In the heart of Tennessee, just minutes south of Nashville, lies the quaint city of Franklin. A vibrant music hub, Civil War Battle site, home to one of America’s ‘Great American Main Streets’ and named the 15th fastest growing large city in the United States, Franklin is undoubtedly a don’t miss destination. Whether exploring the quaint, historic downtown with modern amenities, or out in the scenic countryside, there is no shortage of sites to see here. For those looking to schedule a game or tournament in Franklin, its array of facilities is truly impressive, and your free time will be filled with exciting things to do.
Access to Franklin is simple and stress-free: by car, Franklin is just off Interstate 65 & State Route 840, or if flying in, the Nashville International Airport is only 24 miles from downtown Franklin and offers over 450 flights daily. With over 5,000 hotel rooms and 500 restaurants, you will certainly find the perfect places to stay, dine, and explore.
A true Franklin staple, The AG Expo Park sits on 110 beautiful acres with multiple arenas. The park has over 175,000 square feet of climate-controlled space, and its main arena can seat over 4,000 people. Annually, the Ag Expo Park hosts 45 regional and national events ranging from trade shows, the Franklin Rodeo, and Williamson County Fair. Currently, its facilities are partially open and accepting correspondence and will continue to implement best practice safety measures.
Located in Cool Springs, the TOA Sports Performance Center is a pristine youth sports center with six basketball courts finished with top-notch floors and adjustable nets. For multi-sport use, the basketball courts conveniently convert into twelve volleyball courts. The expansive indoor facility is also equipped with a 6,000 square foot Rabbit Hole VR virtual reality gaming center, a 22,000 square foot Ninja Haven obstacle training and rock-climbing hub, five dance recital rooms, a yoga studio, and gymnastics arena. For urgent care, physical therapy, and performance training, the Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance runs an on-site 8,500 square foot medical space. For refreshments, the We Got Skills Grill and 9 Fruits Juice Bar are open throughout the day.
At The Park at Harlinsdale Farm, the newly finished Tractor Supply Arena is a space like no other. The outdoor arena hosts professional polo matches and horse shows. Its comprehensive features include a warmup ring, 23 permanent stalls, fence paddocks, seating for over 600 spectators, a scoreboard tower, and a concessions & ticketing building with climate-controlled restrooms.
In recent years, Franklin has become a distinct music hub. Each September, thousands of visitors head to Franklin for the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival, a two-day multi-genre festival named the best curated festival in America by Rolling Stone. The festival was cofounded by Better Than Ezra lead singer and Franklin resident Kevin Griffin and coproduced by Franklin resident Justin Timberlake. Past headliners include Willie Nelson, Steven Tyler, and Lionel Richie. “Music in our area is huge and such a draw for the whole region. Because of the venues that we have, and the artists that live here, the artists promote it very well because so many of them have made it their home,” Gaw says. The 2021 Festival is scheduled for September 25 & 26th. The festival is held at The Park at Harlinsdale Farm, an iconic historic horse farm just a mile from downtown. Operated by the City of Franklin, the park sits on 250 acres of land and hosts events like family days and 5k runs. Across the street, the Factory of Franklin is a beautiful shopping and dining center with local favorites like Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, the original Five Daughters Bakery, and Mojo Taco.
“The main attraction to Franklin is our downtown Main Street. It’s vibrant, it’s always happening, it’s charming,” Gaw says. The city has preserved the history of these 200-year-old buildings, with business signs standing from over fifty years ago. “You might see a pharmacy sign in photos called Gray’s on Main, and that is actually a two-story restaurant with a music venue upstairs. The Franklin Theatre has still been preserved from the 1930s and still operates for movies, shows, and musical acts,” he continues. Definitely make time to stroll through town for live music, delicious food, and great shopping.
For an excursion in the countryside, check out the Masters & Makers trail. The trail spans 70 miles and features two distilleries, two breweries, one vineyard, and several classic southern foodie stops all tucked into the scenic hills of Williamson County.
Youth volleyball is incredibly popular in the Franklin area. The Alliance Volleyball Club hosts about ten tournaments a year in Franklin, with multiple on the calendar through June. Each tournament can see well over 100 teams competing.
For more information on Visit Franklin and their array of facilities, or to reach out with questions, head to their Playeasy profile!
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