The Getaway
Things to do in the Tri-Cities: Bristol, Johnson City, and Kingsport

Welcome to the thriving center of Northeast Tennessee, where charm and adventure live. The Tri-Cities of Bristol, Johnson City, and Kingsport offer amazing experiences that will captivate your senses and uplift your spirit. Discover the variety of cultural offerings in all corners of these three streets. Savour delectable meals, peruse handcrafted markets or go on outdoor adventures by meandering rivers and trails. Explore the limitless opportunities and have priceless experiences in the Tri-Cities below by engaging in the following activities:

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01 Discover the wonders of Hands-On! Discovery Center

Explore East Tennessee's historical past through interactive displays at the Hands On at the Gray Fossil Site! Discover the mysteries of the history of the area, from prehistoric periods to the present, by participating in hands-on exploration. Investigate fossils, dig artifacts, and go on a historical expedition to learn. Hands On! is the place to be, whether you're looking for dinosaur bones or trying to solve the secrets of past civilizations. Hands On! Discovery Center is a non-profit science center suitable for all ages. It provides engaging interactive programs and activities such as immersive exhibits, a musical Tesla coil, large building blocks, a 3-story Paleo Tower, and an art studio. Visitors can participate in activities like building rockets, making art, and discovering new things.

02 Take a tour of Yee Haw Brewing Company in Johnson City

For bear lovers or all with curious minds, ensure not to miss out on a brewery tour and savor the fusion of history and hops! Hire a guide to explore the craft beer scene at Yee-Haw Brewing Company in Johnson City, TN. Don't forget to visit the local breweries and immerse yourself in the artistic process of beer-making. Here, each pint narrates a story of innovation and tradition. Yee-Haw Brewing Co. offers a diverse selection of high-quality ales and lagers, including award-winning options like Dunkel. Visitors can enjoy a variety of seasonal and strong beers, encouraging them to try different flavors and share the experience with others.

03 Explore Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park in Downtown Johnson City

Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park's varied routes, which accommodate riders of all ability levels, entice both families and outdoor sports enthusiasts. No matter how experienced you are, there is a path to discover and master for every level of rider. Get ready and enjoy the thrill of riding across difficult terrain while admiring the magnificent Appalachian Mountain scenery. With pathways designed to both inspire and challenge you, Tannery Knobs is the perfect place for an active day out. Bring your loved ones along, get your gear ready, and embark on an adventure that will leave everyone with a ton of memories, excitement, and adrenaline.

04 Visit Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium in Kingsport

Discover the planetarium and Bays Mountain Park in Kingsport, Tennessee, a stunning nature preserve and the largest city-owned park in the state. The park spans 3,550 acres of nature and offers an immersive experience. The planetarium theater offers stunning celestial shows and hands-on displays. Watch breathtaking images that accurately represent cosmic wonders. Explore the vast 3,750-acre Bays Mountain Park with its extensive network of over 40 miles of scenic hiking trails, see wildlife, and partake in other leisure pursuits. The Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium will give you an incredible experience, whether you're searching for tranquility in the outdoors or cosmic exploration.

05 A visit to the Warriors' Path State Park in Kingsport City

Warriors' Path State Park is a 950-acre state park located in Kingsport City, Tennessee. Visit here with your whole family to embark on the endless adventure that lies ahead of you by enjoying top-notch boating and fishing opportunities on the Patrick Henry Reservoir. Kayak across the lake or cast a hook into its quiet waters to catch bass and catfish. Hikers can explore the park's twelve miles of scenic hiking trails from here, which lead through grasslands, forests, and quiet streams. Additionally, the park has one of the state's top disc golf courses. The 22-hole course in the park is an excellent place to test your talents. With its scenic woodland setting and varied terrain, the course offers both fun and challenges for all players.

06 Explore Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol

Also referred to as the Last Great Colosseum, Bristol Motor Speedway is a popular oval short track located in Bristol, Tennessee. The track spans 0.533 miles and is well-known among racing enthusiasts. It represents speed and spectacle in this city, and it's an exciting series of NASCAR races. It has various activities, including the Sprint Cup, Nationwide, K&N East Series, and Camping World Truck Series. Racing fans from all over the world travel to this location for a satisfying experience, which includes spectacular finishes that bring unforgettable memories. Experience the roar of engines as racers negotiate the steep, banked turns of this legendary circuit, where thrilling crashes occur on every lap. Come feel the passion and excitement that characterize speed with the hordes of racing enthusiasts. Here, the spirit of competition comes alive, resulting in lifelong memories.

Tyler Reddick (2) battles for position for the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee Grindstone Media Group / Shutterstock.com

07 Discover peculiar natural structures and landscapes at Bristol Caverns

Discover the historical marvels of Bristol Caverns, where time stops still, and nature reigns supreme. Here, you will learn the depths of this million-year-old geological wonder by going on an incredible tour with some of the lovely guides. Explore the extensive passageways, which are filled with stunning natural underground geological formations. Discover the forces that molded these underground caverns into the magnificent sight that they are today as you explore this underground realm and get engrossed in the intriguing story of its geological evolution. The Bristol Caverns guarantee an amazing experience with natural underground attractions and surprises around every turn.

08 A day visit to the birthplace of Country Music Museum

Visit the Birthplace of Country Music Museum to immerse yourself in Bristol's rich musical history. The Birthplace of Country Music Museum offers a captivating experience for tourists interested in the history of country music. Regardless of your level of interest in the genre, the museum provides a comprehensive look into the significance of the Sessions recordings and their impact on the evolution of country music. Interactive displays here take you back in time while showcasing the city's significant influence on the development of country music. Discover the sounds and tales that shaped a period, from the legendary Bristol Sessions recordings to the development of the genre. Take part in live music performances that honor Bristol's long tradition of dynamic music and perfectly depict its spirit. Don't miss out on the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, a highly anticipated music festival held at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, which attracts a large number of music enthusiasts each September. With over 150 talented artists performing over the course of three days, this annual event has become a must-attend for many.

The front exterior of the "Birthplace of Country Music Museum", in downtown. Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock.com

09 Savor local cuisine at Pal's Sudden Service

The fast food restaurant has been well-known for its quick and tasty dishes since 1956 in Johnshon City. Pal's has established itself as a community staple by meeting customers' demands for delicious food on the go. They are dedicated and renowned for their high-quality products and prompt services. Pal's successfully satisfies cravings for a juicy burger, crunchy fries, or a cool milkshake with its amazing flavor and efficiency combination. Discover the ease and delight of Pal's Sudden Service, where each mouthful bears witness to the area's fondness for delicious meals served quickly.

10 Take in the Breeze at South Holston Lake

South Holston Lake is located in northeastern Tennessee's tranquil Bristol countryside. This breathtaking destination is perfect for relaxation and adventure. With its vast expanse of lake shoreline and crystal-clear waters, this haven is a dream come true for fishing enthusiasts, boaters, skiers, and nature lovers alike. The reservoir's 7,500 acres provide a sanctuary for fly fishing, which attracts a large number of visitors to the south Holston River because of its abundant trout population. You can also take a walk by the lake and stroll along scenic Appalachian trails, where you'll see a variety of wildlife species. Alternatively, just relax on sandy beaches and soak up the sun while soft breezes carry all of your anxieties away.

11 Indulge in outdoor activities at the Tweetsie Trail

Ride your bike or take a stroll along the stunning Tweetsie Trail near Johnson City, Tennessee. The 10-mile rail track follows the former East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad lines. The Tweetsie Trail is a great option for outdoor enthusiasts interested in biking, riding, walking, and even horseback riding. This recreational trail gem provides an amazing outdoor experience for everyone who enjoys birdwatching and hiking.

12 Check out the parks in Johnson City and Buffalo Mountain

A hidden gem of nature, Buffalo Mountain Park is located on the rocky north slope of Buffalo Mountain. The 725-acre untouched wilderness was acquired in 1994 as a result of a calculated land exchange with the US Forest Service. The park in Bristol is a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. It comes with breathtaking scenery, high terrain, and dense trees. Whether you are looking for a challenging hike along lovely routes, a serene picnic location, or an educational nature program to raise your awareness of the environment, Buffalo Mountain Park has something to offer everyone.

13 Experience a mesmerizing racing moment at the Kingsport Speedway

Kingsport Speedway is an exciting NASCAR-sanctioned venue that offers thrilling racing on a 3/8-mile concrete short track. At Kingsport Speedway, both families and motorsports lovers can enjoy the excitement and feel the rush of short-track racing. Fans experience fast-paced action and thrilling moments as cars race around the circuit. Kingsport Speedway offers an incredible experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat, regardless of your level of interest in racing. Don't miss Kingsport Speedway's exhilarating short-track racing atmosphere and heart-pounding thrills.

14 Explore local festivals

Enjoy the various local festivals in the Tri-Cities area, which provide an insight into its lively sense of community. The Johnson City Jazz Festival, a highly anticipated annual music festival in Johnson City, TN, is one of the events that showcase the area's unique culture. This event is a vibrant celebration of jazz music, that happens in March, showcasing a diverse range of styles, including Big Band jazz and Jazz Fusion. The festival features performances by both renowned national artists and talented regional musicians. These local festivals offer more than just entertainment; they provide a unique chance to immerse yourself in the spirit of the Tri-Cities and engage with its lively community.

15 Visit local art galleries and craft shops

The Tri Cities offer many local galleries and craft stores to discover the vibrant world of regional art and craftsmanship. For handcrafted goods and original artwork, you will find them in a wide range of varieties at Ravenworks Gallery. In this and other numerous shops across the three cities, you will find gorgeous jewelry, intriguing paintings, and stunning sculptures created by skilled local artisans shown in these hidden gems. If you're a traveler looking for an enriching experience, consider visiting the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. This cultural hub is open from Tuesday to Sunday. Immerse yourself in the diverse art galleries, which showcase incredible craftsmanship through paintings, pottery, glass, and more. The museum also helps you explore the wonders of Egyptian mummies, encounter fascinating South West wildlife, and immerse yourself in the captivating exhibition gallery.

16 Enjoy the diverse local culinary scene

The Tri-Cities is a haven for food lovers, boasting a wide array of dining options with over 200 restaurants to choose from. Whether you're in the mood for casual Italian, classic American, old-world German, or contemporary Indian cuisine, this vibrant destination has something for you. The Main Street Pizza Company in Johnson City is a popular local restaurant that is worth a visit for travelers. What sets this restaurant apart is their commitment to using fresh ingredients sourced from their own farm. Speaking of pizzas, The Main Street Pizza Company is renowned for its diverse selection of pizza varieties and its classic toppings. Make your reservation at high-end restaurants like La Quinta Inn and Suites. However, if you choose to, you can indulge in other eateries joints, such as cafes and fast food joints, where you can walk in and enjoy your meal whenever you feel like it.

17 Participate in outdoor adventure sports activities

Enter the thrilling realm of outdoor adventure sports in the Tri-Cities, where a wide range of sports programs are waiting for you to join. The Tri-Cities region offers a wide range of sports venues for both active participation and spectator enjoyment. If you're looking to stay active, you can explore options like bike rentals, skydiving, bowling alleys, camping fishing, golfing, and horseback riding. For golf enthusiasts, you can participate in the Warriors' Path Golf Course. With its 18-hole layout and a par of 72, this course offers a challenging yet enjoyable experience for players of all skill levels. Also, take into consideration going on a leisurely paddle-boarding or kayaking trip around the shores of Fort Patrick Henry Lake to enjoy the natural beauty at your own pace.

18 Take historical and cultural tours

Discover the rich history of the region as you go on expert-led historical and cultural tours. These trips will take you across the Tri-Cities, where you can see the historic neighborhoods that have molded the city's legacy and delve into the battlefields from the Civil War. Discover the rich history and vibrant culture of Appalachia by visiting the Carroll Reece Museum at East Tennessee State University. With a collection of over 20,000 artifacts, this museum has been sharing the stories of the region for more than 80 years. From showcasing the past to highlighting contemporary art and culture, the Reece Museum offers a comprehensive experience.

19 Take scenic drives and lookouts at The Appalachian Highlands

I-40 freeway road leading to Asheville in North Carolina thru Appalachian mountains with yellow fall forest and fast moving trucks and cars. Concept of high speed interstate transportation

The Appalachian Highlands Scenic Byway passes through some of the most beautiful scenery in the state of Alabama. The Appalachian Mountains provide a picturesque view for travelers using the byway as the route passes through flourishing vegetation, attractive geological formations, and historic rural communities. Located in the northeastern part of Alabama, the Scenic Byway is approximately 80 miles long. It passes through parts of Cleburne, Cherokee, and Dekalb counties, connecting Interstate 20 near Heflin with Interstate 59 at Fort Payne. You may choose to go for a family outing or a solo drive along the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge. Whatever option you select, though, it will be a visual and spiritual delight. Start your journey on the Little River Road or the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook. Discover hidden gems and wide-open landscapes all along the way that are perfect for capturing breathtaking photos or finding solace in nature's quiet.

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