Franklin , NC

Franklin  NC is in Macon County.

2018 Best Guide to Franklin , NC

November 10, 2015

Franklin NC is situated in a valley in the Nantahala National Forest (Great Smoky Mountains) of Western North Carolina, and is known for its gems and minerals. The locals call Franklin NC the "Gem Capital of the World". When you come here, expect to see waterfalls, hills, streams, and valleys. If you are an outdoors person, you are going to love Franklin NC!

Photo: Marty Kimsey

With a population of almost 4,000 people, Franklin NC is also renowned for being one of the Appalachian Trail friendly locations along the eastern mountain range. In short, the residents of Franklin welcome those who traverse the trail, as it runs within 10 miles of town.


The area of Franklin NC was previously settled by the Cherokee, who called it Nikwasi (center of activity). For thousands of years the Cherokee dwelled here and the remnants of the Nikwasi Mound are within eye shot of downtown. This mound, kept eternally lit for hundreds of years, was the central location for spiritual ceremonies, council meetings, and other important events. In honor of their Cherokee heritage, many of Franklin's streets have Cherokee names.

What County is Franklin NC In?

Named for Benjamin Franklin (unless you go by the Town of Franklin website where it states Franklin was named for Jesse Franklin), the town is the seat of Macon County. It rests at about 2,120 feet in elevation and consists of about 4 square miles. The Little Tennessee River flows through Franklin, where the mouth of the Cullasaja River connects to it.

Franklin is about an hour from Asheville, NC and two hours from Knoxville, TN and Atlanta, GA.

Hiking and Gem Mining

Hiking and gem mining are popular things to do in Franklin. As mentioned, the Appalachian Trail traverses nearby. And, there is an abundance of mountain trails throughout, including the Bartram Trail.

The "Macon County Gemboree" is a jewelry and gem show held two times each year in Franklin. And plenty of people find their way to the Cowee Valley in search of gems and stones. Expect to find sapphires, rubies, and garnets in the area. Don't forget to visit the Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum; it's free. The museum is housed in what used to be the Macon County jail!

Water Falls in Franklin NC

There are a number of beautiful cascading water falls in the Franklin area. Dry Falls (pictured below, courtesy is a 65-foot waterfall in nearby Highlands. These falls are known for the flow over a bluff permitting one to walk under without getting wet.

Visiting Dry Falls probably involves the least work of all of western NC waterfalls. You simply pull off the road (Hwy 64), park and walk under the falls. Dry Falls are also known as Upper Cullasaja Falls, Pitcher Falls, High Falls, and Cullasaja Falls.

The real Cullasaja Falls (pictured below courtesy is also situated along Hwy 64. It consists of several waterfalls dropping about 140 feet and represents the last significant waterfall on the Cullasaja River. Visiting the Cullasaja Falls is more difficult and requires some tough hiking along vertical rock cliffs.

Just southeast of Franklin are the Bridal Veil Falls, a 45-foot waterfall in which you can actually drive your car under - the only waterfall in NC allowing it. In previous years, the road under the falls was the only method for passing through. Due to ice on the road during winter, today the Bridal Veil Falls also have a road running in front of the waterfall.

Restaurants in Franklin NC

In Franklin, food is something that the locals take much pride in. You will see perfect examples of this when you visit our restaurants. Our food varies from different cultural cuisine to "good ole southern cooking". So visit Franklin for your next meal today! Check out some of these restaurants.

Cabin Rentals in Franklin NC

During your visit in Franklin you should rent a cabin to experience the ultimate in mountain living. With all of the cabin choices available you will definitely find one that suits you. I sincerely recommend getting a cabin during your stay because it will give the same feel that it would if you lived in Franklin.


The hotels in Franklin are here for your relaxation and enjoyment. They are some of the greatest places to stay in the Southern Appalachians. While in the hotels you will get all of the accommodations just like any other hotel, except for the fact that you get to gaze upon a marvelous view of the mountains when you choose ours.

Real Estate Franklin NC

Looking for a home in Franklin? The town has many choices to choose from when it comes to the housing market.  When you mix that with the natural beauty of Franklin then that becomes a opportunity of a life time.

Quick Facts

Population: 3,900

Medium Age: 41
Medium Household Income: $83,000

Home Values: $154,000

Franklin NC Zip Codes: 28734, 28744

Towns Near Franklin NC


Franklin NC is located in western part of the state. The land that makes up Franklin today was granted from the Cherokee by the Treaty of 1819. Before the Europeans came the Cherokee named the area Nikwasi (center of activity). Parts of Nikwasi are still visible to this day. For example, the Nikwasi Mound can be seen clearly in downtown Franklin.

Franklin is located in Macon County at a cozy height of 2,119 ft. It rests in the heart of the mountains which provides very spectacular views. And if that isn't enough then you will definitely be amazed by the other natural beauties such as: lovely streams, waterfalls, wildlife, valleys, mountains, and the gem mines.

Franklin offers many activities: hiking, swimming, kayaking, mountain biking, shopping, fishing, rafting/tubing, horseback riding, and golf.

With all of these opportunities how could you not have a blast here?


Franklin Home Page

Franklin Panthers
Real Estate
Homes for Sale
Houses for Rent
Things to Do
Zip Code
Movie Theater
Ruby Cinemas
Caff-e Rel
Fun Factory
The Factory
Fatz Cafe
Whistle Stop
Cajun Connection
Fat Buddies
Kerr Drug
Bryant Grant Funeral Home
Franklin Press
Boiler Room
Macon Funeral Home
Franklin Regional Hospital
Drake Enterprises
Big Lots
Thunder Pawn
Holly Springs Baptist Church
Macon Bank
Life Church
Mill Creek Country Club
Franklin High School
Southwester Community College
Unique Properties
Tractor Supply
Auto Depot
Shaw Industries
Budget Inn
Gem Mining
Cabin Rentals

Town of Franklin NC
Franklin on City Data
Franklin on Wikipedia
Chamber of Commerce