Franklin, Tennessee / Fit for a Heroine

Things to do in Franklin, Tennessee / Travel Guide Fit for a Heroine
a heroine’s travel guide to Franklin, Tennessee / by Kathryn Marr

Nashville is a city of dreamers, a refuge for those wanting to break away from the norm and forge their own path. Tucked away just a few miles south of downtown Nashville is the idyllic, storybook town of Franklin. It’s a historic getaway, founded in 1799, and named after founding father, Benjamin Franklin. Whether you’re a connoisseur of local food, a history buff, a nature lover, or a small business supporter, you’ll love getting lost in the beauty of Franklin!

Things to do in Franklin, Tennessee / Travel Guide Fit for a Heroine

Grab a latte and bagel sandwich at Frothy Monkey

Frothy Monkey, a favorite among locals, is the perfect place to start your day! Try their iconic white monkey mocha – a blend of white chocolate, banana, espresso, and milk that you can’t find anywhere else. And if you’d like a little something to eat, the Plain Jane is to die for. Get it on a freshly made everything bagel, and add locally produced Benton’s bacon for a gourmet kick. Make sure to keep an eye out for celebrities! Country music stars like Keith Urban are known to stop in frequently.

Take a Tour of The Carter House & Carnton Plantation

Be transported back to the last great battle of the Civil War – the Battle of Franklin! In 1864, the Federal army defeated the Confederates in what was considered the bloodiest battle in the Civil War. The plantation was frequented since by the likes of Andrew Jackson, and others who forged the future of America.

On your tour, you’ll explore the grounds and outbuildings of the historic site. Or, you can purchase specialty tours to learn even more about the interior of the homes, or the battlefields.

Things to do in Franklin, Tennessee / Travel Guide Fit for a Heroine

Grab Big Shake’s Hot Chicken and Fish to go and picnic at Pinkerton Park

Nashville hot chicken is a must, and the local hole-in-the-wall, Big Shake’s, is the best place to find it! The 3 jumbo tenders plate with coleslaw and French fries will make for an excellent picnic to take out to Pinkerton Park. Sprawl out on the grass, or enjoy your food at one of the covered picnic tables. Then, burn off some calories by hiking across the Harpeth River, and up to Fort Granger, a historical Civil War site.

Go shopping in downtown Franklin.

Little downtown Franklin will remind you of Once Upon a Time’s Storybrooke! Spend some time wandering down the streets and popping into all of the businesses.  You’ll find charming local décor and clothing, gardening tools, and handcrafted stationary. Definitely a must see in the little town!

Things to do in Franklin, Tennessee / Travel Guide Fit for a Heroine

Get your hands dirty at Noble Springs Dairy.

Feel like an 1800’s farmer at this local goat and dairy farm. Learn about the farm animals, tour the facilities, and get a hands-on view of cheese making. Then, you’ll have the opportunity to sample and purchase their artisanal cheeses, soaps, fudge, and yogurt.

Get dinner at Cork & Cow.

Start with their delicious butternut squash fritters (served with Parmesan, and a Garlic-sage Yogurt!), then move onto any of their top-cut wood grilled steaks. The locally-brewed Yazoo Gerst Ale is a great compliment to the steak, and if you’re feeling fancy, their crème brulee is to die for!

Things to do in Franklin, Tennessee / Travel Guide Fit for a Heroine

End the night with a movie at the historic Franklin Theatre.

You’ll be charmed and romanced by this restored theater from 1937. With all the benefits of modern technology, and the unmistakable memories of 1930’s moviegoers, it’s the perfect way to end a day in Franklin. If you didn’t partake in dessert after dinner (or if you have a sweet tooth!) delight in the local chocolates from the Showtime chocolate bar, right in the theater.

So have fun traveling back in time to the Civil War, or pretending you’re lost in a fairytale while wandering the streets of downtown Franklin. I promise that you’ll find the perfect getaway from everyday life! Happy wandering!

Things to do in Franklin, Tennessee / Travel Guide Fit for a HeroineKathryn Marr is the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Blue Ivory Creative, a digital marketing company based out of Nashville, TN. A graphic and web designer, as well as social media manager, she brings a passion for entrepreneurship and creativity to the table. Kathryn loves helping people pursue their dreams and be successful doing what they love to do.

Is your hometown the perfect fit for a heroine? I’m always looking for fabulous locals to contribute to this Fit for a Heroine travel guide series. If you’re interested in writing for Heroine Training, read the guidelines and get in touch.

Columbus, Ohio / Fit for a Heroine

Columbus, Ohio / Fit for a Heroine

a heroine’s travel guide to Beijing, China’s Dongcheng District/ by Nikki Dee

Welcome to Columbus, Ohio, the state’s capital and self-described “heart of it all”. The state of Ohio even looks a bit like a heart, and if you could balance the state on its center, that center spot would be the city of Columbus! This city is the home of a few real-life heroines, including Olympic gold-medalist Simone Biles, blues singer Nancy Wilson, and artist Aminah Robinson.

I moved to Columbus about a year ago, and in the time that I’ve lived here, I’ve grown to attached to a few favorite spots around the city. This tour will give you a diverse and magical look at a few different neighborhoods and some of the best experiences that Columbus has to offer.

Columbus, Ohio / Fit for a Heroine

Buckeye Donuts

We begin our tour on campus of THE Ohio State University, otherwise known as OSU, one of the largest and most well-known universities in the country. Students flock to OSU from all over the world, and the city wouldn’t be the same without it. Right across from the OSU School of Social Work sits a true staple of the city: the 24 hour diner-style donut shop, Buckeye Donuts. It’s been in business since 1969. Here, you can feast upon 32 different types of fresh-baked donuts and coffee, bagel sandwiches, hot tea, and even gyros. Buckeye Donuts is also a great place to people-watch, and you can check out all the flyers posted near the door to find a concert or art show to attend.

Columbus, Ohio / Fit for a Heroine

Park of Roses

Next we head to the Whetstone Park of Roses, located in the laid-back, somewhat bohemian neighborhood of Clintonville. A walk through the13-acre garden park with over 11,000 rose bushes will make you feel like you are in a fairy tale! This was one of the first places I visited in Columbus, and it made me begin to fall in love with the city.

Columbus, Ohio / Fit for a Heroine

Short North Arts District

Our next stop is the Short North Arts District, which has developed into a trendy little strip along High Street with some great restaurants, local shops, and street art. Be sure to check out this twist on “American Gothic” by artists Mike Altman and Steve Galgas, which is painted on the side of a historic building on the corner of High Street. Other notable stops are Rocket Fizz Candy & Soda Shop, local clothing and gift shop Tigertree, Flower Child Vintage, and Grandview Mercantile Company, which is a giant antique store loaded with beautiful treasures from the past.

Columbus, Ohio / Fit for a Heroine

Northstar

While you’re in the Short North, be sure to stop for a bite at Northstar Cafe. Northstar is a local favorite with delicious and good-for-you locally grown food that is always served with a smile. My favorites are the Village Salad and the Sweet Basil Burrito. You’ll feel three times healthier after all those breakfast donuts. Sit outside on the patio and watch the dogs and little birds go by.

The Book Loft

After a walk through the arts district, head downtown towards the German Village, a neighborhood named for its German immigrants in the 1800s. It has been part of Columbus since 1840 on the South End of the City and features original brick roads and beautiful architecture. The neighborhood offers guided tours, which I definitely recommend, but my favorite feature is the Book Loft, a new and used bookstore located in an old-fashioned house, filled with 32 rooms of books! It’s like a labyrinth of pages, and there is a garden outside the entrance where you can read your new novels. They have everything from historical nonfiction, to fantasy, and even comic books for my fellow geeky heroines. Knowledge is power!

Columbus, Ohio / Fit for a Heroine

Columbus Idea Foundry

Columbus is a really artistic and crafty place. The Columbus Idea Foundry, located in Franklinton, is a giant space dedicated to makers. Set in an old warehouse filled with power tools and artist studios, you can sign up for classes in subjects such as Jewelry Making, Leather Working, and even “Women’s Blacksmithing”! Or you can take an open tour, usually available twice a week. And right down the block, you can check out 400 West Rich, an art space with hundreds of artist studios and its very own gallery.

Curio at Harvest

We end our night at Curio cocktail bar. Despite being featured on many lists of great cocktail bars, this tiny space nestled next to Harvest Pizza in German Village remains quiet and relaxing. Choose from the fun menu of drinks, or ask the bartender to make you something special. Take a stroll through German Village at night, and you might even pass some musicians performing on the street.

Columbus, Ohio / Fit for a HeroineNikki Dee  is an ethical fashion designer from New York who currently lives in Columbus, Ohio. When she’s not sewing and designing, she likes to read comic books, ponder over Tarot cards, and hang out with her cat, Bombay.

> Xandra recommends: Ethical Style: Inspired by Leos and Gryffindors

Is your hometown the perfect fit for a heroine? I’m always looking for fabulous locals to contribute to this Fit for a Heroine travel guide series. If you’re interested in writing for Heroine Training, read the guidelines and get in touch.

Brooklyn, NY / Fit for a Heroine

Brooklyn, NY / Fit for a Heroine

a heroine’s travel guide to Brooklyn, NY/ by Kerrin Smith

HELLO BROOKLYN!  Somebody once told me that Brooklyn “gets under your skin” — that once you live here, you will be forever pining for those Brooklyn vibes. There a cultural mélange that nobody can quite put their finger on here in New York’s most beloved borough, so it’s best to surrender to the mystery and indulge in the aesthetic, sartorial, historical, and existential inspiration that you’re bound to find here.

Brooklyn’s magic is best discovered by way of spontaneous wanders, those walks with no bookends during which you can let your mind turn into a cinema reel. If you want to pretend to be a local, I recommend touring by bike, but in the interest of staying safe and savouring every little detail, let’s do this day by foot.

The triangle we’ll see today spans several of Bed Stuy’s neighborhoods (including Clinton Hill, Park Slope, and For Greene), and the diversity you’ll see is provocative, especially since there is a conversation we cannot ignore about the gentrification of the area. Today you’ll hit a blend of the uber-local and the textbook favorite, I hope you see something that rocks your world in a good and important way. What makes this city so special though is that everything is inspiring, especially since a heroine can spot the inspiration or the learning in whatever she encounters.

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Take the C or the G train to the Clinton Washington stop. Did you know that the C train is the only line with cars still in use from the 1960’s? Who knew! Think of it as a “living history” experience.

Brooklyn, NY / Fit for a Heroine

Fuel up with a fresh juice from Mr. Melon

In a city where we are hard pressed to find a juice for under $8 (pun? intended?) Mr. Melon gives us sixteen ounces of freshly squeezed goodness for $5 or less. Pick up a box of $1 strawberries to kick off your adventure wondering why there is a $7 discrepancy between the same box of strawberries in the grocery store three doors down…somebody please call Freakonomics. (Be sure to pick up  goodies here for your Prospect Park picnic later his afternoon.)

975 Fulton Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Brooklyn, NY / Fit for a Heroine

Brooklyn, NY / Fit for a Heroine

Park Delicatessen is the probably coolest shop in Brooklyn

Skateboards, flowers, dry goods, oh my! One part skateshop, one part flowershop, consider this concept shop a surrealist experiment of the Brooklyn variety. I recommend you purchase the Brooklynette’s alternative to those uber trendy fur keychains by way of an oversized yarn pom pom keychain.

722 Classon Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Brooklyn, NY / Fit for a Heroine

Brooklyn, NY / Fit for a Heroine

Brooklyn Museum

A true staple that is well worth “the hype.” This is one of the only places where an oversize baroque frame is mounted against a neon orange wall. Need I say more? Be sure to stop by The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago — there is a place setting designed in honor famous heroines (both real and mythical)! Can you pick a favorite place setting?

Insider tip: Museum admission is pay what you wish.  

200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Brooklyn, NY / Fit for a Heroine

Picnic in Prospect Park

Brooklyn’s Central Park, but better. Pick your picnic spot (every one is a good one) and bon appetit.

Dig for buried treasure at Beacon’s Closet

…the best location of the best secondhand clothing chain in the city. When it comes to shopping secondhand, the secret to success is to unlock your imagination. You love the fabric, but the fit is off…can you belt it? Cut it? Wear it as a top instead? Shopping secondhand calls for us to engage in a sort of creative problem solving that isn’t limited to just the sartorial, which is why “Beacon’s” is an important stop for every Brooklyn-bound heroine.

92 5th Ave Brooklyn, NY 11217

Explore the Park Slope Historic District  

Park Slope’s main artery is Fifth Ave, the other one. Full of neatsy salons, quintessential New York delis (this is a thing), and one-of-a-kind coffee shops, you could spend an afternoon on this street alone. It’s hard to find a bad cup of coffee here, so to avoid over caffeination, weave in and out of Fifth Ave to get a taste of the gorgeous architecture in this area, particularly up by near the park.  

Park Slope Historic District (map linked)

Dip south to No Relation Vintage

For true vintage, No Relation is the answer. This warehouse-style destination is your go-to for anything tastefully tinsel or divinely denim. Decidedly not contemporary, the secret to success here is to pick your era, cue your vibe, channel your favorite heroine, and GO!

654 Sackett St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Brooklyn, NY / Fit for a Heroine

Catch an outdoor movie Habana Outpost

With an outdoor courtyard showing outdoor movies in the summertime, the best grilled corn in the city, and a larger than life portrait of “Comandante Biggie” on the wall, it doesn’t get any better than this. Where Habana’s Manhattan location on Elizabeth Street is decidedly more “scene-y,” the Outpost, however popular it may be, still feels like the real deal.

757 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

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Brooklyn, NY / Fit for a Heroine Kerrin is the founder of CATiD, a project committed to responsible global citizenship in the fashion industry. A pseudo-Parisienne who is proud to call New York City home, Kerrin burns for a world in which empathy is a core social value and has recently launched COOL AND THOUGHTFUL, an initiative to shift social values by redefining “cool” as generosity rather than rebellion. Her favorite heroines are her mum and her Auntie Jeri.

> Xandra recommends: Start with the COOL AND THOUGHTFUL Vision statement, then enjoy the treasure trove of photography and vignette-esque commentary on intentional living through aesthetics, sustainable fashion, and love.

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Is your hometown the perfect fit for a heroine? I’m always looking for fabulous locals to contribute to this Fit for a Heroine travel guide series. If you’re interested in writing for Heroine Training, read the guidelines and get in touch.