You might not have the smooth moves of the above sloth, but you’re probably pulling out all the stops to think of the perfect summertime date night. Don’t freak out, Nashville – we’ve got all the ingredients for an awesome date night. The setting: The ultra-romantic and picturesque Franklin, TN. The couple: you + your boo (of 50 years or 50 minutes). The activities: Check ’em out below!
The History Buff Date
Civil War Sites, Restored Pharmacies, & Prohibition-Era Cocktails
Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt of Parks and Recreation fame (aka the couple who would rather watch a documentary on the Byzantine era than Keeping Up With The Kardashians).
WHAT TO DO:
Keep It Civil: What better way to start your date than with a trip to one of Tennessee’s most historic sites? This creative date night needs to start earlier than 5pm (when the museum closes), so we suggest picking a weekend night. We won’t spoil all the secrets of the important Civil War site, but here’s the gist: the house was built in 1826 and was used as a Confederate field hospital during the Battle of Franklin. After the battle, the McGavock family established the cemetery for fallen soldiers. Fascinating stuff, and let’s face it: there are museum people, and there are non-museum people. Best to find that out about your date now! We’ve also heard of some spooky after-hours activity on the grounds…
Drink Up With Some Prohibition-Era Cocktails: Sure, it may be a different time period, but Grays On Main has brought back an important piece of Franklin’s history. The restored pharmacy-turned-artisan-restaurant used to serve as a beacon of hope for Franklinites (because it was a PIE WAGON, and who doesn’t love a good pie), but was repurposed in the 80s. The original sign has been restored to its former glory, and now you can find delicious eats and throwback cocktails on the menu.
The Classic Date
A House Of Wine, Retro Theatre, & Slow-Dancin’ In The Street
Those adorable pictures of your grandparents having a night on the town in the 1950s. Bonus points if you can get your fella to wear something dapper.
WHAT TO DO:
Wine Debit Cards FTW: JJ’s Wine Bar is a revelation. The historic house and restaurant executes a unique concept – patrons get a debit card upon entry and can cash in in different rooms for a taste, a half pour or a full pour of some of the finest wines the South has to offer. If you’re feeling hungry, take a look at their tapas menu. Move things to one of their several cozy couches with your boo and a full glass of vino for some deep talks, champ.
Let’s Go To The Movies: If you haven’t seen it on Instagram (and the odds of that are very low), we’ll clue you in: The Franklin Theatre is just lovely. The theatre was built in 1937 and served as the cultural hub of the town for years until it closed down. The space was renovated in 2011, and now hosts all kinds of awesome stuff! You can see a concert, a comedy show, and obviously, a film.
Slow Dance Like No One Is Watching: If you have ever fantasized about that dancing-in-the-middle-of-the-street scene from The Notebook (don’t act like you don’t absolutely love that movie, ladies AND gentlemen), now is your chance. The Main Street strip the theatre is located on feels like a movie set it is so picturesque. Walk out onto a side street and experience ALL the romance (just make sure you’re watching for cars).
The Outdoors Date
Picnics By The Harpeth, Canoeing, & A Sweet Treat
Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher – just don’t forget to paint the fence first (#literaryjokes).
WHAT TO DO:
Gather Your Supplies: Every good picnic needs a game plan. Pick up your date and head to your local grocery store. We highly suggest the Franklin Farmers Market if you’re going during the season. They open in May, but let’s be real – you might have to hold off on this one for a month or two. February is COLD. If you’re coming to town from Nashville, we suggest getting fresh picnic fare at The Turnip Truck, and for specialty goods take a look at Puckett’s store.
Just Around The Riverbend: Don’t ever let the magic of driving down a Franklin road lose its luster. Prep your most romantic playlist (we suggest a lot of Otis Redding and/or Boyz II Men), pick the scenic route, and drive along the Harpeth River looking for a spot to set up camp. Once you arrive (again, if it’s the warmer months), you can rent a canoe from Paddle Dog Adventures and start your adventure.
Treat Yourself: A long day outside is probably going to put you in the mood for some dessert. Check outThe Sweet Shoppe, a nostalgic shop with an amazing cookies & cream milkshake. One straw, please. *wink*
The Artistic Day Date
Coffee, Classes, and Cathedral Windows
That couple you know that met when they studied abroad in Spain. News flash, y’all: the South has beautiful churches to take pictures in front of too.
WHAT TO DO:
Get Your Coffee Fix: There are a lot of great coffee shops around, but we can’t think of a better way to start the day than by grabbing coffee and breakfast at Frothy Monkey? This day date just started out with some deliciousness (get the biscuits and gravy).
Glass-Blow Like A Badass: Wanna get crafty in a very gender-neutral way? All parties will be into glassblowing at this cool Franklin studio. The lessons are a splurge (so we hope you really like your date), but it will definitely be a unique activity to remember. Beautiful unique glass art is on display, and you take home your own creation!
Stare Into The Windows Of Their Soul: You’ll be lookin’ at your date with love in your eyes when you pay a visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church. The famous Tiffany windows are gorgeous and were designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the son of the founder of Tiffany’s Jewelry Company. The church was built in 1827, and their doors are literally always open. This is a prime opportunity to snap a beautiful silhouette pic of your hot date.
The Down-Home Date
Drivin’, Dinin’, & Dancin’
Andy Taylor (from The Andy Griffith Show) and Ellie Walker. You two are pretty as a picture, and you’re about to paint the town red.
WHAT TO DO:
Drive Into Town: You probably don’t live within walking distance of the Main Street strip in Franklin (and if you do, we’re jealous). Roll the windows down (if you can stand the cold) and blast some classic country tunes as you and your date roll into town. Hey good lookin’, whatcha got cookin’?
Indulge In Some Southern Eats: Puckett’s Grocery makes some of the finest comfort food in Tennessee. Don’t believe us? Try the BBQ pulled pork sandwich, fried catfish, and/or the turnip greens. We highly suggest taking a date you’re comfortable sharing food with, because you’re going to want to taste whatever the other person ordered. YUM.
Grab Your Partner, Do-Si-Do: Puckett’s may be known for their biscuits, but they also serve up some of the best music in town. Hit the dance floor and show ’em your stuff! There are two-steppers, slow-dancers, and everything in between. Bonus: you’ll dance off at least SOME of those extra biscuit calories.