Hold the phone there, “It City,” Nashville! Just south of Tennessee’s capital city is beautiful Franklin and the bucolic Williamson County area. Packed with so much charm and friendliness, locally owned businesses add to the Southern historic tapestry and I wanted to share some favorites!
Caffeinate your day at The Good Cup in the Grassland area of Franklin, also known as the satellite office of my PR biz, Forest Home Media! Known for comfy chairs, great coffee, open mic night and free WiFi, the walls are lined with artisan jewelry and original art fairly priced. If you start on the opposite side of the county, so many friends have recommended Coffee and Coconuts in the Berry Farm area, where Country super star Faith Hill recently visited. Starting out in the historic downtown Franklin area? The Coffee House and Frothy Monkey have set up shop in charming old homes with great coffee and delicious food. But, Frothy Monkey for the win with their Wine Down Wednesday nights!
With java in hand, why not head to Halfway Market for a breakfast bologna sandwich and get your daily serving of fruit with a store-made peach pie – that counts right?! Halfway is also known for one of the best burgers around!
As you look for lunch spots, the Puckett’s family of restaurants have a ton of well-deserved press from their Boathouse, (try the shrimp & grits hushpuppies), to the plantation home, farm-to-fork Homestead Manor, venue and restaurant.
For dinner, you’ll want to check out these great restaurants for fresh seafood and steaks, The Red Pony and Sperry’s Restaurant. Hands-down, Sperry’s has the best crab cake around and I’m an expert on crabby not cakey.
If traveling by car, you’ll be glad of the choice when you visit adorable stores scattered throughout the city. Drop by The Barn Door in downtown Franklin where I grabbed a half whiskey barrel coffee table for my porch and an adorable Franklin Flannels for a friend. Cindy Laverty and her husband, Dominic Gironda, the artist behind the pretty shirts, launched the line a couple of years ago and are now sold throughout the Southeast and via their website. The entire area is packed with fun stores but head down the street to Scarlett Scales Antiques for an eclectic blend of antique and modern vintage. (You’ll hear more about Scarlett’s Airbnb in a sec.) And, one of my don’t miss spots is ReFresh Home, near Coffee and Coconuts mentioned above!
I find Kelly Spalding Designs down right dangerous and never leave without a bag full of fun! With tons of fresh, country-clever décor and vintage finds, she is a great hostess and designer so you’ll find plenty of must-have items for the home. Although not an interior store, you’ll find plenty of coffee table books and hospitality at Landmark Booksellers, my favorite area bookseller. (Follow them also on Instagram for tons of inspiration.)
Head back north to Grassland for my favorites. My goal in December is to NOT step foot in a mall and for many years, the Perfect Setting has made this perfectly possible with their adorable gifts and decor. And, neighbor Garden Delights has tons of fun gift ideas from original art to whimsical decor but the artful flowers are the show stopper. I’m always hoping hubs will send me a birthday bouquet or an I’m sorry arrangement cause all is forgiven ASAP when Steve McLellan weaves his magic! (He is also Insta-amazing!) Before you head to Leipers Fork, stop by Tag Treasures, Antiques & Good Stuff, a great consignment spot for collectibles and décor. Stay straight on Old Hillsboro Road and you’ll end in historic Leiper’s Fork. Home to American Pickers’ Mike Wolfe and a plethora of music industry superlatives, Leiper’s Fork has one of my favorite stores, Serenite Maison, owned by Alex Cirimelli who is so kind! Packed with European finds and one-of-a-kind textiles, furniture and hand-picked clothing, her style is impeccable.
If you end in Leiper’s Fork and enjoy a night of music, perhaps with talented Puckett’s Grocery Store regular Rebecca Correia, consider Moonshine Hill for the night. I’m so fascinated by this self-described, 5-star luxurious cabin which includes an on-site treehouse! When you rent the cabin, it includes 21+ acres, a large pond and runs around $350 a night for two. Nearby my media friend, Jennifer Vickery, has a family farm, Creek Ridge Cabin, that sleeps up to 7 and looks incredibly charming!
Head to downtown Franklin for two great choices, Generals Guest Home, recommended by numerous friends. The historic property is a two-bedroom home but check out the pretty property!
Not only is she uber popular at Country Living Fairs and the like, Scarlett Scales-Tingas and her husband have an Airbnb, Scarlett Scales Cottage, near their antique store. With terrific reviews, I love the fresh décor and it’s only $112 a night.
Finally, my Williamson County neighbor is now teeming with visitors at her Montague Manor Airbnb. I’ve witnessed her happy guests enjoy her impressive back gardens. And, the Southern C’s alums are invited to stop in at our nearby homestead, Blackberry Hollow, for a glass of ice tea as well!