Franklin, Tennessee – the town that used to be America’s best-kept secret. Well, the secret is out, and Franklin is now just as sought-after as Nashville. When summer days in the city get a little too hot and crowded, go just few miles south to Franklin for the perfect day of shopping, dining, and sightseeing in a charming, historic, and ever so stylish part of Tennessee. Franklin offers a more quaint feel for those wanting to get out Nashville for the day and experience the boutique businesses and Victorian charm.
Whether you’re visiting or you just need a change of pace from the hustle and bustle of Belle Meade, we’ve made your weekend plans a breeze by creating this simple itinerary, packed with some of our favorite places in Franklin for the perfect Summer day.
But First, Coffee
Start your day off with an iced coffee at Coffee and Coconuts, a beach-inspired coffee shop that is beyond Instagram-worthy and celebrates the art of music and relationships as much as they do their coffee. With their glass case piled high with assorted pastries (their Chocolate Chip Sea Salt Cookies are perfect for a small cheat-day snack), their turquoise-colored floors reminding us of the Caribbean sea and their adorable white wicker chairs hung from the ceiling, you’ll be fueling up with caffeine and reminiscing about an afternoon spent seaside.
If you want to start your day closer to Main Street (where most of the shopping is), we recommend making Frothy Monkey your morning coffee spot, as it’s just a short walk to Main Street!
The Ultimate Gift Shop
Once you’ve gotten some caffeine in your system, make your way over to White’s Mercantile, an indie boutique where a little bit of rustic country meets modern day Martha-chic. Peruse the thoughtfully curated space located on Main Street and try not to buy every single one of the unique kitchen and home items that are locally made. With beautiful photographs, eclectic signs and even handcrafted candles, you’ll be sure to find the perfect finishing touches for your home or a gift for the host of your next dinner party. Take your time and wander as there are some truly interesting pieces.
Find Your Newest Home Additions
If the stunning array of options at White’s Mercantile is not quite enough shopping for the day, take a quick five-minute walk down Main Street to Onyx and Alabaster. This home interiors market is the perfect spot for modern home furnishings and accessories. If you’re looking for a fantastic stand-out piece for your living room or entryway (or even a beautiful coffee table book for a gift), Onyx and Alabaster is a beautifully curated store sure to satisfy.
If you’re in the market for some luxury home goods, you pop into Iron Gate on Main Street and check out their beautiful selections for your home. If you’re up for a navigating outside of Main Street, OP Jenkins on McEwen Drive also has some very lovely home decorations (trust us, the short drive is worth it).
If you find yourself slightly famished after cultivating your perfect home design, then Gray’s on Main is the perfect lunch spot. This 1876 Victorian building provides a perfectly chic setting for you to enjoy an array of salads, entrees, and even vegan options under gorgeous chandelier lighting (the Smoked Salmon Tartine is wonderful), and just happens to be one of Kathie Lee Gifford’s new favorite spots. With its live music and local ingredients, you’ll be reinvigorated and ready for the rest of your afternoon.
Cultivate the Perfect Summer Wardrobe
Now that the home decor category has been explored, its time for a little you time. Emmaline is where your closet dreams are fulfilled. With a space that mimics a chic and inviting New York designer show floor, you’ll feel right at home browsing through the latest contemporary pieces and accessories, guaranteed to leave with the perfect outfit for your next cocktail hour or event.
Haven, next to White’s Mercantile, also carries some stylish clothing options to add some summer looks to your wardrobe. Be sure to wander the rest of Main Street and take a peek at the antique shop storefronts for some one-of-a-kind estate jewelry to accompany the latest additions to your wardrobe.
If you made your way down to McEwen Drive in Franklin to visit OP Jenkins, definitely make a stop into e.Allen next door to browse through their amazing selections of stylish clothing and accessories.
A day in Franklin is not complete without a wind-down drink and delicious meal on the most inviting front lawn we’ve seen, JJ’S Wine Bar. This former private residence is home to an upscale and chic restaurant adorned by a front yard filled with yellow wicker chairs and tables. Enjoy the summer air and garden party atmosphere, perfect for that glass of white wine from their one-of-a-kind list and fresh Caprese salad to cheers the day.
If you’re wanting to try something new, The Harpeth Hotel‘s restaurant, 1799, offers contemporary American cuisine and an extensive beverage menu consisting of handcrafted cocktails, fortified wines and local craft beers. Located on 2nd Ave, it’s not too far from the shops on Main, and you’ll love exploring Tennessee’s newest luxury hotel.
Whether it’s a quaint escape, a day of shopping, a project of home decorating, or the experience of dining you’re looking for, Franklin is the perfect picturesque town to shop until you drop.