Just south of Nashville is the historic town of Franklin full of charm and interesting things to do. For couples searching for the perfect date spot to grab a bite, the restaurants do not disappoint with eclectic establishments serving everything from Southern favorites to fresh seafood, classic steaks, and contemporary Asian fusion. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Sperry’s Cool Springs
4.Connors Steak & Seafood
6.J.J.’s Wine Bar
7.Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill
10.Cork & Cow
11.GRAYS on Main
12.Pasta & Cream
13.55 South Restaurant
15 Best Restaurants in Franklin, TN
- Sperry’s Cool Springs, Photo: Sperry’s Cool Springs
- Cool Cafe, Photo: Cool Cafe
- Red Pony, Photo: Red Pony
- Connors Steak & Seafood, Photo: Connors Steak & Seafood
- Wild Ginger, Photo: Wild Ginger
- J.J.’s Wine Bar, Photo: J.J.’s Wine Bar
- Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill, Photo: Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill
- Zolo’s, Photo: Zolo’s
- BrickTop’s, Photo: BillionPhotos.com/stock.adobe.com
- Cork & Cow, Photo: Cork & Cow
- GRAYS on Main, Photo: GRAYS on Main
- Pasta & Cream, Photo: cobraphoto/stock.adobe.com
- 55 South Restaurant, Photo: Eduardo/stock.adobe.com
- The Honeysuckle, Photo: The Honeysuckle
- Cover Photo: Kzenon/stock.adobe.com
More Ideas: Knoxville Zoo
The Knoxville Zoo is often regarded as one of the premiere zoos in the entire southeast. Located in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Knoxville Zoo is known for their expansive habitats, exhibits, and educational opportunities.
The Knoxville Zoo was created in an unusual and unlikely way. The Zoo’s history starts in 1923 when an initiative began to create a park for the lower income children in Knoxville. This initiative as boosted by a Birthday Fund that was collected by children of various ages. Although progress was initially slow, a small plot was purchased in Chilhowee Park in 1935. Originally known as the Birthday Park, the four acres of land was used as a small playground that had a stone shelter and a small wading pool. The Birthday Park eventually became neglected and was even vandalized. This caused the Birthday Park to eventually close in 1946.
Two years after the Birthday Park closed, the News Sentinel created an initiative to reopen the Birthday Park, but this time as a zoo. The News Sentinel utilized a small amount of funds that was from the 1923 fund, and eventually opened the Birthday Park Zoo. A few years after the Birthday Park Zoo opened, the City of Knoxville acquired the zoo and changed the name to the simple Municipal Zoo.
Since the Municipal Zoo was in fact a zoo, the city had to acquire animals. The first attraction at the Municipal Zoo was Al the alligator. Al was donated by a local family, the Hauk family, who brought him back from a vacation in Florida. The 4,000 guests who visited Al on his first day at the Zoo proved to the city the Zoo would be a success.
After acquiring various animals throughout the years, the Municipal Zoo ran into a conflict when they acquired a seven-ton bull elephant known as Old Diamond. Old Diamond, also known as Louie, was originally owned by the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus, but was donated to the Municipal Zoo in 1963. The Zoo was obviously unprepared to take care of an animal as large and dependent as Old Diamond, as on his arrival, he tore up his habitat.
The unprecedented damage from Old Diamond proved to be a wakeup call for the Municipal Zoo, as they realize they needed a better facility. But, the Zoo lacked the proper funds to build a new facility. Just when the Zoo was about to close down, Guy Lincoln Smith III created a plan to save it. Smith and his wife Patty purchased Joshua, a lion cub. They raised Joshua until they acquired enough money that would provide the Zoo with enough money to build Joshua a proper facility. As the Smith’s carried out this plan, Dr. Bill Patterson simultaneously created the Appalachian Zoological Society. Together, both of these efforts created the Knoxville Zoo, which opened in 1971.
The Knoxville Zoo has approximately 800 animals spread across its 53 acres of land. Below is a list of the habitats within the Knoxville Zoo:
• Black Bear Falls
• Central American Birds
• Chimp Ridge
• Clayton Family Kids Cove
• Gorilla Valley
• Grasslands Africa
• River Otter
• The Boyd Family Red Panda Village
• Valley of the Kings
Education is extremely important at the Knoxville Zoo. The Knoxville Zoo’s educational opportunities range from family friendly workshops and activities to opportunities for schools and teachers, including an extensive internship program.
One of the most popular educational programs at the Knoxville Zoo is the Scouts program. Through the Scouts program, the Knoxville Zoo works alongside the Boy and Girl Scouts. The programs at the Knoxville Zoo cater to every level of Boy and Girl Scouts, and corresponds with the curriculum being taught at each level. Through the Scouts program, active members of Boy and Girl Scouts have the opportunity to work alongside zoo employees, explore various aspects of the zoo, and learn about the zoo in an exclusive and in-depth way. One of the featured aspects of the Scouts program is Bedtime with the Beasts. Bedtime with the Beasts allows participants to spend a night at the zoo and explore the various animals, specifically nocturnal animals.
Another popular educational opportunity at the Knoxville Zoo is the internship program. Internships are offered to any undergraduate student who is interested in pursuing a career within a zoological facility. Through the internship program, participants will get hands-on field experience through animal care, and will also have the opportunity to utilize the Knoxville Zoo’s research and conservation facilities and resources.
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3500 Knoxville Zoo Drive, Knoxville, TN 37914, Phone: 865-637-5331
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More Ideas: SOAR Adventure Tower
SOAR Adventure Tower in Franklin, TN offers an interactive and safe environment, and includes more than 110 climbing features spread across four challenging levels that will test both children and adults physically and mentally. Guests can access three different climbing elements from each platform, preventing having to wait in long lines for people in front of them to complete an element. They can instead just change their direction and experience the Tower their own way. The Tower's layout is designed to offer visitors with an opportunity to repeat and master any of its climbing elements as many times as they like during their visit. Throughout the adventure on the Tower, guests will come across unique musical elements that showcase the Music City's culture.
At Ground Level is the Kids Course. This course is a separate adventure course suited for children. It features nineteen climbing elements designed for children ages four to seven. The climbing course is an excellent chance for parents to be engaged and interact with their children as the kids gain confidence in their abilities as they explore the different climbing elements. To participate in the Kids Course, children must be no more than 4'9" in height.
Level One is situated about fifteen feet from the ground. On this level, guests have the opportunity to experience an array of engaging and simple climbing elements. These elements are designed to create excitement for the challenges higher up in the Tower and to build confidence in visitors. Those wanting to complete the challenges in Level One must be at least 5'5" in height with their feet flat on the grounds and arms extended upward. Visitors at least this height can also explore the two levels further up in the Tower.
The climbing elements on Level Two are the perfect skills balance for all abilities. This level is about thirty feet from the ground, and tests the mental strength of visitors as they experience the challenges and adventure of each climbing element it has to offer. Level Three is more than forty-five feet from the ground and is the top of the Tower. It includes an enclosed deck that is great for anyone who want to take a short break before taking on the most thrilling elements of SOAR Adventure Tower. While some of the climbing elements may seem easy on this level, like crossing a bridge, the fact that guests are so far up from the ground make them more challenging. The Tower also features twelve Adventure Fit elements that are designed for guests who want to push themselves to their physical limits.
SOAR Adventure Tower ensure the safety of its guests by using the FALLSTOP® ADVENTURE SAFE LINK SSB®. This is the most advanced and smartest belay system designed for high ropes courses and aerial adventure parks. Once the interconnected carabiners are attached, only one can be opened at a time, ensuring climbers are never detached from the safety lines.
Back to: Things to Do in Franklin, TN
3794 Carothers Parkway, Franklin, Tennessee, Phone: 615-721-5103
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More Ideas: Lotz House Museum
The Lotz House Museum is located in Franklin, Tennessee. Visitors to the museum will enjoy learning about the Civil War from “ground zero” of the Battle of Franklin, a pivotal battle during the war. Johann Albert Lotz came to Tennessee in 1855 as a German immigrant and purchased five acres of land from Fountain Branch Carter.
Lotz was a master woodworker that was classically trained. He constructed his home in three years. He was skilled at carpentry and piano making as well as repairing guitars and violins. Lotz used his house to show off his carpentry skills to potential clients that might employ his services.
The Lotz House was “ground zero” of the Battle of Franklin. This was a pivotal battle in the Civil War. On the evening of November 29, 1864 about twenty-five thousand Union Soldiers retreated from Spring Hill to Franklin. They dug their trenches south of Lotz’s house and waited for the confederate army to attack.
By the morning of November 30th, the Union Line was established in the Lotz front yard. Lotz and his family sought refuge across the street at the Carter house and survived the seventeen-hour battle. The next morning the family came out of the basement to the sight of dead soldiers six feet deep between their house and the Carter House. Ten thousand were killed, missing, or injured. The Lotz house was commandeered as a hospital for injured soldiers on both the Union and Confederate sides until the next summer.
Today, the Lotz House still retains the evidence of the horrific scene. Blood stains can still be seen in all of the rooms. The house was severely damaged in battle but was quickly repaired. Some of the scars of battle were irreparable and can be still be viewed today.
Exhibits and Services
The Lotz House Museum offers tours of the house and battlefield and also offers appraisal services.
Tours- There are two types of tours offered.
· House Tour- The Lotz House tour includes every room in the Civil War House Museum. Visitors will learn house’s history, and the heritage of the fine arts, antiques, historic furnishings and the Lotz family history.
· Thomas Cartwright Tour- Thomas Y Cartwright is one of the country’s foremost authorities on the Battle of Franklin. He offers visitors personalized “Battlefield Tours” starting from the Lotz House. Cartwright will take visitors on a tour in he steps of soldiers telling their stories and informing on their lifestyle. The Battlefield Tours require a reservation.
Decorative Fine Arts- The tour of the Lotz House teaches visitors about the history of numerous furnishings and antiques found within the house. Some of the most superb examples of furniture designed by John Henry Belter and Prudent Mallard in the 1820s through the 1860s can be found in the house. The tour also offers visitors the chance to examine some of the furnishings Lotz himself made. Each room boasts extraordinary pieces of Old Paris Porcelain that was created for numerous uses.
The Lotz House also boasts several rare porcelain pieces that include tea sets, a rare Old Paris water chiller, and Veilleuses. The house also boasts the stuffed birds that John James Audubon captured and taxidermied to study their natural form and paint them.
Appraisal Services- The Lotz House offers Personal Property Appraisals. It specializes in decorative, fine art, and antique appraisals. These appraisals are used for several purposes including insurance, estates, divorce, donations tax liability, buying/selling, casualty claims and bankruptcy.
Appraisal staff has experience in antiques, fine arts, decorative arts, silver, residential contents, books, rugs, collection value, and military items. The written appraisal report provided to the client includes two copies of the report with detailed ID, photos, explanation for report basis, explanation of conditions that affect value, summary of the property value, and confidential storage of report for five years. Smaller items can be dealt with in the office or for households and larger items an on-site inspection can be scheduled.
Online Photo Gallery- The Lotz House online photo gallery contains pictures of the house rooms that visitors see on the tour for the public to peruse regardless of location.
The Lotz House contains the Museum Shop. The gift shop offers unique, interesting gifts and souvenirs for visitors. It provides a wide selection of mementos to remember the visit by as well as rare antiques, collectibles and items crafted by local artists. The shop also has a variety of DVDs, books and prints related to the Battle of Nashville and Franklin, the Civil War, and general history. The shop also offers gift certificates.
1111 Colombia Avenue, Franklin, TN 37064, Phone: 615-790-7190
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