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Top Things To Do In Johnson City

Perched amid the Blue Ridge Mountains in Eastern Tennessee, Johnson City is a picturesque travel destination with rich history and cultural heritage. While Johnson City is known for a variety of natural wonders, you may not know it is also the birthplace of Mountain Dew and a hotbed for American roots music. Learn more surprising things about Johnson City before you plan your stay.

Johnson City’s gorgeous scenery and storied past are on full display across a variety of attractions and natural wonders. From prehistoric fossils to modern art, there’s something to learn and explore in every corner of the city.

The best things to do near Johnson City include:

  • Hike to the peak of Buffalo Mountain and take in the scenic views of the city
  • Learn about the prehistoric animals that roamed the Blue Ridge Mountains at Gray Fossil Site and Natural History Museum
  • Explore the public art trail downtown at Founders Park
  • Immerse yourself in Johnson City’s rich musical history while you catch a show at Willow Tree Coffeehouse and Music Room
  • Walk, run, or bike along the celebrated Tweetsie Trail and explore Johnson City’s railroad history

Johnson City is often cited as one of the most affordable cities in America. Visitors can take full advantage of the value across many different cheap things to do. Whether you’re in the mood for live music and a bite to eat at a local restaurant or an exciting hike in the mountains, Johnson City is ripe for adventure.

Cheap things to do near Johnson City include:

  • Stop by Capone’s for a bite to eat and a performance ranging from rock and roll to Americana
  • Rent a bicycle at Trek Bicycle Store and explore the downtown area
  • Pack a picnic and hike the three-mile trail to the scenic peak of Buffalo Mountain
  • Sample the local fares at the Johnson City Farmers Market
  • Stroll the Tweetsie Trail, a historic walk into Johnson City’s railroads

Thrill seekers and easygoing travelers are equally at home across the many tourist attractions in Johnson City. From exploring the caves and fossils digs to taking in scenic views and a festival downtown, everyone will find something fun to do in Johnson City.

Popular attractions near Johnson City include:

  • Hike to the peak of Buffalo Mountain for a truly breathtaking view of the city
  • Enjoy live music and great food at one of the many music and art celebrations hosted downtown like The Little Chicago and Blue Plum festivals 

  • Explore millions of years of fossils in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Gray Fossil Site and Natural History Museum
  • Learn about the hard working tailor who became our 17th president at the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
  • Hike along the Buffalo Trail where Daniel Boone once camped at the Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site

It’s easy to find fun things to do in Johnson City. Daredevils will love off-roading and rafting, while the whole family can join in on great food, dog parks, and live music across the city.

Exciting activities near Johnson City include:

  • Experience the thrill of off-roading at Tannery Knobs Bike Park
  • Treat yourself to a delicious lunch at White Duck Taco Shop
  • Bring your four-legged friend along for a fun-filled afternoon at Willow Springs Park
  • Spend an action-packed day rafting down the Nolichucky River Gorge
  • Visit celebrated concert hall Down Home and enjoy Johnson City’s storied Americana music scene

After an exciting day exploring the area, Johnson City’s nightlife continues the celebration of art, history, and natural beauty. Live music and diverse restaurant options fill the downtown area with exciting things to do at night.

Nighttime activities near Johnson City include: 

  • Walk along the Founder’s Park stream and admire sculptures, live music, and other cultural touchstones of Johnson City
  • Check out the daily specials on beer, wine, sushi, and other fine dining fares at Label
  • Visit Tennessee’s longest running theater, the Johnson City Community Theater
  • From music to comedy and vaudeville, enjoy the variety of entertainment at The Hideaway
  • Experience a slice of aloha-life at Johnson City’s Hawaiian bar The Cottage

Once Friday arrives, Johnson City bustles with energy and things to do this weekend. Prepare for adventure with hot yoga or dive into decadence with southern comfort food. With fishing, disc golf, and zipline tours, take your weekend to new heights in Johnson City.

Weekend activities near Johnson City include: 

  • Prepare for the day’s adventures with a morning class at Real Hot Yoga
  • Indulge in a decadent southern comfort brunch at Tupelo Honey
  • Take in the beautiful views from Persimmon Ridge Park during a game of disc golf
  • Grab your rod and bait for a day of world-class smallmouth bass fishing at the Nolichucky River
  • Adventure on one of twelve different rides based in Johnson City at Adventure Rides

Johnson City is filled with things to do with kids. Meet exotic animals, touch the sky on the trampolines, mine for gems, and much more at one of the many family-friendly attractions around Johnson City.

Family-Friendly things to do near Johnson City include:

  • Enjoy a variety of fun activities for the whole family at The Children’s Playhouse
  • Meet exotic animals and learn about conservation at Bright’s Zoo
  • Leave your shoes behind for a high-flying adventure at Just Jump Trampoline Park
  • Experience a unique take on sporting fun at East Tennessee Bubble Sports
  • Explore the caves and learn about mining at Foggy Mountain Gem Mine

There is no better place to spend a romantic evening than Johnson City. With a variety of romantic things to do including art galleries, ghost tours and live performances, you will fall in love all over again in Johnson City.

Date night ideas near Johnson City include: 

  • Enjoy a romantic dinner and drinks at Gourmet and Company
  • Appreciate Johnson City’s community theater scene during a performance at the Barter Theater
  • Admire handmade art from over 60 regional artists at Cindy Saadeh Fine Art
  • Explore the supernatural side of Johnson City with Appalachian GhostWalks
  • Strap on your skates for a nostalgia-filled night at Johnson City Family Skate Center

Bring your friends out for a night on the town in Johnson City. Group activities like trivia, escape rooms and billiards meet hiking, swimming, and more as you make memories that will last a lifetime.

Things to do with your friends near Johnson City include:

  • Enjoy an afternoon of swimming and hiking at Blue Hole Falls
  • Team up with your friends to solve a variety of puzzles and escape rooms at Perplexodus Escapes
  • Run the table during an evening of pool and drinks at Numan’s Billiards
  • Grab a drink at Yee Haw Brewery and put on your thinking cap for an exciting evening of Live Trivia
  • Dance and sing along at a concert at one of Johnson City’s many venues including Capone’s and Down Home

Johnson City is full of adventure, but there are just as many places to slow down and relax. Whether you are shopping downtown, exploring museums, and unwinding at the spa, there are countless things to do indoors in Johnson City.

Johnson City things to do indoors include:

  • Shop ‘til you drop and enjoy a delicious slice of southern comfort at the variety of small businesses and restaurants in downtown Johnson City
  • Learn about the area’s notable ties to railroad history at the George L. Carter Railroad Museum at Eastern Tennessee State University
  • Spoil yourself with an afternoon of luxury at Austin Springs Spa
  • Catch a classic film screening at the Reel to Reel Theater
  • Savor a delightful drink and paint at Masterpiece Mixers

Johnson City offers a variety of unique ways to appreciate the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hiking, rafting, and biking enthusiasts will love the outdoor activities throughout Johnson City.

Active things to see in Johnson City include: 

  • Admire the panoramic view of Johnson City from the top of Buffalo Mountain
  • Fish or raft along the Nolichucky River Gorge
  • Hike to the waterfalls and swim at Blue Hole Falls
  • Learn about mining history as you adventure in the caves of Foggy Mountain Gem Mine
  • Walk, run or bike along the rail lines at Tweetsie Trails

Ask anyone who has visited: there is much more to Johnson City than meets the eye. Once you have seen the sights and explored downtown, dive in for a deeper look at the best things to do in one of the most unforgettable cities in Eastern Tennessee.

Must-see places near Johnson City include: 

  • Bring your family to Wallabies, a wall-to-wall inflatable obstacle course just for kids
  • Show off your adventurous taste buds as you sample craft sodas at Fizz Soda Bar
  • Pull up a set and see for yourself why diners rave about Tupelo Honey Cafe
  • You will have plenty to talk about after you visit the International Storytelling Center, the only museum in the world dedicated to the power of storytelling
  • Relish in authentic Turkish cuisine and drinks at Red Meze