Located just 20 miles south of Nashville, Franklin, Tennessee used to just be thought of as a suburb of the much larger Music City, but in the past decade, Franklin has made a name for itself as a worthy destination all on its own. We had the opportunity to work with Visit Franklin to put together the perfect weekend getaway. The idea is that you would get in town on a Friday afternoon/evening and stay through Sunday afternoon/evening. This itinerary is packed with romance, dining, activities, nightlife, and more. We want to give a huge "Thank You" to Visit Franklin for helping us put this together and for all of the excellent information!
*Check out our "Tennessee: Weekend in Franklin" travel vlog for a closer look at our time in Franklin!
If you want a FREE Printable for our Franklin Itinerary scroll to the bottom!
Let’s get to it...
4:00 pm: Charcuterie and wine tasting at Arrington Vineyards (6211 Patton Rd, Arrington, TN)
Co-owned by Country Music artist Kix Brooks, Arrington Vineyards sits on a beautiful 95 acre property which includes 16 acres of vineyards, five tasting rooms, gorgeous views, shaded picnic areas, live music on weekends (April to November), and plenty of free parking. They proudly produce and bottle all twenty-one of their award-winning wines onsite and have become known as "Nashville's Wine Country".
We brought our own charcuterie (which is totally welcomed) but they also offer cheese, meat, and fruit platters on site if you don’t want to hassle with bringing your own. Once we were there we ordered their wine flight (which included 4 wines - Scarlett, Honeysuckle, Riesling, and Blackberry) as well as their Frose Rose (wine slushy). We aren’t necessarily “wine people”, but we really enjoyed both the flight and Frose Rose, but the sweet, Blackberry wine was our favorite!
6:30 pm: Check-in at The Harpeth Hotel (130 2nd Ave N, Franklin, TN)
Opened in October 2019, this 119 room, 4-star lifestyle Curio by Hilton property is the PERFECT place to call “home” for your getaway in Franklin. Considering that it’s walking distance to all of the downtown attractions as well as having the 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails and McGavock’s Coffee Bar & Provisions located on property, it doesn’t get much more convenient. On top of that, the property is just beautiful! If you can, we definitely recommend booking a room with a balcony! We loved sitting out there in the evenings watching the sunset.
7:30 pm: Dinner at 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails inside Harpeth Hotel (130 2nd Ave N, Franklin, TN)
Located inside The Harpeth Hotel, 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails highlights a
seasonal menu sourcing ingredients from local farmers, ranchers, and fishermen to showcase the region's flavors. It also offers an extensive cocktail program and whiskey collection.
For drinks, we ordered the Rye Old Fashioned and the 1799 Cobbler and were very pleased.
For our appetizer, we ordered the Buttermilk Fried Quail and it was SO GOOD! It was served on top of 2-3 Johnny Cakes (cornmeal flatbread) and then topped with pickled sweet peppers and finished with a Bourbon Maple glaze. The mild heat of the peppers paired perfectly with the bourbon maple to create a delicious sweet and spicy combo!
For entrees, we got the Angus Beef Tenderloin and the Cornish Hen. Both were cooked and seasoned perfectly! The Beef Tenderloin was served with Old Bay Fries, Crispy Kale, Broccolini, and a Bordelaise Sauce. The Old Bay Fries were a nice variation of the tried and true french fries, and the Crispy Kale was an excellent texture addition to the dish. The Cornish Hen was served with Fingerling Potatoes, Carrot, Parsnip, Onion, Chimichurri, Sunchoke Puree, and Herb Butter. Other than the Cornish Hen itself, the Potatoes and Carrots were highlights of the dish! Both were cooked al dente with the perfect amount of herbs and spices.
For dessert, we had the house-made Cheescake with a mixed berry sauce and chocolate mousse and it did not disappoint! Given, there was nothing unique about it, it was very well executed and delicious!
9:30 pm: Explore Downtown Franklin/Live Music
O’ Be Joyful (328 TN-6, Franklin, TN)
Gray’s on Main (332 Main St, Franklin, TN)
Puckett’s (120 4th Ave S, Franklin, TN)
When some of the area's best coffee AND doughnuts are under the same roof, it’s a no brainer what’s for breakfast! Honest roasts and brews an excellent blend of coffee that makes for a delicious pour over. They also have chai tea and hot chocolate for the non-coffee drinkers like Natalie! And Five Daughters Bakery is known for their 144 layer doughnut also known as a cronut (croissant + doughnut). It is probably what you’ll be served as you walk through the Pearly Gates! They’re that good!
9:00 am: Explore The Factory at Franklin (230 Franklin Rd, Franklin, TN)
Housed in a former stove factory, The Factory is loaded with character! This historic property that has become a top destination for shopping local, artisan goods, trying culinary delights (like Honest and Five Daughters), and watching great live entertainment. Some of it's more interesting tenants include the North American headquarters of Lonely Planet, a Broadway theatrical production company by the name Studio Tenn, and three different performance halls that host a variety of productions including the CMT Crossroads series.
11:00 am: Civil War history visit at Carnton (1345 Eastern Flank Dr, Franklin, TN)
On November 30, 1864, Carnton was witness to one of the bloodiest battles of
the entire Civil War. Everything the McGavock family ever knew was forever
Changed. Carnton was built in 1826 by former Nashville Mayor Randal McGavock (1768-1843). Throughout the 19th century, it was frequently visited by those shaping Tennessee and American history, including President Andrew Jackson. The Battle of Franklin lasted barely five hours with the majority of the combat in the dark of night and at close quarters. This led to some 9,500 soldiers being killed, wounded, captured or counted as missing. Nearly 7,000 of that number were Confederate troops. Carnton served as the largest field hospital in the area for hundreds of wounded and dying soldiers.
While experiences like these can sometimes be hard to take part in just because the heaviness of the subject matter, we think it’s important to learn from history rather than to ignore it. The staff at Carnton does an excellent job of giving the facts and addressing the issues of the time very tastefully. And they are so knowledgeable about the property and the events that occurred there. We definitely suggest carving some time out of your day to learn about the history of not only Franklin, but the US.
1:00 pm: Lunch at Gray’s on Main in downtown Franklin (332 Main St, Franklin, TN)
Housed inside what was the local pharmacy for 70-plus years, Grays On Main keeps the historic pharmacy feel while also placing a modern flare on Southern culinary traditions. We always love when new businesses pay homage to the history of a building and the life it used to hold, and I don’t know if we’ve ever seen anyone accomplish this as successfully as Gray’s has. Everywhere you look is another piece of history that they’ve managed to preserve and make part of the ambiance. So, be sure to look around and ask any of the staff about the unique decor and history!
On top of the building being an experience all on it’s own, Gray’s also has some AMAZING food! We ordered their famous “Fried Pimento Cheese Balls'' for our appetizer and my gosh… those things are delicious! And the moonshine pepper jelly that they’re served with just take things to the next level! It’s a plate full of Southern! For our entrees, we ordered the Korean BBQ Pork Sandwich (pulled braised pork, cranberry ginger chutney, red cabbage slaw, and water chestnuts served on Cuban bread with sweet potato chips) and the special, off-menu Braised Short Rib Sandwich (braised short rib and red cabbage slaw served on ciabatta bread with sweet potato chips). We unintentionally both ordered Asian inspired flavors, but both sandwiches were quite tasty! And the sweet potato chips were perfectly salted and crispy!
2:00 pm: Explore downtown Franklin
If you aren’t up for just aimlessly roaming the streets of Franklin, then you’re in luck, because Visit Franklin.com offers some pretty cool self guided walking tours that are worth checking out:
Sweet Treats Trail - Explore Williamson County’s amazing freshly baked pies, homemade cakes, decadent candies, and more with the Sweet Treats Trail! Enjoy discounts and special offers at select locations with the Sweet Treats Trail passport. Great American Main Street Trail - Explore Franklin’s award-winning Main Street! Learn about local history as you stroll past historic homes, buildings, and more with our Great American Main Street digital passport.
Historic Homes of Hinceyville - Stroll through one of Franklin’s most historic neighborhoods! On this self-guided walking tour, you’ll discover the history of each home, observe a variety of amazing architectural styles, and take in the quaint Hincheyville neighborhood.
** As you’re exploring you’ll probably notice an abundance of white dog bowls and pet-friendly signage along Main Street. This is because Franklin is the pilot city for Franklin-based Mars Petcare’s “Better Cities for Pets” program”, so all 90+ shops and restaurants that can be are pet-friendly. The BCFP program is currently being adopted by 39 other North American cities with plans to continue adding to that list!
Suggested shops & stops….
White’s Mercantile (345 Main St, Franklin, TN)
All things southern and owned by Holly Williams, daughter of Hank Williams Jr.
Franklin Theatre (419 Main St, Franklin, TN)
1937 theater that was a classic movie house until its 2007 renovation. Now considered the top 300-seat music venue in the world, hosting top acts from all
genres of music.
Landmark Booksellers (114 E Main St, Franklin, TN)
Classic southern bookstore, and the basis for author Karen Kingsbury’s NYT
Best Selling book (and Hallmark movie) The Bridge. Empty nesters Joel and Carroll Tomlin now live above the bookstore and work there every day. Joel is every bit the classic southerner and is worth chatting with just to have the experience.