When the holidays come around, it’s festive at our house and also our families’ homes too!
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We go from house to house, laughing, talking and catching up on family we haven’t seen for a while. And sometimes, we travel to other states to see their Christmas festivities. One of our favorite places to visit is Franklin, TN. It’s a great place to visit during the holidays, especially spending some quality time with my brother and his family. We usually take a day or two visiting downtown Franklin and Leipers Fork, which is always an enjoyable time.
Franklin is located just south of Nashville and easy to access from Interstate Hwy 65 and State Rd. 840; it’s only 24 miles south of the Nashville airport.
Although Franklin is not Nashville, it is growing and home to many familiar names in the music industry. It is filled with quaint boutiques, antique shops and wonderful places to eat. It’s a great town to live in, just ask Kathie Lee Gifford who moved there this past year after leaving the “Kathie Lee and Hoda Show” or Miley Cyrus who also has a home in Franklin.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Franklin the ‘Great American Main Street” because of its charm and historical buildings. Another fact is that the 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway, which is the eighth-most visited National Park in the United States, runs through Franklin and Leiper’s Fork. It’ a beautiful country highway with trails and views of the countryside that is magical.
Shopping Downtown Franklin
I have my favorite shops I like to visit; here are a few of them.
I love White’s Mercantile, which now has seven locations, including shops in Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee! My first visit was at their cute little shop in Leipers Fork; then I found their other one on Main St. in downtown Franklin. I get some of my regular goodies there every year, and I try to get a new product whenever I visit. One of my favorites is Coop’s Salted Caramel, which is handmade and all-natural; now I order it online if I don’t buy enough on my visit to White’s.
If you are looking for camping or outdoor gear, this is where you want to go. Bink’s started online, then opened its first brick and mortar store in downtown Franklin. They now have five locations around the state of Tennessee.
Rock Paper Scissors
Home, Gift, and Paper – I love shopping here! Rock Paper Scissors has some beautiful paper goods, unusual gifts and much more. I usually buy some handmade papers and a box or two of special cards.
Hester & Cook
This is another home, gifts, and paper store. I usually make at least one or two purchases here when I am visiting Franklin. I like to get at least one item for my house and usually a gift for someone else when shopping at Hester & Cook’s.
Places to Eat Downtown Franklin
Located on one of the side streets, on 3rd Ave. South, my family and I ate here for the first time last year. They are busy making biscuits while we sleep, and plenty of them! We loved their different dishes and sat outside on their large covered patio in the back where they have additional seating because our puppy was with us on this trip to Biscuit Love.
I have to confess this bakery is a staple that I go to on every visit to Franklin: try their Almond Croissants and their home-brewed coffee. They serve a great breakfast, lunch, as well as mouth-watering bread and lots of baked goods! And don’t be surprised if you hear some chatter from the table next to you of what song is next on their album or when they will start their road tour. After all, you are in Nashville territory!
Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant
This restaurant has many locations, and I have been to both the Puckett’s downtown Franklin and the original location in the village of Leipers Fork. From biscuits and gravy to downhome fried green tomatoes, pulled pork, and beef brisket smoked slowly over cherry wood…it’s all delicious! The decor is fun and they have music throughout the week; check their schedule. Puckett’s has six locations, including Puckett’s Boat House in Franklin and their food Trolley on wheels that will cater to your next event!
A Story About Puckett’s
Funny story: a few years ago my sister-in-law, nephew and I went to breakfast at their Leipers Fork location, and sitting at the table next to us was Mike Wolfe from American Pickers who is a resident of this cute little town. He is also from Iowa, where my husband is from and where we lived for a few years after we got married. I wanted to say hello, yet he was with someone else, and I didn’t want to disturb him. But I did take a photo of his truck to let my family and friends know I was telling the truth! (below).
This time of year is very festive with all the holiday decorations, and the town has some significant events that allow you to remember when life was simpler. Here are some of those events, but be sure to check their calendar for all the activities.
Dickens of a Christmas
The 35th annual Charles Dickens Christmas Festival will be held in downtown Franklin. Saturday, Dec. 14 – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15 – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dickens of a Christmas is presented by First Citizens National Bank, open to the public and FREE! You will find carolers and street musicians dressed in Victorian attire, with vendors making Victorian and vintage crafts, even Victorian-era foods and beverages, like sugar plums dancing in your mouth.
You will also find beautifully decorated windows, buildings and Charles Dickens characters roaming the streets. The Oprah magazine says it is one of the “Most Magical Christmas Towns and Villages Across the World.” The Victorian-era backdrop of downtown Franklin is an excellent place for this event. For more details, go to Visit Franklin.
The Star Wars Holiday Special
This event is LIVE, and on stage, December 11th, “A Very Special Live Staged Reading of The Star Wars Holiday Special!” Tickets are required and proceeds go to the 501st Legion Make-A-Wish Endowment Fund. See here for details.
Puckett’s Open Mic Nights
Sing your heart out at Puckett’s of Leipers Fork on their stage on December 12th from 6:00 pm till 10 pm. Who knows who will be singing before or after you! Don’t want to sing? Then come to enjoy the music, food, and beverage!
Christmas Parade in Leipers Fork
The Christmas parade in the heart of Leipers Fork is where you should go on Saturday, December 14th, at 2:00 p.m. This parade is full of goats, pigs, cows, antique cars and tractors. An unusual event but not one to miss!
Holiday Tea Party at Cedarmont Farms
Think tea, but not at a Tea House…tea in a barn, with sweet treats, music and a visit from Mrs. Santa Claus herself. Learn more here and get your tickets.
There is so much to do in Franklin and Leipers Fork, so enjoy some southern charm and all of the holiday activities too! Let us know in the comments if you have visited Franklin or Leipers Fork.