Franklin is a small city whose current popularity is frequently linked to its history. Things To Do In Franklin TN, there are constant reminders of the value in preservation, from Civil War battlegrounds occupied by historic buildings to antique shops and a renovated factory. Franklin tour past is visible and accessible, with tours of plantations, walks across battlefields, and strolls down Main Street.
History is only one of the factors that put this charming area on the tourist map. Franklin tour, a 30-minute drive from Nashville, is close to the urban beat but far enough away to provide a quieter rhythm. Whatever country music you hear, there’s more country in this Music City suburb in Franklin theater. Perhaps this is one of the reasons celebrities choose to live here or in nearby Leiper’s Fork at main street festival.
Challenge yourself at SOAR Adventure Tower, get the big picture with a hot air balloon ride or a hike to the top of Winstead Hill, and go deep into a plantation home’s war-torn cellar. You’ll be up, down, and whirling around as you pursue our list of Franklin tennessee attractions and fun things to do.
List Of Fun Things To Do In Franklin TN Today
1. Visit Lotz House and take a tour.
The Lotz House, built in the mid-nineteenth century, was the site of the Battle of historic downtown Franklin. It’s a Civil War museum as well as a collection of beautiful furniture designed by German woodworker and piano maker Johann Lotz.
Explore the house and learn about the Lotz family who lived there. Visit the property to learn about the five-hour battle that engulfed to visit Franklin on November 30, 1864. With 10,000 soldiers killed or wounded, it was one of the bloodiest battles of the war.
Choose between the Walking Battlefield Tour and the Lotz House Cellar Tour. The old mansion is open for ghost tours. Lotz House tours can also be combined with visits to other historic sites such as Carnton Plantation and Carter House when you visit Franklin.
2. Visit Carnton, a Civil War-era plantation home.
Since its construction in 1826, Carnton Plantation has undergone numerous transformations. The Carnton mansion was built by slaves in its early days, and the farm’s success was due to slave labor. Carrie McGavock, mistress of the mansion, transformed her home into the main field hospital for Confederate soldiers during the Battle of Franklin (last day of November 1864), one of the bloodiest in the Civil War.
Visit Carnton’s cellar and see the bloodstains on the porch for a deep dive into Civil War history. Choose between the Classic House, Battlefield, Behind the Scenes, and Slavery and the Enslaved tours. The tour of the house and grounds takes about an hour. Given that humans were enslaved here, visitors are encouraged to pause and be respectful.
3. Take a stroll down Main Street in Franklin’s Historic Downtown.
Aside from visiting Civil War mansions and museums, stroll down Main Street, which dates back to 1799. From bakeries to boutiques, antique shops to hair salons, catch the artistic flair and chic vibe. Browse bookstores, look at art in galleries, admire Victorian architecture, splurge on vintage clothing, see a show at the Franklin Theatre, and enjoy a pint of artisanal espresso gelato. Participate in a Franklin festival if the timing is right.
The magic of Franklin’s Main Street will reveal itself as you stroll past renovated and repurposed old buildings. Allow the magic to come to you while you sit on a bench and watch the world go by. You might see famous cool hipsters wearing cowboy boots. Although it may appear to be an odd pairing, yesteryear and modern times coexist on Main Street.
4. Visualize yourself hiding in Carter House’s basement.
On November 30, 1864, a once-in-a-lifetime event occurred at Carter House, about a mile from the Carnton mansion. While bullets and cannonballs rained down on their house, the Carters hid in the cellar, waiting for the shooting to stop.
If it’s difficult to imagine what life was like for Fountain Branch Carter, the home’s owner, his wife, and their 12 children, a tour of the Carter House State Historic Site will help. The bullet holes remain, as do open spaces pierced by cannonballs. The battle was brief, but the casualties were significant, with 10,000 people killed or injured. One of the Carter boys was a soldier who died from his injuries in his childhood home.
Tours of the sights Showcase the house, garden, and outbuildings for 60 to 90 minutes (including a one-room slave cabin and smokehouse). Investigate the issues surrounding slavery. Time spent on the battlefield emphasizes the contrast between five hours of face-to-face combat and quiet time to reflect on the events of that fateful day.
5. Take a detour to Leiper’s Fork to take in the scenery.
The drive to Leiper’s Fork, a rural hamlet less than 20 minutes from Franklin, is picturesque, with country estates and grazing horses. Some of these homes are rumored to be home to celebrities, so don’t be surprised if you see a country music star during your visit.
Typically, you’ll find Southern charm and Southern cooking, antique stores and art galleries, and whatever entertainment is on offer. Hillbilly Half-Marathon and Little Billy 5K in June, model airplane competitions in September, turkey shoots in November, and the “almost famous” Christmas parade in December are among the special events.
Leiper’s Fork is located on the National Register of Historic Places and is bounded by Joseph Street, Old TN 96, Old Hillsboro Road, and Sycamore Street.
6. Confederacy Cemetery at McGavock
Less than two miles away, the remains of the day after the bloody Battle of Franklin are adjacent to Carnton House. The two-acre McGavock Confederacy Cemetery, named after the family who lived here for generations, is home to nearly 1,500 soldiers.
The cemetery, located off Lewisburg Pike in Franklin, is organized by the states represented by the Confederate soldiers who died on November 30, 1864. Mississippi has the most dead (more than 400), followed by Tennessee, in addition to the graves of 225 unidentified soldiers. Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, Louisiana, Florida, and North Carolina are also represented.
7. Travel across the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge.
The historic Natchez Trace Parkway “traced” the path of early travelers (Native Americans, settlers, soldiers, and slave traders) from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. The Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge, a 1,572-foot-long concrete double arch, provides access to this famous byway. The bridge received the Presidential Award for Design Excellence one year after it opened in 1994.
The Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge is located 10 miles from downtown Franklin and nine miles from the line’s northern terminus near Nashville. The bridge spans a wooded valley and offers breathtaking views.
Timberland Park, which is close to the bridge, has 3.5 miles of hiking trails. Timberland Park is located at mile 437.2 on the Natchez Trace Parkway, just minutes from the bridge. Deer, foxes, raccoons, and wild turkeys live on the 72-acre nature preserve.
8. Shop and Catch a Show at The Factory
The Factory began as a stove factory in 1928, then evolved into a Magic Chef appliance outlet before becoming the Jamison Bedding Company. The 310,000-square-foot industrial and commercial complex known as The Factory has received an architectural facelift thanks to creative renovation and preservation. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997, while also establishing itself as a premier retail, commercial, and entertainment space.
Its more than 80 tenants include a diverse range of boutiques, galleries, studios, cafés, concert halls, live theater venues, antique shops, and offices. Liberty Hall, The Factory’s largest event rental space, is frequently combined with the Heritage Room; the Jamison Theatre; and the Little Theatre, an intimate space fashioned out of a boiler room.
Franklin Farmers Market is located behind The Factory, on the corner of Franklin Road and Liberty Pike, and is open on Saturday mornings.
9. Take time to reflect among the memorials at Winstead Hill Park.
Winstead Hill Park is a 61-acre historic battle site two miles south of Franklin that commemorates the Battle of Franklin. More than a century ago, the Army of Tennessee gathered 23,000 Confederate soldiers here. The hilltop map, memorials to United States states that lost Confederate soldiers, and tributes to six killed generals provide more information about the Civil War battle or harpeth river.
Aside from its significance as a national historic landmark, Winstead Hill Park is a peaceful setting where visitors can enjoy a stroll along a wide paved trail. While strolling and reflecting on your visit to Winstead Hill, you can engage in wildlife viewing and bird-watching.
10. Fly over lakes and hollers in a hot air balloon.
A balloon ride is a popular tourist activity in Franklin when the weather and wind conditions are favorable. West Tennessee Hot Air Adventures specializes in flying over Tennessee’s hollers (valleys) and hidden lakes. The company is a family-run business located outside of Leiper’s Fork, which is an interesting place to visit while on the ground.
Take in a sunrise or sunset during your visit to Benjamin Franklin to commemorate a special occasion. You cannot stand in line for your ride in the big basket, unlike most other activities. You’ll need a reservation to get up and away into the great blue yonder, given the demand.
11. SOAR Adventure Tower
SOAR Adventure Tower is a four-level amusement National Park or Pinkerton Park with over 100 climbing elements. Toddlers can play on the bottom level. With each level increasing in difficulty, parents can assist young children in having fun while overcoming obstacles. You’ll need skill and concentration to nail mental and physical feats on barrels, swings, rings, tightropes, and cliff simulations at the highest level.
There are day and twilight passes available. Your admission fee can include an 18-hole mini-golf course at Timberland Park.
12. Make a Splash at the Franklin Theatre!
The Franklin Theatre opened in the summer of 1937 and lasted 70 years before closing in 2007. The landmark Art Deco theater reopened its doors in 2011 after a multi-million dollar renovation by a non-profit preservation organization.
The 300-seat venue hosts a variety of events, such as classic and current movies, community and private events, and live concerts. Glenn Miller Orchestra, Art Garfunkel, and Sheryl Crow are among the artists who have performed here. With a musical repertoire ranging from classical to country, blues to bluegrass, make the Franklin Theatre your destination for a memorable night out on Main Street harpeth hotel.
FAQs About Things To Do In Franklin TN
Is Franklin, Tennessee, worth visiting?
It’s a look at rural middle Tennessee and the small towns that dot the landscape. The eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, galleries, and, well, people here is so appealing that it has drawn world-class talent… Don’t be surprised if you run into someone you know from the stage or screen.
What is Franklin, Tennessee famous for?
It was named after Benjamin Franklin and was founded in 1799. One of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War occurred here, attracting thousands of historic tourists each year to the Battle of Franklin, Carnton, the Carter House, and many other historic locations throughout the City.
Is there a downtown in Franklin, Tennessee?
Learn more about Franklin’s Historic Downtown. Downtown Franklin is one of the best examples of outstanding historic preservation in America. In this 16-block National Register district with over 70 unique shops and restaurants, walk along brick sidewalks and among an idyllic collection of Victorian architecture.
Where does Franklin Tennessee stand in relation to Nashville?
Franklin, Tennessee is located in what is known as Middle Tennessee, just south of Nashville. Nashville is in David Arms Gallery County, while Franklin trust is in Williamson County. It’s about a 20-minute drive up I-65 to Nashville, so it’s technically part of the Nashville Metro area.