Best southern town, most romantic main street, best places to live, etc. etc. etc.
These are only a few of the many honors heaped upon the surprisingly large small town of Franklin, Tennessee.
Most of us when we think about Franklin think about traffic congestion, Galleria shopping, and large homes belonging to country music stars. But if you take a short trip into the heart of historic Franklin, you will find a busselling, old fashioned town embracing the age-old American view that community matters.
America’s Favorite Main Street
After being founded in 1799 by state Senator Abram Maury Jr., the town was named after founding father Benjamin Franklin and was always considered part of metropolitan Nashville.
But in November of 1864, the name Franklin became well known. The Battle of Franklin has been referred to as the blackest part of the War Between the States, and the battle’s presence is still felt today.
With historical markers around every corner, world-famous antique shops, modern conveniences, and old-time flair, Franklin makes a wonderful day trip from North Alabama.
If you are worried about the traffic on Interstate 65, you can always take U.S. Highway 31 North, which deposits you in “America’s favorite main street” in the heart of Franklin without the hustle and bustle of interstate traffic.
Visiting Franklin can quickly become an overwhelming experience, but never fear, Wil’s Do-Not-Miss List will jump-start your visit.
- A visit to Downtown Franklin is a step back in time. The historic buildings lining Main Street are filled with shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Most importantly, Main Street is filled with people enjoying themselves. Of the many downtowns I have visited across the country, Franklin’s is the most vibrant.
- Built in 1929, this series of buildings now on the National Register of Historic Places originally housed the Dortch Stove Works, but is now a dining, retail, and entertainment destination.
The Carter House & Carnton Plantation Tour
- Both of these antebellum homes played pivotal roles in the Battle of Franklin. The Carter House was the headquarters of the United States Army and many skirmishes were fought on the grounds. A little more than a mile away, the Carnton Plantation served as a field hospital for the heavy Confederate States Army casualties.
- The town is famous for festivals throughout the year, and every season provides a festival encouraging locals and tourists to visit. Of the numerous festivals, “Dickens of a Christmas” is my favorite. Main Street is transported back to the Charles Dickens Victorian Age. You will find more than 200 actors portraying classic Dickens characters, special events, and something for everyone in the family. Be sure to grab sugar plums and roasted chestnuts to get the full experience.