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Top Things To Do In Franklin

Named for founding father Benjamin Franklin, the Tennessee city of Franklin unites small town nostalgia and urban trendiness with a dash of Nashville charm. Home to a historic downtown area with performance venues, art galleries and festivals, there is no shortage of cultural diversity and exciting things to do. Dive in and discover an unforgettable slice of southern hospitality in Franklin.

Historically, Franklin is known as the location of the Battle of Franklin, one of the largest clashes during the Civil War. Today the city’s storied downtown plays host to historic homes and a variety of local businesses, restaurants, and events.

The best things to do near Franklin include: 

  • Explore the 16-block downtown area filled with boutiques, restaurants and historic homes
  • Hike or bird watch along the trails in the scenic Timberland Park
  • Hit the links at one of the Nashville area’s toughest golf courses, Forrest Crossing Golf Course
  • Explore the history of Franklin on a house tour of Carnton Plantation, Carter House or one of the other many historic homes
  • The sky’s the limit for adventurous good times when climbing and exploring Soar Adventure Tower
  • There are many ways to take in the sights and sounds of Franklin without spending a dime. Whether you are a fan of great food and drinks, local festivals or exploring nature, Franklin has a little bit of everything. Free things to do include self-guided walking tours, live music, hiking the trails, and much more.

    Cheap things to do near Franklin include:

    • Stop by the Visitor Center and pick up a map for a self-guided walking tour of the city
    • Pack a picnic and enjoy a free concert and great drinks at Arrington Vineyards’ Music in the Vines
    • Start your weekend off right at a weekly local car show, Cars and Coffee, every Saturday morning at Carmike Thoroughbred 20 movie theater
    • Explore 61 acres of trails and park at Winstead Hill, including a scenic overlook of the city
    • Take in the local art and fresh fares at one of the many local Farmers’ Markets

    From exploring nature in the parks to world-class live music at the historic Franklin Theater, the city of Franklin is brimming with adventure and creativity. Get your hands dirty on a working dairy farm, walk the Civil War battlefields and admire some local art all in a relaxing day.

    Popular attractions near Franklin include:

    • See a live show at the Franklin Theater where many performance scenes from the hit TV show Nashville are filmed
    • Explore the history of the last great battle of the Civil War at the Carter House and Carnton
    • Watch as porches are turned into stages for incredible live music during the yearly citywide Porchfest
    • Tour the art galleries and antique shops during a visit to the quaint Leiper’s Fork Village just outside the city
    • Learn about life on a working dairy farm and taste some delicious cheeses at Noble Springs Dairy

    From the gorgeous parks to the historic downtown, people in Franklin know how to make the best of their surroundings. From goat yoga on the farm to Grammy-winning performances, there is always something new to see or do in Franklin.

    Exciting activities near Franklin include:

    • Savor delicious modern takes on southern comfort food at Tupelo Honey
    • Catch up on the latest blockbuster film at the Carmike Thoroughbred 20 movie theater
    • See a play or band at the historic Franklin Theater, the home of great live performances in Franklin since 1937
    • Try your hand at a variety of yoga events for the whole family during Yoga in the Park at Harlinsdale Farm
    • Explore historic downtown Franklin in style on a classic red trolley with Hello Trolley’s

    While many folks in Franklin spend their days working in Nashville, you don’t have to leave the city to find a variety of things to do at night. Live performances take center stage with comedy, music and art throughout the city, while great drinks and food flow freely at the many restaurants and bars around town.

    Nighttime activities near Franklin include:

    • Tour the local art scene across the city the first Friday of each month during the Franklin Art Crawl
    • Explore the expansive wine menu and fun, casual atmosphere at JJ’s Wine Bar
    • Cheer on your favorite team or play some games along with great food and drinks at Kings Dining and Entertainment
    • Dance the night away to great local music at the Tin Roof II
    • See a comedy show or live music at The Pond, Franklin’s most welcoming and entertaining dive bar

    Once the weekend arrives, folks in Franklin celebrate in style. From delicious food tours to scenic hikes, there’s something for everyone to love. Goat yoga, historic tours and a great local beer mean things to do this weekend are never in short supply.

    Weekend activities near Franklin include:

    • Eat your way across the city with pulled pork, grits, gumbo and more on a Franklin Food Tour
    • Take a day trip out of the city and hike along the scenic waterfront of the 904-acre Radnor Lake State Park
    • From beginner to expert everyone will love the goat yoga class offered at Harlinsdale Farm
    • Ride north and take a tour of historic music venues, homes or film locations in Nashville
    • Taste fantastic local beers made by an award winning chef and brewmaster team at Mantra Artisan Ales

    Franklin is full of fun and educational things to do with kids. Whether your little adventurers want to explore nature, scale a multi-level playground or kick back with some arcade games and a movie, every day is a new adventure for the whole family to enjoy.

    Family-Friendly things to do near Franklin include:

    • Camp, hike or rent a cabin in one of Tennessee’s 54 state parks including Radnor Lake, Long Hunter and Henry Horton State Parks
    • Climb through four levels and over 100 different structures as you scale Soar Adventure Tower
    • Check out the inflatable play area, arcade games, activities and more at Money Joe’s Cool Springs
    • Lock and load for an unforgettable laser tag adventure at Hard Knocks
    • Enjoy family-friendly movies for free with a picnic at Movies in the Park at Pinkerton Park

    Franklin’s picturesque downtown and deep appreciation for adventure are the perfect setting for a romantic night with your special someone. Day or night, the city offers a variety of romantic things to do. Adventurous couples will love rock climbing, cooking or glass blowing classes, while classic dinner and dancing date nights will take you to bars and venues around the city.

    Date night ideas near Franklin include: 

    • Spice up your night and enroll in a couples’ cooking class at McConnell House
    • If you love to be active and explore nature, strap in for rock climbing at The Crag
    • Tap into your inner history buff and tour the historic sights downtown topped off with cocktails at Grays on Main
    • Take a glass blowing lesson at the Franklin Glass Blowing Studio
    • Enjoy comfort food then hit the dance floor for a classic date night at Puckett’s Grocery

    Round up all of your friends for a memorable night out on the town in Franklin. Escape rooms, karaoke, craft classes, and other classic group activities can be found throughout town. Franklin-specific experiences like food tours and group archery lessons ensure that your friends and coworkers will talk about the trip to Franklin for years to come.

    Things to do with your friends near Franklin include:

    • Sleuth your way to victory before the time runs out in a variety of escape rooms at Liveminds Adventure Escape
    • Hop on stage and show off your skills during karaoke night at the Whiskey Room Live
    • See who can get the most bullseyes at Music City Archery
    • Bring a big appetite to the Franklin Food Tour, a walking tour of the city visiting seven different local restaurants
    • Get in touch with your creative side and sip some tasty drinks during an art class at Wine and Design

    Once you’ve explored the outdoors and gotten in touch with your inner adventurer, it’s time to find things to do indoors in Franklin. Try your hand at touring historic homes, seeing a classic movie or unplugging with a relaxing spa day – no matter what you choose, Franklin knows how to unwind in style.

    Franklin things to do indoors include:

    • Take a tour of a historic home like Carnton, Carter House and Lotz House
    • Grab a beer and get cozy with the locals at McCreary’s Irish Pub
    • Find your new favorite record at Luna Record Shop
    • Watch a classic movie, play or other performance at the Franklin Theater
    • Enjoy a relaxing day of pampering at A Moment’s Peace Salon or Woodhouse Day Spa

    Franklin is full of historic architecture and family attractions, but the best outdoor activities embrace the city’s natural beauty. With a variety of parks and trails to explore, there’s no shortage of wildlife and sights to see. Tour by foot, horse or hot air balloon and appreciate the gorgeous scenery during your stay in Franklin.

    Active things to see in Franklin include: 

    • Immerse yourself in nature and meet some of the local wildlife during a hike or walk along the trails at Timberland Park
    • Take in the sights and sounds from the air with Middle Tennessee Hot Air Adventures
    • Zip line and scale hundreds of different obstacles at Soar Adventure Tower
    • Bust out your clubs and try to beat your best score at Forrest Crossing Golf Course
    • Explore the area by horseback with Creekside Riding Academy and Stables

    Once you’ve seen all of the tourist attractions in Franklin, it's time to experience the parts of the city that locals love. Some of the best things to do in Franklin are found off the beaten path, and a few extra hours of exploring will give you a new perspective on the historic city.

    Must-see places near Franklin include: 

    • Admire the modern farmhouse décor and gifts at Tin Cottage
    • Sample pastries and other sweet treats at Five Daughters Bakery
    • Catch a recording of Music City Roots, a live radio show featuring world-class roots and Americana performances
    • Grab some popcorn and watch a classic film at Franklin’s premiere movie palace, the Franklin Theater
    • Check the events calendar and explore one of the many street festivals like the Main Street Festival and Dickens of a Christmas