Just a few miles south of popularly coined “Music City, USA” lies the uniquely picturesque city of Franklin, Tennessee. Although Franklin may border the city of Nashville, this distinctive Southern vacation spot has an allure all its own. Nationally-recognized for its charming sophistication, historic beauty, southern hospitality and elegance, Franklin tops the list of the most underrated travel destinations for your travel bucket list in 2019 – and beyond. Read on to find out more about what makes Franklin so unique, along with some of the best things to do on your next visit, from our team at Valor Hospitality Partners. Whether you’re just passing through, or planning the perfect weekend getaway in the The Volunteer State, falling in love with Franklin is effortless.
Nationally recognized as having one of the most beautiful main streets in America, sophistication and storybook elegance permeate the atmosphere of Downtown Franklin. Historical landmarks dating back to the 1800’s line this Great American Main Street. Rare and unique locations ranging from vintage theaters to specialty-boutiques, bookstores, art galleries–and even a luxury hotel set to open in August 2019 with The Harpeth, A Curio Collection by Hilton. For discerning and adventurous travelers, we think this fairy-tale city is the perfect getaway. Here are a few notable stops to add to the list of destinations on your Franklin, Tennessee itinerary.
An independent bookstore in downtown Franklin, this looks like it belongs in a Hallmark movie – and it was the inspiration for one. Landmark Booksellers and the unique love story of its owners served as the inspiration for New York Times bestselling novel, The Bridge by renowned author and Franklin resident Karen Kingsbury.
Later turned into a Hallmark movie, this bookstore was built on love and is rich in history and southern charm. The building itself, now believed to have been built between 1806 and 1808, is the oldest commercial building still standing in Historic Franklin, Williamson County Tennessee.
The Harpeth Hotel
Set to open in downtown Franklin on iconic Main Street later this year, this luxury boutique hotel will be a huge draw for visitors and locals alike. As the first hotel the downtown area has ever seen, The Harpeth will bring over 5,000 square feet of space, featuring 119 guest rooms. Upon opening, guests can enjoy The Harpeth’s upscale dining experience at 1799 Kitchen or stop in for a cup of coffee in the unique setting at McGavock’s Coffee Bar and Provisions.
Topping the list of “100 Irresistible Things Inviting You to Franklin in 2019” by the City Visitor’s Bureau, it’s safe to say the excitement about the Harpeth is warranted. This is a stop you won’t want to miss.
Big City Music, Small Town Vibes
Franklin’s residents are notoriously friendly, and among them are some of the big names that make Nashville famous, such as country music superstar, Keith Urban, and wife, actress Nicole Kidman, Olympic gold medalist, Scott Hamilton and Christian artist, Jeremy Camp. On any given day of the week, visitors and locals are likely to find some of radio’s biggest artists and household names at any number of the city’s unique locations along the 16-block downtown district.
Seeking live music in Franklin?
Gray’s on Main and Puckett’s
Puckett’s features stages to serenade guests as they dine, while rustic-chic cafe Gray’s on Main offers Southern fare, craft cocktails, and frequent live tunes in historic digs.
Iconic 1930s-era Franklin Theatre
Said to be the best 300-seat music venue in the world, some of the biggest names in music can be found on the stage at this venue.
Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival
Once named the best-curated festival in the country by Rolling Stone, Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival mixes stages of great music with cultural areas, great food and refreshments. The festival even added Tennessee native, Justin Timberlake, as a co-producer of the festival in 2016. Acts from Timberlake’s record label often appear at this Franklin fall festival. In 2017, Timberlake headlined the event (pictured above). Initially envisioned by Better than Ezra frontman and Franklin resident, Kevin Griffin, this festival has featured popular artists like Willie Nelson, Chris Stapleton, Sheryl Crow and Steven Tyler. The festival returns this year on September 21 and September 22. Click here for details.
The Largest Trail of Whiskey Distilleries in the Country!
Franklin’s Masters & Makers Trail takes visitors on a 70-mile trail featuring local breweries, distilleries, and wineries in Williamston County. Visitors will have the chance to taste unique brews at popular locations such as Mill Creek Brewing Co. and celebrity chef co-owned Mantra Artisan Ales by Maneet Chauhan.
The trail also winds through the scenic countryside for visits to several notable distilleries, including H. Clark Distillery, the areas first legal distillery in 100 years. For wine connoisseurs, country music legend Kix Brook’s acclaimed Arrington Vineyards also awaits.
Rich in History, Spotlighted by National Geographic
Franklin was the site of the Civil War’s Battle of Franklin in 1864. One of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, the Battle of Franklin was also one of the only Civil War battles to take place in a downtown setting. In fact, after catching the attention of National Geographic as one of the worst preserved battlefields in America, sparked a collective effort for preservation that raised over $28 million to return more than 200 acres of the historic battlefield back to its natural state from 1864. Here are more must-see Franklin historical sites to add to your travel itinerary!
Three Preserved Civil War Sites
Carnton, Carter House, and Lotz House each serve as historical museums offering in-depth historical tours for Franklin visitors.
A village in the same county as Franklin, Leiper’s Fork is full of quaint charms and hidden gems. The land is protected by an organization that works with communities across the state to protect lands that define the character of Tennessee. The initial efforts to conserve this land have expanded to protect over 123,000 acres across the state of Tennessee.
The Masonic Hall in Downtown Franklin
Estimated to have been built in 1809, the Masonic Hall is the oldest continually operated Lodge in Tennessee and was the site of a meeting between President Andrew Jackson and American Indians.
An Eco-Friendly Environment
Franklin, Tennessee is one of only seven cities across the United States to be Silver certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Franklin joins these other American cities in LEED certification: Washington D.C., Phoenix, Arizona, Arlington, Virginia, Chicago, San Jose, California, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Tell Us: Have you ever visited Franklin, Tennessee? If so, what was your favorite thing about your trip?