FranklinIs Connected

A Day in Franklin, TN: Exploring the South’s Most Charming Town

A Day in Franklin, TN: Exploring the South’s Most Charming Town

Frequently topping the charts as one of the prettiest and most charming towns in the south, Franklin, Tennessee enchants visitors and residents alike. Full of culture, beauty and so many things to do, it’s impossible to experience it all in one day. But if you have a day to explore the town and are looking for some recommendations, we are happy to oblige. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite places to go, things to do, and sights to see. Read on to discover some of the best of Franklin, where you will find warmth and southern charm around every corner.

Rise and Dine in Downtown Franklin, TN: Your Guide to Delicious Brunch Delights

Downtown Franklin is serious about brunch. If you are looking for the perfect spot to start your day with beautiful views of downtown, unique food items, and delicious coffee, you are in the right place. Here are some local favorites where you can start the day off right.

biscuit love corn house

Biscuit Love 

Do you love biscuits? At this family-owned and operated restaurant located in Franklin’s historic Corn House, they sure do. Here, you’ll find plenty of scratch-made meals served with fluffy homemade biscuits and lots of love. Try the chicken and B-waffles, a twist on the traditional favorite featuring bubble waffles made with biscuit batter, topped with sweet and spicy Korean fried chicken and housemade butter toffee syrup.
Open daily 7 am – 3 pm •

132 3rd Ave S, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 905-0386

The Franklin Mercantile Deli

Affectionately known as the “Merc,” this downtown favorite is known for its cozy, relaxed atmosphere. The menu features traditional breakfast favorites with a few surprises, like Marmar’s sweet potato pancakes, served with bacon or sausage. Surrounded by local art and attended to by enthusiastic staff, you’ll experience true homestyle dining.
Open daily 8 am – 2 pm •

100 4th Ave N, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 790-9730

55 South

Named for the interstate that runs from New Orleans through Memphis, 55 South offers a brunch menu that’s like a road trip through the heart of southern cuisine. Stop in for some char-grilled oysters from the Gulf of Mexico, or enjoy some huevos rancheros, with eggs poached in salsa de arbol. Or keep it sweet with a New Orleans-inspired cinnamon roll pain perdu: French toast topped with traditional glaze and served with bacon on the side.
Saturday and Sunday Brunch 10 am – 2:30 pm •

403 Main St, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 538-6001

Frothy Monkey Franklin TN Downtown

Frothy Monkey 

Housed in the former manse of the Franklin Presbyterian Church, this eatery takes local to heart, sourcing ingredients from regional farmers and purveyors whenever possible. Start your day with their famous andouille & pimento cheese biscuit, or indulge in freshly baked pastries. Sip on a signature Monkey Mocha or choose from a selection of lattes, traditional coffees, and seasonal flavors. You can even enjoy your meal outside with your furry friend, soaking in the downtown views.
Open daily 7 am – 9 pm, Breakfast/Brunch served until 5 pm •

125 5th Ave S, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 600-4756

Explore Historic Franklin, TN: A Guide to Guided Tours

Whether you’ve lived in Franklin all of your life or are new to the area, you’re sure to learn something you didn’t know from a professional Franklin tour guide. In a town with as much history as Franklin, it’s not surprising that you have several options for a guided tour. Put on your comfy shoes and take a stroll (or ride!) through history. 

Pedego Electric Bike Tour Franklin

Pedego Electric Bikes

Take a seat on a Pedego electric bike for a Fun Franklin History Tour. This educational outing is led by a history enthusiast who will guide you through Franklin’s 16-block historic district. Learn about Franklin’s Civil War past and gain new perspectives on present-day Franklin. You’ll see historic homes, churches, and other significant landmarks.
Tuesday – Saturday at 10:30 am •

For the aesthete, experience a journey through the charming districts of downtown Franklin with the Historic Homes Tour. This tour highlights the distinctive architectural styles of the area and the fascinating residents who once called these grand homes theirs.
Tuesday – Friday at 1:30 pm •

48 2nd Ave S, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 614-3814

Franklin Walking Tours

Experience Franklin through owner and guide Alicia King Marshall’s captivating tours. All tours take place within the historic district of downtown Franklin, uncovering local secrets and hidden gems.

The Franklin’s Fierce Females Tour, a one-hour walking excursion, introduces you to some of the remarkable women from Franklin’s past. Settlers and spies, suffragettes and survivors, these southern ladies will inspire and amaze you.
Monday-Saturday at 1 pm •

Step back in time and discover the stories of the past with the Franklin Charm Tour. This 2-hour walking tour uncovers the town’s history, from its founding spirit to Civil War echoes and its vibrant present. Immerse yourself in days gone by as you stroll through picturesque streets, stopping at iconic landmarks where local residents share captivating tales of their buildings. The tour wraps up with a treat at a local sweet shop.
Monday-Saturday at 9:30 am •

14 E Main St, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 604-7171

Franklin Hop Tour

The Franklin Hop 

Create your own Franklin tour with the Franklin Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour. This vintage trolley journey with live narration makes regular stops, allowing you to explore historic sites, shops, and eateries at your own pace. Discover over 50 points of interest across four convenient stops: Carnton, The Factory at Franklin, and the Carter and Lotz Houses. Hop off to delve deeper into specific attractions, savor local flavors, and wander the storied streets. The full narrated tour is 45 minutes long and departs from the Franklin Visitor Center every hour on the hour.
Hourly from 10 am to – 6 pm, Tuesday-Friday •

400 Main St #130, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 883-5555

Boutiques, Bookstores, and Beyond: Shopping in Downtown Franklin, TN

No visit to downtown Franklin would be complete without some shopping. Whether you’re a fashionista seeking the latest trends, a home décor enthusiast searching for one-of-a-kind pieces, or simply browsing for the perfect souvenir, there’s something for everyone in downtown Franklin.

Landmark Booksellers Downtown

Landmark Booksellers

This beloved bookshop, housed in the oldest commercial building in Franklin, boasts a treasure trove of new, old, and rare books, including signed first editions, maps, and local history gems. Not just a haven for bookworms, it’s a nurturing space for local authors—even inspiring Franklin resident Karen Kingsbury’s bestseller, The Bridge. Step inside, explore the shelves and discover your next literary adventure.
Open daily 9 am – 7 pm

114 E Main St, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 791-6400

Franklin Antique Mall

Located in the historic Franklin Ice House, the Franklin Antique Mall offers an unparalleled treasure-hunting experience with over 12,000 square feet of unique finds. For 44 years, this landmark has been a destination for collectors and enthusiasts in Franklin and beyond, offering a vast and varied collection of antiques, collectibles, vintage jewelry, home accessories, and more. Stop in and find a piece of history to take home with you.
• Monday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm | Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm •

251 2nd Ave S, # 100, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 790-8593

JONDIE Boutique

With a reputation for amazing style and service, this Franklin boutique offers unique women’s clothing, jewelry, and accessories. Browse on your own or let one of the on-staff stylists help you put together a personalized look that makes you feel confident and beautiful.
Monday – Thursday 10 am – 6 pm | Friday – Saturday 10 am – 8 pm | Sunday 11 am – 6 pm

407 Main St, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 807-2386

The Heirloom Shop Downtown Franklin TN

The Heirloom Shop

The Heirloom Shop isn’t your average gift store. Family-owned and operated, this shop on Main Street is known for its carefully curated selection of gifts, apparel, and more. Whether you are looking for home decor, graphic tees, a personalized bag, or even a little something for the family dog, you’ll find it here. Speaking of dogs, be on the lookout for Pepper, the store’s canine mascot.
Monday – Saturday 10 am – 6 pm | Sunday 12 pm – 5pm

404 Main St, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 614-3144

White’s Mercantile

Step into a world of wonderfully eclectic treasures at White’s Mercantile, a modern general store unlike any other. Here you’ll find everything from handcrafted leather bags to organic dog treats, classic soap bars to goop skincare. Discover unique home decor, apothecary finds, and even Bloody Mary mixes, all meticulously chosen by singer-songwriter Holly Williams. It’s nostalgic and modern, practical and playful – all under one roof.
Monday – Friday 9 am – 6 pm | Saturday 10 am – 6 pm | Sunday 12 pm – 5 pm •

345 Main St, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 721-8028

Emmaline Boutique Downtown Franklin TN

Emmaline Boutique

Craving a wardrobe refresh that blends sophistication and understated chic? Look no further than Emmaline Boutique, a local gem in Franklin’s historic downtown. This beloved women’s fashion shop curates a collection of clothing, jewelry, and accessories from both renowned designers and talented local artisans. Whether you’re seeking elevated classics or unique statement pieces, Emmaline Boutique offers something for every style. Stop in to find the perfect addition to your wardrobe!
• Monday – Saturday 10 am – 6 pm | Sunday 12pm – 4 pm •

400 Main St, # 100, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 791-6205

Walton’s Jewelry

Walton’s offers a timeless journey through a beautiful collection of antique, vintage, and custom jewelry. With a rich history dating back to 1974, this family-owned boutique specializes in unique pieces that tell a story, including engagement rings, estate jewelry, and custom designs.
Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm

410 Main St, Franklin, TN 37064, 615) 790-0244

Savor the Flavors of Downtown Franklin: A Guide to Delicious Dinners

Take a break from exploring and treat yourself to a delectable dinner in downtown Franklin. From upscale steakhouses to soulful southern fare, these restaurants offer something for every palate and mood.

Red Pony Restaurant Downtown Franklin TN.

Red Pony

Since 2006, Red Pony has been providing upscale cuisine and exceptional service to diners in downtown Franklin. While the menu features familiar favorites like shrimp and grits, it also boasts unique and innovative dishes. Examples include elk meatballs and Danish blue cheese mashed potatoes, offering a sophisticated twist on classic Southern comfort food. Bar seating is first-come, first-served, but reservations are recommended for the dining room.
• Monday – Saturday 4 pm – 9 pm •

408 Main St, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 595-7669

Puckett’s Restaurant – Downtown Franklin

Puckett’s, born from a small-town grocery store in the 1950s, has been dishing up hospitality and slow-smoked BBQ in downtown Franklin since 2004. With a menu packed with classic comfort food, Puckett’s is a quintessential southern bar and grill. 

Dive into their daily-changing meat-and-three specials, featuring favorites like fried catfish and chopped steak with gravy. Southern sides include skillet mac & cheese and savory collard greens. They’ve also got soups, sandwiches, and their famous BBQ! With live musical performances every night, Puckett’s promises a true southern experience.
Sunday – Thursday 7 am – 9 pm | Friday – Saturday 7 am – 10 pm

120 4th Ave S, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 794-5527

Gray's on Main Restaurant in Historic Downtown Franklin TN - FranklinIs

Grays on Main

Originally the home of The Gray Drug Co., Grays on Main’s 1876 Victorian building was restored in 2013, transforming into a three-story restaurant celebrating the region’s heritage. Using locally sourced ingredients, the menu marries southern cuisine with a dash of global influence. Because the menu is ingredient-driven, selections will vary seasonally but expect the unexpected. Look for favorites with a twist, like crispy pimento cheese with moonshine pepper jelly or buttermilk fried chicken with a bourbon mustard pan sauce. Vegetarian options are available and the chocolate pecan pie is highly recommended. With live music every Thursday through Saturday, it’s a popular spot, so it’s a good idea to reserve your table ahead of time.
Tuesday – Thursday 11 am – 9 pm | Friday – Saturday 11 am to 11 pm | Closed Sunday and Monday

332 Main St, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 435-3603

Cork and Cow

Cork and Cow has been offering an upscale dining experience in downtown Franklin since 2011. Known for their meticulous attention to detail, this sophisticated steakhouse features a menu that changes with the seasons to showcase fresh, local ingredients. Beyond steak, you’ll find venison, seafood, and an assortment of inventive side dishes like red corn polenta with apple cider and butter. To complement your meal, choose a bottle from their impressive wine list.
Sunday – Thursday 5 pm – 9pm | Friday – Saturday 5 pm -10 pm | Bar Opens Daily at 4pm

403 Main St, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 538-6021

Raise the Curtain on Downtown Franklin: A Guide to Live Entertainment

After a day filled with delicious food, historical tours, and inviting shops, let the magic continue with an unforgettable evening of live entertainment in downtown Franklin. From the grandeur of historic theaters to intimate venues, Franklin offers a stage for every taste.

Mockingbird Theater Downtown Franklin Tenn.

The Mockingbird Theater

The Mockingbird Theater, located in building 6 at The Factory at Franklin, is celebrated as one of the finest venues for live music and events in the area. This venue not only offers a stage for an eclectic mix of musical genres but also serves as a gathering spot for the community, with a full-service bar offering beer, wine, spirits, and food.

230 Franklin Rd, Bldg 6, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 429-0157

The Franklin Theatre

There’s always something happening at The Franklin Theatre. Enjoy classic films, legendary musicians, and local songwriters—from John Hughes to John Oates—at this beautifully restored historic venue. Standing proudly on Main Street since 1937, The Franklin Theatre boasts a state-of-the-art sound system and undeniable charm. 

419 Main St, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 538-2076

Pull Tight Players Franklin Building

Pull-Tight Players

From its humble beginnings staging performances in old jail houses and schools to its current home on Second Avenue, Pull-Tight Players has continued to deliver creative, quality productions. With six mainstage productions each season, alongside vibrant youth programs, they offer laughter, thought-provoking narratives, and pure entertainment. 

112 2nd Ave S, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 791-5007

Studio Tenn at Turner Theater

Known for its impressive productions, Studio Tenn presents Broadway-quality theatrical performances at The Turner Theater. Enjoy classic plays, musicals, and original works in this recently renovated theater located inside The Factory at Franklin. Beginning in March, catch their production of Driving Miss Daisy, or mark your calendar for the upcoming production of Cabaret, taking the stage in May.

230 Franklin Rd, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 541-8200

Franklin, TN: Where Southern Charm Meets Unforgettable Experiences

Whether you’re a long-time Franklin resident or a curious newcomer, we hope this guide has sparked your interest in exploring everything this town has to offer. From mouthwatering bites to hidden history, live music, and engaging local shops, Franklin has something for everyone. So grab your walking shoes, pack your appetite, and let Franklin’s charm work its wonder.