Things to Do in Franklin, TN
Like any community, there are plenty of great things to do in Franklin, TN. Sometimes these events, attractions and restaurants are well known, while other times it takes a well-trained eye or local guide to introduce you to them. If you are looking for more variety, the more populous cities in Tennessee are certain to accommodate your desires of activities.
Ask Williamson County parents why they chose to put down roots here, and they’ll likely mention the award-winning public and private schools. But equally popular answers include the county's vast recreation opportunities, family-friendly festivals and abundance of fun places to entertain the kids. Clay and Laurie Carpenter moved to Brentwood from Nashville’s Green Hills neighborhood when they decided to start a family in 2004.
The arts abound in Williamson County, where small-town charm meets big talent. Whether it’s a top-notch stage performance or a celebrated gallery, Williamson County has myriad options for arts enthusiasts. Theater Year Round
The heart of Franklin, Tenn. remains a picture of the past, a throwback to simpler times when families rooted themselves in their towns. Main Street is lined with stores run by local entrepreneurs who know their customers on a first name basis, while local politicians attend ice cream suppers and cake auctions. At its core is an artisan lifestyle that doesn’t scream America – it sings it. The voice of that rustic soul is the Americana Music Association (AMA). Americana Voice Perfect for Franklin
Wonderful wines come from the ground, says Chase Vienneau, who knows whereof he speaks. As Arrington Vineyards’ winemaker, he deals not only with the making and bottling of great wines, but also with the soil, sunlight, weather, vines and growing techniques that are the ingredients of quality. “It all starts in the fields,” says Vienneau, who oversees what goes into the 20,000 cases of wine Arrington Vineyards sells at its tasting room and ships across the country. “We can’t make good wines without good grapes.”
Williamson County residents know how to have some good old-fashioned fun. All year round people flock to its cities and hamlets to take part in local festivals, fairs, free concerts and other family entertainment. “It really brings us together,” says Andy Marshall, who grew up in Franklin and owns the popular Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant Southern-style restaurants in the region. “[The events] mean a lot to us, and they’re a great way to show off our community.”
Franklin's historic attractions have long been a lure to Williamson County, and the area is poised to provide even more to see and do for people interested in Civil War history, thanks to a local nonprofit organization.
Williamson County seamlessly mixes historic architecture and small-town charm with live music, visual arts galleries and other businesses that showcase local art, making picking a starting point the toughest part for a newcomer who wants to explore the local arts scene. Fortunately, the Franklin First Friday Art Crawl takes care of that. Franklin First Friday Art Crawl
A typical Sunday drive in Williamson County can mean instantly connecting to a vital part of American history. The Natchez Trace Parkway, with its north end near Fairview at Highway 100, has been traveled by pioneer settlers, Native Americans and even U.S. presidents. Today, outdoors enthusiasts enjoy the Parkway for camping, biking and hiking, while motorists travel its 444 miles from here to the southern terminus in Natchez, Miss.
In 1880, just 16 years after a momentous Civil War battle had left its indelible mark on the city of Franklin, Harvey McLemore, a former slave and successful farmer, made a new kind of history when he bought land in downtown Franklin and built his home. The neighborhood, known as Hard Bargain, became a prosperous middle-class black neighborhood in the 19th century, an area rich in history to this day. And for generations – more than 117 years – the McLemore family lived in their simple, white frame house, now a part of history.
Pull-Tight Players theater group certainly has seen a lot of drama over the years. Bringing live theater to Franklin for more than 40 years, this nonprofit community theater company continues to remain a favorite among theatergoers. Known for its production of shows such as "Bye, Bye, Birdie," "The Nutcracker," "Footloose," "Kiss Me, Kate," "The Taming of the Shrew" and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," the company strives to bring entertainment enjoyable for the whole family.
Every year they dress up as Santas, rocket ships, football players and be-spangled hula girls. But these costumed cuties aren’t trick-or-treating children. They’re sausages, and they’re ready to race.
An impressive collection of local restaurants gives Williamson County residents unique dining options and a range of price points that suits many budgets. American $ Elevated Southern cuisine dubbed “urban country,” Mac & Kate's offers delicate dishes made with the love of the South. $$ Catch the spring breeze on Wild Iris’ outdoor patio and snack on handcrafted appetizers or partake of the full bar.
As a young man, Andy Marshall felt his future involved following in his father’s footsteps, never imagining he’d be among the most successful restaurateurs in Nashville. “I was raised in the grocery business,” Marshall says. “I started working in the back room at 14, by 16 I was in produce, by the time I went to college it was all I knew.”
This suburban secret is getting out. Beer lovers have discovered Williamson County's surprisingly strong craft brew scene. While breweries are relatively new to the area, local beer makers have quickly amassed loyal fans and proved that establishments in Williamson County can hang with the best of them, combining skilled brewers and traditional mixing techniques with the freshest ingredients available. Slow and Steady
Fans of made-from-scratch homemade pies have found a haven in Papa C Pies. Papa is an endeavor by father-son duo Gary and Chad Collier to deliver signature homemade pies to hungry patrons around the country.
Dining options in Williamson County continue to grow. New restaurants and breweries offer tempting treats for the most discerning taste buds, while longtime residents are still loyal to favorite eateries that serve tried and tested recipes with a side of hospitality and a cup of conversation. Here's a sample of what you can sink your teeth into. American Classics
Skillet-fried chicken with corn bread dressing or baked pork chops with macaroni and cheese. What could be better? If you’re looking for comfort food, look no further than Franklin, Tennessee. Here, Southern cuisine is as plentiful as the portions that are served at many area restaurants. Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant
Williamson County offers a slice of the good life, where residents have many great restaurant choices. Here is a quick background of the local dining scene that sizzles: Long-Standing Franklin, TN Restaurants
For farm-fresh vegetables, bluegrass music and community spirit, Williamson County turns to the Franklin Farmers Market. The market at The Factory at Franklin is open year-round on Saturdays. With rising demand for fresh food from local farms, there are two market days each week through the summer season.
What does a country music star do when he isn't crooning tunes? If he's Kix Brooks, he picks up a side job as a vinter and opens the impressive Arrington Vineyards just outside Franklin, Tennessee in Arrington. He had a little help, of course, and with businessman Fred Mindermann and winemaker Kip Summers as his allies, the 75-acre vineyard sprung to life in 2005.
Williamson County is a hub of activity, but is also home to many scenic refuges of peace and quiet. Set against the backdrop of the Tennessee hills, its many parks are perfect for hiking, picnicking, or just enjoying the outdoors. There are also several athletic fields for the active nature lover. Nature’s Bounty
Two summer camps, Camp Marymount in Fairview and Deer Run Camps and Retreats in Thompson's Station, give visitors a special look at Williamson County’s wild side. Established in 1939, Camp Marymount comprises 340 acres. The camp includes 18 camper cabins, four cabins for support staff and retreats, an infirmary, an arts and crafts hut, an outdoor amphitheater, a nature center, a five-acre spring-fed lake and a dining hall.
In Williamson County, there is no shortage of places that keep athletes and sports enthusiasts ready for their next challenge. Showtime Sports Academy Showtime Sports Academy provides baseball and softball instruction at its 35,000-square-foot facility, as well as a seasoned group of instructors, among them a former Major League Baseball pitcher, a Hall of Fame college coach and a Sun Belt Conference player of the year.
Among the most highly prized amenities in Williamson County are its sports facilities, which continue to grow and improve. Outdoor sports parks and indoor complexes host state, regional and national tournaments and provide the perfect setting for pickup games and athletic instruction. Though the economic impact on Williamson County of all these facilities is unknown, community leaders say it's in the millions of dollars.
The soccer scene in Williamson County for youth and adults has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, thanks to top-notch facilities, active participation by several clubs and the strong sense of community among those involved. Tennessee Soccer Club The Tennessee Soccer Club formed in June 2012, unifying two established groups: the Tennessee Futbol Club and the Brentwood Soccer Club.
Friends of Franklin Parks, a new organization, is bringing creative energy, volunteer spirit and improvements to the city’s 16 parks. Founded in spring 2011, the growing nonprofit, an offshoot of the Franklin Tomorrow civic advocacy group, hopes to involve local parks-lovers in building an unparalleled park system.
Whether you’re a runner, a swimmer, a ballplayer or just a nature-lover, Williamson County parks have a place for you. The county is widely known for its bounty of great parks and recreational facilities – 31 in all – that encompass everything from athletic fields to indoor swimming to community centers to wide-open green spaces. After all, that’s what people have come to expect in this growing community.
Only 20 miles south of downtown Nashville, a drive to Williamson County is well worth the trip. Rural landscapes, historic sites, great food, wine and music are among the many things found along two self-guided driving tours that wind their way through the county. The Jack Trail
The golf club scene in Williamson County offers many links to like, ranging from a par 3 course to a championship venue designed by Arnold Palmer. Here are some of the options that keep golfers on their tees:
Williamson County is known for gorgeous scenic drives, multi-activity parks, and lots of leagues and top-notch facilities for competitive sports. Here are some recreation hotspots: Bowie Park and Nature Center
The only mall in Middle Tennessee with five department stores is a huge success story. Just ask the 17 million people who shop there each year. CoolSprings Galleria, owned by CBL & Associates Properties of Chattanooga, is a 1.1 million-square-foot super regional center that attracts shoppers from as far away as northern Alabama and southern Kentucky. Located off I-65 at Moores Lane, the mall's five anchor stores are Dillard’s‚ JC Penney‚ Macy’s‚ Sears and Belk.
Franklin is famous for its shopping scene. Whether your style is an all-inclusive mall, a charming district with cute boutiques to match or a collection of eclectic shops, you'll find it in Franklin.