Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee: A Cool, Country Getaway
Leiper’s Fork, Tn is located in the lush and rolling hills south of Nashville and near Franklin. It takes less than a minute to drive from one end of the town to the other, but Leiper’s Fork is so much more than just the typical “don’t blink or you’ll miss it” small town.
Leiper’s Fork, Tn is both cool and country and the perfect place to get away from it all.
Where is Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee?
Leiper’s Fork is an unincorporated village in Williamson County, Tn. It shares a zip code with nearby Franklin, Tennessee and is about 40 minutes southwest of Nashville. It is also just off of the Natchez Trace Parkway.
The History of Leiper’s Fork, Tn
The history of the town dates back thousands of years to when the Cherokee and Chickasaw lived in this area and were already using the Natchez Trace as a hunting and trading route. Later came families who had been given land grants as payment for their service in the American Revolution.
The village grew in part because of the continued traffic on the Natchez Trace. Traders and farmers would return home heading north via the trace after floating their goods downstream on the Mississippi River to be sold in the town of Natchez.
The Benton Family was one of the first to settle here so travelers began to call the area Bentontown. The name later became Hillsboro. When it was time for the town to establish a post office it was discovered that the name Hillsboro was already in use so the name was changed to Leiper’s Fork.
The Leiper brothers were two of the early settlers and there is a stream or “fork” that runs through the village.
Maybe this name change was a good thing. Hillsboro isn’t quite as memorable is it?
In the 1990’s a group formed to preserve the town and to keep the historic buildings intact. Today Leiper’s Fork is on the National Register of Historic Places as an historic district.
Why Should You Visit Leiper’s Fork?
Y’all, Leiper’s Fork is chock full of southern charm. Think front porches and rocking chairs and sweet tea. Imagine a place where time slows down and everyone is friendly and your worries melt away.
Add in great food, live music and amazing shopping. Leiper’s Fork is all of this and so much more. It is truly a peaceful oasis of hospitality and grace.
Where to Stay in Leiper’s Fork
There aren’t any chain hotels in this charming town…and that is a good thing!
You will want to stay in one of the lovely cottages within walking distance of the shops and restaurants.
Check out Pot and Kettle Cottages. They have 5 different properties to accommodate a variety of group sizes. We stayed in the Coda Cottage which was absolutely adorable.
Eating in Leiper’s Fork
Don’t worry, you won’t go hungry in Leiper’s Fork. There are three restaurants right in the town and a couple of others scattered nearby.
NOTE: Do check the opening days and times of the restaurants. They aren’t all open all the time.
Puckett’s of Leiper’s Fork
Puckett’s of Leiper’s Fork just happens to be the original Puckett’s. It started as a grocery store and gas station in 1953. Their home cooked food and smoked meats became so popular that it transformed into a restaurant.
Puckett’s is a small chain but The Leiper’s Fork location is now under different ownership than other locations. However, the new owners have maintained the meat and three meals along with award winning burgers and barbecue.
The atmosphere is fun with mismatched tables, country style food, and ice cold beer.
1892 Leiper’s Fork
1892 Leiper’s Fork is the place in town for upscale dining. They serve delicious farm to table food in a lovely old house as well as at tables in the yard outside. The space manages to be both elegant and cozy.
The food at 1892 is locally sourced when possible and the menu is southern inspired. However, it is more refined than your typical down home southern cooking. It is decadent and delicious. Everything is good but I suggest the shrimp and grits!
NOTE: You will need to make reservations especially on the weekends!
The Country Boy
The Country Boy is another restaurant that has been in Leiper’s Fork for a while. It was established in 1968. The atmosphere is super friendly and welcoming.
What you will find here is great country cooking. As you might imagine the breakfast served at The Country Boy is both wonderful and filling.
Biscuits and gravy are on the menu of course. Also check out their Backwoods Bennie made with fried green tomatoes, country ham, an egg, and hollandaise sauce. Amazing!
You will find salad and sandwich options as well as various plated meals if you are stopping by later in the day.
Leiper’s Fork Market
When you first pull up you might think that Leiper’s Fork Market is just a cuter than normal convenience store.
Actually, it IS a WAY cuter than normal convenience store, but go on in and check out what else is different about this little market.
You’ll immediately notice that there is a community dining table with a chandelier overhead. Next you will discover that everyone is super friendly and that this is a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike.
As you peruse the products you will find not only your basic chips and cokes but also interesting locally sourced items.
At the back of the store there is a huge walk in beer cooler and best of all, there is a lunch counter. If you want a sandwich you simply fill out a form describing which bread, meat, cheese, and toppings you want and before you know it you are out the door with a delightful sandwich made exactly to your liking!
This is the perfect place to pick up lunch before you head out to go hiking or to drive the trace.
RedByrd Coffee Shop
Next door to the Leiper’s Fork Market you will find the RedByrd Coffee Shop. This place is darling! It is located in a tiny house and the motto on their website is “serving up coffee and joy.” I love that!
The Davis General
The Davis General is another convenience store/restaurant. It was opened back in 1928 a few miles outside of Leiper’s Fork. It was a staple in the community for many years and now has new owners who have maintained the old-timey feel of this quaint general store.
You can stop by to fill up your car, pick up an RC cola, grab a biscuit or a chicken salad sandwich or a Reuben…on certain days they even have barbecue. A stop at the Davis General is like a stop back in time.
Things to do in Leiper’s Fork
There is more to do in Leiper’s Fork than you might imagine for such a small town. You could spend a good part of a day just browsing the art galleries, but there are plenty of other things to do in Leiper’s Fork as well!
The Leiper’s Fork attractions range from upscale shopping to enjoying live music to sitting beside the creek with a glass of wine.
Leiper’s Fork Distillery
You will definitely want to visit the Leiper’s Fork Distillery! I have to confess that I am not much of a whiskey drinker, but I definitely enjoyed our visit and tasting here. The grounds are gorgeous, the buildings are lovely and interesting, and the tour guides are excellent.
You will learn all about how prohibition had an impact on the manufacture of whiskey in Tennessee, you will learn the history of the buildings on site as well as how the owner got started in the business, and most of all you will learn about how whiskey is made in Tennessee.
Of course the best part is that after the tour of the distillery you are invited into the tasting room to try several varieties of Tennessee whiskey.
The Spa at Leiper’s Fork
Yes, this small town has a wonderful spa. The Spa at Leiper’s Fork is the perfect place to decompress! A spa day in Leiper’s Fork, Tn would be a wonderful gift for a special occasion or a great place for a group of friends to go while on a girl’s getaway.
Wines in the Fork
Wines in the Fork just opened in the spring of 2021. This is a fun place to go for a wine tasting or you can even just order a glass of wine and sit out into their lovely back yard to enjoy the view of the rippling creek.
We were able to walk right in and select 5 different wines to taste from a nice list. Everyone was super friendly and helpful. As they get busier you might need to make a reservation for a tasting.
Live Music at Pucketts
Pucketts isn’t just a restaurant – it is also a live music venue. We were there on a Wednesday and were able to listen to a fun, bluesy band. Click here to check out the music schedule at Puckett’s. Thursday is open mic night, and sometimes on Sundays they have gospel music in a series that they call, “Beer, BBQ, and Jesus.”
Note: They do recommend reservations for the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances.
Galleries and Shopping in Leiper’s Fork, Tn
I won’t mention every one of the shops and galleries in Leiper’s Fork but they are all wonderful! Just meander down one side of the street popping into the shops and then cross the road and come back up the other side. This is a great way to while away an afternoon!
TIP: Go out the back door of the stores. Many of them have wonderful yards or back porches with places to sit and enjoy the lovely scenery. Some are on the creek, others have chairs that look out on rolling fields and some have fire pits and gathering places.
Honestly all the shops were great, but here were a few of my favorites:
- Serenite Maison is located in an old general store. It is filled with antiques, lovely candles, chandeliers, linens, food items…you can tell that everything was carefully curated and it is all artfully displayed. The wares here are effortlessly chic. In the corner at the front of the main room is the “pickin’ corner.” This is a wall of guitars – fancy guitars – that anyone can take down and and sit and play a spell.
- In a barn towards one end of town you will find David Arms gallery. David Arms is currently in his mid-60’s. He became an artist when he and his wife needed a large piece of art to fill a vacant wall. After that, according to his website, “his hobby became his calling and his life’s work.” You will enjoy seeing his art. His artwork is peaceful and full of hope.
- The Copper Fox Gallery is located in a restored home and features over 90 artists from the south. The art ranges from jewelry to blown glass to leather goods to handmade furniture.
- Leiper’s Creek Gallery is a former gas station turned art gallery. The owner has an eclectic mix of fine art from mostly local artists four of whom are master artists. You will find that the artwork at this gallery is exceptional!
- Moo Country is an interesting clothing store. I’m not sure whether to describe the clothing here as boho or western…Honestly, I think it is both! You will enjoy checking out their clothing and trying on a few things!
The Natchez Trace Bridge at Birdsong Hollow
Even if you aren’t driving the Natchez Trace Parkway you should go take a look at the bridge on the parkway that spans Birdsong Hollow. You can drive up on the trace to see the bridge from above or as you take the exit up to the trace you can see the bridge from below. Either way it is gorgeous and a great photo op!
Ride a Pedego Bike from Franklin to Leiper’s Fork
If you are wanting to do something a little more active you can make the short drive to Franklin and pick up a pedal assisted electric bike from Pedego Franklin! They offer a 30 mile round trip tour from Franklin to Leiper’s Fork and back with plenty of photo opportunities all along the way.
You will be on gorgeous back roads and the bikes will help you get up the hills without you having to work too hard!
I hope that you enjoy your visit to Leiper’s Fork, Tn! Let me know in the comments.
Here is a post about Beale Street in Memphis if you want to learn more about other towns in Tennessee.
Thanks for stopping by.