A Weekend in Carter County

Whether you are visiting from out of town, or a local resident looking for something fun to do this weekend, Carter County has plenty to offer for all ages. Carter County is well-known for its beautiful scenery, food, friendly people, and historic sites. Some of Tennessee’s most popular waterfalls and hiking trails are right here in Carter County. Watauga Lake and Watauga River provide some of the best fishing in the country. Carter County also has several locally-owned restaurants that provide their customers with some of the best food in Northeast Tennessee.

Carter County has everything from kayaking to vintage car shows. Fish Springs Marina and Lakeshore Marina located on Watauga Lake provide daily boat and kayak rentals. After a day at the lake, you can visit downtown and enjoy a meal at one of our many local restaurants and often find live music. The Covered Bridge stretching across the Doe River is a must-see while visiting downtown. Covered Bridge Park surrounding the Covered Bridge serves as a picnic area, park, festival area, and live entertainment area. Covered Bridge Jams takes place there every Saturday evening during the summer months. If you are just happening to visit Carter County in September, then you are in for a treat because this is when the Covered Bridge Days festival takes place. This festival is fun for all ages with live music, food trucks, arts and crafts vendors, and more. If you would like to take a walk or a bike ride, the Tweetsie Trail is the perfect place to do it. The trail has many shaded areas and gorgeous scenery. The Tweetsie Trail starts at the corner of Alabama Street and Legion Street in Johnson City and ends at the corner of Stateline Road and Blue Ridge Drive in Elizabethton. There is parking at the beginning, middle, and end of the trail. The trail also provides benches throughout if you need a place to stop and rest. Sycamore Shoals State Park and Roan Mountain State Park offer several fun activities for the whole family. Sycamore Shoals State Park is in Elizabethton. It is the perfect place to go for a picnic, a walk along the river, fishing, or if you just want to learn some interesting history. While you are visiting Sycamore Shoals, check out the history museum and the reconstructed Fort Watauga.

Roan Mountain State Park is about a 30-minute drive from downtown Elizabethton and is a great spot for camping, fishing, swimming, biking, and hiking. They offer interactive educational experiences and interpretive programs and it’s a short drive up the mountain to the Carver’s Gap trailhead to hike the Roan balds and see the famous rhododendron gardens. Roan Mountain State Park offers cabin rentals as well as tent and RV camping making it a great basecamp for your adventures.

Hungry, but can’t decide where to eat? Smoky Mountain Bakers, Captain’s Table, Big Dan’s BBQ, Southern Restaurant, Jiggy Ray’s Pizzeria, J’s Corner, City Market, and The Coffee Company are just a few of the delicious locally-owned restaurants in Carter County. If you visit Jiggy Ray’s at night, you can expect to be greeted by a live band or karaoke singers. For all the beer and cider lovers, Riverside Taphouse offers locally brewed beers and ciders, and frequently hosts food trucks and live music.

Come and see why Carter County is known as Tennessee’s Mountain Playground. Start planning your adventure today at tourcartercounty.com!