Looking for a destination that’s rich in beautiful scenery, lively music, history, and culture? You’re looking for Johnson City, Tennessee—gateway to one of the most breathtaking regions in the country, Appalachia. Though it’s the ninth biggest city in the state, the area maintains its small-town country feel and southern charm. Rolling hills, wide valleys, and steep mountains surround the area. The Blue Ridge Mountains lay just to the west of Johnson City and the Cherokee National Forest directly south. Johnson City was once known as “Little Chicago” during prohibition of the 1920s. It got its nickname from the locals’ affiliation with moonshining and bootlegging. People claim that Al Capone once used the town as a distribution center for the illegal liquor. You’ll be able to navigate this modern city in your rental RV, but you won’t have to! Johnson City Transit has your back, with a network that covers the whole area and buses that run often.
The Great Outdoors
While you’re searching for RV rentals in Johnson City, be prepared for an outdoor adventure. From fossils and trails to mountains and rapids, this place has it all! Tannery Knobs is a mountain bike skills park on the north side of the city that expands across more than 40 wooded acres. Bikers of all ages and skill levels can enjoy the scenery and experience the thrill of off-roading. Just 12 miles south of Johnson city flows the Nolichucky River. Take on some whitewater rapids or try some kayaking while taking in views of the impressive surrounding wilderness. Buffalo Mountain Park is a must-see. The nature preserve lies on the northern slope of Buffalo Mountain. The area offers guests opportunities for hiking as well as waterfall and wildlife viewing throughout the rich forest.
To the north, in Kingsport, is Warriors' Path State Park. Just off the Holston River on the Patrick Henry Reservoir, the park encompasses more than 950 acres. This park is a great place to stay with your Johnson City RV rental, offering more than 130 sites with water and electric. It’s a premier destination for boating, fishing, hiking, and biking. There’s also a nationally recognized golf course on-site. Warriors’ Path is proud to be the home of a Boundless Playground, “an area where children of all physical and mental abilities can play together”, which includes the fully-accessible Anderson Treehouse. Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, in Elizabethton, protects and shares the region’s history. Stop by the visitor center, check out the 18th century Fort Watauga, or take a stroll on the Mountain River trail that meanders along the Watauga River. The park brings history to life with reenactments and living history events, like The Saga of Sycamore Shoals, a play that tells the story of the original settlers, held annually in July.
After you book an RV in Johnson City, you’ll want a place to park it while you enjoy your trip. Spring City RV is near the center of town, while offering affordable rates and usual amenities. Lakeview RV Park is a great little getaway spot right on the edge of Boone Lake. There’s more than 150 full-hookup sites with Wi-Fi included. Pets are welcome, and guests are free to enjoy the pool or fully-equipped pavilion. Rocky Top Campground & RV Park is near the Kentucky state line in Blountville. It’s just a little over a mile from Interstate 81 and close to many thrilling attractions like the Bristol Motor Speedway and Thunder Valley Dragway.
If you’re in Jonesborough, Tennessee's oldest city, Riverpark Campground is open year-round and is RV-friendly. It’s located on the bank of the Nolichucky River in the Smoky Mountain Foothills. The park offers guests a quiet place to relax or enjoy the outdoors. Watauga Dam Campground is a picturesque escape for you and your rental RV trailer, with many of their sites right on the river. Around Pond RV Park is worth checking out. The sites have full-hookups with guests able to utilize free Wi-Fi and cable television during their stay. Enjoy some fishing on the lake or just watch the black swans swim. There’s plenty more to do too, with a golf driving range, volleyball court, horseshoe pits, and paddle boats on campus.
Exploring the City
Tennessee is the heart of country and bluegrass music, and it beats loudly in Johnson City. It’s the home of country music legend Kenny Rogers, known for hits like “The Gambler” and “Sweet Music Man”. Drive your motorhome down in time for the Blue Plum Festival. Held each year in Founder’s Park, it’s a free music festival that showcases regional and national artists performing bluegrass, folk and Americana. The city is home to the oldest church in the state, the Sinking Creek Baptist Church, founded in 1772. The Tipton-Haynes Historic Site is another rich piece of history. It is a fully restored home from the 18th century. The home is comprised of 12 different buildings with lands featuring a limestone cave and nature trails. It’s also the location of the annual the Bluegrass and Sorghum Making Festival. Take a step back further in history and check out the Gray Fossil Site and Museum. Visitors can see an active Miocene-era fossil dig site with fossil deposits dating back more than 7 million years! Some animals that have been uncovered so far include: alligator, tapir, rhinoceros, mastodon, and saber tooth tiger. Beauty, fun and adventure are waiting just for you in Tennessee. Grab your rental RV trailer and go!