Your girl squad contains a foodie, a shopaholic, a history buff, an athlete and a self-confirmed hotel snob. So how in the world do you find a weekend getaway that pleases your entire Breakfast Club? Look no further than Franklin, Tennessee.
Franklin, TN, is located about 15 miles from downtown Nashville, but a fun weekend with your girls, no matter how eclectic the group is, can be had without having to venture to downtown Music City.
We scoured the county and came up with something for each of the personalities in your group to experience while enjoying Franklin and all of Williamson County. And who knows? Maybe after a few days of shopping, dining and exploring, each of you will come away with a bit more foodie or shopaholic than when you arrived.
The foodie in your group is going to love the wide array of local food and drink options throughout Franklin. Historic downtown Franklin boasts multiple locally owned eateries, including Puckett’s Boathouse if you are hungry for fresh seafood; Gray’s on Main, 55 South and Cork & Cow for a wide array of American food and craft cocktails; and a local favorite, Merridee’s Breadbasket, for homemade pastries and breads for breakfast.
In between meals, find time to explore the Masters & Makers Trail, which will show you H Clark Distillery in Thompson’s Station; Leiper’s Fork Distillery, Arrington Vineyards, Mantra Artisan Ales in Franklin; and Mill Creek Brewing Company in Nolensville. All of these artisan distilleries, breweries and wineries have unique stories, rich histories and are situated on some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever take in. Each offers tours and tastings, and many have live music and various events that make them a perfect place to cop a squat and enjoy a cocktail – responsibly, of course.
Both downtown Franklin and the artisan community of Leiper’s Fork will delight everyone in your group, but especially those who love to shop. Historic downtown Franklin has dozens of locally owned boutiques selling the trendiest fashions and accessories.
Park in either of the free parking garages on Second or Fourth Avenue and start shopping at The Shop Around the Corner. This beautiful old home is worthy of a stop just to see the history housed in its creaky hardwood floors. But inside, various vendors have set up shop in different rooms of the home. Check out Aubree P’s Boutique for some serious must-haves for your closet that won’t break the bank. Head back down Main Street and stop in the Iron Gate, Jondie, Philanthropy, Avec Moi, White’s Mercantile, Yarrow Acres and Walton’s Estate Jewelry.
While in Leiper’s Fork, check out David Arms Gallery for some amazing artwork using mostly nature as its muse, and grab something for the man in your life. Many days David Arms himself is hanging out in his beautiful barn wood retreat right on the main drag in the village of Leiper’s Fork and will offer the back story on his works and his inspiration. Right next door is the Copper Fox Gallery which is full of beautiful wares from local artisans. Next, head down to Serenite Maison. This shop offers an eclectic blend of everything from the most aromatic candles and soaps to one-of-a-kind jewelry and home furnishings. And while there, don’t miss their Picking Corner, home to world-famous instruments that are not for sale but are free for anyone to play, including by some of the biggest names in music who call the area home.
The History Buff
Williamson County is rich in history, much of it dating back to the Battle of Franklin during the Civil War. Although a bloody battle with a colorful history, it left behind a number of amazing buildings, homes and historical sites that have thankfully been preserved and have quite the stories to tell.
According to the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, there are 224 historical markers, 134 properties on the National Register of Historic Places, five historic districts and five national landmarks scattered across the county. Now, your challenge is to find them all! Hint: You might need more than a weekend to do so!
Three historic homes situated just outside of downtown Franklin that are worth a stop are Carter House, Carnton and Lotz House. All played significant roles during the war and are open to the public as museums of life during their heyday.
As you stroll down historic Franklin’s Main Street with the shopaholic in your group, notice the markers on many of the buildings and homes that now function as retail and restaurant spaces. There are also a number of walking tours available. Favorites include the self-guided walking tour (stop in the Visitors’ Center for info) and the Ghost Tours, which are led by candlelight and narrated by a guide full of insider information into ghostly sightings and happenings at a number of iconic sites.
Williamson County is home to a number of 5K and 10K road races and cycling events. The Franklin Classic, which has been an iconic 10K race through Franklin for nearly 40 years, always draws a huge crowd. The race begins and ends on Franklin’s Main Street. Leiper’s Fork recently started its very own Hillbilly Half Marathon that is arguably one of the hilliest road races you will ever run. A great resource for race events and dates is the Nashville Striders.
A massive cycling charity ride benefitting the fight against Multiple Sclerosis, the Bike to Jack and Back is an annual trek each October where thousands of cyclists mount up in Franklin and ride to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery, spend the night and ride back the next day. The 150-mile round trip is a must-do for the cycling enthusiast. It offers amazing rest stops, camaraderie, tours of the distillery in Lynchburg, TN, and it’s all for a great cause.
For the athletes who may enjoy a bit of a slower pace, there are several hiking trails along the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway. There are five separate trails canvassing more than 60 miles of beautiful, wooded scenery. Begin at Timberland Park, which is on the Natchez Trace Parkway at mile marker 437 near the Highway 96 entrance to the parkway.
If you need to stock up on gear or clothing before your hikes or runs, hit Bink’s Outfitters on Main Street in Franklin for basically anything you might need.
The Hotel Snob
After a day full of shopping, sight-seeing and hiking, you’ll be ready to check into an amazing place for the evening. Although Williamson County offers plenty of hotel options, a weekend away with the girls calls for something extra special and away from the norm.
Two great options include the Sweeney Cottage, which is a historic cottage built in 1892 for the Sweeney family that sits right in the village of Leiper’s Fork, and the Pot N’ Kettle Cottages, which are multiple cottages scattered in and around the Fork. All come packed with history, which has been preserved while the properties have been lovingly restored.
The Leiper’s Fork Inn, one of the larger cottages, consists of two 100-year-old historic homes that were moved, combined and restored. Also located in Leiper’s Fork, the Inn is a 3,000-square-foot property with four bedrooms, two full and two half baths. The two master suites include screened-in porches overlooking the village. The property consists of a garden and fire pits for catching up with your girls after a long day of kickin’ it in Williamson County.
When you’re ready to start planning your getaway to Williamson County, TN, visit visitfranklin.com.