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On our road trip to Nashville, Tennessee last summer we fell in love with music city…so much so that I’m already planning a return trip; but kid-free this time! While we enjoyed exploring the city, I also wanted to check out the surrounding area. We have friends who live in Franklin, so I used this as the perfect opportunity to integrate Nashville’s surrounding suburbs in our itinerary. I always love a good catch up with friends!
The bigs started off the morning relaxing out on the balcony of our apartment-style hotel. The leaves were just beginning to turn to a vibrant yellow. The sound of the train was so peaceful. My daughter was all snuggled up in the hotel’s robe and slippers.
This is definitely not our usual morning of hurry out the door to school, did you get your lunch, please use kind words, you wore that yesterday, please go put on clean clothes, you have a whole closet full of clean clothes, not I am not in fact the meanest mom ever for asking you to wear clean clothes to school.
After our slow start to the day, I packed up snacks and water, loaded up the car, and we headed South.
Here is what we enjoyed from our day in Nashville’s suburbs (mostly Franklin) that we thought you might like too:
Brentwood is about 15 minutes from Nashville and looks like it’s right out of a movie set. We oohed and ahhed over the Southern Living Magazine-style houses in Brentwood. I had my eyes peeled for celebrities, but no sightings. Womp womp.
We stopped at Crockett Park in Brentwood. If you have kids, or just enjoy getting out of the car for a woodsy walk, go for a walk on the trails at this park! It was a warm day, so we enjoyed the cool shade from the trees on the nature trails.
Besides the nature trails, the park is home to acres of open fields, an amphitheater, a frisbee golf course, tennis courts, a playground, and baseball fields.
Our next stop was easily my favorite of the day: Arrington Vineyards. This came as a recommendation from my friend, and I’m so happy she told us to visit! Arrington Vineyards feels as if you’ve been transported to the Napa Valley Wine Country, but without the aristocratic vibe.
Arrington Vineyards is owned by several people, one being country music star Kix Brooks! Grab a drink, a wine flight, or snacks from the pavilion and Boot Scootin’ Boogie your way down the hill to the vines.
If it’s a warm day, the frosé is a must. There are picnic tables spread out all over the property where you can enjoy a BYO picnic lunch or snacks you’ve purchased from Arrington Vineyards.
The pavilion has a small, but cute as a button, selection of merchandise for purchase too!
Also, pro parenting tip: when your kids are acting like little stinkers but you still want to get a cute picture with them, make them look away from the camera. Hehe
After lunch the hubs drove us to Berry Farms, where even the Chick-fil-a looks like it came out of a Southern Living Magazine. Why is everything so drool-worthy cute in this area?!?!
The Berry Farms community looks like a place the hubs and I would have loved to live as newlyweds. Shops and businesses galore and every house had a welcoming front porch.
We stopped at Coffee and Coconuts in Berry Farms for two reasons: #1 – Açai bowls and #2 – cute swings.
Our family follows the 80/20 way of eating – 80% of the time we eat nutritionally dense God-made whole foods. (if you’re interested in how we do this, see this post on eating healthier on vacation )
Since our kids don’t eat ice cream or any other frozen treat with dairy or refined sugar, they have come to LOVE açai bowls. I may have gotten them addicted while we were living in Australia and açai bowls seemed to be popping up on cafe menus all over the place. These are definitely our go-to special treat when traveling.
I’m so happy we stopped at Coffee and Coconuts! The funky chairs, the bird cage lights, the ocean blue painted floor, and of course the cute beachy swings (keep scrolling) made for a nice stop on our Nashville suburbs day.
My big girl hogged most of the açai bowl while her brother and dad were next door. There happened to be a Chiropractic office located next door to Coffee and Coconuts. There is some sort of special Chiropractor code where the Doctors just stop in and have a chat with each other. Chiros often stop in at my husband’s practices in the Dallas, TX area and he does this at other Chiro offices when we travel. I love the Chiropractic community!
And…you finally made it to the swings. Is this not the cutest spot to enjoy the most perfectly blended açai bowl with just the right amount of fruit, honey, and granola?!
Pinkerton Park in Franklin was next on the list. The kids love anytime we stop at a park. Our son always leaves with at least 5 new friends. He’s so fast, I usually don’t get many pictures of him unless I make him pause for a second.
Pinkerton Park is home to Tinkerbell Playground, which was a hit! Wooden parks are my favorite. My mom used to take my sisters and I to a local park that was nicknamed the “wooden park”. I have so many fun memories playing at that park as a kid that now (as a mom of three) when I see one, we have to stop .
We spent the next couple hours walking around downtown Franklin. Franklin definitely won my vote for best downtown area on our road trip. The history of the area, the hanging baskets of bright pink flowers, the sounds of people out and about, the old theatre, and the American Flags waiving gently in the breeze all made up for a picture-perfect afternoon.
Our two oldest are less than a year and a half apart in age. If you have children this close in age, you know the aggravating love they have towards one another. My two bigs rarely are affectionate to each other, so you better believe when anything like this happens, it’s documented.
Our favorite shop in Franklin was White’s Mercantile. We spent at least an hour in that shop! I browsed the front of the store for a bit before joining the hubs and bigs in the kid section in the back of the store. We picked out a fun book about Nashville for our toddler who was back in Texas with Nana.
The owner of the shop, Holly Williams is a singer-songwriter and also the daughter of Hank Williams Jr. Holly and her team have grown to five stores in the South!
The last stop of the afternoon in downtown Franklin was Landmark Booksellers. If you are a booklover, this is a must-see! Landmark Booksellers has rooms and rooms of books on every topic you can think of. Our kids enjoyed the children’s room at the back of the store. With books from floor to ceiling and a chair that is right out of your grandmother’s living room, your kids will want to spend some time in this room.
I love encouraging the kids with their reading, so anytime they want to visit a book store I’m down.
A former stove factory turned shopping and live music venue was next on the itinerary! The Factory at Franklin houses local businesses and fast-food dining options. I am all about supporting local and love retail outlets like The Factory.
The final stop of the day in Nashville’s suburbs, was dinner at Herban Market with our friends!
If you are a foodie and love healthy food, you need to visit Herban Market! They are a restaurant and a health food market. The restaurant is all-organic with made-from-scratch food. In the grocery/market section of the store everything is carefully sourced for the highest quality local products. Herban Market is everything my someday I will own a cafe dreams are made of.
My friend was spot on when she said Herban Market’s salad dressing is “so good you can drink it”. I had the Maple Kale Salad and you need to have this at least once in your life. The kids had the kid’s pizza with vegan cheese, which they devoured as well as some of my salad. The hubs had a turkey cucumber wrap that was stuffed full with all kinds of goodness.
It was such a fun and slow day. One of those days that just dragged on and on, in a good way. Franklin, TN is worth a stop if you are visiting Nashville!