Things to do on a Day Trip to Franklin, TN

May 24, 2024


When I heard about a city just south of Nashville with the cutest downtown and shopping malls, I knew I had to visit Franklin, Tennessee! This place is known for its beautiful downtown streets and shops, not to mention the delicious food!

This is the perfect place for a day trip if you’re planning a vacation to Nashville. Franklin is only 30 minutes away from Nashville, Tennessee. We only had one day to spend in Franklin, so we had to squeeze in as many fun things to do as we could.

So what does this beautiful city have to offer? Here’s what we did with one day in Franklin!

Brunch at Biscuit Love

We arrived in Franklin before lunchtime, and we had heard so many good things about brunch at Biscuit Love that we decided to give it a try.

Biscuit Love Restaurant in Franklin Tennessee

This cute little restaurant in downtown is actually in the historic Corn House that has been remodeled with chic, modern decor. But the real attraction is not the pretty building or the location within walking distance of the shops. People come here for the food, especially the Bonuts!

Bonuts at Biscuit Love in Franklin Tennessee

Bonuts at Biscuit Love in Franklin, TN

These blueberry filled donuts with lemon mascarpone topping are amazing! Bonuts are one thing Biscuit Love is famous for. The other thing is, of course, the biscuits!

We tried their famous East Nasty. It’s fried chicken on a biscuit topped with sausage gravy. So good!

East Nasty Biscuit at Biscuit Love in Franklin Tennessee

And I can’t forget to mention the bacon! Their bacon has a sweet and spicy sauce drizzled on top that gives it an awesome flavor!

Bacon at Biscuit Love in Franklin Tennessee

Franklin is full of great restaurants, but I would definitely try this one again!

Shopping in Downtown Franklin

After our yummy brunch at Biscuit Love, we only had to walk down the street to make it to the hub of downtown Franklin.

Statue and buildings in downtown Franklin Tennessee

There are so many unique and adorable places to shop. You are sure to find some great clothes, gifts, and souvenirs if you shop here.

Shops in Downtown Franklin Tennessee

I made sure to snap some photos of the picturesque old buildings housing the shops. My favorite was the old Franklin Theatre.

Old Franklin Theatre in Downtown Franklin Tennessee

Best Restaurants in Downtown Franklin

If you get hungry, there are plenty of restaurants downtown to choose from and a candy store with an ice cream shop inside.

Candy inside sweet shop in downtown Franklin Tennessee

I already mentioned Biscuit Love is within walking distance of downtown. But if you’re in the mood for something a little more savory and filling, you shouldn’t miss Puckett’s Grocery Restaurant.

Day Trip to Franklin Tennessee - Puckett's Grocery Restaurant

Puckett’s Grocery has been around for decades serving delicious Southern food. On some evenings, they even have live music!

Day Trip to Franklin Tennessee - Puckett's Grocery Restaurant

Day Trip to Franklin Tennessee - Puckett's Grocery Restaurant interior

Puckett’s has several locations in Tennessee. I’ve visited the one in Chattanooga as well. You’re sure to find something you like on Puckett’s menu full of Southern staples.

On my first visit, I tried the Nashville Cheesesteak and Fries. This smoked brisket sandwich smothered in barbecue sauce, cheese, and onions was delicious. (I asked for no bell peppers on mine).

Day Trip to Franklin Tennessee - Puckett's Grocery Restaurant Nashville Cheesesteak and fries

On a separate visit to Puckett’s, I ordered the famous slow-smoked pulled pork BBQ with a side of Skillet Mac n’ Cheese. I thought this meal was even better than the Nashville Cheesesteak!

Day Trip to Franklin Tennessee - Puckett's Grocery Restaurant Pulled Pork BBQ and Skillet Mac n Cheese

The Factory

The Factory at Franklin is an old factory that has been turned into a mall. The whole place has a cool industrial look.

Inside the Factory at Franklin, TN

Most of the stores inside are very artsy. There’s a record store, a flower shop, and even a pottery studio. I can’t remember which store had this bookshelf, but I was in love with these books organized by color.

Day Trip to Franklin Tennessee - Factory in Franklin books organized by color in store

The giant rocking chair in the Factory at Franklin, TN

There are also a few places to eat inside, including one of my favorites: Five Daughters Bakery! I’ve tried their famous donuts at their bakery in Nashville, and I wish we would’ve been hungry enough to get one in their shop that day! I definitely recommend it.

Things to do on a Day Trip to Franklin, TN - Five Daughter's Donuts in the Factory Mall Bakery

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Shopping at CoolSprings Galleria

If you are looking for a more typical mall, CoolSprings Galleria is a great place to shop! This 2 story mall on the north side of Franklin is very nice and clean. It has a lot of popular stores like Macy’s and Dillard’s, and it even has some stores that you won’t see too often if you live in a small town like me.

The food court is also nice, and we stopped there for a snack before we headed home.

Historic Carnton Home and Gardens

Things to do on a Day Trip to Franklin, TN - Carnton Plantation front view of the house

If you’re interested in history, especially history surrounding the Civil War, you don’t want to miss the Carnton Plantation. This beautiful historic home was built in the early 1800’s and even served as a field hospital at one point during the civil war.

Things to do on a Day Trip to Franklin, TN - Carnton Plantation home back view

The back of Carnton House

Various tours detailing the history of the house and grounds are available. We didn’t have time to take a proper tour on the day we visited. However, for only a few dollars you can have access to the grounds, cemetery, and my personal favorite, the gardens.

Things to do on a Day Trip to Franklin, TN - Carnton plantation gardens

The gardens have many beautiful areas to explore. While it’s not a very big garden, there is something unique around every corner. We ended up taking lots of photos here!

Things to do on a Day Trip to Franklin, TN - Carnton gardens tunnel

This Osage orange tree in the gardens is estimated to be over 200 years old, making it one of the oldest of its kind in Tennessee.

Things to do on a Day Trip to Franklin, TN - Carnton Plantation Osage Orange Tree in gardens

Whether you have hours to explore and learn about the rich history of this plantation, or just a short time to take a few photos, Carnton is not to be missed on your day trip to Franklin.

Things to do on a Day Trip to Franklin, TN - Carnton Plantation back porch with view of gardens

The view of the gardens from the back porch

We had a day filled with fun things to do, but there were so many more that we missed! I’ve been on a few day trips to Franklin, but I still want to go back!

What are your favorite things to do in Franklin? Leave them in the comments!

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Experience the charm of Southern hospitality on your next day trip! Located just 21 miles south of Nashville, downtown Franklin, TN is an idyllic destination that offers an enticing blend of history, art, and music. Explore the quaint shops, delightful eateries, and vibrant streets that will make your day trip from Nashville one to remember.

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