We are a rural community with the activity choices usually seen in larger populated areas. You will be amazed at the variety of choices for family activities. 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 offers a year round Farmers Market offering fresh local 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. We also have great dining options including a favorite family style restaurant, a popular chef owned eatery and an incredible authentic Italian restaurant.
Here is a partial list of some activities in our area:
Johnson County has a long and historic musical history, so there are several music venues offering some of the best music in the Appalachain Mountains. Some choices are Heritage Hall, Harbin Hills Farm in Doe Valley, the Old Mill Music Park in Laurel Bloomery and Watauga Lake Winery near Butler. All of these locations have regular musical performances that present some very talented local and regional musicians.
There are many choices for festival goers in the Johnson County area of 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. 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.
This is an annual festival that brings together Indian tribes in the spirit of trade and exchange of cultures. It is held in Trade, TN at the community park, 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
This is an annual outdoor festival held in Butler, TN 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 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. During the warmer seasons the market is held at Ralph Stout Park in Mountain City, TN and during the cold months the market is held in the downstairs area of the Johnson County Welcome Center.
There are many unique shopping opportunities in our area of Johnson County, Tennessee. This includes local craft stores offering Appalachian products and art galleries showcasing local art work. We have small and intimate antique shops and large multi-dealer antique and collectible stores. If you like junking or antiquing be sure to travel throughout the county and explore some of the interesting local shops and stores.
In our area of Northeast Tennessee there are many great dining choices you would never expect to find in a small rural area. We have an authentic Italian restaurant locate din Doe Valley, where people travel from hours away to enjoy the incredible food. Right near Watauga Lake, is a favorite local restaurant offering really good home cooking served family style while you enjoy live music. We also have a chef owned eatery in Mountain City that is known for their friendly atmosphere and outstanding food. We also have a small restaurant in Doe Valley offering some of the best Tai food in the entire region. There are many more great choices for eating if you live in this 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. We have Harbin Hills Farm, which is an organic farming operation producing top quality produce, with an onsite store for your shopping convenience. We are also an American Viticultural Area, because o four geographical features that allow for the production of high quality wine grapes. We have a thriving vineyard near Watauga Lake, producing quality grapes that are used to produce excellent wines at our two local wineries.