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Nashville is arguably one of the coolest places to live right now, and its growing pains and high cost of living support that claim. But were going to focus on things to do in Franklin Tennessee. 

That cool factor of Nashville trickles 25 miles south to the much more manageable town of Franklin, home to the likes of Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, Wynonna, Alan Jackson, and the Paisleys, among many others. Although it’s possible to bump into a celebrity at the local Target, folks around here pride themselves in not making a fuss. Still, though, that didn’t stop our son during his younger days from loitering around Sweet CeCe’s hoping to catch a glimpse of Ben Folds.

Seeing his idol he did not, but we still managed to have such a great time in Franklin, and we’ve returned several other times. If you’re looking for a slower-paced Nashville vibe, check out Franklin. Here are a few things to do in Franklin Tennessee. 

If you’ve decided to pack up and visit Franklin, Tennessee but don’t know what to do with your dog, check out these 4 options for your dog while on vacation.

Enjoyable Things To Do In Franklin Tennessee

3 reasons to visit Franklin, Tennessee. If you’re looking for a slower-paced Nashville vibe, check out Franklin, Tennessee. Here are a few things to do in Franklin Tennessee. 

Downtown Shops & Eateries

This 16-block district is filled with shops of any size, shape, or market, from antique shops to men’s clothing boutiques, toy stores, and anything in-between. The nice thing is this area feels like a step back in time before malls closed downtown stores; many of these shops are locally owned.

You also will find a variety of eateries, from the aforementioned Sweet CeCe’s to Five Daughters Bakery. On a recent business trip, my husband sank his teeth into “King Kong,” a maple and bacon-infused confection, and he raved over it.

While TripAdvisor contains a long list of rated eateries, as a family we enjoyed McCreary’s Irish Pub and Eatery’s fish and chips so much, we might have left talking in Gaelic!

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The Franklin Town Square stands adjacent to the downtown shops, and is picture-worthy in and of itself with its Confederate soldier monument and well-manicured grassy knoll.

You can’t go to Franklin without immersing yourself in its history. The Lotz House Museum, Carnton Plantation, and Carter House landmarks all take center stage to the Civil War history and the 1864 Battle of Franklin. You can see all three as one of the offerings from Franklin on Foot Tours. This notable tour company also provides kid-centric tours as well. If you want to go at your own pace, pick up a self-guided walking tour brochure at the Williamson County Visitor Center.

Downtown’s completely restored Franklin Theatre provides a throwback to the romance of the 1930s with its large, well-lit marquee, while it also offers a much smaller concert venue than its Nashville counterparts. This theatre floods my heart with nostalgia from visiting my local hometown theatre when I was young. Here, you can enjoy entertainment from musical artists such as Ricky Skaggs, John Tesh, Jon McLaughlin, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Enjoyable Things To Do In Franklin Tennessee


Festivals should be at the top of your list when looking for things to do in Franklin Tennessee. Even though Franklin’s festivals draw large crowds, we still prefer coming here as opposed to fighting city traffic in Nashville. We have never been disappointed in coming to these varied festivals.

At the top of our list is the Main Street Festival, a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event. This is a free spring event filled with entertainment, carnival, food, and a juried arts and crafts show.

We have also enjoyed the Historic Home Tour and the annual Pumpkinfest.

Now that we live closer to Franklin, we can’t wait to experience for the first time the town’s “Dickens of a Christmas” this December. As Dickens-esque-costumed volunteers stroll the town’s streets and live music is played on the town square all against the backdrop of Franklin’s Victorian-era architecture, I’m very excited to travel back in time and meet some of my favorite Christmas characters such as Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge, and Jacob Marley.

Besides these amazing things to do in Franklin Tennessee, the best thing about Franklin is its small-town vibe. Sure, many states hold their own quaint, eclectic towns, but Franklin has so much to offer, the entire family will find something to enjoy, and I’m all about southern hospitality and fun for all. 

Tammy Tilley
Tammy Tilley
Tammy Tilley, mom of two adult children, cares deeply about parenting issues. Although she’s looking in the rearview mirror of her hands-on parenting days, once you’re a parent, you’re always a parent. She enjoys sharing a few memories and a touch of advice about spending energy on the things that matter. Tammy has a BA in English from Anderson University (IN) and a MS in Education from IUPUI.