Its quaint Main Street and Civil War history make
Franklin one of America’s hidden gems.
Do you love spending Saturdays on the couch watching Hallmark movies? Then visit Franklin, Tennessee, a picture-perfect Americana town. So perfect several Hallmark movies have been filmed here. The local bookstore, Landmark Booksellers, inspired the novel “The Bridge” which also became a Hallmark movie. That’s the sort of town
Franklin is. It’s also the site of the Battle of Franklin, so civil war references abound. Here, engaged couples create their own pieces of history and write their own stories.
Sip: Arrington Vineyards
Arrington Vineyards is the only area winery and an ideal wedding location. Sitting on 100 acres of a previous hog and cattle farm, the tasting lodge is open seven days a week; reservations not required.
The signature wine experience includes wines, cheese and a commemorative wine glass. Kix Brooks (Brooks and Dunn) is a partial owner and all guests are invited to become a member of Kix’s Wine Club.
Visit: Leiper’s Fork
Just fifteen minutes from Franklin, the winding roads, rolling hills, and beautiful natural setting take your breath away. The Copper Fox, Leiper’s Creek Gallery and David Arms are some of the galleries drawing visitors to Leiper’s Fork. Williamson County’s newest distillery, Leiper’s Fork Distillery has a passion for the history and heritage of Tennessee whiskey. Group tours are available and include a whiskey tasting. Hear stories of ghosts, the Civil War and more as you experience Tennessee White Whiskey, Colonel Hunter’s Tennessee Select Bourbon and Rye White Whiskey. What a great idea for bachelorette and bachelor events.
Thursday is open mic night at Puckett’s Leiper’s Fork. Enjoy patio or indoor seating along with pulled pork sandwiches or southern fried catfish. This is the Tennessee music scene; singers and songwriters share their talents on stage starting at 6:00pm.
Your guests can experience history at the area’s civil war museums and battlefields. A must on any war of secession tour, Carnton Plantation, is seven minutes from town. The plantation served as a Confederate field hospital after the battle of Franklin. Hear the unbelievable story of a battle basically occurring in the back yard and the pivot from private home to becoming a makeshift hospital. Even today some of the
hardwoods are blood stained. So many soldiers died here, it is also home to one of the largest Confederate cemeteries. The building is maintained by The Battle of Franklin Trust whose mission is to preserve, understand, and interpret the story of a people forever impacted by the American Civil War.
Stay: The Harpeth
The Harpeth broke ground in 2017 and opened in 2019; the development includes a hotel, apartments and retail and takes up an entire city block. Southern hospitality is the order of the day at what is destined to become “Franklin’s living room.” Arriving at The Harpeth is like entering a Southern home. It’s welcoming, friendly and the actual check-in space looks like a living room with couches and desks instead of counters. The concierge doesn’t have a desk, he glides over the chevron flooring and comes to you. Head straight through the lobby to a large courtyard with French doors opening to private meeting spaces on either side, fountains and plush seating. The grand staircase begs for a bridal portrait to be taken and the gas lamps provide the perfect candle-lit glow. The hotel is nestled on the banks of the Harpeth river, right in the heart of historic downtown Franklin. Rent an electric bike from Pedego in the lobby and head out on your Civil War history tour.
The hotel has several dining options. A Euro-coffee bar by day, McGavock’s Coffee Bar & Provisions can be rented for rehearsal dinners. It is named for GG McGavock who lived in Carnton Plantation when it became a hospital in 1864 after the Battle of Franklin. The wood on the walls is reclaimed from a nearby tobacco barn. Honest Roasters coffee bar is a great place for a quick pick me up and the true gem is The Harpeth’s 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails. Named for the year Franklin was established, the décor is created to feel like the inside of a whiskey barrel. The menu changes seasonally and focuses on farmer’s market ingredients. The full-service bar has a heavy focus on handpicked bourbon, rye and American whiskeys. They work closely with Heath Clark of H. Clark Distilleries and sampling his Rye and Malt Whiskeys is a must.
A destination wedding at The Harpeth is full of Southern charm and hospitality. Choose from more than 5,000 square feet of flexible event space; the property features the Riverside Ballroom and Maury Boardroom, as well as a courtyard with a grand staircase and picturesque fountains.
The town of Franklin offers a glimpse into true Americana. Historic Main Street offers unique,
non-chain shopping, bars, restaurants, tasting rooms and more. You can easily explore all of downtown on foot, only returning to the Harpeth to drop off your bags.