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12 Best Things to Do in Franklin, NC

12 Fun-Filled Things to Do in Franklin, NC, That Will Capture Your Heart

By Sometime Traveller

Updated on

Ready for a whirlwind of fun in Franklin, NC, where the adventures are as endless as the laughs? If you’re on the hunt for the ultimate guide to things to do in Franklin, NC, you’ve just struck gold. 

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast eager to hug every tree in sight, a history buff ready to time travel, an adrenaline addict craving your next rush, or a foodie in search of your subsequent flavor explosion, Franklin rolls out the red carpet for all your whims and fancies.

Imagine embarking on a quest through the Smoky Mountains, channeling your inner mountain goat, or, perhaps more accurately, stumbling along with the enthusiasm of a newbie hiker. 

Picture yourself as a modern-day treasure hunter at the gem mines or zipping through the treetops with all the grace of a hyperactive squirrel. And for those who prefer their adventures at a trot, horseback riding through the forests offers a dose of cowboy cool (tip your hat and say “yeehaw” for full effect).

Best Things to Do in Franklin NC | Biking in Franklin, North Carolina
Best Things to Do in Franklin NC | Biking in Franklin, North Carolina

But the fun in Franklin, NC, continues beyond outdoor adventures. 

Dive into the heart of the town with its vibrant local festivals, where you can shake your groove thing like no one’s watching (because they’re probably too busy joining in) and rummage through antique and craft stores for treasures that make you wonder how you ever lived without them.

This blog post is your golden ticket to discovering the top things to do in Franklin, NC. We’re dishing out the best spots, sights, and activities that promise to elevate your visit from mundane to magnificent. Gear up, grab your camera, and let your wanderlust lead the way. 

Franklin, NC, is not just calling—it’s shouting your name, promising an adventure filled with wonder, giggles, and memories to last a lifetime

And hey, before you dive headfirst into this whirlwind of fun, be sure to check out our tips on the best times to visit, the coziest spots to stay, and the must-try places to eat. Your adventure in Franklin starts now, and trust us, it’s going to be epic!

The Best and Not-So-Great Times to Check Out Things to Do in Franklin, NC

Best Time to visit

The best time to visit Franklin, NC, is from late April to mid-October, when the weather is nice for outdoor fun. You can explore the forests, hike the Appalachian Trail, and check out gem mines and museums. October is viral for the colorful fall leaves and the PumpkinFest, but it can be crowded and pricier. 

Not-So-Great Time

The Not-So-Great Time to Go is from late December to early March when it’s cold and snowy, and many attractions are closed. It’s hard to enjoy outdoor activities then, except for winter sports like ice skating. Otherwise, it’s better to plan your visit for warmer months.

Explore Culinary Delights Best Places to Eat in Franklin, NC

Before diving into your Franklin adventure, check out some of the best places to eat in Franklin. This guide unveils the finest eateries in town, offering a delectable array of culinary delights. From local favorites to hidden gems, get ready to indulge in the best flavors Franklin has to offer.

Effortlessly Uncover the Best Things to Do in Franklin NC with Our Convenient Interactive Map

Discover 12 Unforgettable Adventures: Your Ultimate Guide to Things to Do in Franklin, NC

Here, we’ll explore the top things to do in Franklin, NC. From thrilling outdoor adventures to cultural experiences and relaxing moments, there’s something for everyone. Let’s dive into the most unique activities waiting for you in this beautiful town!

#1 The Factory – Franklin

Once a 1920s manufacturing powerhouse, it’s now a bustling hub where history meets modern fun. Stroll through its vibrant spaces where artisan markets offer unique finds,and restaurants serve up mouthwatering dishes. 

But that’s not all – The Factory is alive with music and events that entertain both locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re here to soak in the atmosphere, enjoy live performances, or indulge in culinary delights, The Factory stands out as one of the best things to do in Franklin, NC.

Where: 1024 Georgia Rd, Franklin, NC 28734, United States | Who:  +16157911777

#2 Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts

This venue shines brightly on the list of things to do in Franklin, NC, offering a diverse lineup of shows that captivate and entertain. From the stirring notes of a live concert to the dramatic flair of plays and the graceful elegance of dance performances, each event is a treat for the senses. 

The center’s charming architecture and impeccable sound quality only elevate the experience, making every visit unforgettable. It’s not just about the shows; the center’s commitment to education through various classes ignites a passion for the arts within the community.

If you’re exploring Franklin, North Carolina, the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts stands out as a must-visit destination, promising both fun and an opportunity to broaden your cultural horizons.

Where: 1028 Georgia Rd, Franklin, NC 28734, United States | Who: +18285241598

#3 Lazy Hiker Brewing Co.

Offers an array of craft beers that cater to every taste, from hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts. The atmosphere is just what you’d hope for in a mountain town: laid-back, friendly, and perfect for making memories with loved ones. 

Add to this a spacious outdoor seating area, the occasional strum of live music, and a menu that perfectly complements their brews, and you’ve got an unbeatable spot. For those wandering through Franklin, North Carolina, seeking the best things to do, Lazy Hiker Brewing Co. stands out as a must-visit location, promising an experience that’s as refreshing as their beer.

Where: 188 W Main St, Franklin, NC 28734, United States | Who: +18283492337

#4 Scottish Tartans Museum

This unique museum brings to life the intricate patterns and stories behind Scotland’s famous tartans, offering visitors a deep dive into the traditions that define Scottish clans and families. Through engaging exhibits and enlightening programs, you’ll uncover the history and significance of these beautiful woven designs.

Whether you’re drawn by ancestral ties or simply a lover of cultural exploration, the Scottish Tartans Museum is an enchanting stop for anyone visiting Franklin, ensuring it’s high on the list of the best things to do in Franklin, NC. Here, families and solo adventurers alike can connect with a piece of Scotland, right in the heart of North Carolina.

Where: 86 E Main St, Franklin, NC 28734, United States | Who: +18285247472

#5 Outdoor 76

Whether your passion lies in hiking the trails, camping under the stars, reeling in a big catch, or paddling through serene waters, Outdoor 76 equips you for the journey ahead. The store boasts a wide selection of high-quality gear from leading outdoor brands, ensuring you’re prepared for any adventure in Franklin. 

What sets Outdoor 76 apart is not just its product range but also its team of experts who share a deep love for the outdoors. They’re ready to offer personalized advice and tips to enhance your exploration of Franklin’s natural beauty. For those plotting their next adventure and looking for the best things to do in Franklin, North Carolina, a trip to Outdoor 76 is an unbeatable start.

Where: 35 E Main St, Franklin, NC 28734, United States | Who: +18283497676

#6 Ruby City Gems & Minerals

This enchanting destination captivates those with a keen interest in the natural beauty beneath our feet. A visit here is not just about browsing through a stunning collection of gemstones and minerals; it’s an immersive experience that invites curiosity and wonder. 

The welcoming atmosphere, coupled with the staff’s eagerness to share their gemological expertise, makes for an educational visit. For anyone crafting their list of things to do in Franklin, North Carolina, Ruby City offers a unique opportunity to connect with the earth’s hidden treasures.

Whether you’re a seasoned gem collector or simply fascinated by the colorful world of minerals, Ruby City Gems & Minerals is a must-visit spot in Franklin, NC.

Where: 130 E Main St, Franklin, NC 28734, United States | Who: +18285243967

#7 Gem & Mineral Museum-Franklin

Diving into the vibrant scene of Franklin, NC, uncovers an inviting array of activities that promise unforgettable experiences. From the geological marvels at the Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum to the quaint charm of downtown boutiques and eateries, there’s a slice of wonder for everyone. 

Outdoor enthusiasts will find their bliss on the Appalachian Trail with its breathtaking vistas of the Great Smoky Mountains or by engaging in the serene pleasures of fishing and tubing on the Little Tennessee River. This picturesque town is a treasure trove of things to do in Franklin, North Carolina, blending cultural richness with natural beauty. 

Whether your adventure compass points towards cultural exploration or the thrill of the great outdoors, Franklin, NC, warmly welcomes you to explore its diverse attractions. Discover the best things to do in Franklin, NC, and let this charming town captivate your heart with its endless possibilities.

Where: 25 Phillips St, Franklin, NC 28734, United States | Who: +18283697831

#8 Little Tennessee River Greenway

A visit to the tranquil Little Tennessee River Greenway, a true sanctuary for outdoor lovers. This serene pathway, nestled alongside the gentle flow of the Little Tennessee River, is a picturesque setting for anyone looking to enjoy leisurely walks, energetic jogs, or bike rides surrounded by lush landscapes.

It’s a perfect spot for picnics, offering peaceful retreats to relax and soak in nature’s wonders. The Greenway isn’t just a treat for its human visitors; it’s also a haven for wildlife, where birds and squirrels abound, allowing for delightful encounters with the natural world.

For those compiling a list of the best things to do in Franklin, NC, adding the Little Tennessee River Greenway is a must. It promises a refreshing escape from everyday life, making it a top pick for exploring the beauty of Franklin, North Carolina.

Where: 573 E Main St, Franklin, NC 28734, United States | Who: +18283698488

#9 Old Cardinal Gem Mine

A standout attraction for those seeking unique things to do in Franklin, NC. This fascinating destination offers an authentic treasure-hunting experience, allowing visitors to uncover precious stones such as rubies, sapphires, and emeralds right from the earth.

It’s not just about the hunt; it’s about the joy of discovery, making it a perfect activity for families and friends to enjoy together. The experience is enhanced by the friendly and knowledgeable staff, who are eager to make your adventure memorable. 

Even without finding a fortune, the fun of sifting through dirt and rocks provides a genuine miner’s experience. The Old Cardinal Gem Mine stands as a testament to Franklin’s rich mining heritage, offering a glimpse into the past and a hands-on adventure that’s hard to find elsewhere.

For an unforgettable addition to your itinerary, consider the exciting possibilities waiting at this gem among the best things to do in Franklin, North Carolina.

Where: 71 Rockhaven Dr, Franklin, NC 28734, United States | Who: +18285247306

#10 Currahee Brewing Company

This brewery stands out as a communal gathering spot, perfect for those looking to enjoy an afternoon or evening of relaxation and good company. With a broad spectrum of craft beers on tap, from the light and crisp to the deep and complex, there’s a flavor for every preference.

But it’s not just about the beer; the brewery becomes a vibrant social scene with regular live music performances and an array of food trucks serving up delicious eats. 

The staff’s friendliness and expertise only enhance the experience, making every visitor feel like a local. For beer lovers and casual drinkers alike, Currahee Brewing Company offers a taste of Franklin’s lively spirit, making it a must-visit on your list of the best things to do in Franklin, North Carolina.

Where: 100 Lakeside Dr, Franklin, NC 28734, United States | Who: +18286340078

#11 Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Appalachian National Scenic Trail - Things to Do in Franklin, North Carolina
Appalachian National Scenic Trail – Things to Do in Franklin, North Carolina

This extensive trail, weaving through the Eastern U.S. from Georgia to Maine, captivates with its diverse beauty, from lush forests to towering peaks. It offers hikers of all levels a chance to experience the great outdoors in a truly immersive way. 

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely day hike or an ambitious long-distance expedition, the Appalachian Trail in the vicinity of Franklin, North Carolina, provides a plethora of opportunities for adventure. As you traverse this iconic path, enjoy spectacular views, encounter various wildlife, and immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of nature.

The Appalachian Trail is not just a hike; it’s an adventure that promises lasting memories and a deep connection with the natural world, making it one of the best things to do in Franklin, NC.

#12 Franklin Golf Course

Tee off at the Franklin Golf Course, an excellent pick for anyone compiling a list of things to do in Franklin, NC. Perfectly situated amidst the natural beauty of Franklin, this golf course offers a picturesque setting for a day out on the greens.

With meticulously maintained fairways and stunning scenic vistas, it caters to golfers of all skill levels, from those just starting to swing to seasoned players looking to challenge themselves. 

The course is not just about playing; it’s about enjoying the camaraderie of friends or family, or taking your skills to the next level with guidance from expert instructors. The welcoming staff contribute to a pleasant atmosphere, making every visit memorable.

For those drawn to the game of golf or simply in search of a leisurely day outdoors, the Franklin Golf Course stands out as a must-visit destination in Franklin, North Carolina, offering both relaxation and excitement under the open sky.

Where: 1st Fairway Dr, Franklin, NC 28734, United States | Who: +18285242288

Visit and Explore Franklin, NC: Watch This Video


What are some things to do in Franklin, NC, at night?

Franklin, NC offers several activities at night, including stargazing at the Cowee Overlook, attending live music performances at local venues like the Lazy Hiker Brewing Company, exploring the vibrant downtown area with its shops and restaurants, and enjoying evening walks along the Little Tennessee River Greenway.

Is Franklin, NC an excellent place to live for families?

Franklin is a beautiful town that is small but growing. While it lacks activities beyond outdoor sports, such as hiking, kayaking, and camping, it offers an excellent environment for families who enjoy outdoor adventures.

What is the famous trail in Franklin, NC?

The famous trail in Franklin, NC is the Appalachian Trail, which runs through the town and offers scenic hiking opportunities with access to stunning views and natural beauty.

Are there any free activities to do with kids in Franklin, NC?

Yes, Franklin, NC offers several free activities for kids, including exploring the Little Tennessee River Greenway, visiting local parks like the Big Bear Park and the Nikwasi Mound, attending community events such as festivals and farmers markets, and enjoying outdoor picnics at places like the Scottish Tartans Museum & Heritage Center.

What is the best comfortable stay option in Franklin, NC?

Hampton Inn Franklin offers cozy accommodations and personalized service, providing a comfortable experience for visitors to Franklin, NC.

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