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Things To Do In Franklin Kentucky – 15 Fun Things

There are some really interesting things to do in Franklin Kentuck, so you will have to do them all!

In my view, Franklin Kentucky is a lovely Southern town with much to offer. Home to just over 9000 people, the town still has plenty of entertainment. If like me, you’re into your history, you’ll be in your element in this little town.

From an enormous antique shop to ancient Shaker homes, a haunted museum, and an elegant Victorian house museum you’re spoilt for choice in Franklin.

Still, wondering what to do in Franklin KY?

Let’s check out our favourite things to do in Franklin County Kentucky:

Visit Bright’s Antique World

Bright’s Antique World calls itself an antique mall and so it should. We’re talking 35,000 feet of floor space so this is antique shopping on steroids. The aisles alight with street lamps and the booths fashioned into storefronts, individual sellers meet here to tempt the public with their wares.

The shop has plenty of antiques and collectibles from furniture to ornaments, toys, and household goods, you are sure to find something to take home. Still, plan to spend a little time going through the vast collection.

If you’re in Franklin on a Saturday, you may join the fun at the fortnightly outdoor bazaar. You can park for free and you won’t pay an entrance fee.

Wine Tasting at Sumner Crest Winery

Wine and Cheese Cheers - Things to do in Franklin Kentucky

If you’re a lover of good wine, Sumner Crest Winery is the perfect stopover any day of the week. Wine tastings happen daily and there are more than twenty wines to choose from and they’re all made on the premises.

The Grape Vine Café opens between 11 am and 5 pm. It’s one of my favorite places to eat in Franklin KY serving homemade flatbreads and other tasty appetizers. There is also an on-site gift shop. The winery has regular concerts on the lawn so check the website before you go.

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Spend the Night at Shaker Village

Shaker Village in central Kentucky - Things to do in Franklin KY this weekend

Plan a trip to the South Union Shaker Village, the oldest National Landmark in Kentucky. Here 34 buildings from an older, gentler age have survived. Built between 1809 and 1875 most of the buildings are located on a gravel track.

The Historic Center displays and exhibits Shaker living spaces and relics of their lifestyle. South Union Shaker Village has the largest collection of southern Shaker furniture in the US.

You could spend the whole day on this adventure. Arrange a self-guided tour or attend a curated weekend where you can learn to become a Shaker maker. There are also evening adventures, hayrides, horse-drawn carriage rides, and seasonal exhibitions.

The center opens daily from 10 am to 5 pm or you can stay overnight in a historic building.

Kenny Perry Country Creek Golf Course

Kenny Perry made his name on the PGA Tour. He has designed the well-appointed Kenny Perry Country Creek Golf Course for the use of golf lovers in the town. The golf course, at his home, is just minutes from downtown Franklin, meandering over the pretty countryside.

A fully stocked on-site pro shop has a wide range of equipment on offer. Relax in the clubhouse after the game and enjoy a snack from the snack bar.

The club is open from 7 am to 6 pm daily. Green fees for the 18-hole course come in at $37 on a weekday and $42 over the weekend. You can also choose to do the 9-hole course or take some time out on the driving range.

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Visit the Dueling Grounds Distillery


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Built on a dueling field, the aptly named Dueling Grounds Distillery hosts tours and tastings seven days a week. The bourbon distillery has an on-site gift shop and bottle store. The business also hosts regular events on the outdoor patio.

The expert tours start every hour on the hour running from 10 am to 6 pm Monday to Saturday. You can also join cocktail hour between 3 and 7 pm on a Sunday. Every Sunday there are new cocktails up for grabs. The Dueling Grounds form part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour. So, enquire about the tour while you’re there.

Find Ghosts at Octagon Hall Museum


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Built as a family home in 1847, Octagon Hall is on the National Registry of Historic Places. During the Civil War, it served both Federal and Confederate troops. It also served as a hospital. It is now a museum and contains Civil War and Native American artifacts. The grounds contain a slave cemetery and a historical garden.

Many regard the building as the most haunted in the south, and management invites para-normal teams on special ghost-seeking tours in the late afternoon and early evening. The museum opens Wednesday to Saturday from 9 am to 11 am and from 1 pm to 3.30 pm. Anyone over 12 will pay $5.

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Go Downtown for Some Franklin KY Shopping

Make sure to spend a little time in the historic downtown Franklin. It’s a great place to shop and stopover for a coffee and a chat. Historic buildings in the area include the courthouse built in 1882. The Franklin Presbyterian Church is just a little younger having been dedicated in 1886.

Stopover at the Brickyard Café. Once carriages were made and repaired here. Today there is still a buggy in the café. It stands upon a hand-operated lift.

Find Entertainment at Kentucky Downs

Head to Kentucky Downs if you’re in the mood for some great entertainment. The Mint boasts more than a thousand gaming machines. It’s open seven days a week and pays out millions monthly.

Not into gambling? You may want to try out one of the restaurants and bars at Kentucky Downs. The Center Bar, Corner Café, and Oasis Side Bar offer drinks, cocktails, and meals into the early hours.

Join in the excitement of a live horse race at The Track. It is the only all-turf racecourse in the US. The course is considered the top-rated track by the Horseplayers Association of North America. With space for 11 horses per race, Kentucky Downs is the top race meet in America.

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Franklin Drive-in


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Snuggle up under a blanket and enjoy a movie from the comfort of your car. Listen to the soundtrack in stereo from your car radio. You get to watch two movies. Buy a hot and tasty snack and make an evening of it. The entry fee works on a sliding scale depending on the number of people in the vehicle. The gates open at 6 pm from Friday to Sunday.

Gallery on the Square


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Gallery on the Square has been in business since 1992. It is a nonprofit organization set up with the sole aim of assisting local artists. Here you’ll find a wide range of artwork from glassworks, to pottery, jewelry and mixed media works, all the work of local craftspeople. The gallery has regular exhibitions and functions. Buy a gift and have it gift wrapped on the premises.

The gallery is open from Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm and on Saturday from 10 am to 2pm.

The Old Jail and Jailers Quarters

The old jail and jailers’ quarters are home to the Simpson County Museum. The museum contains various archives including deeds, wills, and marriage certificates. The jailers’ quarters house various artifacts and paintings donated to the museum over the years.

The tiny cells have been left just as they were when last used. Chains and shackles make the experience all too real. The jailers’ residence goes back to 1860.

Though most of the records were lost in a fire that burnt down the courthouse in 1882, some records in the Old Jail go all the way back to the Civil War. You can take a tour free of charge Monday to Saturday.

Sandford Duncan Inn

Sanford Duncan Inn

One of the oldest log structures in the county, the Sanford Duncan Inn was built in 1818. The inn has a long history and was operating as an overnight lodge going back almost to inception. By 1822, tax records show that the inn was operating as a tavern.

Several famous historical figures, such as President Andrew Jackson, have stayed at the inn over its illustrious history. The inn is now furnished as it was in the 1820s and 1830s. You can book weekday tours of the Inn.

The inn is also open most Saturdays between 10 am and 2 pm.

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African American Heritage Center

Located in a Victorian home the African American Heritage Center serves to showcase the part that African Americans have played in the history of the area. Besides exhibits, the museum also runs educational programs for children.

The center is open weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm and on Saturday from 9 to 11 am.

Feathers and Friends Alpaca Farm


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Take the kids to the Feathers and Friends Alpaca Farm to see llamas, alpacas, and other animals. The farm was closed for a long while and recently re-opened. It isn’t a petting zoo but you will receive food at the gate with which to feed the animals.

The farm is open from 9 am Monday to Saturday. Make an appointment as this is a working farm. The entry fee is $20 and the farm will accommodate up to four people at a time.

Days Gone by Museum Portland

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Just ten minutes from Franklin, you’ll find the Days Gone by Museum in nearby Portland. Started more than 30 years ago, this privately owned museum aims to showcase the lifestyle of the early American household.

The warehouse and surrounding lawns contain over 100 antique cars, trucks, and tractors, all lovingly restored to their former glory. It also contains old-fashioned household appliances, tools, and farm ware. A plane and a section of train adorn the lawn outside.

The museum is open from Tuesday to Friday 9 am to 4 pm. Gain entrance for $5.

Baker Arboretum Downing Museum

The Downing Museum and Baker Arboretum

A half an hour from Franklin, in Bowling Green, the Baker Arboretum and Downing Museum are well worth a visit. The Arboretum was started in 1992 and covers almost 115 acres of land. Jerry Baker worked with a landscape engineer to create a beautifully coherent collection of conifers and Japanese maples, interspersed by magnolias and other flowering trees.

The arboretum has an astonishing array of plant species all beautifully packaged in a peaceful park.

Alongside the Arboretum, you’ll find one of the free things to do in Franklin KY. The Downing Museum showcases the works of art of sculptor, painter, and designer Joseph Dudley Downing. It also serves as an exhibition center for other artists. Admission is free. Opening times change through the year so you will have to check the times before you visit.

The Historic Rail Park and Train Museum

Historic Rail Park and Train Museum

Also in Bowling Green, combine your trip to the Arboretum with a visit to the Historic Rail Park and Train Museum. Here you can experience rail travel of a past era and learn important stories of the heritage. Located in the former Louisville and Nashville Railway Station, you can wander around the museum and take a guided railcar tour.

The combined tours cost $16 for adults and $10 for children between the ages of 5 and 12. If you only do the museum, you’ll pay half price. The park is open on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. You will have to book.

Riverview at Hobson Grove

Riverview at Hobson Grove - Things to do in Franklin County Kentucky

Another Bowling Green gem, Riverview at Hobson Grove is a Victorian upper-class home that showcases the life of the time. Confederate soldiers occupied the partially completed house during the Civil War. Finished in 1872, the house was considered one of the finest in Warren County. The house-museum has been fully restored and is a beautiful example of the homes of the era.

Riverview is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and on Sunday from 1 to 4 pm. The museum closes over holidays and from mid-December to the beginning of March.

In Conclusion

If you’re looking for things to do in Franklin KY this weekend, you’re bound to find something you like on this list. From sport to gambling and historical trips there are plenty of things to do in Franklin County Kentucky.