Spend a weekend among historic sites, delicious meals and country music stars. Franklin, Tenn., is just a 25-minute drive from Nashville, but it’s a whole other world. From a main street full with art galleries, shops and more to plantations steeped in the history of the Civil War to some of the newest, up and coming musicians, there is something to be found in Franklin for every person.
3 p.m. – Main Street Living
Get a feel for historic Franklin by traveling down Main Street. Beautiful historic buildings that have been lovingly preserved play home to art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. One of the most impressive sights is the Franklin Theatre. Built in 1937, this building has endured the test of time. In addition to showing movies, the Franklin Theatre also offers live music and plays. Visit White’s Mercantile for unique and eclectic finds, stop in Avec Moi for antique shopping at all price points and pop into Heart and Hands for Tennessee-made items and gifts.
7 p.m. – Dish It Out
While still on Main Street, grab a bite of dinner at Gray’s on Main. Originally housing the Gray Drug Company, the gorgeous Victorian building now serves up just what the doctor ordered … especially if the doctor ordered delicious Southern food made with locally grown ingredients. Providing seasonal cocktails and a varied menu, Gray’s on Main is an excellent choice for any group and occasion.
10 p.m. – A Night on the Town
For live music wrapped in that historic Franklin charm, look and listen no further than Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant. This venue offers local musicians a chance to entertain locals and tourists alike. Enjoy a drink or a late night snack while the talent takes the stage.
9 a.m. – Go Nuts for Donuts
Whether there’s a sweet tooth in the party or not, Five Daughters Bakery is sure to satisfy every single taste bud. Located on Franklin Road and part of The Factory at Franklin, this sweet little family-owned shop is home to the 100 Layer Donut. Not a donut fan? Never fear. They also offer a breakfast menu with biscuits, eggs and more, all made with love, care and high standards.
11 a.m. – The Factory Standard
The Factory at Franklin is truly a unique experience. Built in 1929 to serve as, well, a factory (Dortch Stove Works, Magic Chef, Jamison Bed Company), this complex has been renovated to provide visitors with shopping, dining, live shows and more all within historic factory buildings. Visit Luna Record Shop to pick up that favorite album on vinyl, CR-71 to find the perfect and funky décor piece for a home or office and Artisan Guitars to take that Americana and country sound back home.
1 p.m. – A Slice of New York in Tennessee
While at The Factory, pop into MAFIAoZA’s Pizzeria & Neighborhood Pub for authentic New York pizza. Even though it aims for that 1920s New York vibe, MAFIAoZA’s provides an atmosphere for kids and adults alike while offering specialty pizzas (whole or by the slice), mouthwatering pastas and decadent desserts. Finding another authentic New York pizzeria in the area? Fuhgeddaboudit.
3 p.m. – Living History
Step back in time for a tour of the Carter House and the Carnton. Built in the late 1820s, both of these homes bore witness to one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, the Battle of Franklin. Today, these homes are available to tour and for visitors to learn the history of the people who lived there. Specialty tours are available, including a walking tour of the battlefield and a tour that focuses on the institution of slavery and of the enslaved people at both homes.
7 p.m. – Dinner and a Show
Previously featured on the Food Network’s “Best of Baker’s Show,” Merridee’s Breadbasket makes their food from scratch and to order. Stop in at dinnertime for a sandwich hot off the grill, with options ranging from the classic Reuben to a grilled portobello mushroom sandwich to their apple bacon panini to many other options. And be sure not to skip dessert! Icebox pie, brownies or cake … all are perfect choices. Enjoy the meal while Merridee’s proudly presents some of Nashville’s most talented artists and songwriters to their stage.
9 p.m. – Picking on Tennessee
What trip to Tennessee would be complete without a little bit of pickin’? Visit The Legendary Kimbro’s Pickin’ Parlor for a night featuring local talent and artists on the rise. John Prine, Nanci Griffith and Pokey LaFarge have all taken the stage in this truly unique venue. Located in The District, Kimbro’s is an award-winning music venue made out of a former neighborhood store and a Victorian cottage. Offering late night food, drinks and an atmosphere like no other, Kimbro’s is not a place to miss.
10 a.m. – Munch on Some Brunch
Located on Main Street, 55 South is the place to find quintessential southern comfort food that pairs just right with a mimosa or bloody mary. Inspired by the tastes along Interstate 55, which runs from Memphis to New Orleans, 55 South offers some of the southern greats. Try the chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, or for those truly brave at heart, the killer breakfast tacos.
Have some extra time and need some big city living? Nashville is just a short drive north with many attractions. Catch a Nashville Predators hockey game at Bridgestone Arena, tour the historic Ryman Auditorium or discover the next big country act at one of the many honky-tonks down Broadway.
There are several chain hotels to choose from in Franklin. Interested in renting an entire house? Consider the Cottage on Main Street or The General’s Retreat. The Magnolia House is a perfect choice for those seeking a bed and breakfast inn.