We are a rural community with the activity choices usually seen in a larger populated area. You will be amazed at the variety of choices for family and group activities. In addition to the Attractions and Adventures in Northeast Tennessee, we have Activities for those who are interested in community theatre at Heritage Hall, art classes at our Performing Arts Center, local cultural festivals, music events showcasing local musicians and unique shopping for antiques, local products and Appalachian crafts. Johnson County also offers a year round Farmers Market offering fresh locally grown produce and local artisan products. Our eco-agriculture choices include an organic farm with an onsite store, a thriving vineyard and two local wineries. The High Country of Northeast Tennessee also offers great local dining options including a favorite family style restaurant, a popular chef owned inspired eatery and an incredible authentic Italian restaurant.
When you are vacationing in the High Country of Northeast Tennessee, be sure to check out the Event Calendar at Heritage Hall, to learn if there is theatre performance or music event that is playing, that you may wish to attend. This restored building offers a quality venue for your chosen events.
Johnson County Center of the Arts
This is your destination for locally made art and fine craft from the East Tennessee Mountains. Their gallery space showcases over thirty artisans. You can sign up for a scheduled class or use the materials in the Maker Space. Johnson County’s Heritage Music Trail, Long Journey Home, is based in this creative art center.
Johnson County has a long and historic musical history, so there are several local music venues offering some of the best music in the Appalachian Mountains. Some choices are Heritage Hall in Mountain City, Harbin Hills Farm in Doe Valley, the Old Mill Music Park in Laurel Bloomery and Watauga Lake Winery near Butler and Watauga Lake. All of these locations have regular musical performances that present some very talented local and regional musicians. If you like good mountain music, be sure to check out the event calendars for these venues, to see what musicians are scheduled while you are visiting Northeast Tennessee or South West Virginia.
There are many choices for Festival goers in Johnson County and Northeast Tennessee. There are several long running annual festivals that celebrate our Appalachian Culture and long Musical Heritage. These Festivals offer crafts and products made by local Appalachian artisans and present good local and regional musicians.
This is an annual outdoor festival that is held on the second weekend of October in Shady Valley, Tennessee. The setting is a stunningly beautiful valley in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains in the Cherokee National Forest. This long running festival celebrates the cranberry fruit and the historical Nature Conservancy Cranberry bog where the fruit was processed in days gone by. This festival offers local products, food and music.
Trade Days Festival
This is an annual outdoor festival that brings together Indian tribes in the spirit of trade and exchange of cultures. It is held in Trade, Tennessee at the community center compound, which is home to the historic Trade Grist Mill and community music pavilion. The festival offers Appalachian arts, crafts, foods and music. This long running family festival is held every year in May.
Old Butler Days Festival
This is an annual outdoor festival held in Butler, Tennessee and is a celebration of the history of the town of Butler, known as “the town that would not drown” because it survived the relocation of the town to make way for the creation of Watauga Lake. It is located at the park which is home to the Butler Museum and historic Stout General Store, with both open for tours during this annual festival. This festival is held in August every year and offers small town fun, food, local products and music.
The local Farmers Market offers year round shopping for healthy local grown produce and homemade products. When you are vacationing in Johnson County, Tennessee, be sure to visit the market to purchase some fresh products for your cook outs and events.
There are many unique shopping opportunities in the Northeast Tennessee High Country. Our shopping experiences include local craft stores offering Appalachian products and art galleries showcasing local art products. We have small and intimate antique shops and large multi-dealer antique and collectible warehouses. If you like junking or antiquing, be sure to travel through our county and explore some of the interesting local shops and stores.
Northeast Tennessee has some great dining choices you would never expect to find in a small rural area. We have an authentic Italian Restaurant located in Doe Valley, where people travel from hours away to enjoy the incredible food. Right near Watauga Lake, is a favorite local restaurant offering great home cooking served family style while you enjoy live music. Here you will eat good food and get a heaping helping of southern hospitality. We also have a chef owned and inspired eatery in Mountain City, Tennessee that is known for their friendly atmosphere and outstanding food. Their extensive menu ranges from perfectly cooked steaks, the best seafood in the area, pasta, chicken sandwiches and salads. We also have a small restaurant in Doe Valley offering some of the best Thai food in the entire region. If you like exotic oriental food, you have got to check this out during your vacation to our area.
Johnson County is an old rural farming area, which is transforming itself into a thriving tourism destination, with some eco-agriculture farming attractions for you to learn and experience while visiting our area. We have Harbin Hills Farm, an organic farming operation producing top quality produce, with an onsite store for your shopping convenience. We are also an American Viticultural Area, because of our geographical features that allow for the production of high quality grapes. We have a thriving vineyard near Watauga Lake, producing quality grapes that are used to produce excellent wines at our two local wineries. Be sure to tour the Watauga Lake Wineries, participate in a wine tasting and dine overlooking the beautiful vineyard.