Franklin, TN, just 20 miles from the heart of downtown Nashville, has truly earned the “Number One Small Town in Tennessee” accolade it so proudly bears.

Barely recognizable as the sleepy farm town it was prior to the 1970s, the Williamson County seat has stubbornly maintained its charm and identity, all the while staying two steps ahead of its exceptional popularity and growth.

Franklin is the kind of place that makes you smile as you drive down Main Street. The downtown streetscape is reminiscent of a century past, the businesses thriving and vibrant, and its restaurants will keep you coming back for more. From iconic baked goods or BBQ, 4-star restaurants, cafés, and ethnic offerings, your palette is sure to get a great work out. Downtown Franklin offers a mix of antique shops, gift and book stores, art galleries, and clothiers, and boasts some of the best shopping and dining in Middle Tennessee. It’s no wonder Franklin was named a Top Date Night destination!

The town square is actually a circle – but never mind that small discrepancy. In the center you’ll spot Civil War cannons and a commemorative statue of a Confederate soldier – Tennessee was sharply divided over the War Between the States, voting three times before aligning with the Southern states. Do tell the soldier “hi”. His name is Chip, because on the day the statue was raised, they dropped him and chipped his hat. So now you know.

Downtown Franklin is known for its frequent and outstanding festivals like “Dickens of a Christmas,” Pumpkinfest, Brew Fest, and Main Street Fest. The popular Art Crawl takes place the first Friday night of each month, and more likely than not, you’ll find troubadours out on the streets on warm summer nights.

The iconic circa 1939 Franklin Theatre received an $8M update a few years ago. You can take in state-of-the-art live theater or music there, and when there isn’t a headliner scheduled, you can catch a movie too. Just up the road at The Factory you can also participate in a live radio show, “Music City Roots” on most Wednesday nights. Always something to do!

History buffs will be interested to know that just a stone’s throw from downtown are several 1864 Battle of Franklin historic sites including the Carter House, Lotz House, Carnton Plantation & McGavock Confederate Cemetery, Fort Granger and Winstead Hill. The battle was one of the worst disasters for the Confederate Army resulting in devastating losses.

The original town of Franklin (founded by Abram Maury, and named after Benjamin Franklin) was just 8 blocks square, bordered by North and South Margin Streets. The very first subdivision of ninety acres was created in 1819, and dubbed Hincheyville after merchant Hinchea Petway. Almost 200 years later, the subdivisions continue to be created!

Today, Franklin is home to major corporations, expanding businesses and remarkable growth. It features distinctly unique areas within its environs, from urban retail & bustle to laid back nostalgia and handholding romance. It continues to become a place that people want to call home.

We’re glad you’re here and invite you to truly make yourself at home. Welcome! And if you ever have questions, be sure to give us a call!

Franklin has five Nationally Registered Historic Districts.

In 2009, The National Trust for Historic Preservation awarded Franklin the prestigious title of Distinctive Destination for offering an authentic visitor experience by combining a dynamic downtown, cultural diversity, attractive architecture, and a strong commitment to historic preservation. That same year, the American Planning Association named the downtown Franklin district a Top Ten Great Neighborhood for its outstanding historic character and architecture and the meaningful protection measures the City has adopted that ensure Franklin’s unique sense of place is not compromised by future growth and development.

Business Week Magazine named Franklin one of the Top 50 Cities to Start a Small Business. Some of the other awards the city has received include:

  • thumbnail.do2010 Most Romantic Main Street - National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • 2010 One of the Best Cities for Startups - Zoom - Bloomberg Businessweek
  • 2012 Best Places to Live, 52nd - Money Magazine
  • 2009 Top 50 City to Start a Small Business - Business Week Online
  • 2009 Best Neighborhood - American Planning Association
  • Money Magazine’s Top 10 Places to Retire
  • Great American Main Street Award
  • Number One Small Town in Tennessee
  • Ranked 10th in America for new jobs created—and projected to be 3rd in America for new jobs over the next twenty years.
  • One of Five Best Places in America to Antique Shop

Helpful Links:

Enjoy a delightful walking tour of  Downtown Franklin:

Visit the historic battlefield homes and learn the story of the Battle of Franklin from the perspectives of the families who lived there.

Learn more about Franklin:
The Convention & Visitors’ Bureau can help you plan your trip: