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|Jessica Lollino • 3/05/18|
The Short Version: Celebrated for its music scene and historic Main Street, Franklin, Tennessee, is one of the top cities to connect with your special someone. From the picnic areas on the scenic nature trails to the breweries on the Masters & Makers Trail, Franklin creates a warm and welcoming environment for couples on a date or a weekend getaway. When going out to eat, you have over 100 eateries to choose from, so any craving can be satisfied. You can grab a delicious hundred-layer donut at Five Daughters or visit one of Main Street’s cafés for a cup of coffee or sweet tea. After dinner, daters can head out to the bars to listen to live music. When you visit Franklin, the slow-paced Southern atmosphere will put you in a romantic mood.
Franklin, Tennessee, is a Southern city rooted in Americana. Its laid-back and soulful vibe merges past traditions and modern trends. The city’s diversity, history, and character make visitors feel welcome.
“It’s very Southern and polite. Charming is definitely a word for it,” said Lauren Ward, Director of Marketing & Communications for VisitFranklin.com. “It’s a very creative community, too, with lots of artists and musicians, of course, but others who flock here for the creative vibe.”
Franklin satisfies visitors with its eclectic music scene and tasty vittles, but what distinguishes it from other destinations is its quaint small-town feel.
As Lauren said, “We’ve heard people say that when they come to Franklin, they come to slow down in a sense. They come to reconnect with each other in a slow-paced setting. It’s more of a slower, Southern, small-town charm kind of place.” That makes it ideal for couples looking for romance.
Winding through Williamson County, the Masters & Makers Trail takes you through a beautiful countryside where tradition and hospitality matter. Along the trail, you can tour two distilleries, a winery, and two breweries while immersing yourself in the local culture.
Lauren recommended Arrington Vineyards to couples on a date. “The best date spot is Arrington,” she said. “They have a scenic overlook and swings and picnic benches. You can bring a picnic and drink wine.”
Arrington Vineyards features 18 award-winning wines, so you’re sure to find a vintage to delight your palate.
H Clark Distillery is a must-stop on the trail for spirited couples in Franklin. By serving handcrafted, small-batch spirits, H Clark transforms everyday ingredients into “the ultimate spirits experience.” These artisan creations include Tennessee Bourbon, Black & Tan Whiskey, Tennessee Dry Gin, and New Whiskey.
Franklin has more than 100 restaurants, cafés, bakeries, and eateries. The unique culinary scene has a little bit of everything from local comfort foods to internationally inspired cuisine.
The Circa Grill serves signature cocktails and sophisticated Southern cuisine. You can enjoy classic dishes from chicken and waffles for breakfast to pan-seared duck breast for dinner in a modern setting. Couples can order some bubbly and enjoy the famous bread pudding or house-made donuts for a sweet end to the day.
Formerly Gray Drug Co., Gray’s on Main reimagines Franklin’s historic roots by adding craft spirits and unconventional flavors. “They are known for their pre-Prohibition cocktail bar,” Lauren said. “What adds to the experience is the unique atmosphere of the former pharmacy. They’ve retained that look and feel.”
On the second floor, you’ll find a bar and music hall where you can lounge for hours. The elegant third floor is for SOCIETY supper club members only. The Gray’s owner, Michael Cole, captured the essence of the establishment when he said, “At Gray’s, we say we are saving our past for our future.” Spend an evening at Gray’s to sample the old-fashioned flavors of Tennessee with a twist.
Got a sweet tooth? Then you have to stop by Five Daughters, a bakery known for its hundred-layer doughnuts. “It’s a cross between the croissant and donut,” Lauren said. “It’s unbelievable.” The family-owned bakery makes all its donuts from scratch without any chemical preservatives, GMOs, hydrogenated oils, soy, or artificial colors or flavors.
You can split these sweet treats with your sweetheart and indulge in the best date spots Franklin has offer.
Many famous blues and country musicians have come from Tennessee, and Franklin proudly upholds the state’s musical legacy. Since 1937, the Franklin Theatre has entertained locals with movie matinees, theatrical events, and live performances by music legends.
“The Franklin Theatre’s tagline is ‘The Home of First Kisses,’ so it’d be a perfect place for a date,” Lauren said. “It’s a movie house still but predominantly a concert venue and stage performance venue. You’ll have A-listers doing an acoustic set for 300 people. There are a number of things that go on there.”
You can also find live music around every street corner on the historic main street. Head over to McCreary’s Irish Pub for original Celtic folk music or Puckett’s Leiper’s Fork for open mic night. Plus, if you want to serenade your date, you can go to Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant on Fourth Avenue on Thursday for country music.
Franklin is also a hot spot for festivals where people meet, mingle, and fall in love. The Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival attracts visitors from all across the country. Every September, the two-day festival brings A-list talent, including Justin Timberlake and Eddie Vedder, to a horse farm half a mile from downtown Franklin.
“You have great music, food demonstrations, all kinds of cultural experiences out there on the farm, and shops,” Lauren said. “Last year there was a couple who met at Pilgrimage, and they eventually got married. Now it’s going to be their annual celebration trip.”
Commune with nature and wildlife with your partner by taking a day at one of Franklin’s working farms. Lucky Ladd Farms is home to over 100 friendly animals and exotic livestock. Pet furry pals, go on a wagon ride, walk some nature trails, and be sure to have a glass of Lucky Ladd Farms’ famous sweet tea before you go. Make a stop at the country store for gourmet goodies to enjoy on your drive home.
If you’re headed to Franklin in the fall, be sure to stop by Gentry Farm to spend a date in the great outdoors. You can explore cornfield mazes, hike down a nature trail, or hop on a wagon ride through the gently rolling hills to see the cows grazing in the field. You can sip on fresh apple cider while bonding with your date on the 100-acre farm. Admission only costs $8, and parking is free, so this is a family-friendly date activity that won’t break the bank.
Located in the heart of the South, Franklin is the perfect place to spend some downtime with your loved one.
“We’ve got a good food scene, but it’s really catching fire and becoming a hot food scene,” Lauren said. “Probably that’s the big next direction we’re headed.”
For a relaxing getaway with plenty of Southern comforts, Franklin always fits the bill. Whether you’re in the mood for comfort food, handcrafted spirits, or live musical performances, this friendly community doesn’t disappoint.