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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.
  • Hands On Regional Museum, 315 East Main St, +1 423 434-HAND (4263). Kids science and discovery museum.
  • Natural History Museum & Gray Fossil Site, 1212 Suncrest Dr, Gray, +1 423-439-3659, 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.


  • 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.



  • 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
  • El Matador. Mexican.
  • Firehouse. Barbecue.
  • Main Street Pizza. Good pizza and good beer selection. Open late.
  • Mama Mia's Pizza. Pizza and Italian
  • 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.
  • Peerless. Local steakhouse
  • Red Pig BBQ.
  • Sahib. Indian
  • Scratch Pizza. Brick oven pizza. Order the "trust pizza" (they decide what to put on it), a Dr. Enuf (JC's local soda), and choose a record from their collection to spin. You won't regret it. BYOB
  • 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.


  • Acoustic Coffeehouse. Live music, coffee, and good beer.
  • Cahootenany's. A proper dive bar. Offers around 40 beers on tap. A pool table is available, and live music on certain nights of the week. Order a 'Grateful Dead'.
  • Cappy's Apex.
  • Casbah.
  • The Cottage. A blue collar bar.
  • 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.
  • Halo. Another dive bar, located in the heart of downtown on Main Street. It's a popular college hangout, and offers some of the cheapest drink specials in town. On Thursday nights, you can pay $7.00 for all you can drink beer. Typically isn't open during the daytime hours. Offers a great patio on warmer nights. Offers all different types of live music
  • 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. 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.
  • Peanut's Mecca Cafe. A very small, beer only bar downtown, popular amongst local musicians. Cheap jukebox.
  • 112 Downtown. A restaurant by day, club by night. More upscale than other places around downtown. Popular with frat boys and sorority girls. If you're not into that kind of scene, stick to Tipton's next door.


  • 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.
  • Ramada Limited, 2606 N. Roan St, +1 432-282-4011.



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.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Johnson City
ENDKingsport  N I-26.svg S  Mars HillAsheville
Merges with US 11.svgBristol  N US 11E.svg S  GreenevilleKnoxville
CatlettsburgKingsport  N US 23.svg S  Mars HillAsheville
NewportGreeneville  S US 321.svg S  BooneHickory

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