If you are looking for a great getaway, Franklin, Tennessee is worth checking out!
Franklin is located only 30 minutes from Nashville and has a charm and unique personality of its own.
I’m sharing more about my observations as a traveler to the area during the pandemic. My hope is that this information helps you decide when an upcoming visit to Franklin is right for you.
This article is written in partnership with Visit Franklin.
If you are concerned about traveling during this time, it’s good to know the precautions that businesses in Franklin, Tennessee have in place to keep you safe.
In fact, most businesses are taking measures to go above and beyond to safely welcome travelers to the area.
For your safety, all businesses and attractions are requiring masks to be worn inside in accordance with the local mandate with the exception of while eating or drinking.
Franklin’s mask mandate for the entire county is currently going on until at least the end of the calendar year.
Locally in Franklin and all of Williamson County, the wearing of face masks or cloth face coverings is mandated in all public settings where social distance can not be maintained.
Look for the Tennessee Pledge Sticker
Most of the area businesses, hotels, and restaurants are using the Tennessee Pledge as a guide for cleanliness and social distancing.
Be on the lookout for the blue stickers in the shape of Tennessee in most business windows. That sticker is a symbol that they have committed to the safety standards laid out in the Tennessee Pledge.
You’ll find plenty of great places to eat, drink, and shop during a visit to Franklin.
What is the Tennessee Pledge?
The Tennessee Pledge guidelines for COVID-19 were developed by Tennessee Economic Recovery Group for all businesses, organizations, and certain activities in Tennessee.
While the initial goal of the Tennessee Pledge was to help businesses safely reopen after closures due to COVID-19, the revised Tennessee Pledge updates and simplifies guidelines to support sustaining healthy communities and open businesses.
These safeguarding protocols are based on the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and Tennessee Department of Health, with the input of private sector working groups.
These guidelines do not replace or supersede any applicable state, federal, or other statutory or regulatory requirements or standards. These guidelines are subject to change.
The revised Tennessee Pledge document is divided into two parts: (1) General Guidelines for all organizations and (2) additional Industry Guidelines for certain sectors.
Additional Safety Information for Travelers to Stay Informed
- The Tennessee Department of Health has opened a Tennessee Coronavirus Public Information Line in partnership with the Tennessee Poison Center. The number is 877-857-2945 and is available daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central time.
- The Nashville International Airport (which services Franklin) is continuing to implement continuous cleaning protocols that comply with CDC guidance. Find more about Nashville International Airport’s efforts on its website.
You Can Pick Up a FREE Mask at the Franklin Visitor Center
400 Main St #130, Franklin, TN
The Franklin Visitor Center is located in historic downtown Franklin.
Visitors can get FREE masks in a variety of colors at the Franklin Visitor Center during their operating hours.
The staff at the Franklin Visitor Center are also a great resource to help you maximize your time and visit. Make sure that you ask them for recommendations for things to do and where to eat.
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.
You can pick up a Midnight Sun brochure at the Visitor Center in downtown Franklin (or download the brochure online.) Kids can complete the scavenger hunt for a prize.
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.
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) Historic and haunted homes and cemeteries where early settler and Civil War soldiers are interred, includes 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)
Get Your Tennessee Whiskey Trail Passport Stamped
Enjoy learning about the distilling process along with the BEST part, the tasting.
*Make sure that you make a reservation for your desired day in advance.
Learn why a hydrometer is used during your tasting and tour at H Clark Distilling. If you are really lucky, you might even meet Earl the cat.
Make sure that you try the gin at H Clark Distillery in addition to samples of their newest bourbon, and original black and tan whiskey.
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 an assortment of artists talk about the specific tree. The signs also share how that specific tree benefits people.
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 VERY popular and sell out quickly.)
Admire the View of Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge
A great view of the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge is located 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.
Enjoy a Wine Tasting at Arrington Vineyards
6211 Patton Rd, Arrington, TN
The vineyard hillside is perfect for a wine tasting and picnic. There is plenty of room to spread out and enjoy a scenic view with wonderful award-winning wine.
The carrying trays make it easy to find your optimal tasting site with a vineyard view.
Take a Picture in Front of a Local Mural
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
Where to Stay During a Visit to Franklin, TN
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 with lots of restaurants and shops.
During my stay I appreciated all of the safety measures in place along with extra measures taken for cleanliness.
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 are staying at the hotel, you are only a few steps away from an amazing meal.
A few of our favorites were the burrata, grilled pork chop (this entree is a MUST try), and the shrimp and grits.
How to Save on Your Hotel Stay in Franklin, TN
Take Advantage of Discount Hotel Rates
Additional Lodging Options
Leipers Fork, TN
If you want to stay close to Leipers Fork, the Pot N’ Kettle Cottages are a great option with lodging options for up to 8-10 guests. Leipers Fork is a small community located about 10 minutes from downtown Franklin with shops and restaurants.
There are four cottages to choose from that each have a unique style and charm within walking distance of shops and restaurants at Leipers Fork.
Are You Ready for an Adventure in Franklin, TN?
My friend and I really enjoyed our first visit to Franklin, TN and I can’t wait to go back!