Call to the pioneer within as you discover the best of Johnson City. Surrounded by beautiful mountains and rivers, Johnson City is a place of unique history, arts, Americana music and family fun.

Find adventure outdoors. Fly down nearby Roan Mountain on a bike, drop over a Class IV waterfall on the Nolichucky River, fish or float the Watauga, or hike the Appalachian Trail where it crosses into Tennessee. Enjoy boating, disc golf and hiking trails at Winged Deer Park. For a more serene outdoor experience, visit the gardens and arboretum at East Tennessee State University. The Gray Fossil Site and ETSU’s Museum of Natural History give visitors a look at some very unusual wildlife.

The construction of a railroad line from Bristol to Knoxville put Johnson City on the map in the mid-1800s. Entrepreneur Henry Johnson established a store and depot called “Blue Plum,” where steam engines took on water and passengers. Today, the historic downtown remains an epicenter for arts and entertainment with the Hands On! Regional Museum for kids and the shops, galleries and restaurants of Blue Plum Village. The Blue Plum Festival in June includes music, crafts and an “Urban Art Throwdown” with grafitti artists painting contemporary murals.

History lives close to the surface here. Visit Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site for a primer on the area’s native culture along with Revolutionary and Civil War history. Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area in nearby Elizabethton is steeped in pivotal historic moments from the first democratic government to the largest real estate transaction in history. Gov. John Sevier, President Andrew Johnson and fronteirsman David Crockett are among the heroes and legends who traveled this land.

Neighboring Jonesborough is Tennessee’s oldest townwith a unique blend of historic sites, distinctive architecture, quaint shops and the International Storytelling Center. This isn’t just a place to vacation. It’s a place where your pioneer spirit will thrive.

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