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Downtown Franklin: A Weekend Destination

Updated: Mar 10


With a picturesque community and historic traditions, there’s more to experience in Downtown Franklin than can possibly be done in a day. Downtown Franklin offers a unique, small town charm that’s full of life from all its dining, shops, and festivals. Whether you’re a Johnson County local or traveling from afar, plan your next weekend getaway to Downtown Franklin, where there’s always something new to discover.

When planning a trip, you don’t have to travel far for a place to stay. In fact, we’re home to two beautiful bed and breakfasts: The Flying Frog Bed and Breakfast and the Ashley-Drake Historic Inn. Both offer charming atmospheres, gourmet breakfasts, and are in walking distance of Downtown Franklin.


Can you really experience a destination without local dining? Of course not! Local dining is an important part of the experience, and we promise you won’t leave hungry! Start with breakfast at one of our landmarks, Ann’s Restaurant, where you’ll taste light,fluffy pancakes and enjoy endless refills of coffee. For lunch, we suggest Court Street Café. Their beautiful view of the Johnson County Courthouse and fresh salads, wraps, and burgers make for the perfect lunch. You’ll love dinner at RFD Franklin, where real food and fresh dining are served in a beautifully restored 1936 post office. And when pizza sounds good, we’re the place to be with three delicious restaurants: Richard’s Brick Oven Pizza, The Willard, and Greeks Pizzeria & Tapp Room.

If you’re someone who enjoys sitting and enjoying a beverage, we’re home to many local coffeehouses, cafés, and taprooms. Main & Madison Market Café has sweet and savory pastries, coffees featuring latte art, and a great ambiance you won’t want to leave. Are you gluten free? No worries, 1823 Bakehouse is a 100% gluten-free café! And for a unique drink experience, visit Old Towne Beer Hall where there are 55 self-pour taps of beer, wine, and cocktails, or enjoy craft beer at the local brewery, Shale Creek Brewing. Click HERE for a full list of dining options.

There’s plenty of shopping to be done while you’re here! Visit Middle David’s Candles where 100% soy candles are made on site with long-lasting fragrances. If you’re a book lover, browse the reads from the charming Wild Geese Book Store. And of course, no town is complete without a toy store! We know you’ll love all that Toodleydoo Toys has to offer. If you’re shopping for new clothing, there are several boutiques here, including BYTAVI, where fair trade principals are met with talented seamstresses in Cambodia.


Now, if you’re a vintage or antique lover, you’re really in for a treat! If there’s one thing that Downtown Franklin has to offer, it’s the variety of antique stores that are all in walking distance. Start at Salvage Sister’s Antique Market and take a walk down Jefferson Street. You’ll easily be able to hop around from one antique store to the next. But don’t forget to take a quick detour off of Jefferson Street and visit Madison Street Salvage for their antique lighting, doors, hardware, and furniture. Click HERE for a full list of shops.

After dining and shopping there’s still plenty of other activities to enjoy! No weekend is complete without catching a movie at The Historic Artcraft Theater. Originally a silent movie theater built in 1922, it’s the perfect picture of historic preservation in Downtown Franklin. You’ll also want to visit 10 Pins, the 6 lane mini-bowling alley. Miniature bowling is a fun activity that all ages can enjoy, and makes for the perfect date night or family outing! If you’re one who prefers to never miss a workout, schedule a class at Peace Through Yoga or go for a walk or run on the beautiful, 19-mile Greenway Trail. And if you happen to visit us between May and September, make sure to stop by the Franklin Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. While there you can enjoy handmade and homegrown items such as produce, jams, fresh flowers, and bakery items!

And last, here in Downtown Franklin we take one thing very seriously: our festivals! Come during festival season and really experience the fun of downtown life. Are you an art enthusiast, strawberry shortcake lover, or someone who enjoys a local beer or wine? Downtown Franklin hosts a variety of festivals that everyone can enjoy! Come out and hear great live music, enjoy delicious food, watch a parade, and participate in the many different activities offered!


There’s plenty to do, see, and experience in Downtown Franklin! Plan your trip, explore all our award winning town has to offer, and learn why we’re the perfect place for your next weekend destination.


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