As a quintessential small American town, Franklin, Tennessee embodies southern hospitality, tells a chapter of the Civil War, and is rooted in music. It has a population of less than 70,000 and is located approximately 20 miles south of Nashville. Over the past few years, Franklin has received a lot of attention being named the Best Southern Town, Best Place to Live, Number One Small Town in Tennessee, and Top 10 for Historic Preservation.
Franklin is most known for its historic attractions, many revolving around the Battle of Franklin, which was one of the most decisive battles of the Civil War. In five hours of fighting on November 30, 1864, over 9,000 people were wounded or dead. Many historical sights from this battle have been preserved, like the Carter House, Carnton Plantation, and Lotz House.
The preservation of Franklin doesn’t stop at military historic spots. Since 1937, the Franklin Theatre has been the heart of Main Street. To much of the town’s dismay, the theatre closed in 2007, however, in 2011, it reopened thanks to the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County for buying and renovating the landmark. Now, not only does the theatre show movies, but it also has live music gigs.
Another historically preserved landmark is the Factory at Franklin. Recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, the attraction includes factory buildings from the depression era covering 30,000 square feet, which have been renovated into art galleries, restaurants, antique stores, and retail stops. Throughout the year, the venue also hosts concerts, plays, and other entertainment events. It’s even the location of Franklin Farmers Market on Saturdays.
One of the most loved parts of Franklin has to be Main Street. It features 16 blocks lined with beautiful brick buildings home to shops and restaurants. Additionally, the road is classified as a “Great American Main Street” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. While strolling the downtown street, it’s easy to feel the pace of life slow down. And on many evenings, you’ll hear soft blues and country sounds filling the street and local restaurants.
As a singer songwriter town in the outskirts of Music City, there are plenty of opportunities to hear live music any day of the week. Many restaurants and bars in the downtown area boast stages, like Pucketts Grocery & Restaurant, The Bunganut Pig, and Gray’s on Main. Franklin is even home to the Pilgrimage Festival, an annual music and cultural event at The Park at Harlinsdale.
Franklin can often be overlooked because of its close proximity to Nashville, but this town deserves to be visited in its own right. With fashionable boutiques, trendy restaurants, laid-back bars, live music, and historical sites, there truly is something for everyone in Franklin, Tennessee.
What’s your hometown like? What would you tell out-of-towners to do and see there?