Just a few miles south of Nashville, this small town holds more than 70 shops, restaurants, and music venues—all within 16 blocks. Here's how to make a day of it.
Article: James T. Black

9:30 a.m.
Start at Merridee's Breadbasket
Sit down to breakfast with a build-your-own omelette that offers two eggs and a choice of three other ingredients from a list that includes ham, bacon, onions, peppers, cheese, and mushrooms ($6). 110 Fourth Avenue South; merridees.com or 615/790-3755

10:30 a.m.
Shop Downtown

Boutique MMM
Maria Magdalena Molnar opened this shoe shop last September. Since then, Maria has outfitted women from around the country with footwear from such brands as Taryn Rose, Butter, and Donald J Pliner. 238 Public Square; boutiquemmm.com or 615/628-8323

Emmaline
Owner Abby Palmer features designers such as Joie, Rebecca Taylor, Diane von Furstenberg, and Ella Moss, plus denim wear from labels such as Hudson and J Brand. 400 Main Street; emmalineboutique.com  or 615/791-6205

Main Street Toy Company
Take a quick trip back to childhood at this delightful shop filled from floor to ceiling with classic and educational toys, stuffed animals, dolls, CDs for kids, and one of the state's largest collections of miniature soldiers. 412 Main Street; 615/790-4869

Rare Prints Gallery
Co-owner Ryen Baggett travels throughout the United States and Europe looking for painted and printed works from the 16th to the early 20th centuries, such as prints from John J. Audubon's Birds of America (starting at $125). 420 Main Street; rareprintsgallery.com or 615/472-1980

Avec Moi
Next door to Rare Prints Gallery, the Avec Moi shop offers unique silverware, china, and jewelry. Owner Bob Roethemeyer's sharp eye for antiques helps him find unusual items: for instance, vintage powdered sugar spoons—ingenious utensils that feature a scoop in the shape of a tiny colander ($29). 418 Main Street; avecmoifranklin.com

The iron Gate
Interior designer Rozanne Jackson's shop opened 15 years ago and quickly developed a loyal clientele. The space is filled with antique furniture and vintage home decor items. 338 Main Street; theirongateonline.net  or 615/791-7511

Noon
Have Lunch at Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant
This cozy eatery serves hearty helpings of pulled pork barbecue, fried catfish, fresh vegetables, and man-size sandwiches for lunch. Check the blackboard for the day's specials ($10 for a meat and three sides). 120 Fourth Avenue South; puckettsgrocery.com

1:30 p.m.
Hit The Factory
This industrial complex about a mile north of downtown once turned out stoves and mattresses. Now, the 12 renovated buildings that make up The Factory at Franklin are filled with more than 50 restaurants, shops, artists' studios, and entertainment venues. This month, The Factory hosts the 23rd annual Franklin Jazz Festival, September 1-2. 230 Franklin Road; factoryatfranklin.com

4 p.m.
Catch a Flick at the Franklin Theatre
Built in 1937, the Art Deco-style Franklin Theatre on Main Street reopened as a performing arts center last summer after an $8 million, four-year renovation. The 300-seat, acoustically impressive venue features a state-of-the-art sound system that comes in handy when performers such as Keb Mo, Vince Gill, and Sheryl Crow drop by to play. Coming attractions include The Studio Tenn theatrical company's presentation of Smokey Joe's Cafe, September 20-October 7, as well as classic films every Thursday-Sunday for $5. 419 Main Street; franklintheatre.com or 615/538-2075

7 p.m.
Enjoy Dinner at Red Pony
One of three local restaurants run by chef Jason McConnell, this popular spot is known for its twists on traditional Southern dishes. Try the braised rabbit accompanied by farro-and-andouille dirty rice and bourbon-glazed carrots ($27). 408 Main Street; redponyrestaurant.com or 615/595-7669