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  • Writer's pictureAmber Miller

Franklin / Southampton County Virginia Travel Guide

I spent the other weekend in the most precious and quaint town nestled into Southeastern Virginia: Franklin/Southampton County! This unique county is famous for its agricultural heritage, rich history, and primary crops grown such as peanuts, cotton, soybeans, and corn! It’s the perfect blend of rural charm with plenty to see and do. Here’s a recap of my weekend in Franklin/Southampton County:

We started Saturday morning off right at Southern Charm Garden Center in Franklin! This beautiful red barn center is a staple in Franklin and known for its variety. They have home decor, garden supplies, clothes, handbags, jewelry, and more. They even had Roscoe's favorite treats -- he couldn't resist! Southern Charm Garden Center is a hotspot if you're looking for a special gift for a friend or family member. I ended up walking out with full hands: a welcome sign, a swig cup, earrings, a cow print purse, little boots for my nephew, goat milk lotion, and of course dog treats. Earlier this year, they were named "Best Boutique" in the Hometown Choice Awards. In fact, they are so popular that they are currently expanding into a new location down the street - WOW! Check out this inviting and "one stop shop" in Franklin next time you're in town.

The next stop of the day was the ever so vibrant, The Cat's Meow! This stylish and affordable boutique is located right off of N Main St. in Franklin and is fit for just about anybody! They have an endless variety of items such as dresses, tops, pants, skirts, outerwear, jewelry, handbags, shoes, and accessories to complete any outfit! Also at The Cat's Meow, they carry a range of gifts for any occasion, such as candles, home decor, and personalized items — I even spotted some AWESOME bridal gifts for this year! Above all else, what captured my attention the most in this boutique is their friendly and knowledgeable staff who are always available to offer styling advice or just to chat and get to know you. This is the small town vibes I love! Pop into the store, visit them online, or tune into The Cat’s Meow live fashion shows!

Of course you know we had to make a quick stop into The Virginia Outdoors Shop! We needed to grab some shells for bird hunting that upcoming weekend and we just had to stop in and see what else they had! They offer a wide range of outdoor equipment including hunting gear (rifles, shotguns, bows, ammo, safes, etc.), fishing gear (rods, reels, lures, etc.), camping gear, and more! Something unique this outdoor shop offers in their custom embroidery and screen printing services where you can personalize just about anything you want! The Virginia Outdoors Shop is a go-to destination for hunters, anglers, campers, and all outdoor enthusiasts!

After all the shopping, we were STARVING! We stopped in to see what all of the hype was about at Cork Tap Tasting Room right across the street! This popular wine bar located in the heart of the historic district had an array of wines, craft beers, and ciders. We made it just in time for brunch and it did not disappoint! We started with the loaded brunch tots, a mimosa flight, and ended with a beer flight, breakfast tacos and their signature wrap! The food and drinks were beyond yummy and their atmosphere made it that much more relaxing and enjoyable. Their staff was so knowledgeable about the menu which made it easier for me as I can be indecisive when it comes to my drinks! They even mentioned they rotate their selections of craft beers and ciders from local breweries, so you can something unique with each visit. Mark down Cork Tap tasting room for your next day date, family gathering, or night out with friends!

If there’s one take away from Franklin/Southampton County, it’s that they are FAMOUS for their peanuts! After we filled our bellies, our next stop was Parkers Peanuts! The owners and staff were some of the most genuine people I have ever met, hands down. Their shop was so adorable and had a variety of peanuts, such as: salted, cajun, garlic, redskin, single dipped, butter toffee, salt and pepper, spiced old bay, and many more! Over the years they’ve transformed this store into more than just peanuts — they have gifts, loungewear, baby clothing, home decor pieces, and more! They even have expanded an entire side of the store to be a full service coffee shop which I most definitely tried out and it was PERFECT! What I loved most about Parkers peanuts was their unique story: Parker’s Peanuts grew from the vision of US Air Force LT. Colonel Fred Parker. While serving our country for three decades, his vision became a reality as he began production on the family farm. Today, the Parker family still uses the original recipe of roasting in pure peanut oil! Mr. and Mrs. Parker (and their gorgeous daughter) shared a snippet of their story on my instagram — to hear all about it, go to my “Franklin” IG story highlight. Bonus about this store, they donut their "Parkers Peanuts Puppie love" proceeds to the local animal shelter!

We made our way over to yet another famous peanut staple, Belmont Peanuts! They too are a family-owned peanut farm and store located a little farther out in the small town of Capron, VA! They have over 30 different peanuts flavors to choose from as well as gift baskets and additional tasty treats! Something super unique about this store is it is actually a peanut-shaped store, cool right?! Belmont Peanuts are known for their sustainability, friendly staff and delicious sandwiches! The farm uses environmentally friendly farming practices, such as crop rotation and conservation tillage, to preserve the land and reduce their environmental impact! Belmont Peanuts is a beautiful destination for both locals and tourists of the area to learn more about the history and production of peanuts in the region!

Franklin/Southampton County is a unique and charming destination for anyone looking to explore the natural beauty, rich history, and small town vibe of southeastern Virginia! With its scenic countryside and friendly residents, it's a hidden gem that's definitely worth a visit. You’ll feel just like a local in no time!


- Amber


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