I love small USA towns. One main street with maybe a stop sign or two, a general store with an old fashioned gas station, and a few mom-and-pop shops run by locals whose families have stayed for generations. Well, maybe that’s not always the case, but at least it sure feels that way. Just under 40 minutes from Nashville and 15 minutes from historic Franklin is Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee. With no stoplight in sight, Leiper’s Fork is the epitome of small-town USA. Here are 10 things you must do in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee!
10 Things You Must Do in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee
Now that I live in Nashville, I spontaneously drove out to Leiper’s Fork, TN without an itinerary. When I travel, I like to have a plan since I often have limited time to spend in a place. However, with Leiper’s Fork, I was less inclined to plan ahead knowing it’s easily accessible from Nashville. Also, the town is so small that it’s pretty hard to miss anything.
As a rolled up to Leiper’s Fork in my car, I wasn’t quite sure where to park. A number of cars parked along the main street, Old Hillsboro Road, but I pulled into a lot next to Puckett’s of Leiper’s Fork. I’m not sure if I was allowed to park there so I just parked and hoped for the best… Note: this is not a recommended strategy. I have had to pay a few parking tickets in my life. Fortunately, I didn’t get one this time!
Experience Art in a New Way at The Copper Fox Gallery
Immediately upon parking in Leiper’s Fork, I was dawn to a historic home that now houses The Copper Fox Gallery. Warm and inviting, the porch lights were on and the American and Tennessee state flags proudly waved from the upstairs balcony. As I approached the front door, I had to remind myself not to look for a doorbell.
In all my travels, I have wandered my way through a countless number of art galleries. Despite my deep appreciation for art (fueled by my mom and sister both being artists), art galleries have started to feel somewhat stale for me. The Copper Fox Gallery completely shattered this pattern.
The Copper Fox Gallery curates work from 90+ unique artists throughout the Southeastern region of the United States. A majority of the artists reside in Tennessee. The diversity of handmade art, ranging anywhere from mixed media and furniture to glass sculptures and functional pottery for the home, is only one alluring element of the gallery.
The second distinctive feature is that each curated piece, visually stunning in its own right, has an interesting story. The owner of The Copper Fox Gallery was knowledgeable and passionate about sharing the stories behind my favorite pieces. Leaving The Copper Fox Gallery, I felt a renewed sense of inspiration and appreciation for art. If there’s one place I know I’ll be back to, it’s there.
Enjoy Beer, BBQ, & Jesus at Puckett’s of Leiper’s Fork
Since 1953, Puckett’s of Leiper’s Fork has been a community staple. With music, award-winning food, and groceries (or beer, BBQ & Jesus as advertised on their sign), the place seems to have pretty much everything.
For live music, check out the Puckett’s of Leiper’s Fork calendar. Reservations are highly recommended for shows on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
Puckett’s of Leiper’s Fork is also on the National Historic Registry, making the experience that much authentic and special. All in all, this country store definitely fits the bill of small-down things you must do in Leiper’s Fork.
Explore Leiper’s Creek Gallery
Another wonderful gallery, just steps past Puckett’s of Leiper’s Fork, is Leiper’s Creek Gallery. The Gallery features fine art by local artists and has unique, eclectic pieces that range from sculpture to paintings.
Dine at 1892
As I continued to wander my way through Leiper’s Fork, I passed by another quaint southern home with string lights and rocking chairs on the front porch. It turns out the home is actually a restaurant, 1892! 1892 is a small-town restaurant “where inspiration is grown from our roots”. After checking out the restaurant’s Instagram, all I can say is that I am very eager to return to Leiper’s Fork during lunch or dinner time.
Shop for Local Gifts & Clothing
Even though Leiper’s Fork is tiny, there is no shortage of cute places to shop. I recommend continuing to walk down the main street on one side until you reach the Leiper’s Fork Church of Christ (unmissable), then circle back to explore the shops on the opposite side. Some highlights include finds in the fork, heylee b., and creekside trading company.
Visit Sereninte Maison
When it came to favorite shops, I personally loved visiting Sereninte Maison, which offers a selection of beautiful antiques and vintage finds, as well as one-of-a-kind “modern” housewares and textiles. You can also find some perfect small-town gifts to bring home to friends and family, such as Leiper’s Fork pickles!
Eat at Country Boy Restaurant
Just across the street from Puckett’s Leiper’s Fork Home is Country Boy Restaurant. Serving up traditional, down-home southern food, The Country Boy Restaurant is the oldest running diner in Williamson County, TN (the county where Leiper’s Fork is). “Filled with real people, classic country music, and good southern comfort food,” you can’t get more small-town USA than this. Plus, the restaurant is family-owned and operated so you know they take the utmost pride in the experience they provide their guests.
Peruse David Arms Gallery – in a Barn
At the opposite end of the Church (so closer to where I originally parked next to Puckett’s), is David Arms Gallery. First of all, it’s located in a barn, so it automatically makes it worth a visit, but it also features really interesting works of art by Nashville-based David Arms. The unique gallery showcases a curated collection of art and products like candles, coasters, and handmade journals.
Sample the Spirit of Tennessee at Leiper’s Fork Distillery
Staying true to its small-town heritage, the Leiper’s Fork Distillery embraces small-batch whiskey production. The Distillery has an immense appreciation for what many in the industry consider to now be a lost art. Using age-old traditions, Leiper’s Fork Distillery sources local ingredients and pure limestone-filtered water. Producing superior quality whiskeys, the Leiper’s Fork Distillery is a must-visit in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee.
Stay Overnight in a Historic Leiper’s Fork Home
Since Leiper’s Fork is so close to Nashville, it makes for an especially easy day trip. However, if you truly want the full small-town experience, you should consider staying overnight.
Where to Stay in Leiper’s Fork:
If you have never used Airbnb before, here is a link so you can save $40 off your first booking. My link will also provide you with a $15 credit to try out Airbnb experiences.