Get the scoop first with our official blog about Franklin, NC!
Technology is a wonderful thing, but everyone has been on that one vacation or weekend when you tried to get away from it all and “it all” somehow still found its way to you.
Unplugging from the internet and demands of work contacts can be difficult, but it’s definitely worth it—here are a few activities to help you put down the electronics and get outside in the mountains.
What’s a trip to the mountains without a hike? If you’re not an experienced hiker, don’t worry—not everyone is cut out for the Appalachian Trail, and there are plenty of smaller trails that just about anyone can manage.
If you want to get down to the root of the mountains and don’t mind getting a little muddy, gem mining is the way to go! Franklin has several placer mines where sapphires and rubies abound—you can choose to sift through unaltered buckets of stones and dirt for treasure, or you can always get an enriched bucket that has small gems added for a guaranteed find.
Macon County has several spectacular parks all over town, so there’s plenty to choose from depending on what your family enjoys doing. Frisbee, hammocking, batting cages, playgrounds, creek, and walking trails abound—check out the Parker Meadows Complex for starters and plan a fun day outdoors!
The Little Tennessee River Greenway
For anyone who wants to enjoy the outdoors a little closer to town, the Little Tennessee River Greenway is a lovely place to walk, bike, or run. The entire Greenway is around six miles, but there are plenty of entry and exit points with pavilions and parking lots if you’d rather not walk the entire way.
Putting away your internet access and phone contacts for a few days may seem daunting at first, but when you realize how much there is to do outdoors in the mountains, you’ll find it’s not too hard at all! We hope you enjoy your time to unplug and wind down—we can’t wait to host you in Franklin!
Sunshine and gorgeous mountain views go a long way toward boosting your mood and bringing the family together. If you’re in Franklin, North Carolina, you know that the outdoor adventures are just waiting to be had – but you have little people to think about.
No worries. Here are some family-friendly hikes that everyone can enjoy.
The Little Tennessee Greenway – 6.4 Miles
This partially paved trail is perfect for families with younger kids and strollers. Not only will you get to walk along the Little Tennessee, but you can stop along the way for a play date at Wesley Park, take the dogs by the dog park, and stop for a picnic at several different pavilions.
The inclines are small, so this one can hardly be called a hike – but it’s a perfect outdoor stroll for younger families.
Wayah Bald Tower – 4 Miles
When you’re up in the mountains, what is cooler than an old stone fire tower to climb up and catch the view? That’s what you can find when you hike up to Wayah Bald.
The steady incline is perfect for kids who want a bit more of a challenge without anything too intense, and the 180 degree overlook at 5,342 feet elevation at the end is a treat for all. If it’s a clear day, see if you can spot the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee!
Rufus Morgan Trail – 1 Mile
Don’t let the single-mile loop fool you – this trail is almost entirely switchbacks that zigzag up the mountain, and the many small waterfalls are well worth the extra effort. You’ll cross several streams on stepping stones and gasp at the steepness of the mountain beside you; we’d recommend this trail for ages 10 and up.
If you want to feel like you’re truly immersed in a mountain adventure without committing to a long hike, the Rufus Morgan Trail is for you!
Bartram Trail – 4.1 Miles
Got any trail runners in the family? The Bartram Trail is going to be your new best friend! The perfect cross between switchbacks and winding trails, this section of the Bartram will take you to a breathtaking overlook at William’s pulpit. It’s also very accessible for kids of all ages, so long as they are able to make the 4.1 mile trek. Pack trail mix and get ready for a great excursion!
Wherever you go, have a great time in Franklin, NC!
Getting outside and enjoying the fresh air is one of life’s greatest joys – and Franklin is the perfect place to head out. For more information on hikes in the area, check out our other local trails and start planning your next adventure today.
There’s no better place to get the flavor of a town than its downtown area, and Franklin has quite a few delightful restaurants and eateries on Main Street. Of course, there are plenty more delicious places to stop for a bite in the area, but if you plan to spend an afternoon shopping downtown, here are the places you need to know (in alphabetical order!).
The Lazy Hiker
First up is one of our local microbreweries, which sports a food truck in their main parking area. Grab a beer and drop an order at the truck, whether you get street tacos, burgers, or some gourmet concoction you’ll never see anywhere else! The trucks rotate every few months, so keep up with the offerings on the Lazy Hiker’s social media pages.
This southern food staple is home-cooked goodness tucked away from the hustle and bustle. Martha’s Kitchen is best known for their full buffet, complete with three meets, two soups, salad, and deserts every day—but if you want to know what’s really stolen our hearts, it’s the cranberry pecan chicken salad. It’s a local favorite!
Motor Company Grill
Want a blast from the past and a real foodie challenge? Look no further than the Motor Company Grill, a 50’s style diner with the notorious El Dorado cheeseburger. If you can down all four pounds of this beefy, cheesy, bacon-y monster on your own in 45 minutes, you’ll get a t-shirt and you photo on the Wall of Champions! And, of course, there are plenty of regular-sized cheeseburgers for anyone wanting big flavor without the stomach ache.
Root and Barrel
The most sophisticated restaurant on main street has two appetizers that keep us coming back for more. Whether you order their fried pimiento cheese balls drizzled with red pepper jelly or indulge in some panko fried shrimp and Thai chili sauce, you’ll have the perfect Franklin delicacy to pair with your cocktail.
Rockin’ Rollie Pollies
Last but not least, if you want a big bite of the wild west, prepare to sink your teeth into a bison burger at Rockin’ Rollie Pollies! The fusion-style restaurant has mouthwatering bison, beef and lamb gyros, build-your-own tacos, and many more off-the-wall combinations. You’ll be sure to find something for everyone!
Just need a little bite? We’ve got those, too
If you’re in the mood for something small, there are plenty of options downtown for snacks. Check out Rathskellar’s famous peanut butter cookies, Just Donuts’ donuts (bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you?), Crabtree General Store’s hand scooped ice cream, Life’s Bounty’s baked goods, and Main Street Coffee’s frozen yogurt for a quick bite to eat.
Planning a Family Reunion in the Mountains
When it comes to getting your whole family together, there’s no better place to have a reunion than the North Carolina mountains. Franklin is home to both exciting outdoor exploration and family-friendly entertainment, so there’s plenty to do for people of all ages!
All that’s left to do is plan out the details—so here are the three big things to think about while planning your next family vacation in Franklin, North Carolina.
Get cozy with mountain lodging
First, you need a place for everyone to crash when they arrive from the four corners of the map. Whether you choose a hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast, take into consideration where you’ll be spending the most time during your reunion.
If you’re keeping everyone busy from sunup to sundown, you can spread everyone out once it’s time to hit the hay. On the other hand, maybe you want to spend most of your time lounging indoors—in that case, planning to keep everyone in one location is the way to go.
Plan an expedition or two
What activities does your family enjoy? Franklin is home to gem mining, fly fishing, hiking, great live shows, and arcade gaming—so you’re sure to find something for everyone.
Even if you don’t want to split off for your activities, many options are great for people of all ages. For example, local hiking trails range from easy one-mile strolls to more challenging 15-mile treks, so finding one that’s perfect for your crew is a breeze.
Gather around great food
Let’s be real: Food is everyone’s favorite way to catch up. Once the whole family arrives, it’ll be on their minds, so it’s a good thing Franklin is home to a myriad of dining options. Take everyone out, or get catering and eat in!
Make memories and have fun!
The mountains are full of opportunities to celebrate the old while exploring the new, so there’s no better place to reminice family memories, make fresh ones, and have an adventure. We can’t wait to have you!
The mountains are full of fun and adventures—but what use is that if you have to leave your fur babies behind?
Not to worry. We love our pups, too, so you’ll find plenty to explore with man’s best friend by your side in Franklin, North Carolina.
Dog-friendly hotels in Franklin
First things first—let’s find you somewhere to stay for your mountain vacation. Our full list of lodging options includes several pet-friendly hotels and motels to choose from. You’ll be off to your next adventure in no time at all!
Dog-friendly hikes in the Smoky Mountains
No visit to the Smoky Mountains is complete without a hike! Most trails are pet-friendly so long as your furry friend is leashed at cleaned up after. If you’re not sure how much of the trail your dog can manage, we suggest starting with a shorter hike like the one-mile Rufus Morgan trail, Cliffside, Whiteside, or (if you’re looking for a bit more of a challenge) the four-mile Bartram trail.
Want to grab a bite to eat? Look no further than the Motor Company Grill—not only will you relish the old-timey diner’s burgers and shakes, but Fido also gets a menu of his own on the pet-friendly patio!
Dog parks for leash-free romps
After all those adventures by your side, your pup deserves a little leash-free time! Franklin has a brand-new dog park on Phillips Street, just down the hill from Main Street. It features separate spaces for big and small dogs, public restrooms, and even a walking trail around the exterior for those who’d like to stroll during the visit.
What vacation is complete without Man’s Best Friend?
We hope you enjoy your stay in Franklin with your pup! There’s plenty to do in our little mountain town, and so many memories to be made. We can’t wait to have you!