Hidden Gems and Unique Things to Do in Franklin, Tennessee

If you are looking for a great getaway, Franklin, Tennessee is worth checking out!

Franklin, TN is only 30 minutes from Nashville and has its own southern charm and unique personality.

I’m sharing more about fun things to do in Franklin, TN during your next visit.

shops in historic downtown Franklin TN

This article is written in partnership with Visit Franklin and contains affiliate links.

shops in historic downtown Franklin TN

You’ll find great places to eat, drink, and shop in downtown Franklin, TN. You can see the full list of shopping experiences here.

shops in historic downtown Franklin TN

Stop By the Franklin Visitor Center

400 Main St #130, Franklin, TN

The Franklin Visitor Center is located in historic downtown Franklin.

The staff at the Franklin Visitor Center are a great resource to help you maximize your time and visit. You can ask them for recommendations for things to do and where to eat.

Midnight Sun Scavenger Hunt in Franklin

Download A Few of the Digital Passports

The themed free Digital Passports can help you engage more with the culinary scene, craft spirits, local coffee, local history, street art, sweet treats, or family fun on a scavenger hunt.

There is a free Digital Passport for the following themes:

  • Masters and Makers
  • Craft Coffee Trail
  • Murals of Williamson County
  • Historic Homes of Hincheyville
  • Sweet Treats Trail
  • Midnight Sun Scavenger Hunt
  • Great American Main Street

For example, on the Midnight Sun Scavenger Hunt families can learn about local history during an interactive horse-themed scavenger hunt. Scavenger hunt participants solve a set of clues to find each horse statue.

The statues are also located in a spot of historical significance for Franklin and the US.

Historic Downtown Franklin Self-Guided Walking Tour

Take a Historic Downtown Franklin Self-Guided Walking Tour

You can pick up a free Self-Guided Walking Tour brochure at the Franklin Visitor Center or download one online.

historic downtown Franklin TN

There are six walking tour loops to explore in downtown Franklin. That means that you can literally choose your own walking tour adventure.

*Each loop averages 30-60 minutes depending on your pace.

  • Great American Main Street: (Brown Loop) Featuring one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants, churches, and historic buildings (.7 mile)
  • Arts and Antiques: (Blue Loop) A local theater, art gallery, Second Avenue Antiques District (.58 mile)
  • Haunts and Headstones: (Maroon Loop) Features historic and haunted homes and cemeteries where early settler and Civil War soldiers are interred, including a grave of an unknown soldier. (.63 mile)
  • Historic Homes of Hincheyville: (Gold Loop) Neighborhood of historic homes. (.97 mile)
  • Battle of Franklin: (Red Loop) Two Civil War historic homes and the site of the five bloodiest hours of the Civil War. (1.14 miles)
  • Margin to Main: (Navy Loop) O’More College of Design and historic homes. (.7 mile)
Tennessee Whiskey Trail Passport

Get Your Tennessee Whiskey Trail Passport Stamped

Enjoy learning about the distilling process including the BEST part, the whiskey tasting.

*Make sure you make a reservation for your desired day in advance.

Franklin has two area distilleries, Leiper’s Fork Distillery and Company Distilling at Thompson’s Station, formerly H Clark Distillery. Each has unique stories and flavors to try during a tour and tasting.

Leiper's Fork Distillery

A tour and tasting with whiskey ninja and tour guide “Pops” at Leiper’s Fork Distillery will put a smile on your face between his stories and jokes along the way.

tree with educational sign at Owl's Hill Nature Sanctuary

Take a Hike at Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary

545 Beech Creek Rd S, Brentwood, TN 

Explore 4.5+ miles of hiking trails on 160+ acres with 2000 species of plants and animals on the property at Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary.

Scan the QR codes on the signs in front of the trees to hear various artists talk about the specific tree. The signs also share how the specific tree benefits people.

rescued owl at Owl's Hill Nature Sanctuary

Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary is currently home to three non-releasable birds of prey. They cannot be released back into the wild due to an injury or too much interaction with humans who tried to make one a pet.

Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary is a popular private nature preserve for educational field trips and special events including guided nature hikes.

(Make sure that you sign up in advance for their special events. They are popular and sell out quickly.)

The Factory at Franklin

Explore The Factory at Franklin

230 Franklin Rd, Franklin, TN

The Factory at Franklin is a mixed-use entertainment space with dining, offices, and an entertainment complex. The building was originally constructed in 1929 for stove manufacturer, Allen Manufacturing Company.

The Factory at Franklin

You can learn more about The Factory on a Historic Tour covering 90 years of history during a 50-minute walking tour.

You’ll also want to check the calendar for upcoming events at The Mockingbird Theater at The Factory.

Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

Admire the View of Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

A great view of the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge is a short walk from the Birdsong Hollow parking lot.

If you have more time to explore, add a hike to Jackson Falls while you are in the area.

Arrington Vineyards

Enjoy a Wine Tasting at Arrington Vineyards

6211 Patton Rd, Arrington, TN

The vineyard hillside is perfect for wine tasting and picnics. There is room to spread out and enjoy a scenic view with wonderful award-winning wine with friends, family, or on a romantic date.

Arrington Vineyards  TN

The carrying trays make it easy to discover your optimal tasting site with a vineyard view.

This Girl This Girl Can mural in Noblesville TN mural in Franklin TN

Take a Picture in Front of a Local Mural in Franklin, TN

Find street art in Franklin at the following locations:

  • Behind Triple Crown Bakery – 735 Columbia Ave, Franklin, TN by artist “KAT”
  • On the side of Riverside Franklin – 144 Bridge St, Franklin, TN by artist Chris Tidwell “ForBecks”
  • Side of Urgent Team Building – 509 Hillsboro Rd, Franklin, TN by artist Michael Cooper of Murals & More
  • Drive-thru side of Mama’s Java Cafe – 305 Sheldon Valley Dr, Nolensville, TN by Nashville-based artist Kim Radford
room at The Harpeth Hotel in Franklin TN

Where to Stay During a Visit to Franklin, TN

The Harpeth Hotel

130 2nd Ave., Franklin, TN

If you love convenience, the Harpeth Hotel in downtown Franklin is hard to beat!

You can walk from your hotel room to historic downtown Franklin filled with local restaurants and shops.

1799 Kitchen and Cocktails at The Harpeth Hotel in Franklin TN

Make a Reservation at the 1799 Kitchen and Cocktails

During a visit to Franklin, I HIGHLY recommend making a reservation at 1799 Kitchen and Cocktails.

I loved the whiskey barrel-inspired design. If you stay at the hotel, you’re only a few steps away from an amazing meal.

1799 Kitchen and Cocktails

A few of our favorites were the burrata, grilled pork chop (this entree is a MUST try), and the shrimp and grits.

The Harpeth Hotel in Franklin TN

How to Save on Your Hotel Stay in Franklin, TN

You can save on booking your stay at The Harpeth Hotel here.

welcome to Franklin TN mural

Additional Lodging Options in Franklin, TN

You can save on vacation rentals and hotels in Franklin, TN here.

welcome to Franklin TN mural

Are You Ready for an Adventure in Franklin, TN?

My friend and I enjoyed our visit to Franklin, TN, and can’t wait to visit again!

donuts from Five Daughters Bakery at The Factory in Franklin TN

Looking for More Adventures in Tennessee?

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