Top-Rated Things to Do in Franklin, TN

Franklin, Tennessee is a charming and historic town located just outside of Nashville. Known for its beautiful Main Street and rich history, Franklin offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or foodie, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant town.

One of the top-rated attractions in Franklin is the Carter House. Built in 1830, this historic house played a significant role during the Civil War. Visitors can explore the grounds and learn about the Carter family’s incredible story during the Battle of Franklin. The museum and guided tours provide a fascinating glimpse into the past.

If you’re interested in the rich music culture of Tennessee, a visit to The Factory at Franklin is a must. This former factory has been transformed into a vibrant shopping and entertainment complex. Stroll through the unique boutiques, catch a live music performance, or indulge in delicious Southern cuisine at one of the many dining options.

Nature enthusiasts will be delighted by the beautiful hiking trails and scenic parks in and around Franklin. The Percy Warner Park offers miles of trails through lush forests and rolling hills, ideal for hiking and birdwatching. For a more leisurely outdoor experience, the Harlinsdale Farm is a picturesque park that is perfect for picnicking or simply enjoying the stunning views.

No visit to Franklin would be complete without experiencing the charm of downtown. The historic Main Street is lined with unique shops, art galleries, and award-winning restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll, soak in the small-town atmosphere, and be sure to stop by the local farmers’ market for fresh produce and handmade goods.

With its rich history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture, Franklin, TN is a destination that should not be missed. Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique shopping and dining experience, Franklin has it all. Plan your visit and discover why this charming town is one of Tennessee’s best-kept secrets.

Historic Downtown Franklin

Historic Downtown Franklin is a charming and vibrant district located in Franklin, Tennessee. With its well-preserved architecture and rich history, it offers visitors a unique and immersive experience. Known as one of the best-preserved downtown areas in the state, it exudes historic charm and is a must-visit destination for history buffs and anyone looking to experience the small-town charm of Tennessee.

Take a Stroll Down Main Street: Start your visit by taking a leisurely stroll down Main Street, the heart and soul of Historic Downtown Franklin. Lined with beautifully restored buildings, you’ll find a variety of shops, restaurants, and boutiques, each with its own unique character. Don’t miss the chance to explore the local stores and discover hidden gems.

Explore the Franklin Theatre: While in Historic Downtown Franklin, catch a show at the Franklin Theatre. This iconic venue has been entertaining the community since its opening in 1937. With its art-deco style and intimate setting, it provides a unique and memorable experience. Be sure to check the schedule for live music performances, film screenings, and other exciting events.

Visit the Williamson County Museum: Delve into the history and heritage of Franklin and Williamson County at the Williamson County Museum. Located on the Public Square, this museum offers exhibits that showcase the area’s rich cultural history. From Civil War artifacts to local art, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the community’s past and present.

Step inside the Homeland Heritage Park: Just a short walk from Main Street, Homeland Heritage Park is a beautiful and serene retreat. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and reconnect with nature. The park features walking trails, picnic areas, and historical markers that tell the story of the area. Enjoy a peaceful moment and soak in the beauty of the surroundings.

Indulge in Southern Cuisine: No visit to Historic Downtown Franklin is complete without tasting the Southern cuisine it has to offer. From traditional Southern specialties to modern interpretations, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from. Whether you crave barbecue, fried chicken, or sweet tea, you’ll find something to satisfy your cravings.

Immerse Yourself in Local Culture: Beyond the attractions and landmarks, Historic Downtown Franklin is a place to immerse yourself in the local culture. Attend a live music performance, browse the local art galleries, or simply chat with the friendly locals. You’ll feel the warmth and hospitality that the community is known for.

Overall, Historic Downtown Franklin is a wonderful blend of history, charm, and culture. Explore its streets, soak in its rich heritage, and create unforgettable memories. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply looking for a unique Tennessee experience, this district has something for everyone.

Harlinsdale Farm

Harlinsdale Farm is a historic and picturesque farm located in Franklin, TN. Originally a horse breeding farm, it is now a public park that offers visitors the chance to enjoy beautiful views and explore its rich history.

One of the main attractions at Harlinsdale Farm is the stunning main barn, which was built in the early 20th century and has been meticulously restored. The barn is a perfect example of Southern architecture and is a popular spot for weddings and events.

Visitors can also enjoy walking or biking on the many scenic trails that wind through the farm. The trails offer breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and are a great way to experience the beauty of Franklin.

For those interested in history, Harlinsdale Farm has a small museum that provides information about the farm’s past and its significance to the community. The museum offers exhibits on the farm’s role in the horse industry and its connection to the local economy.

Harlinsdale Farm is also home to a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and farmer’s markets. These events provide a fun and family-friendly atmosphere where locals and visitors can come together to celebrate the heritage and culture of Franklin.

Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for a peaceful escape, Harlinsdale Farm is a must-visit destination in Franklin, TN. With its stunning views, rich history, and vibrant events, it offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Carter House

One of the top-rated things to do in Franklin, TN is to visit the Carter House. Built in 1830, the Carter House is a historic home that played a significant role during the Civil War. It served as a field hospital and witnessed the Battle of Franklin in 1864.

A visit to the Carter House offers a chance to explore the rich history of Franklin and learn about the lives of the Carter family during the war. The house has been preserved and restored to its original condition, providing visitors with a glimpse into the past.

Inside the Carter House, you will find historical artifacts, exhibits, and informative displays that tell the story of the Battle of Franklin and its impact on the community. The knowledgeable staff is also available to answer any questions and provide additional insight.

In addition to the house itself, the Carter House also features a beautiful garden and grounds that are perfect for a leisurely stroll. As you walk through the property, you can imagine what it was like during the war and appreciate the serene setting that now exists.

Visiting the Carter House is a must for history buffs and anyone interested in learning more about the Civil War. It offers a unique opportunity to see a well-preserved piece of history and gain a deeper understanding of the events that shaped Franklin, TN.

Lotz House

The Lotz House is a historic site in Franklin, TN, that offers visitors a glimpse into the past. Built in 1858, this Greek Revival-style home was witness to one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War, the Battle of Franklin. Today, it serves as a museum that tells the story of the battle and its impact on the local residents.

Visitors to the Lotz House can take guided tours to explore the house and learn about its history. The house is fully furnished with period pieces, providing an authentic experience of life in the 19th century. One of the highlights of the tour is the Lotz family’s personal collection of Civil War artifacts, including weapons, uniforms, and letters.

In addition to the house itself, the Lotz House Museum features a gallery dedicated to the art of Mort Kunstler, a renowned Civil War artist. The gallery showcases his paintings depicting scenes from the Battle of Franklin and other key moments of the war. Visitors can also browse the gift shop for unique souvenirs and books related to the Civil War.

The Lotz House is not just a museum, but also a symbol of resilience and survival. During the Battle of Franklin, the house was used as a field hospital, treating wounded soldiers from both sides of the conflict. The bullet holes and bloodstains on the floors and walls serve as a reminder of the horrors witnessed within its walls.

A visit to the Lotz House offers a fascinating and educational experience for history enthusiasts and anyone interested in learning more about the Civil War. It is a place where the past comes alive and tells its stories through its preserved artifacts and well-preserved architecture.

Leiper’s Fork

Located just outside of Franklin, Leiper’s Fork is a charming village that offers a unique blend of history, art, and southern charm. This quaint community is known for its picturesque landscapes, welcoming atmosphere, and vibrant arts scene.

One of the most popular things to do in Leiper’s Fork is to explore its charming downtown area. Lined with historic buildings, local shops, and art galleries, this is the perfect place to stroll, shop, and soak up the small-town atmosphere. Visitors can browse unique handcrafted items, artwork, antiques, and more. The town also hosts regular events and festivals, where visitors can enjoy live music, local food, and cultural celebrations.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Leiper’s Fork offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature. The area is surrounded by beautiful rolling hills, scenic drives, and lush forests, making it a great destination for hiking, biking, and exploring. The Natchez Trace Parkway, a historic scenic highway, runs through Leiper’s Fork and provides stunning views of the countryside.

In addition to its natural beauty, Leiper’s Fork is also known for its rich music heritage. Many famous musicians and songwriters have called this area home, and live music can often be found in the local venues and restaurants. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of music genres, from country and bluegrass to rock and jazz.

Attraction Description
Leiper’s Fork Distillery A small-batch craft distillery that offers tours and tastings of its handcrafted spirits.
Leiper’s Fork Market A local market that sells fresh produce, homemade goods, and unique gifts.
Leiper’s Fork Antique Mall An antique mall with a wide selection of vintage items, furniture, and collectibles.
Leiper’s Fork Lawnchair Theatre An outdoor movie theater that screens classic films under the starry sky.
Leiper’s Fork Puckett’s Grocery A historic grocery store-turned-restaurant that serves Southern comfort food and hosts live music.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway, a taste of Southern hospitality, or a dose of arts and culture, Leiper’s Fork is a must-visit destination in Franklin, Tennessee.

Carnton

Carnton is a historic plantation house located in Franklin, Tennessee. It was built in 1826 and was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War, the Battle of Franklin.

Today, Carnton is a popular tourist destination and offers visitors the opportunity to explore the restored mansion and grounds. The house has been preserved to look as it did during the Civil War and is filled with period furnishings and artifacts.

One of the main attractions at Carnton is the Confederate Cemetery, where over 1,000 Confederate soldiers are buried. This cemetery serves as a somber reminder of the lives lost during the war and offers visitors a chance to pay their respects.

Visitors to Carnton can also take part in guided tours, which provide in-depth information about the history of the house and the Battle of Franklin. The knowledgeable guides offer insights into the lives of the people who lived and fought on the property.

Carnton is not only a historic site, but it also plays an important role in the community. The property often hosts special events, including reenactments, concerts, and community gatherings.

Overall, Carnton is a must-visit for history buffs and anyone interested in learning more about the Civil War and its impact on Tennessee. With its well-preserved mansion, beautiful grounds, and engaging tours, it offers a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

Franklin Theatre

If you’re a fan of live entertainment, the Franklin Theatre is a must-visit attraction in Franklin, Tennessee. Built in 1937, this historic theater has been lovingly restored and now offers a unique mix of movies, live music, and performing arts events.

The Franklin Theatre is known for its intimate atmosphere and superb acoustics, making it the perfect venue for concerts and shows. Many acclaimed artists and musicians have graced its stage, ranging from country and rock legends to contemporary performers.

Aside from live performances, the Franklin Theatre also screens classic films and hosts film festivals. It’s a great place to catch a movie in a beautifully restored vintage theater, and the experience is enhanced by the theater’s excellent sound and projection systems.

To enhance your visit to the Franklin Theatre, consider arriving early to explore the charming downtown area. You’ll find a variety of restaurants and shops just steps away from the theater, making it easy to grab a bite to eat or pick up a souvenir before or after the show.

Whether you’re a music lover, a film enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun and unique experience in Franklin, the Franklin Theatre is a top-rated attraction that has something to offer everyone.

Location: 419 Main St, Franklin, TN 37064

Website: www.franklintheatre.com

Opening Hours: Varies depending on showtimes

Note: Due to possible COVID-19 restrictions, it’s recommended to check the theater’s website for the latest information on events and safety protocols.

Arrington Vineyards

Located just outside of Franklin, Arrington Vineyards is a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts. This beautiful vineyard offers breathtaking views of the rolling Tennessee hills and a wide selection of award-winning wines.

Founded by country music icon Kix Brooks, Arrington Vineyards is known for its exceptional wines made from locally grown grapes. Visitors can take a guided tour of the vineyard, learn about the winemaking process, and enjoy tastings of their exquisite wines.

With its picturesque picnic area and live music events, Arrington Vineyards is also the perfect place to relax and unwind. Bring a blanket, pack a picnic, and enjoy a bottle of wine while listening to talented local musicians perform in the open-air pavilion.

For those looking for a unique experience, Arrington Vineyards offers the opportunity to become a “winemaker for a day.” This personalized experience allows guests to create their own custom blend of wine under the guidance of the winemaking team.

No matter what brings you to Arrington Vineyards, one thing is for sure – you will be treated to an unforgettable experience in a stunning setting. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just looking for a peaceful escape, a visit to Arrington Vineyards should be at the top of your list when in Franklin, TN.

Natchez Trace Parkway

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a scenic drive that stretches over 440 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. It is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking, biking, and bird-watching. The parkway is also rich in history, with numerous historical sites and markers along the way.

One of the highlights of the Natchez Trace Parkway is the Meriwether Lewis Monument. This monument commemorates the explorer who traveled the route in the early 1800s. Visitors can learn about Lewis’s journey and pay their respects at this historic site.

Another must-see attraction on the parkway is the Cypress Swamp. This unique ecosystem is home to a variety of wildlife, including alligators and migratory birds. Visitors can explore the swamp on a guided tour or take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk.

For those interested in Native American history, the Natchez Trace Parkway offers several archaeological sites and interpretive exhibits. The Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Park is one such site, featuring a complex of Native American mounds that date back thousands of years. Visitors can explore the mounds and learn about the civilization that once inhabited the area.

Whether you’re looking to relax in nature or delve into the history of the region, the Natchez Trace Parkway offers something for everyone. With its stunning scenery and diverse range of activities, it’s no wonder this scenic drive is a favorite among visitors and locals alike.

The Factory at Franklin

The Factory at Franklin is a former industrial complex that has been transformed into a vibrant venue for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Located in downtown Franklin, Tennessee, The Factory offers a unique and eclectic mix of businesses and activities for visitors of all ages.

One of the main attractions at The Factory is its range of shops. From fashion boutiques to art galleries, visitors can peruse a variety of offerings from local and national retailers. Whether you’re looking for unique clothing and accessories or one-of-a-kind artwork, you’re sure to find something to catch your eye at The Factory.

In addition to shopping, The Factory is also home to several delicious dining options. From casual cafes to upscale restaurants, there’s something for every palate at The Factory. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, you can enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the unique atmosphere of The Factory.

For those looking for entertainment, The Factory has you covered. With multiple music venues and performance spaces, you can catch a live show or concert on any given night. From local acts to nationally recognized performers, there’s always something happening at The Factory.

For those looking to get active, The Factory offers a range of fitness and recreational activities. From yoga and pilates studios to rock climbing gyms, visitors can enjoy a variety of exercise options. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just looking to try something new, The Factory has something for everyone.

Overall, The Factory at Franklin is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a unique and diverse experience in Franklin, Tennessee. Whether you’re a shopaholic, a foodie, a music lover, or a fitness enthusiast, you’ll find something to love at The Factory.

Pinkerton Park

Pinkerton Park is a beautiful park located in Franklin, TN. It offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages.

One of the main highlights of Pinkerton Park is its extensive trail system. There are several miles of paved and unpaved trails that wind through the park’s scenic landscape. These trails are perfect for walking, jogging, or biking and provide a great way to enjoy nature and get some exercise.

In addition to the trails, Pinkerton Park also features a large playground area for children. The playground has a variety of equipment, including slides, swings, and climbing structures, that will keep kids entertained for hours.

If you’re looking for a place to have a picnic or relax, Pinkerton Park has plenty of open green spaces and picnic areas. You can bring a blanket and enjoy a peaceful lunch or play a game of frisbee with friends or family.

Another popular attraction at Pinkerton Park is the historic Pinkerton Lofts. These are a collection of historic buildings that have been renovated into loft spaces. The lofts are a unique mix of old and new, and they offer a glimpse into the history of Franklin.

Overall, Pinkerton Park is a must-visit if you’re in Franklin, TN. Whether you want to go for a walk, have a picnic, or explore the historic buildings, there is something for everyone to enjoy at this beautiful park.

Rippavilla Plantation

Located on a beautiful 98-acre estate, the Rippavilla Plantation is a historic site in Franklin, Tennessee that offers visitors a glimpse into the area’s past. This antebellum mansion, built in the 1850s, is a fine example of Greek Revival architecture and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Step back in time as you stroll through the meticulously restored rooms, adorned with period furniture and decor. Knowledgeable guides are available to provide insights into the history and significance of the plantation and its former residents.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Rippavilla Plantation is its connection to the Civil War. During the Battle of Spring Hill in 1864, Union and Confederate forces clashed on and around the plantation grounds. Today, you can explore the battlefield and learn about the strategic importance of this site during the war.

Be sure to take a tour of the beautifully landscaped gardens, where you can admire the vibrant blooms and tranquil surroundings. The plantation also hosts various events throughout the year, including Civil War reenactments, music festivals, and educational programs.

For history enthusiasts or those simply seeking a peaceful retreat, a visit to the Rippavilla Plantation is a must. Immerse yourself in the rich history and natural beauty of this historic estate.

Highlights:

  • Explore a beautifully preserved antebellum mansion
  • Learn about the plantation’s role in the Civil War
  • Stroll through the meticulously maintained gardens
  • Attend various events and educational programs

Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some restrictions may be in place. It is recommended to check the official website for the most up-to-date information before planning your visit.

FAQs

What are some of the top-rated attractions in Franklin, TN?

Some of the top-rated attractions in Franklin, TN include the Lotz House Museum, Carnton, Franklin Theatre, and the Carter House.

Is Franklin, TN a family-friendly destination?

Yes, Franklin, TN is a family-friendly destination. There are numerous activities and attractions suitable for families, including the SOAR Adventure Tower, the Franklin Splash Park, and the Franklin Farmers Market.

Are there any outdoor activities to do in Franklin, TN?

Yes, there are plenty of outdoor activities to do in Franklin, TN. You can explore the trails at Harlinsdale Farm, go for a hike in the nearby Bowie Nature Park, or take a scenic drive along the Natchez Trace Parkway.

What is the best time to visit Franklin, TN?

The best time to visit Franklin, TN is during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is pleasant and there are various festivals and events taking place. The summers can be hot and humid, while the winters can be mild with occasional snowfall.

Are there any historical attractions in Franklin, TN?

Yes, Franklin, TN is known for its rich history, and there are several historical attractions to visit. Some popular ones include the Battle of Franklin Trust Sites, Historic Downtown Franklin, and the Franklin Civil War Museum.

What are some top-rated things to do in Franklin, TN?

There are several top-rated things to do in Franklin, TN. Some popular attractions include visiting the historical downtown area, exploring the Carnton historic site, taking a tour of the Lotz House Museum, and enjoying the beautiful scenery at the Natchez Trace Parkway.

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Felicity Long

Felicity Long, a seasoned travel journalist with 15+ years of experience, specializes in exploring Europe, family travel, and skiing, as evident in her book "Great Escapes: New England" (The Countryman Press). She edits the Europe eNewsletter and contributes significantly to TravelAsker's destinations sections. Felicity has received esteemed awards, including the Cacique and Yo Leonardo Awards, in recognition of her outstanding international travel writing accomplishments.

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