Nashville and Memphis are two of the most iconic places to visit in Tennessee—both famously fun tourist destinations known for their world-class music scenes; bustling, iconic downtowns; and culture and history that can’t be beaten, it's no wonder visitors flock to these top Tennessee cities in droves.

However, there’s more to Tennessee than its two most glamorous cities—filled with charming small towns that overflow with an abundance of Southern charm, Tennessee’s smaller towns and cities are definitely worth a look. One of the state’s best-hidden gems is the city of Franklin, a mid-size city known for its charming downtown area that’s filled with fun things to see and do. Located less than 25 miles south of Nashville, Franklin is a great spot to spend the weekend for those looking to escape the city and explore this growing metropolitan area that still has plenty of small-town charm.

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Note: Franklin is also just over three hours away from Memphis via I-40, making it a perfect day trip or overnight adventure for those who need a break from the hustle and bustle of Tennessee’s second-largest city.

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Things To Do In Franklin

Franklin is so much more than just a day trip or weekend away from the big city—as a burgeoning suburb of Nashville, the city has come into its own as a lovely and unique place to visit.

Historic Downtown: The Heart Of Franklin

Franklin’s 16-block historic district is the epitome of small-town charm—with a lovely town square and stunning Victorian architecture galore, history lovers, art mavens, and discerning foodies alike will all find something to enjoy in this vibrant, welcoming town center.

  • Get an inside look at Tennessee history at Carter House, Carnton, and Rippavilla
  • Need some top-notch entertainment? Then stop in for a movie or show at the Franklin Theatre
  • Living Franklin has everything shoppers could want—a home store/interior design haven, this locally-owned gem definitely has the goods
  • Start the day right at Ruby Sunshine with a Ruby Mimosa and Biscuits & Gravy made with love
  • Those with a sweet tooth will love Kilwins Franklin—since 1947, this charming downtown spot has been serving up delicious treats to residents and tourists alike

Explore Franklin On Foot

Franklin is best explored on foot—and there are some great tours to introduce you to the best of this scenic, bustling suburb of Nashville.

  • Ready for the spooky season? Then the Haunted Franklin Tour is the way to go! Family-friendly and educational, this fun tour is perfect for those who like a side of scary with their history lesson. Learn more on the Franklin on Foot website.

Dates: April-September 8:00 PM; October-March 7:00 PM

Cost: Adults $25.00/Children 12 and under $10.00

Length: 90 minutes

Book Online: Yes

  • Visitors who want to learn more about the Civil War and its place in the history of Franklin will love the Civil War in Franklin Tour. Designed to explore the impact of the war on Franklin residents within a larger Civil War context, this fascinating tour takes travelers back in time to one of America’s greatest conflicts.

Dates: October-January 2021 Monday-Saturday 10:00 AM, Check online for 2022 tour availability

Cost: Adults $20.00/Teens $10.00/Children $5.00

Length: 10 Blocks; optional private tour of battlefields outside of walking distance available upon request

Book Online: Yes

  • Want to explore Franklin’s best eats? Then hop on board the Taste of Franklin Food Tour to experience all the Southern hospitality, welcoming vibes, and delicious eats that can be found in Franklin’s fab restaurants.

Dates: Fridays @ 1 PM October-December 2021, check online for 2022 availability

Cost: $59.00/person

Length: Unknown, call (615)400-3808 for more info

Book Online: Yes

  • There’s plenty to explore on the historic streets of Franklin. Learn about local architecture; famous residents; and some of Franklin’s most historic sites on the Classic Franklin Tour. The perfect introduction to local history, this family-friendly tour is a great way to explore the city.

Dates: October-December 2021 Monday-Saturday 10:00 AM, check online for 2022 availability

Cost: Adults $20.00/Teens $10.00/Children $5.00

Length: 2 hours/6 blocks

Book Online: Yes

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Where To Stay In Franklin

With so much to do in this vibrant, historic city, visitors may want to spend the night (or weekend!) Below are some of the best places to stay in Franklin:

  • The Harpeth Franklin Downtown: History, charm, sophisticated dining, and the best amenities. Rooms from $273/night
  • Drury Plaza Hotel: Comfortable rooms, free parking, and close to local attractions. Rooms from $159.99/night
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Franklin Berry Farms: A convenient 10-minutes from downtown Franklin, this comfy spot has some great amenities like an outdoor pool and fire pit; a fitness center; and free breakfast. Rooms from $157/night

With plenty to see and do—from historic, charming downtown, to amazing walking tours of local attractions, the scenic Nashville suburb of Franklin is a great spot to visit. Whether it's a laidback weekend getaway or a day trip from Nashville or Memphis, Franklin is a small city big on Southern charm waiting to welcome visitors with open arms.

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