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HomeRoad Trip20 Issues to Do in Johnson Metropolis, TN

20 Issues to Do in Johnson Metropolis, TN


“So, what journey will go on this time?” It was at all times one thing my grandmother requested on the primary day of a go to along with her in Johnson Metropolis. I cherished my time along with her, however I at all times deliberate just a few adventures whereas visiting as a result of Johnson Metropolis is the hub of all issues to do in Northeast Tennessee.

Years after she moved away, I returned for one more journey and found a metropolis remodeled.

I spent half a day exploring the scenic drives and factors of recreation round Watauga Lake, beginning the Watauga Dam Customer Middle and ending with a while lounging at Watauga Level Recreation Space. I took a guided tour on the Tipton-Haynes State Historic Web site, the place I realized concerning the website’s reference to the failed State of Franklin – an fascinating piece of native historical past. And I went for a stroll at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Web site to see the place the place the Overmountain Males crossed the river on their technique to the Revolutionary Conflict Battle of Kings Mountain.

Whereas the out of doors recreation and state historic websites had been the identical as ever, downtown Johnson Metropolis had blossomed.

One of the vital stunning issues I found was Founders Park, a 5-acre public park constructed as a floodwater administration space however designed with strolling paths, footbridges, and an amphitheater. Throughout the railroad tracks, Yee-Haw Brewing Firm occupied the renovated Tweetsie Railroad depot. Watauga Brewing Firm constructed town’s first and solely rooftop bar, and Southern Craft BBQ opened a restaurant serving savory meats and home made sauces.

With a day journey to Jonesborough, I spotted Tennessee’s oldest city was nonetheless a lot the identical. The Worldwide Storytelling Middle was nonetheless the speak of the city, however the Tennessee Hills Distillery was one thing new within the historic Salt Home beside the railroad tracks. I discovered one other vintage espresso grinder so as to add to my assortment on the Jonesborough Vintage Mart and some quirky items of sweet at The Lollipop Store.

I used to be completely ensconced on the Carnegie Resort throughout my 4 nights in Johnson Metropolis. Town’s solely four-star resort is a recreation of an earlier resort constructed within the Eighties, a “growth interval” of enlargement for town. Plush carpeting and brass accents added opulence to the inexpensive resort. My visitor room was spacious, and that was actually the biggest rest room I’ve seen in a resort room.

Johnson Metropolis is the hub for all issues to do in Northeast Tennessee. The out of doors recreation – whitewater rafting, backpacking, mountain biking, and mountaineering – added heart-pounding pleasure to the itinerary. Scenic drives round Watauga Lake and thru Carvers Hole on Roan Mountain had been peaceable escapades. Town is experiencing one other “growth interval” with the addition of native breweries and eating places.

It’s all the things I may need for a weekend getaway and all the explanations I have to revisit Johnson Metropolis.

Temporary Historical past of Johnson Metropolis

In 1856, Henry Johnson constructed a railroad station referred to as Johnson’s Depot on the intersection of three railroads in northeast Tennessee. It grew to become a serious rail hub within the Southeast, and a city grew across the depot. In 1869, Johnson Metropolis was included, and Henry Johnson was elected as town’s first mayor.

For almost fifty years, Johnson Metropolis was a growth city for improvement and shortly grew to become the fifth largest metropolis in Tennessee. However the failure of native railroads on the finish of the 1800s and the Nice Melancholy within the early 1900s stifled town’s progress for many years.

In 1911, the East Tennessee State Regular Faculty was based to teach Okay-12 lecturers. The identify modified a number of occasions as the varsity expanded till 1963 when it formally grew to become East Tennessee State College. With virtually 15,000 full time college students, ETSU is among the most typical causes individuals go to Johnson Metropolis right this moment.

However not the one motive.

Open Doorways Coffeehouse – Favourite Coffeeshop in Johnson Metropolis

In case you’re like me, espresso is the very first thing it’s good to get a day of exploring a brand new vacation spot began. Opened in 2017, Open Doorways Coffeehouse is one other success story of Ohio-based Crimson Cup’s Seven Steps to Success – a program that helps individuals open native espresso retailers.

The baristas serve espresso utilizing each methodology possible, from drip to latte and pour over – they usually even serve nitro chilly brew. Get one thing to eat for breakfast with a menu that features eggs, biscuits and gravy, and their delicious Huevos Rancheros. Get a desk contained in the small espresso store or stretch your legs exterior on the deck overlooking downtown Johnson Metropolis.

101 East eighth Avenue, Johnson Metropolis, TN | 423-268-2997 |

No. 01

Go to the Tipton-Haynes State Historic Web site

The Tipton-Haynes State Historic Web site preserves and interprets the historic buildings and land of Colonel John Tipton and Landon Carter Haynes. Tipton bought the land in 1784 when the realm was nonetheless a part of North Carolina. In 1837, David and Rhoda Haynes bought the property from John Tipton, Jr.’s heirs, and gifted it to their son, Landon, after he married.

Guests to the historic website can tour a beautiful museum deciphering the native historical past of Native Individuals, the primary European settlers to maneuver into the realm, and the failed State of Franklin motion that pitted Colonel Tipton in opposition to John Sevier. Guided excursions are supplied of the historic buildings, the place guests can see interval furnishings, be taught concerning the dozens of alterations to the unique frontier home, and discover Haynes’ non-public regulation workplace.

2620 South Roan Avenue, Johnson Metropolis, TN | 423-926-3631 |

Recreation of Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Web site.
Recreation of Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Web site.

No. 02

Go for a Stroll at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Web site

In 1775, a gaggle of frontier settlers led by Richard Henderson bought 20 million acres of land from Cherokee leaders. Often known as The Transylvania Buy, it was the biggest non-public land transaction in North American historical past – and the deal was signed on the property now a part of the Sycamore Shoals State Historic Web site.

In 1780, the location was a muster floor for the Overmountain Males. The volunteers from Virginia and Tennessee crossed the shallow shoals of the Watauga River, gathered their power, after which marched to Kings Mountain for a pivotal Revolutionary Conflict battle. A leisure stroll alongside the 1.2-mile Patriot Path retraces the steps of the troopers alongside the banks of the river.

READ MORE: Sycamore Shoals State Park in Elizabethton, Tennessee

The museum on the customer heart interprets this historical past with life-size mannequins and energetic narration. Outdoors, a recreation of Fort Watauga is open for guests to discover, and it comes alive annually with the annual Siege of Fort Watauga reenactment. Liberty! is the official Outside Drama of the State of Tennessee, performing each weekend all through June.

The Carter Mansion is a satellite tv for pc element of the state historic website, positioned about three miles away. Accomplished in 1781 by John and Landon Carter, the two-story construction is Tennessee’s oldest standing body home. Guests can tour the grounds of the home and the household cemetery.

1651 West Elk Avenue, Elizabethton, TN | 423-543-5808 |

No. 03

Go to the George L. Carter Railroad Museum

George L. Carter got here from humble beginnings because the oldest of 9 kids born on a farm in Hillsville, Virginia, in 1857. With backing from New York financiers, Carter based the Clinchfield Coal Firm and was instrumental in constructing the Carolina, Clinchfield, and Ohio Railroad. Residing in Johnson Metropolis, Carter donated a 120-acre farm to determine what would later turn into East Tennessee State College.

In 2007, the George L. Carter Railroad Museum was opened on the ETSU campus. The 5,000 sq. foot exhibit house options hundreds of mannequin trains, rolling inventory, and constructions. Guests can stroll the perimeter of the spectacular to see the trains in movement.

176 Ross Drive, Johnson Metropolis, TN | 423-439-3382 |

No. 04

Go to the Reece Museum

You wouldn’t understand it by standing exterior the brick constructing with a darkish blue ETSU signal, however contained in the partitions of the Reece Museum are almost 25,000 historic artifacts. Within the late Nineteen Twenties, historical past professor Maxine Matthews created the museum as a category challenge. In 1965, the museum was formally devoted because the B. Carroll Reece Memorial Museum after his widow, Louise Goff Reece, donated the congressman’s private library to the museum.

Guests can tour the museum freed from cost. Displays interpret the historical past of the Appalachia area all through Northeast Tennessee.

363 Stout Drive, Johnson Metropolis, TN | 423-439-4392 |

No. 05

Discover the Boones Creek Historic Belief Museum and Opry

In 1768, William Bean planted corn on land round Boones Creek and have become the primary European settler in Tennessee. The Boones Creek Historic Belief Museum and Opry is in the identical space as the primary neighborhood and interprets the early historical past of the area.

The museum incorporates hundreds of artifacts and dozens of displays on Tennessee’s early historical past. The museum is freed from admission and takes about half an hour to discover.

Each Saturday evening, a featured performer is hosted on the opry, the place they placed on an outside present. The musicians play bluegrass, nation, and gospel with the backdrop of a barn and surrounded by hay bales.

632 Hales Chapel Street, Johnson Metropolis, TN | 423-461-0151 |

No. 06

Study Historical past and Science on the Grey Fossil Web site and Arms On! Discovery Middle

In 2000, the Tennessee Division of Transportation constructed Fulkerson Street in Grey. Throughout the grading of the highway, development crews found fossils – and the work got here to a cease. Realizing the location’s significance, Governor Don Sundquist moved the highway, and ETSU President Paul Stanton utilized for grants to construct the Grey Fossil Web site.

Opened in 2007, the location is an energetic archaeological dig and the biggest of its sort within the Appalachian Highlands. ETSU created a brand new division providing a Paleontology Grasp’s Diploma, and most of the college students work on the website. Guests can view the dig websites behind the museum, peek by way of home windows inside on the fossil storage and examination, and chat with paleontologists.

The Arms On! Museum opened in 1987 in downtown Johnson Metropolis. The museum featured arms on displays geared towards kids. In 2019, the museum moved to the Grey Fossil Web site and rebranded as Arms On! Discovery Middle.

The invention heart incorporates a singing Tesla coil – you’ll simply have to listen to it for your self – and dozens of hands-on stations demonstrating scientific ideas. The museum additionally regeared for a broader age vary, now providing issues for adults to do – and giving them a motive to go to with out kids in tow.

1212 Suncrest Drive, Grey, TN | 423-434-4263 | &

No. 07

Go to the Elizabethton Coated Bridge

In 1882, Carter County accepted $3,000 to construct a bridge over the Doe River to permit Elizabethton room to broaden. Unable to discover a certified contractor, native Physician E.E. Hunter took on the job and employed native laborers to construct the bridge. The one-lane Elizabethton Coated Bridge is 137-feet lengthy and solely open to pedestrian site visitors right this moment.

Guests can park on both facet of the bridge to get pleasure from strolling alongside the Doe River. A concrete path meanders by way of a small public park on the west facet of the river, incessantly populated with geese.

Elizabethton Coated Bridge on Google Maps

No. 08

Take a Day Journey to Jonesborough – Tennessee’s Oldest City

Based in 1779, Jonesborough is the oldest city in Tennessee and only a twenty-minute drive from Johnson Metropolis. The preferred attraction within the small city is the Worldwide Storytelling Middle – bestowing the identify “Storytelling Capital of the World” in town.

On the Chester Inn State Historic Web site, take a tour by way of the historic constructing, spend a while within the museum, and e-book a guided strolling tour by way of city. The downtown space stretches 5 blocks alongside Essential Avenue, the place historic buildings tower over the brick sidewalks, and other people stroll beneath the shade of small bushes.

Seize a espresso to go at The Nook Cup, then head to The Lollipop Store to discover an old style sweet store. Flick thru the aisles on the Jonesborough Vintage Mart in an outdated business constructing full with creaking wood flooring.

Get one thing to eat at Texas Burritos & Extra or Jonesborough Barrell Home, after which go to Krazy Krepes for a savory deal with. Go to the Tennessee Hills Distillery within the historic Salt Home beside the railroad tracks. Opened in 2016, Stephen and Jessica Callahan put their biology and chemistry levels to work crafting native spirits.

Cease on the Historic Jonesborough customer heart in your means in or out of city. Take a tour of the free museum to find out about native historical past and browse the native art work, books, and baked items within the present store.

Inside Tip Plan to spend about 1-2 hours in Jonesborough for window buying and strolling the broad brick sidewalks. If you wish to get lunch or dinner, add an additional hour. The very best time to go to is late afternoons earlier than the night dinner rush.

No. 09

Go for a Hike at Buffalo Mountain Park

From nearly anyplace in Johnson Metropolis, close by Buffalo Mountain looms. The 725-acre nature protect was opened to the general public in 1994 as a spot for mountaineering and picnicking.

A number of trails start on the picnic space and sprawl throughout the mountain’s north face. The preferred hike is to the summit at 3,282-feet. There are lots of choices for the hike, together with the reasonably simple Fork Knob path alongside a ridge and the White Rock Loop with cascades and scenic overlooks.

570 Highridge Street, Johnson Metropolis, TN | 423-283-5815 |

No. 10

Hit the Trails at Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park

Locals had been thrilled when Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park opened to the general public. The 40-acre park on a hilltop above downtown incorporates a concrete pump monitor and 4 miles of trails. The park was meticulously designed and constructed to accommodate all ability ranges for adults and kids to get pleasure from mountain bike rides.

The paths “are extra about what number of options and challenges reasonably than flat out mileage.” Hit the paths to find jumps, challenges, loopy descents, and difficult climbs whereas having fun with the gorgeous mountain views from dozens of scenic overlooks.

18 Tannery Knob, Johnson Metropolis, TN | 423-283-5815 |

No. 11

Go for a Bicycle Trip on the Tweetsie Path

The 9.6-mile Tweetsie Path is a Rails to Path alongside the correct of means of the earlier East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad. In 1881, a 14.1-mile phase of the ET&WNC was accomplished between Johnson Metropolis and Hampton through Elizabethton. The railroad, dubbed Tweetsie Railroad due to the sound the steam locomotives made, was finally prolonged so far as Boone, North Carolina.

The railroad continued working for freight trains till 2003 when the ultimate ten-mile phase between Johnson Metropolis and Elizabethton was deserted. In 2014, work started to transform the correct of means right into a Rails to Path.

The trailhead is simply minutes from downtown Johnson Metropolis at a small gravel parking zone. Tweetsie Path is a combination of city and rural path that passes by way of residential neighborhoods, farmland, and business districts. In Elizabethton, the path runs parallel to the busy US Freeway 321 earlier than turning by way of a business space and ending.

The very best path to get pleasure from on the Tweetsie Path is a 5.8-mile journey to Sycamore Shoals State Historic Web site. At Williams Avenue, use the general public crosswalk to cross Elk Avenue and go to the state historic website.

Native Movement Cyclery is positioned adjoining to the trailhead in Johnson Metropolis. The native bicycle store rents mountain bikes, gravel bikes, and Tweetsie Path bikes in typical and electrical fashions. Bicycle leases embrace a helmet, a required merchandise for driving the Tweetsie Path.

Alabama Avenue & Legion Avenue, Johnson Metropolis, TN |

No. 12

Play Disc Golf at Winged Deer Park

Winged Deer Park appears to be like like another 200-acre municipal park from the freeway. Baseball fields come alive with Little League sports activities, vehicles pull small boats towards the ramp onto Boone Lake, and locals stroll their canine by way of the massive area.

However hidden contained in the park is an 18-hole disc golf course – top-of-the-line programs within the area. At 5,755-feet in size, the course winds by way of a dense forest terrain with hills and obstacles. Concrete pads on the tees supply good help for getting began towards the hampers. The course is difficult however nonetheless enjoyable for novice-level disc golfers.

4137 Bristol Freeway, Johnson Metropolis, TN |

No. 13

Go Whitewater Rafting on the Nolichucky River

The Nolichucky River is among the most adventurous rivers within the Southeast. However don’t take my phrase for it – simply belief the hundreds of people that raft the river yearly. With Class III-IV rapids, the river supplies a problem most informal rafters can face.

USA Raft is predicated at an fascinating campus alongside the Nolichucky River in Erwin, about half an hour from Johnson Metropolis. The whitewater rafting specialists supply guided boat excursions by way of the Nolichucky Gorge. Not desirous to attempt such a problem? The Decrease Nolichucky options solely Class I-II rapids.

2 Jones Department Street, Erwin, TN | 800-872-7238 |

The well-worn Appalachian Path crosses Unaka Mountain – and that is the view from the Magnificence Spot.
The well-worn Appalachian Path crosses Unaka Mountain – and that is the view from the Magnificence Spot.

No. 14

Go Mountaineering on the Magnificence Spot on Unaka Mountain

After passing by way of Erwin, the Appalachian Path crosses Unaka Mountain – and one of the crucial stunning spots on your complete path. That’s why the locals referred to as it the Magnificence Spot. It’s solely a ten.6-mile hike from the crossing on the Nolichucky River to the Magnificence Spot, however that quick hike features a 2,737-foot climb.

The better technique to see the Magnificence Spot is a leisure drive from Erwin. The 7.5-mile drive on Tennessee Freeway 395 solely takes fifteen minutes to drive – until you make a cease at Rock Creek Recreation Space for a brief hike to a waterfall.

READ MORE: The Gorgeous Magnificence Spot on the Appalachian Path

Three issues intersect at Indian Grove Hole on TN Freeway 395: the North Carolina border, the Appalachian Path, and the gravel highway resulting in the Magnificence Spot. The highway is often effectively maintained and satisfactory for two-wheel drive passenger autos, even minivans. The 2-mile drive to the parking space takes about 10-Quarter-hour.

A brief hike on a well-worn path by way of waist-high wavy grass results in the Magnificence Spot – a spot with an uninterrupted panorama view of the encircling mountain panorama. It’s a stunning place to observe the fog drift by way of the valleys after dawn or the colourful hues dance throughout the sky at sundown. Convey a tent to spend the evening, or simply a few chairs to benefit from the breathtaking views.

Magnificence Spot Hole Street, Unicoi, TN

The view of the lake whereas stress-free at Watauga Level Recreation Space.
The view of the lake whereas stress-free at Watauga Level Recreation Space.

No. 15

Discover Watauga Lake

The 6,430-acre Watauga Lake was created by the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1948. The reservoir is used for flood management and hydroelectricity by the TVA, however everybody else can get pleasure from boat rides, swimming, fishing, and scenic drives. It’s solely a thirty-minute drive from Johnson Metropolis and an ideal day journey vacation spot.

The TVA Watauga Dam Customer Middle is positioned on the north facet of the lake close to Elizabethton. The parking zone has a spectacular view of the lake. A brief stroll alongside a comparatively stage path results in an overlook above the dam. Beneath the dam, the Watauga Dam Campground options 29 websites with electrical and water hookups, lots of them riverfront.

From Hampton, US Freeway 321 meanders alongside the south facet of the lake, connecting to Boone, North Carolina. The Shook Department Swimming Space is the most effective place for moving into the water on Watauga Lake. The recreation space options restrooms, picnic tables, and a seaside space. The Watauga Level Recreation Space is the most effective place to spend a day on the lakeshore. The recreation space options restrooms, a lined shelter, picnic tables, and loads of locations to take a seat on the lake’s edge and benefit from the pure magnificence.

At greater than 1,900-feet elevation, Watauga Lake is the very best reservoir within the TVA system. The 105 miles of shoreline are virtually totally undeveloped. Spending a day cruising the lake is among the most rewarding experiences in Tennessee. Watauga Lakeshore Resort and Fish Springs Marina hire pontoon boats good for a day on the lake – the boats embrace a Bimini high and comfy seating for 10 individuals.

End a day at Watauga Lake with dinner at Southern Craft BBQ. Situated on a bluff on the Watauga Lakeshore Resort, the Johnson Metropolis based mostly barbecue restaurant and brewery took over the house of The Captain’s Desk. Opened in Could 2022, the restaurant gives savory BBQ, home made sauces, and spectacular views.

Blooming rhododendron bushes encompass a path on Roan Mountain.
Blooming rhododendron bushes encompass a path on Roan Mountain.

No. 16

Go for a Drive to the Roan Highlands

The Roan Highlands are only a 40-mile drive from Johnson Metropolis, a drive that features beautiful surroundings and thrilling issues to do alongside the way in which. It’s a superb day journey exercise and one of many the reason why Johnson Metropolis is the hub for out of doors recreation in Northeast Tennessee.

From Elizabethton, US Freeway 19E begins as a four-lane freeway and finally narrows to only two lanes winding by way of Christmas tree farms. Within the small neighborhood of Roan Mountain, the route turns proper onto TN Freeway 143. Roan Mountain State Park is a 2,000-acre park on the base of the towering mountain. Guests can go mountaineering on the 12 miles of trails, fishing within the Doe River, and discover the Miller Farmstead.

After leaving the state park behind, the highway begins an extended and curvy climb to Carvers Hole. The hole within the mountain is the place the Tennessee and North Carolina borders meet in addition to the Appalachian Path. Use the small parking space to depart the automotive behind and go for a brief stroll on the AT to Grassy Ridge Bald, the start of the Roan Highlands, and a collection of bald mountain tops.

READ MORE: The way to View Hundreds of Blooms on the Rhododendron Backyard on Roan Mountain, Tennessee

From late spring by way of early autumn annually, the highway to the summit of Roan Mountain is open for site visitors. At 6,285-feet in elevation, Roan Excessive Knob is a part of the Southern Sixers – a gaggle of peaks within the Southern Appalachian Mountains above 6,000-feet in elevation. The close by Roan Excessive Knob Shelter is the very best shelter on your complete Appalachian Path.

In late spring, often across the center of June, the rhododendron bushes throughout Roan Mountain bloom in spectacular style. Concrete and primitive paths wind by way of the gardens, resulting in an remark deck with a view of the good pink blooms throughout a vibrant inexperienced panorama.

Earlier than leaving, go for a brief 1-mile stroll to Roan Excessive Bluff. At 6,267-feet, the remark deck on the rocky outcropping gives a spectacular view of the Tennessee mountains.

Professional Journey Tip The drive to Carvers Hole takes about an hour from Johnson Metropolis. Give your self 3-4 hours for the out-and-back drive and some actions.

No. 17

Sneak into The Windsor Speakeasy

Speakeasy bars grew to become well-liked through the Prohibition Period within the Nineteen Twenties and 30s. To avoid federal legal guidelines in opposition to promoting alcohol, the bars would cost admission for seeing a legendary “blind tiger” and supply a complimentary alcoholic drink.

And Johnson Metropolis has a speakeasy.

Though it’s no secret The Windsor Speakeasy is a completely licensed bar working within the metropolis, you continue to should sneak into the hip lounge by way of a hidden door. Inside, gifted mixologists craft artistic cocktails in an intimate setting. Stay leisure is obtainable on some weekends, and you may sit exterior on a patio for hushed conversations all through the evening.

220 West Market Avenue, Johnson Metropolis, TN |

No. 18

Get a Drink at Tennessee Hills Brewstillery

In 2016, Northeast Tennessee natives Stephen and Jessica Callahan used their faculty levels in Biology and Chemistry to open the Tennessee Hills Distillery within the historic Salt Home in close by Jonesborough. Teaming up with entrepreneurs Scott and Daphene Andrews, they purchased a brewery in Johnson Metropolis and opened the Tennessee Hills Brewstillery.

It’s the most effective of each worlds, a brewery and distillery underneath one roof. And so they aren’t afraid to be daring and affected person with their craft beers. Indian Pale Ales and stouts are typical staples, however in addition they craft lagers and German-style Hefeweizen.

Their Tennessee Whiskey Kitchen meals truck serves savory meals on the weekends. Stay music is usually heard rumbling from the parking zone. And inside, a stunning wrap round bar is the right place to pattern the cocktails, craft beer, and meals.

458 West Walnut Avenue, Johnson Metropolis, TN | 423-789-9105 |

No. 19

Get Meals and Drinks at Yee-Haw Brewing Firm

Capitalizing on the success of Ole Smokey Distillery, Gatlinburg native Joe Baker purchased the 116-year-old CC&O railroad depot in Johnson Metropolis. However that’s not the depot for this story. Whereas renovating that depot, Baker set his eyes on the even older East Tennessee & Western North Carolina railroad depot throughout the road – the unique depot for the Tweetsie Railroad.

After shopping for the constructing, Baker and Cory Cottongim based Yee-Haw Brewing Firm in 2015. In contrast to most native breweries, Baker needed to deal with producing pilsners and lagers – a kind of craft beer that takes considerably longer to ferment than the extra frequent pale ale and IPA.

The constructing is a textbook instance of stylish industrial décor. Painted concrete flooring, brick partitions, and uncovered rafters set the tone. Giant home windows bathe the strong wooden tabletops on metal legs with mild, and when the solar goes down, the forged iron pipe chandeliers with Edison bulbs preserve the get together going. The craft beers are served in straight-sided glasses emblazed with their emblem. And the beer completely pairs with the meals from White Duck Taco Store in a nook of the depot.

126 Buffalo Avenue, Johnson Metropolis, TN | 423-328-9193 |

No. 20

Discover the Metropolis’s Solely Rooftop Bar at Watauga Brewing Firm

Johnson Metropolis doesn’t characteristic skyscrapers or spectacular structure, however the metropolis is surrounded by mountains – and that’s precisely why you wish to spend a night on the solely rooftop bar. When “4 common guys who like to brew and drink beer” based Watauga Brewing Firm in 2017, a rooftop bar was as essential as craft beer.

After three years of renovations, the brewery opened in a business constructing. The primary ground served because the brewery operation house with shiny stainless-steel fermenters and plenty of seating at wooden tables. Meals was at all times a part of the plan, with a small number of appetizers and entrees. The second ground is extra seating for the restaurant and a quieter place to get pleasure from a night within the metropolis.

However the rooftop bar is the preferred place within the metropolis on heat evenings. It’s the right place to observe the sundown throughout Bays Mountain within the distance. As soon as the solar goes down, the string lights come on, and firepits ignite to create an off-the-cuff, romantic ambiance.

142 West Market Avenue, Johnson Metropolis, TN | 423-631-5150 |

High: A burger topped with BBQ and home made tater tots at Southern Craft BBQ. Backside: A private pan pizza topped with native veggies at The Essential Avenue Pizza Firm.

The place to Eat

Johnson Metropolis may very well be a foodie vacation spot. However first, individuals have to understand it’s a foodie vacation spot. The ninth-largest metropolis in Tennessee is a busy hub for enterprise vacationers, out of doors recreation fanatics, and pleasure seekers – so after all, there’s incredible meals.

BURG’r & BARREL is the most recent addition to the Peerless Steakhouse household of eating places. The restaurant opened within the renovated 1908 CC&O railroad depot, a stunning industrial house with an off-the-cuff intimate ambiance. The lined loading docks supply distinctive out of doors seating choices the place guests will discover tables and firepits surrounded by Adirondack chairs.

When Tony Vella opened a restaurant in 1999, he envisioned a fictional world traveler who’d sampled all the best meals and introduced them to Northeast Tennessee. He named the restaurant after that character, Cootie Brown’s. The eclectic restaurant with funky décor has a diverse menu of appetizers, entrees, pizzas, burgers, and barbecue – and don’t go away with out a slice of their well-known Key Lime Pie.

In 1981, Tom Seaton and Jimmy Carter (not that Jimmy Carter) purchased the West Walnut Avenue Firehall at public sale and moved their one-year-old barbecue restaurant into the house. The Firehouse restaurant has remained on the location ever since, with a number of renovations increasing the seating space and enclosing a 1925 Seagraves Fireplace Engine within the foyer. It’s the most effective barbecue within the metropolis, with marinated meats cooked on-site and home made sauces to fulfill your tastebuds.

In 2008, Andreas and Michele Herholz opened Frieberg’s, an genuine German restaurant in downtown Johnson Metropolis. Named after Andreas’ German hometown, the menu options staples like bratwurst, schnitzel, and boulette constituted of scratch. Benefit from the dinner within the rustic restaurant together with imported German beers.

In 2011, RMM Hospitality opened One 12 in a downtown renovated business constructing. Described as an “upscale sports activities bar,” the restaurant was rebranded as Label 5 years later. The expansive menu options appetizers, burgers with hand-cut fries, sushi, and some wood-fired grill entrees. Benefit from the meal at comfy chairs and cubicles with actual wooden tabletops and surrounded by industrial décor.

The Essential Avenue Pizza Firm homeowners get as lots of their substances as attainable from a farm simply minutes exterior Johnson Metropolis. Specializing in hand-tossed skinny crusts, you possibly can select from a wide range of recipes or construct your individual pizza from scratch for a customized meal. Open in 2009, the restaurant is positioned inside a stunning renovated business constructing on Essential Avenue with comfy cubicles and huge home windows overlooking downtown.

Pal’s Sudden Service, domestically referred to as Pal’s, opened its first fast-food location in Kingsport in 1954. The regional chain is understood for the enduring model of the constructing – a ginormous burger, hotdog, fries, and a drink on the cyan blue concrete constructing. It’s not like another fast-food chain and is a particular cease throughout any go to to Northeast Tennessee.

Together with Label, RMM Hospitality additionally owns Southern Craft BBQ. The restaurant opened in 2017 in a renovated business constructing on the fringe of downtown Johnson Metropolis. Inside, hardwood flooring are accented with brick partitions, and dim lighting creates an intimate ambiance. The restaurant makes smoked meats on-site and a number of craft beers within the brewery within the again.

Since opening the primary location in Asheville, North Carolina, in 2011, White Duck Taco Store has launched almost a dozen places all through the area. When Yeehaw Brewing opened within the renovated railroad depot, it included White Duck Taco Store. The menu is quirky, that includes hen, beef, fish, crab, and a wide range of toppings of their made-to-order tacos. Order some tacos, decide up the tray, and stroll into the brewery for a chilly craft beer and a cushty seat.

The Carnegie Resort on State of Franklin Street.

The place to Keep

East Tennessee State College and Johnson Metropolis Medical Middle carry lots of people into town. Thankfully, meaning there are a whole lot of nice motels. Nothing too luxurious, however there are some nice price range and average motels for a cushty weekend getaway.


Purple Roof Inn is surrounded by the business facet of town – however that’s okay as a result of it’s a cushty price range motel. The property is sans any facilities, however all of the rooms featured renovated hardwood flooring and new furnishings. Select from rooms with two full beds or one king mattress.

Consolation Suites remains to be reasonably budget-friendly and options just a few good facilities. The resort incorporates a good out of doors swimming pool and safe entry by way of the foyer to all of the visitor rooms. Select from rooms with two queen beds, a set with two queen beds and a sleeper couch, or a set with one king mattress and a sleeper couch.


Vacation Inn is a really good resort positioned beside Interstate 26 on the business facet of town. The resort incorporates a good out of doors swimming pool, an on-site bar, and loads of free on-site parking. Select from rooms with one queen mattress, two queen beds, or a set with one queen mattress and a sleeper couch.

Carnegie Resort & Spa is probably the most beautiful and comfy resort within the metropolis. A recreation of the unique resort from the early 1900s, the Carnegie options an on-site spa, out of doors swimming pool, on-site bar, and loads of free on-site parking. Select from rooms with two queen beds, one king mattress, or a set with a king mattress and a sleeper couch.

Hampton Inn is among the finest locations to remain in Johnson Metropolis due to the complimentary sizzling breakfast served each morning – it’s top-of-the-line of any resort chain within the nation. The resort incorporates a small out of doors swimming pool and a spacious foyer. Select from rooms with two full beds, one king mattress, or a set with a king mattress and a sleeper couch.




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