Do you want to squeeze in a fun day trip from Indianapolis before the weather turns too cold? Then, head south and spend a day in Franklin. It’s the perfect escape with a small-town feel but plenty to do and fabulous places to eat. What more can you ask for on a day trip or even a weekend getaway?
Start your day early with a delicious home-cooked meal at Ann’s. I can highly recommend the spinach feta omelet and it’s big enough to share! Ann’s restaurant has been around since 1952 with a very unique mission. The restaurant is run by employees of Tara Treatment Center which is a drug and alcohol treatment facility, and all proceeds help individuals who couldn’t afford this type of treatment. Not only are you enjoying a delicious breakfast, you are starting your day helping someone else!
Fun ways to spend the day
If it’s a Saturday, be sure to check out Tagalong Farm’s goat yoga. It’s held most Saturdays at 10:00 at 251 E Jefferson St. You’ll end the class feeling refreshed, stretched out and happy because the instructor understands that it’s impossible not to stop and pet the cute babies. This class is ideal for anyone curious about yoga or interested in trying something new. It’s the perfect way to get the day going.
Other fun options include a round of disc golf at Blue Heron Park & Wetland or time at the local pool. The course is lovely as it meanders around the park and wetland areas. In addition, you’ll find an inviting playground sure to please. If it’s too hot for disc golf, head over to the Franklin Family Aquatic Center. This community pool is not only affordable, but it’s also super clean, well-kept and with slides and several play areas, it’s a great way to while away a few hours.
After a morning of being active, slow things down by taking a few hours to shop downtown. Franklin is set up as a quintessential Indiana town with a beautiful courthouse in the center of downtown. All around the square are cute boutiques, a quirky coffeehouse, and even an adorable toy store. Be sure to head just a few blocks off of the square to visit Hoosier Cupboard for homemade ice cream or delicious chocolates. Also inside this local gem is a small railroad museum. It’s well worth a peek.
Where to eat
Thanks to Ann’s outstanding breakfast, you’ll just need to select a great place for lunch. In Franklin, lunch is where things get tricky because there are so many delicious places to eat. That means that making a lunch choice will be a challenge. Some sure bets include:
The Willard, which is located in a building that has been around since 1860. There is a lovely covered porch with big ceiling fans and comfortable tables perfect for enjoying a warm summer day. The prices are reasonable, the portions large and the food tasty. You’ll find sandwiches, pizza, wings and plenty of other choices. Also, each day The Willard offers excellent specials too, so check those out before you order. I share a full review of The Willard on this restaurant review.
Richard’s Brick Oven Pizza is amazing and it’s conveniently located just outside the square. Load the calzones and pizzas with toppings and the brick oven will cook them to perfection. Salads are fresh and crisp and if it’s in season, you might even be lucky enough to get tomatoes from the Franklin farmer’s market in your Caprese.
Shale Creek Brewery is on the edge of downtown right next to a couple of cute little boutiques. The menu isn’t large but does contain burgers, tenderloins, a few salads, and some homemade mac & cheese dishes. The atmosphere is comfortable and definitely kid-friendly.
Have a little more time?
If you aren’t quite ready to leave Franklin yet, consider spending the night and experiencing a one-of-a-kind movie experience at the Artcraft Theater. The Artcraft was built in 1922 and renovated in the Art Deco theme in 1948. The Franklin Heritage non-for profit has been hard at work restoring it to its prior glamour. Thanks to their efforts, you can enjoy a movie most Fridays or Saturdays. The Artcraft shows everything from old movies to cult classics. We saw 1945, Anchor’s Away, starring Frank Sinatra and Gene Autry. A recent showing of Talladega Nights included a glass of local beer. The Artcraft isn’t just a movie theater, it’s an evening you don’t want to miss.
Next time you feel the need to get away from Indy for the day, head South on I-65 and enjoy all that Franklin, IN has to offer.
Ann’s, 77 W. Monroe Street; 317-736-5421
Goat Yoga at Tagalong Boutique – 251 East Jefferson Street – 317-438-7640
Blue Heron Park; Driftwood Court
Franklin Family Aquatic Center; corner of South Street and Branigin Blvd
Hoosier Cupboard; 370 E. Jefferson St.; 317-346-0680
The Willard, 99 N. Main St., Franklin, IN 46131; 317-738-9668
Richard’s Brick Oven Pizza – 229 South Main Street – 317-738-3300
Shale Creek Brewery; 178 W. Jefferson St.; 317-868-2200
Historic Artcraft Theater – 57 North Main Street – 317-736-6823
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