Things to Do in Franklin TN: 15 Fun Activities You Must Try

12 mins read
Things to do in Franklin TN
By Nicolae_Balt / Pixabay Copyright 2022

Franklin is a tiny city whose fame today is frequently linked to its past.

Renovated factories, antique stores, and the presence of historical structures on Civil War battlegrounds are constant reminders of the value of preservation.

Through a visit to a plantation, a stroll across a battlefield, and a stroll down Main Street, Franklin’s past is discernible and easily accessible.

This beautiful area’s history is one factor that puts it on the tourist map.

Franklin is close to the urban pulse yet far enough away to give a gentler pace. It can be reached from Nashville in 30 minutes.

Whichever country music you hear, this Music City suburb has more of it. Perhaps for this reason, as well as the nearby Leiper’s Fork neighborhood, prominent people chose to reside here.

Take on a challenge at SOAR Adventure Tower, fly in a hot air balloon or climb Winstead Hill for a bird’s eye view, and explore a war-torn cellar of a plantation mansion. You’ll be up, down, and spinning while exploring Franklin’s sights and things to do.

Franklin, Tennessee, a city steeped in Civil War history, will appeal to history fans and anyone who appreciates traditional architecture.

Only 21 miles south of Nashville, it is becoming a more popular tourist destination, and the neighborhood often hosts jam-packed events with live music and festivals.

You may satisfy your inner gourmet at one of the many delectable restaurants serving sweet treats and southern fare around the downtown streets.

Art galleries and old theatres are between the eateries, giving you plenty of chances to experience the local way of life.

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By lalabell68 / Pixabay Copyright 2022

1. 15 Best Things to do in Franklin TN

A vacation to Franklin, the largest city in the Nashville metropolitan area and the county seat of Williamson County, is a lovely getaway for individuals who enjoy the outdoors, history, culture, and the arts.

Visit Franklin to see Civil War-era homes, a rural community with a genuinely rustic feel, generations-old farms still in operation, and family-friendly citywide festivals with exciting, informative events in and around the Historic District.

If Franklin, Tennessee, seems like your next adventure, here is a list of the best things to do to give you a taste of the wonders in store.

1.1. Downtown Franklin

There is a magnificent collection of Victorian artifacts in downtown Franklin.

If you’re searching for free stuff to do in Franklin, take a stroll around the brick pathways and gorgeous Victorian buildings in the downtown area to get a sense of the local culture.

The city’s center, Downtown Franklin, is filled with antique shops, historic buildings, art galleries, and top-notch eateries.

The 16-block neighborhood, which the Downtown Franklin Association oversees, is the ideal location to take in local culture day or night. There is a magnificent collection of Victorian artifacts in downtown Franklin.

Tourists can enjoy live performances at the Franklin Theatre, dine, shop, and visit the neighborhood art galleries.

The Carnton Plantation, the McConnell House, and the Lotz House are just a few historical sites nearby.

If you’re looking for free activities to do in Franklin, take a stroll around the brick walkways and magnificent Victorian buildings in the downtown area to get a feel for the way of life there. Downtown Franklin, a lively city area, also regularly hosts several critical regional festivals.

The Main Street Brewfest, Pumpkinfest, and Main Street Festival are a few of these. As a result, it is among the top things to do in Franklin, TN.

gift shops
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1.2. Franklin Farmers Market

The Franklin Farmers Market has expanded to include 80 regional farmers since it first opened its doors in 2002 as the dream of eight neighborhood farmers.

Each Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., thousands of locals and tourists visit the year-round market.

You’ll be relieved to learn that everything you’ll need for your picnic at Winstead Hill Park can be purchased right here.

Numerous merchants lining the aisles provide a wide variety of goods, including free-range eggs, fresh veggies, meats, and delectable baked goods.

Like any good market, this one offers a variety of locally produced goods, including ceramics, jewelry, and even furniture.

You can help small local businesses run by farmers, ranchers, and artisan food producers by shopping at Franklin Farmers Market.

You can purchase desserts, pastries, pottery, jewelry, and furniture at the farmers market as fruits, vegetables, and meat. Franklin is a tiny city whose fame today is frequently linked to its past.

Through a visit to a plantation, a stroll across a battlefield, and a stroll down Main Street, Franklin’s past is discernible and easily accessible.

You may satisfy your inner gourmet at one of the many delectable restaurants serving sweet treats and southern fare around the downtown streets.

Art galleries and old theatres are between the eateries, giving you plenty of chances to experience the local way of life.

fresh vegetables
By congerdesign / Pixabay Copyright 2022

1.3. McGavock Confederacy Cemetery

Less than two miles away, at Carnton House, are the remnants of the day after the brutal Battle of Franklin.

Nearly 1,500 men are laid to rest in the two-acre McGavock Confederacy Cemetery, which bears their family’s name and was established here over many years.

The Confederate troops who perished on the last day of November 1864 are laid to rest in a cemetery along Lewisburg Pike in Franklin, according to the states they represented.

Mississippi has the most fatalities (more than 400), followed by Tennessee and the graves of 225 unidentified troops.

Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, Louisiana, Florida, and North Carolina are other states.

1.4. Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

The Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge, a stunning double-arch bridge, captures the eye immediately.

The Natchez Trace Parkway bridge, constructed in 1994, has received numerous honors and has left many people in awe, and it traverses over 1600 feet of the picturesque valley.

Walking through the bridge’s arches offers breathtaking views of the lower plains and surrounding hills, in addition to the beautiful perspective of the bridge itself.

Continue traveling the Natchez Trace Parkway after taking in the scenery and the bridge.

The road examines the migration of Native Americans and European settlers, the Civil War, and the slave trade.

As a result, it is among the top things to do in Franklin, TN.

1.5. Carter House

On November 30, 1864, at Carter House, about a mile from the Carnton estate, a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence occurred.

The Carter family took cover in the cellar as cannonballs and bullets tore through their house while they waited for the shooting to subside.

If it’s difficult to fathom, the tour of the Carter House State Historic Site can help you understand what life was like for Fountain Branch Carter, the businessman who owned the house, his wife, and their 12 children.

There is still cannonball- and bullet-pierced voids to be found here.

The combat lasted only briefly, but it resulted in 10,000 dead and wounded, a substantial number of losses.

One of the Carter sons was a soldier who died from his wounds at his childhood home.

The contrast between five hours of hands-on combat and quiet time to reflect on the events of that historic day is highlighted by time spent on the battlefield. As a result, it is among the top things to do in Franklin, TN.

By JillWellington / Pixabay Copyright 2022

1.6. Leiper’s Fork

Less than 20 minutes from Franklin, the picturesque journey to Leiper’s Fork leads by grazing horses and country homes.

Typically, you can discover Southern hospitality, Southern food, antique stores, art galleries, and whatever entertainment is on.

The Hillbilly Half-Marathon and Little Billy 5K in June, model airplane contests in September, turkey shoots in November, and the “nearly famous” Christmas procession in December are just a few examples of special occasions.

Johann Albert Lotz’s cherished inventions are displayed in a showroom that was once the Lotz House Museum.

The Lotz House is the ideal place to spend a rainy afternoon because it includes both the history of the Lotz family and Civil War-era events.

As a result, it is among the top things to do in Franklin, TN.

1.7. Lotz House Museum

The Lotz House Museum displays Johann Albert Lotz’s most cherished works of art as a tribute to his prodigious talent and vision.

Johann was a traditional-trained carpenter with exceptional skills, particularly as a piano maker. Johann was a German immigrant who settled in Franklin in the middle of the 19th century.

He gradually turned his old house into a showroom that still exists today.

Each elaborate piece of woodwork created by Lotz can be seen throughout the house, along with furnishings that are still stunning today as they were then.

The Lotz House Museum doesn’t charge admission. The house also investigates Civil War activities that took place close to Franklin.

Something about which you can learn more by signing up in advance for a guided tour. As a result, it is among the top things to do in Franklin, TN.

Piano Maker
By MabelAmber / Pixabay Copyright 2022

1.8. Carnton Plantation

Randal McGavock, the mayor of Nashville, constructed the tranquil Carnton Plantation in 1826. It is a stunning residence and expansive grounds that eventually will have a rich history that few could have foreseen.

The plantation became the largest field hospital in central Tennessee during the Battle of Franklin, 38 years after it was opened.

Ten thousand men were killed, hurt, or missing over five hours close to the Carnton Plantation, which was the final resting place for over a thousand Confederate soldiers.

Four Confederate generals were placed on the house’s rear porch during the conflict; their blood streaks are still discernible today.

Visitors can enjoy a solemn and educational tour of the historic building, its lovely gardens, and the adjacent cemetery, where many victims of that terrible day are buried. As a result, it is among the top things to do in Franklin, TN.

1.9. Noble Springs Dairy Farm Animals

At Noble Springs Dairy, the kids can pet the goats as they learn how goat cheese is made.

Foraging across more than the goats can handle, each goat on the Noble family farm has a name and feeds across 230 delicious acres!

Since opening in 2009, the goat dairy and creamery has been selling its goods throughout Tennessee.

Summertime visitors to Franklin can take advantage of the informative excursions provided. A massive 230-acre farm called Noble Springs Dairy is known for its Grade A artisanal goat milk products.

Noble Springs Dairy makes the most of the milk of their healthy goats while surrounded by views of valleys, springs, and rolling hills, producing goat milk, goat cheese, yogurt, and even goat milk soap. As a result, it is among the top things to do in Franklin, TN.

Things to do in Franklin TN
By silviarita / Pixabay Copyright

1.10. SOAR Adventure Tower

A theme park with four stories and more than 100 climbing features is called SOAR Adventure Tower. Play for toddlers is appropriate at the lowest level. Parents may help young kids have fun while overcoming obstacles as the stages get harder.

At the highest level, mastering mental and physical feats on barrels, swings, rings, tightropes, and cliff simulations requires skill and focus.

There is a day and evening pass available. You can include an 18-hole mini-golf course at the price of entry.

One of the best family activities in Franklin is conquering the SOAR Adventure Tower, which offers limitless entertainment on four floors.

Every climbing feature on SOAR Adventure Tower’s four stories is open to daring visitors of any age. The tower’s base includes plenty of space for kid-friendly challenges for little ones.

Challenge yourself to overcome more than 100 challenges and help the team advance through all four levels. You may also play 18 holes of mini golf there when you reach the top and sip a beer at the bar. As a result, it is among the top things to do in Franklin, TN.

1.11. The Factory at Franklin

The Factory at Franklin, which has been renovated and repurposed, is the place to go if you want to eat, shop, and experience the local culture all at once.

The Factory, a mall and industrial complex along Main Street, once included 11 different factory buildings when it initially opened in 1929.

The structures, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, are home to several eateries, including the delectable Mojo Tacos, and iconic locations like Liberty Hall and the Jamison Theater.

You can browse the rows of boutique shops, vintage clothing, home décor, independent art, and artisan goods to find something to remember your stay in Franklin if you need some retail therapy.

The Factory at Franklin was once a stove factory dating back to 1929, and is now a popular place to shop for artisanal goods.

When it’s chilly or rainy, a unique place to shop for art, vinyl records, fresh fruit, and antiques is The Factory. The Factory also features theatres, concerts, and restaurants in addition to the standard retail therapy.

Investigate a former factory from the Great Depression that now houses indoor art schools, working artisans, restaurants, farmers’ market stalls, gourmet pleasures, and events.

1.12. Franklin Theatre

Before closing in 2007, The Franklin Theatre had a 70-year run beginning in the summer of 1937.

A non-profit preservation organization spent millions of dollars renovating the historic Art Deco theatre, which reopened in 2011 after the work.

The 300-seat theatre hosts a variety of entertainment, including live concerts, community and private events, and both old and new movies.

Sheryl Crow, Art Garfunkel, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra have all performed here.

Make the scene at the Franklin Theatre to reserve a great evening on Main Street with music from classical to country, blues to bluegrass.

Since almost a century ago, Franklin has enjoyed first-rate entertainment at this historic theatre, which includes everything from musicals and comedies to concerts and movies.

After the performance, visit their bar and concession stands for delectable snacks and beverages.

Locals and tourists have flocked to the theatre over the succeeding generations to see live performances and concerts by touring musicians.

But it’s simple for old structures and centers of culture to lose their appeal. The theatre shut down in 1989 after several years of neglect.

It returned more than 20 years later, quickly reclaiming its proper position in the neighborhood.

The Franklin Theatre is now the destination for your cinema fix from the newest blockbusters, classic movies, and a spectacular program of performances, events, and festivals.

By onkelglocke / Pixabay Copyright 2022

1.13. Winstead Hill Park

The sizable Winstead Hill Park is just south of the downtown area, which is scenic and noteworthy due to its Civil War connections.

Visit the park to find solitude in the dense forests and enjoy the fresh air while exploring its many nature trails.

A combat map may be found on the park’s overlook, which is rounded by woods and lovely scenery.

The well-known Williamson County Fair, which features some of the best activities in Franklin, Tennessee, has been held there for 16 years. These activities include thrilling rides, daily entertainment, competitions, and family-friendly events.

Enjoy food, rides, and live entertainment while learning about agriculture, creative arts, culture, culinary arts, and livestock raising in one county fair.

Learn about Winstead Hill Park’s role in the war’s peripheral events as a gathering place for General Hood’s Confederate Troops, who would later engage in the crucial Battle of Franklin.

1.14. Gallery 202

Franklin’s most well-known art gallery, Gallery 202, has had a long life. An opulent home called Clouston Hall was constructed for the Clouston family 200 years ago.

It was one of 44 hospitals providing care to terminally ill troops during the American Civil War. Additionally, it played a note in influence, hosting three visiting American presidents.

More than 20 painters, potters, sculptors, glass artists, and jewelers still call Gallery 202 home. Meet the artists, discover their works, and feel free to browse and exchange ideas.

Two gallery floors showcase fine art and antiques and occasionally double as a performance space.

One of Franklin’s top art galleries, Gallery 202, features the work of more than 20 local and regional artists who create sculptures, glass, jewelry, paintings, pottery, Southern antiques, and other objects.

Inside this 200-year-old home, look for artistic inspiration from nearby and regional artists. If you’re lucky, the gallery today might host live performances.

1.15. Leiper’s Fork Distillery

This distillery complements and enhances the distinctive features of the nearby old town of Leiper’s Fork.

The distillery, only 10 miles from Franklin, only recently began operations in 2016, yet it instantly drew inspiration from Tennessee’s long distilling tradition.

In the same way, they did hundreds of years ago when the first settlers came to Williamson County, Leiper’s Fork Distillery is committed to producing high-quality small batches of whiskey.

The remarkable results have a minimal environmental impact but high flavor thanks to local products and limestone-filtered water.

Visitors can relax with a drink or take a tour of the distillery that ends with sampling the product. Leiper’s Fork is a lovely rural community with a distillery that blends well with the surroundings.

The goal of Leiper’s Fork Distillery is to carry on the whiskey-making tradition of their ancestors, which entails using local ingredients and producing spirits in small batches.

Experience the old-world charm of the community, take a tour of the beautiful grounds of the distillery, and then raise a glass in salute as you sample some of Franklin’s world-famous whiskey.

Suggested Reading- Franklin Castle: 2022 Guide To The Famous Tiedemann House

By Activedia / Pixabay Copyright 2022

2. Final Words

Tennessee’s Franklin is preparing for the influx of tourists this summer! Franklin has a lot to offer tourists, whether you’re a weekend guest or a local.

This historic town includes family-friendly attractions, from the stores on Downtown Main Street to the nearby dairy farms.

You won’t want to skip out on some of these thrilling local activities and adventures when you start to plan your summer vacation.

Franklin, Tennessee, offers a range of unique things to enjoy this season, indoors and outdoors.

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