Fourteen miles and 100 years from Nashville, Downtown Franklin, Tennessee is an oasis of Southern hospitality housed in a 16-block National Register district of antique shops, gift and book stores, art galleries, boutiques, lovingly restored homes and more. It boasts an award-winning Main Street, brick sidewalks, a stunning collection of Victorian buildings and a host of “Best of“ accolades–including Garden & Gun magazine’s 2014 “Best Southern Town.” Since its founding in 1984, the Downtown Franklin Association has spearheaded this revitalization of Franklin’s historic downtown core.
In May of 1995, Franklin was honored as one of the best downtown areas in the nation when it received one of five “Great American Main Street” awards in the first year of an annual competition held by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Since then, accolades have included the “Best Small Town in Tennessee,” “America’s Most Romantic Main Street” and “One of America’s Greatest Antique Destinations,” among others. In May 2012, Franklin was ranked #4 on Livability.com‘s Best Places to Visit for Historic Preservation. Recently Travel + Leisure Magazine named Franklin 8th best town in the nation. In April 2014, Garden & Gun magazine named Franklin the “Best Southern Town” following a online readers’ poll.
Any time is perfect for a visit, but we have fun, free events throughout the year – major festivals and happenings that have attracted visitors from all over the world. From Franklin’s Art Scene on the first Friday of each month to two street festivals consistently named as among the best in the Southeast (Main Street Festival and Dickens of a Christmas), there’s always opportunities to have fun in Franklin.
You can meet our Downtown Franklin Asssociation merchants and explore Main Street through virtual tours… but the best way to experience it is in person. Small business can’t survive on virtual visits–so come see us. You’re part of what makes downtown Franklin “America’s Favorite Main Street!” Check out a one-minute video of some of our Downtown Franklin businesses by clicking here.
Downtown Franklin Association
Since its founding in 1984, the Downtown Franklin Association has spearheaded the revitalization of Franklin’s historic downtown core. We’ve done it by following the four-point program of the National Main Street Center of the National Trust for Historic Preservation: Organization, Design, Promotion and Economic Restructuring.
Working in partnership with property owners, preservationists, city and county government, local businesses and merchants in our historic retail district, the Downtown Franklin Association has helped create one of the nation’s Main Street success stories. We’ve earned national recognition as an authentic, eclectic place that offers something for everyone in an atmosphere that reminds locals and visitors alike of a simpler time in our history – a place where community matters.