25+ things to do in Franklin, TN

Downtown Franklin at sunset | Photo via @trentonleephotography

This conversation was written by Gunnar Eng, NASHtoday’s digital media intern.

If you’re looking for a new day trip opportunity, Franklin is only 20 miles from downtown and has plenty of fun activities. Fun fact: The town of Franklin was established in 1799 + named after Benjamin Franklin


Is it even a trip to Franklin without seeing the Natchez Trace Parkway? You can take your family to the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge (over State Route 96) for the perfect family photo. Bonus: The bridge won the Presidential Award for Design Excellence in 1995 + an Award of Merit from the Federal Highway Administration in 1996 for its design.

Food + Bev 

If your guests need coffee to get going in the morning, but you’re not exactly a baristaHonest Coffee Roasters, The Good Cup, and Southerner’s Coffee offer a range of caffeinated and decaffeinated options.

Need plans after sunset? Grab a drink at one of these local bars: Hop House, The Pond, or Dolan’s Bar & Grill.

As for food — our personal favorites include Franklin Mercantile, 55 South, Cork & Cow, and breakfast at Merridee’s Breadbasket, which also has a great lunch menu.

We love McCreary’s Irish Pub & Eatery, Gray’s on Main, O’ Be Joyful + Wild Ginger, and we recommend satisfying your sweet tooth at Triple Crown Bakery. Pro tip: Order ahead for a custom-made cake.

And if you’re gluten-free, we’ve got you covered there too. Check out this list of 20+ local restaurants with gluten-free options. 

For the whole family

Let the kids — or grandkidsrun around + explore the DEFY Trampoline Park or plan your escape with the whole family at Breakout Games

Take the whole family for a day at SOAR Adventure Tower — featuring four levels with 110 climbing features + mini golf. Load up the car and spend the afternoon exploring historic Leiper’s Fork or take the family bowling at Franklin Entertainment Center

Outdoor activities

If your visitors are ready for some outdoor fun, there are a variety of parks to explore. Grab some pizza from Mafiaoza’s Franklin and head to The Park at Harlinsdale Farm for a picnic. Visiting Pinkerton Park is the perfect way to get some fresh air while taking in all of the beauty Franklin has to offer.


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Indoor activities

Whether you’re looking to beat the heat or keep warm, spend a day exploring the Urban Air Adventure Park for some indoor fun.

Franklin also boasts excellent historical sites. Tour three historic houses that were on site at the Battle of Franklin: The Carter House, The Lotz House, and Carnton. Learn more about the Civil War and the city of Franklin by taking a Franklin Walking Tour

If you’re looking for a place to shop + grab some fresh food, check out The Factory at Franklin. A former stove factory, the space now hosts a year-round farmers market, shops, restaurants + entertainment.


If you’re looking to stay for the weekend, here are some places to stay:

Hilton Garden Inn, 9150 Carothers Pkwy. | Price

This hotel is conveniently located near CoolSprings Galleria with many shops and restaurants. It has an outdoor pool, fitness center, and an on-site restaurant. 

Tru by Hilton Franklin, 1001 Knoll Top Ln. | Price

This hotel is located close to downtown Franklin and offers a free breakfast. Featuring a unique mural, the hotel has fun activities for both kids and adults. 

Embassy Suites, 820 Crescent Centre Dr. | Price

Located just two miles from CoolSprings Galleria + five miles from downtown Franklin. The hotel features an indoor pool, made-to-order breakfast, and a complimentary evening reception.