Day Trips Around Franklin
KY is conveniently located for trips to Nashville and has many attractions
of its own. Stay in Franklin, and you are just 40 minutes from Music City,
without the high prices and traffic!!
It's easy to spot Franklin on any map of Kentucky. Not only are we right on I-65 at the southern border; we are also where that border suddenly takes a little jog.(The story behind the little jog involves whiskey, government surveyors, and
bribery; Kentucky has always had a flair for politics.)
North from Franklin.....
Franklin is the starting point for Kentucky's U.S. 31-W Heritage Corridor, a two lane trip down memory lane. Begin the journey at the Sandford Duncan Inn, a log tavern that was a stagecoach stop in the early 1800's. (A well know dueling ground was
located nearby in that infamous jog.)
As you head north on 31-W through Franklin, go one block west to see the Old Stone Jail. Talk about frontier justice! Another few blocks west takes you to the African American Heritage Center, one of the state's few museums of black heritage.
Continuing northward, don't miss a view of Octagon Hall, a few miles outside town. Next, just south of Bowling Green, you'll spy Lost River Cave Valley, a hideout of the Jesse James Gang.
Go on through Bowling Green and cross the Barren River. Soon you'll come to the little hamlet of Park City, home of Bell's Tavern, where Henry Clay would imbibe of peach brandy and orate until the wee hours.
Just up the road, Cave City is home to some unique accommodations of a century later- the world famous Wigwam Village, built in the days when people traveled the Dixie Highway in coupes and sedans and cars with fins.
Horse Cave has the Cave Museum, Horse Cave Theatre, and Kentucky Down Under. Munfordville is the site of preserved Civil War fortifications. From Munfordville, continue north to Elizabethtown and Fort Knox, or visit Mammoth Cave National Park or
one of the other caves in the area then return to Franklin via I-65.
West From Franklin...
After a comfortable night's sleep in Franklin, you'll awake refreshed and ready to head out west. But first visit the gift shops and specialty shops on the south end of Franklin. Then, take Highway 100 West out of town. You may want to stop at West
Cedar Market, a real country store, to stock up for the trail.
When you come to the hamlet of Middleton, go north on Highway 103. Take 103 into Auburn, a quaint little village with nice antique shops. From Auburn, it's only 4 miles up U.S. Highway 68 to Shakertown at South Union. Knowledgeable guides in Shaker
attire will escort you through the museum, and you can tour the grounds on your own.
Take U.S. 68 into Bowling Green to see several first rate attractions: Riverview at Hobson Grove, historic St Joseph's
Catholic Church, the Kentucky Museum on the campus of Western Kentucky University, and the Capitol Arts Center and Fountain Square in downtown Bowling Green.
Now it's back toward Franklin on U.S. 31-W. Lost River Cave is open for tours and there may be events to check out at the Agricultural Exposition Center. Once you are back in Simpson County, don't miss a roadside view of the privately owned Octagon
Hall Confederate Museum And Archives. Then check out the antique mall across the road. No doubt you are hungry by now. Once you reach downtown Franklin, your choices include Mexican and Chinese food as well as pizza, burgers, and down home country
cooking. Side trips: Lake Malone; Russellville; Jefferson Davis Monument, Fairview.
South from Franklin....
Franklin, Kentucky has more motel rooms than any Tennessee town on the north side of Nashville. If you are planning a trip to Music City and would prefer not to stay in the expensive and crowded metro area, Franklin, Kentucky is for you. We are just
40 minutes away from downtown sports arenas and closer still to the Grand Ole Opry and major shopping malls. Do Nashville by day, and sleep economically and quietly in Franklin at night.
On your way back to Franklin from the big city, be sure to stop at Kentucky Downs race course. The track
is open year round for simulcast wagering, and live races are run in September.
If you spend a day-and-a-half in Nashville and want a change of pace for the second afternoon, go to Clarksville on I-24 and then take U.S. Highway 79 to Guthrie, Ky., birthplace of United States poet laureate Robert Penn Warren. Follow Highway 79
to Russellville to see the bank robbed by Jesse James, the Saddle Factory, and the Bibb House. Highway 100 will bring you back to Franklin. A side trip on Highway 664 takes you by Red River Meeting House, where the great religious awakening on the
frontier began in the early 1800's.
East From Franklin...
After a hearty breakfast at one of our more than 30 restaurants, you'll be ready for a full day of sight-seeing. If you haven't yet toured the Old Stone Jail and browsed the downtown antique stores or specialty shops, this morning would be a good
opportunity. Spend as long as you want, then, from the courthouse square, take KY Highway 100, a designated Scenic Byway, east toward Scottsville. If you're hungry already, stop for a sandwich and a cold drink at the country store at "Hopover".
Highway 100 will take you to Scottsville, where a turn onto U.S. 31-E leads straight to Barren River State Resort Park. The park features boating, fishing, swimming, nature trails, and riding stables. The lodge overlooking the 10,000 acre lake is
a great spot for lunch. Other good places for lunch are just 12 miles up the road in Glasgow, with several restaurants, some right on 31-E.
After lunch, take the Louis B. Nunn "Cumberland" Parkway and I-65 south to Smith's Grove, a hamlet that is home to many antique shops and Victorian homes. Or you may want to visit the Corvette Museum just off Exit 28 on the way into Bowling
Green, where you can eat at one of this city's many restaurants. Take Exit 22 for your choice of cuisines and drinks. Then return to Franklin for a safe and restful night's sleep. If you aren't ready for bed, try charity bingo, country line dancing,
golf at PGA Pro Kenny Perry's Country Creek, or a movie at the drive-in.
Side trips: Old Mulkey Meeting House at Tompkinsville; Scottsville Antique Mall; Museum of the Barrens at Glasgow; Beech Bend Park, or Fort Webb Historic Park at Bowling Green.
Simpson County Tourism Commission
270-586-3040 or Toll Free: 1-866-531-2040