll have to book in advance since availability is limited.

Final Thoughts

Franklin, Tennessee, is a great place to visit if you're looking for Civil War-era mansions, a rural community with a genuinely rustic style, ancient farms managed by descendants, and family-friendly citywide events packed with informative and entertaining activities.

What better way to spend your time in Franklin, Tennessee, than with our guide to the best things to do?