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Johnson City is a city in Eastern Tennessee. With a population of 71,000 in 2020, the city is the 8th largest in the state.


Johnson City is home to East Tennessee State University. Milligan University is also nearby.

Get in[edit]

Map of Johnson City (Tennessee)

Get around[edit]

A car is best for this area. Public transit operates with limited hours of operation and the area has been allowed to develop so that it is impossible to get around by bike or walking. The local bus service is run by JCT (Johnson City Transit System). As of 2022, the fare is $1 per ride, 59 cents for seniors, people with disbilities, and students (kindergarten-Grade 6). Transfers are free. Monday through Friday from 6:15AM to 6:15PM (last 30-minute route begins at 5:45PM), and on Saturday from 8:15AM to 5:15PM (last 30-minute route begins at 4:45PM). Buses stop one per hour.


  • Rocky Mount Living History Museum, 200 Hyder Hill Rd, Piney Flats. An 18th-century living history open air village. They have people dressed in period clothing demonstrating what life was like at the time. They make their own soap from lye, and its available for sale in the gift shop along with many other handmade or souvenir-type things. The Museum is located just north of town, and can be reached by bus on the Silver Line.
  • Natural History Museum & Gray Fossil Site, 1212 Suncrest Dr, Gray, +1 423-434-4263, toll-free: +1-866-202-6223, fax: +1 423-439-3658, . Tu–Sa 9AM–5PM. Home to an on-going archaeological dig site, Gray Fossil Site, as its name is usually shortened to, was prehistorically a tar pit that trapped and preserved many an animal.
  • Tipton-Haynes Historic Site, 2620 S Roan St. Farm where one of the original settlers, Colonel John Tipton, lived and was present during an armed confrontation regarding the State of Franklin movement where Tipton was leading the faction wishing to remain part of North Carolina and John Sevier was heading the Franklin faction. Tu-Sa 9AM-4PM. +1 423-926-3631
  • Buffalo Mountain Park, 570 Highridge Rd. Fine views overlooking the city accessed by trail. Daily 7AM-9PM. +1 423-283-5815
  • Founders Park, some interesting outdoor sculpture and water terrace at the foot of downtown.


  • The Down Home, 300 W. Main St. Founded in 1976, the Down Home has become a destination for music lovers in Upper East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The primary emphasis is on quality music, and the performance atmosphere promotes listening rather than socializing. There is plenty of time for friendly conversation before the show and between sets. With an excellent sound system hung from the ceiling, the club is a favorite of performers as well as listeners. Beer & food available. Cash only.
  • Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park, 18 Tannery Knob. 7AM-10PM. Over 40 acres of off-road mountain biking trails for all ages and experience levels, just a short distance from downtown.
  • The Tweetsie Trail. A 9.6-mile hiking and biking trail that runs along the former Tweetsie Railroad line between Elizabethton, TN and Johnson City. The trail is relatively flat, and provides some spectacularly scenic views through the mountains. The trailhead is right outside of downtown Johnson City, and has amble parking.
  • Tiebreakers, 1805 N Roan St, +1 423-722-0100. Su-Th 11AM-midnight, F 11AM-1AM, Sa 10AM-1AM. An entertainment venue, comparable to a Dave & Busters. They offer dining, bowling, axe throwing, virtual reality games, and an arcade.
  • Paradise Acres, 4946 N Roan St, +1 423-794-7276. M-Sa noon-8PM, Su 2PM-8PM. A "family fun park," offering mini golf and outdoor laser tag year-round, as well as special autumn events like hayrides and a pumpkin patch.



  • Amigo. Mexican food.
  • Bello Vita. Italian
  • Cootie Browns. Idiosyncratic place with an eclectic menu - all very tasty. Among the best pizza in JC.
  • Crazy Tomato. Pizza and Italian
  • Firehouse. Barbecue.
  • Main Street Pizza. Good pizza and good beer selection. Open late.
  • Mid City Grill. Open late, the best burger in the state of Tennessee.
  • Pal's. Regional fast food chain best known breakfast-wise for their cheddar rounds, easily recognizable by the giant burger, hot dog, bag of fries, and soda cup on the building. Known for quick service, unless you are caught in the lunch time rush.
  • Red Pig BBQ.
  • Sahib. Indian
  • Simms Pizzeria. NY style pizza
  • El Charolais. Su 11AM–9:30PM; M-Th 11AM–10PM; F Sa 11AM–10:30PM. Mexican eatery with a full bar serving a long menu of traditional fare and flavored margaritas. Offering dine-in, carryout, and delivery. Two locations in Johnson City.


  • Capone's. One of the biggest music venues in Johnson City. Open 7 days a week, with different activities such as house bands and sports games on different nights of the week. There's a bar/performance area as well as a huge backroom, which offers a separate bar and more of a club feel.
  • New Beginnings. A lively entertainment venue that caters mainly to the area's LGBT community.
  • Numan's. Bar and pool hall. If you're bothered by smoke, avoid this bar. Otherwise, a fun place to go throw back a few.
  • Tipton Street Pub, 110 Tipton St, +1 423-434-0306. One of the more visited bars in town, always with a diverse crowd. Good food and drink specials all day. On weekends and certain nights of the week, the pub gets rather crowded, so get there early for a guaranteed seat. Numerous T.Vs which will always have the game on. Jukebox, no live music. Sometimes the frat boy and teenie bopper crowd will spill over from 112 next door.
  • Dos Gatos Coffee Bar, 238 E Main St. 8AM-6PM. A local coffee shop with a wide selection of delicious coffees and pastries, serving Counter Culture Coffee and ingredients sourced from local vendors. A great place to meet a friend, read, or work on your laptop for an afternoon.


  • Carnegie Hotel, 1216 W. State of Franklin Rd, +1 423-979-6400. A nice hotel, with a very nice bar and restaurant. Claims on their website that they are a revival of the old hotel that once existed- and this might be true in terms of their inspiration- but the hotel building itself is only a few years old.
  • Red Roof Inn Johnson City, 210 Broyles Dr, +1 423-282-3040. Minimalist but economical.



Hilton, Virginia[edit]

  • Carter Family Fold, Hilton, Virginia. Probably the most interesting destination in the whole area. Old-time and bluegrass music, about an hour away. $7 to get in, concerts every Saturday night.


  • Rock Creek Camp Ground is a U.S. Forest Service camp ground that is clean and not that far from Johnson City (Erwin, Tennessee); it has bathrooms and swimming pond and trails but is closed during winter.

Roan Mountain[edit]

  • Roan Mountain State Park is a state park that is just a short drive outside of Johnson City. It is well known for hiking trails, campgrounds, and picnic areas. Most notable for its "Roan High Bluff," an observation deck at the end of a hiking trail with an incredible view that allows you to see the surrounding area, as well as the Rhododendron Festival, which celebrates the blooming of the world's largest natural rhododendron garden every year in late June.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Johnson City
ENDKingsport  N  S  Mars HillAsheville
Merges with Bristol  N  S  GreenevilleKnoxville
CatlettsburgKingsport  N  S  Mars HillAsheville
NewportGreeneville  S  S  BooneHickory

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