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The Best Spots in Franklin Tennessee | The Great Southern Road Trip

Discover my favorite spots in Franklin, Tennessee from a native who grew up in the heart of Middle Tennessee.

I’m a southern girl through and through, but more specifically I’m a Tennessee girl at heart. Both sides of my family have long-lived in Tennessee and I am a University of Tennessee graduate.

I love the Volunteer State. My blood runs orange. The whole she-bang. And even though I currently live next-door in Alabama, I will always and forever be a Tennessean.

BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | Puckett's in Downtown Franklin, Tennessee

But not only was I raised in my favorite state in the union, but I grew up in Williamson County, the home of horse farms and country music stars. It’s like Pleasantville here.

Most southerners that I run into have at least heard of Franklin, Tennessee. And many reactions that I get when I mention the name of my home town elicits a response like: “I LOVE that place! It’s so cute!”

BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | Starbucks in Downtown Franklin, Tennessee

And it is, so so cute.

It’s the epitome of southern charm and historic character.

Downtown Franklin has an old world charm, but it’s modernized as well. It’s come a long way since I was a teenager and we went cruisin’ around the square and the Sonic parking lot – and then back again. Today the downtown area has some of the best shopping and eateries. If you’re vacationing there, these are a few of my favorites.

A Local’s Favorite Spots in Franklin, Tennessee

Favorite Shop for Trendy Southern Gifts: Tin Cottage, 334 Main Street, Franklin, TN 37064 

Y’all! If you love trendy southern decor and gifts, then this little shop with be your heart’s delight. If I could have packed it all up and brought it home with me, I would!

BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | Tin Cottage | Franklin, Tennessee

This is their old location. They’ve since relocated to Main Street! Even better!! And still one of my favorite stores.

BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | Tin Cottage | Franklin, Tennessee
BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | Tin Cottage | Franklin, Tennessee

Those Primitives by Kathy tea towels are one of my favorite things! I bought 3 of them!

Favorite Local “Nashville” Shop on Main Street: White’s Mercantile, 345 Main St, Franklin, TN 37064

I always feel like I’m walking into the local general store when I walk into White’s. I love picking up little seasonal plates for my china cabinet here. The old fashioned kids toy section in the back in great, too!

BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | White's Mercantile in Downtown Franklin, Tennessee
BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | White's Mercantile in Downtown Franklin, Tennessee
BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | White's Mercantile in Downtown Franklin, Tennessee
BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | White's Mercantile in Downtown Franklin, Tennessee

Favorite Lunch Date: Gray’s on Main, 332 Main St, Franklin, TN 37064

Originally the Gray Drug Co. pharmacy, built in 1876, this restored 3-story victorian building is home to delectable dishes and live music.

I’ve eaten at Gray’s for lunch a few times over the years and love it! I share some of my favorite dishes below, some of which are no longer on the menu. I highly recommend the pimento cheddar biscuits for the table!

BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | Gray's on Main in Downtown Franklin, Tennessee
BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | Fried Pimento Cheese Balls from Gray's on Main in Downtown Franklin, Tennessee

Fried Pimento Cheese Balls in Pepper Jelly Sauce at Gray’s on Main

BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | Shrimp and Grits from Gray's on Main in Downtown Franklin, Tennessee

Shrimp and Grits at Gray’s on Main

BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | Pear Pizza from Gray's on Main in Downtown Franklin, Tennessee

Pear Pizza at Gray’s on Main (I SO wish this was still on the menu.)

Favorite Pastry: Five Daughters Bakery, 230 Franklin Rd, Franklin, TN 37064

The Meeks family, which includes – you guessed it – 5 daughters, opened this delicious bakery back in 2015. Its home store can be found in the famous Factory at Franklin shopping mall. Their 100layer donuts, made with the finest ingredients, are slap yo’ mama good!

BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | Five Daughter's Bakery in The Factory | Franklin, Tennessee
BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | Five Daughter's Bakery in The Factory | Franklin, Tennessee

Triple Vanilla Donut and Strawberry Lemonade Donut from Five Daughter’s Bakery

BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | Five Daughter's Bakery in The Factory | Franklin, Tennessee

Favorite Hidden Gem: P.D.’s, 119 S Margin St, Franklin, Tennessee

This shopping emporium is off the beaten path in an inconspicuous building with no markings. There’s no sign out front. You won’t know you’re there until you get to the front door and find a handwritten paper sign in the window with the name and hours of the establishment.

Shopping hours for PD's of Franklin, Tennessee
Best Shops in Franklin, TN | PD's

But once inside you’ll find yourself in a Mecca of sensational home decor finds! I try to stop by anytime I’m in town during their open hours!

PD's of Franklin Tennessee

Favorite Ice Cream in Downtown Franklin – Kilwins, 405 Main St, Franklin, Tennessee

BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | Kilwins on Main in Downtown Franklin, Tennessee

Toasted Coconut and Marsh-Mallow S’more Ice Cream from Kilwins

Favorite Place to Buy Antique Decor: City Farmhouse, 230 Franklin Rd, Franklin, Tennessee

BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | City Farmhouse in The Factory | Franklin, Tennessee

BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | City Farmhouse in The Factory | Franklin, Tennessee

BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | City Farmhouse in The Factory | Franklin, Tennessee

BEST of Franklin, Tennessee | City Farmhouse in The Factory | Franklin, Tennessee


I sure hope you enjoyed this little tour of some of my favorite spots in my hometown of Franklin, Tennessee. I still enjoy visiting as often as I can since my family and dear friends still live in the area. While I may not live there still, it feels like home to me.

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32 Comments

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  2. Don’t forget the Franklin Farmers at the Factory on Saturdays. And be sure to get a Belle Springs Farm Market Lemonade. Their purple basil is fantastic!

    1. Hi Jacqueline! I’ve never been to Franklin Farmers at the Factory, but I’ll be sure to go the next time in I’m town on the weekend. And I’ll grab a purple basil lemonade, too! Sounds delish!

      xo, Laura

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  5. Lovely stop on the road trip; I never been to Franklin, TN, I’m adding it to my bucket list. I love little towns that have reinvented themselves into something beautiful and entertaining.
    Cheers!
    Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

  6. Is there any way you can make that darling car with flowers on top into a printable for us? I tried but couldn’t get it sized right. Love your description of Franklin. Will definitely make it a stop next time we are in the area.

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  14. Hi Laura, I just yelled at my husband “get to planning a Franklin vacation!” He’s on it and I’m super excited to go to all the places you mentioned, we’re coming from SoCal… Any recommendations as to hotels?
    Yahooo, I’m excited!

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  16. Was just in Franklin a couple of weeks ago! I love the area and the food and atmosphere is fantastic.

    We had lunch at Lyrics, but unfortunately were too full to visit Five Daughters across the way. ☺ Great place to go for a road trip!

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  18. Hi Laura! I’m new to your blog…via Dixie Delights. I’m a long-time reader of Amanda’s blog and noticed the link to your post on the Roadtrip series. We moved to Huntsville almost two years ago, and I just love it here! Although I enjoyed your post about Franklin, I would LOVE to get the inside scoop on all things Huntsville! Please share your favorite places to eat, shop, bargain hunt, etc. Thanks…and I’ll certainly be a regular at The Turquoise Home now that I’ve discovered you!

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  20. I have always heard how amazing franklin is and tell myself I need to visit. great recap of the city. love how fresh and modern things look and how pet friendly some of the shops are.

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  25. I’ve wanted to come to Franklin since reading “Widow of the South” about the battle of Franklin during the Civil War!

    1. Oh I’m so sorry! My friend who set up the road trip and I got mixed up. She thought I was writing about the town I lived in, not my hometown. I should write about Huntsville another time! (And we’re fixing the graphics ASAP!)

  26. So quaint! I haven’t been to that part of Tennessee in years. My brother lived in Nashville for about 3 years and I loved visiting him there and went to Franklin many, many, year ago. I would love a Nashville trip and a day in Franklin. Thanks for sharing your favorite spots. Fantastic photos too.

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  28. Great post Laura! I love Franklin, and I see so much here that I’ve never tried before. Time to head north again! 🙂

    1. Great post, and I’m very excited to read about Franklin. My husband’s getting transferred there and will be living there during the workweek and commuting back on weekends to CO. Thanks so much!

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