January 3, 2023
Lakes. Mountains. Outdoor Adventure.
Whether exploring Panther Creek State Park, sport fishing on Cherokee Lake, playing disc golf like the pros or sampling some of the city’s favorite menus and museums, there’s always more in Morristown.
As is only befitting for the place David Crockett grew up, Morristown is an adventurer’s paradise. Situated along Cherokee Lake at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Northeast Tennessee, the area’s natural beauty and outdoor offerings draw visitors from around the U.S. and across the globe.
Prowling Around Panther Creek State Park
Featuring more than 1,400 acres of land, Panther Creek State Park is located minutes from downtown Morristown. More than 30 miles of hiking trails are tailored to all levels of difficulty. Take a casual nature walk or climb the steep ascent of Point Lookout, which offers spectacular views of the lake and Cumberland Mountains from its perch 1,460 feet above sea level. The park also has multiple mountain biking and horse trails. A number of overlooks along the paths are ideal for birdwatching – more than 125 species have been spotted.
A popular destination for picnicking, fishing, camping and swimming, Panther Creek is also home to a championship 18-hole disc golf course. Mark your calendar for year-round fun with owl prowls, moonlight hikes, scavenger hunts and the “spooktacular” Zombie Walk each October. The park is also known for its popular “make and take” activities where guests craft cornhusk dolls and candles, hiking sticks and tie-dye T-shirts.
If you prefer a little more “edge” to your events, Dirty Bird Events hosts endurance challenges and sets several of their toughest, annual contests at Panther Creek. Your limits will be stretched with events like the Wildcat Mountain Bike Race, Motus Panther Creek Triathlon or the Dirt Circuit 12- and 24-hour trail runs.
Living Large on Cherokee Lake
More than 2,000 anglers make their annual pilgrimage to Cherokee Lake, one of the best bass-fishing lakes in the Southeast, to participate in a host of tournaments. Make your way to the clear, blue water to reel in crappie, sunfish, walleye and catfish.
In Morristown, boat docks, marinas, camping, water sports and rentals are all available for a full lake life experience. Cherokee Park offers an array of amenities for day visitors and campers. In addition to the Hamblen Marina, the park features a boat ramp, walking trails, playground areas, horseshoe pits and a par-62 disc golf course.
Morristown is Tennessee’s Disc Golf Capital® with four championship-caliber courses and was recently named one of the country's top five disc golf small towns by UDISC. The city is also host to the annual Tennessee State Disc Golf Championships the first weekend of June, which is a qualifying tournament for the U.S. Professional Disc Golf Association National Championships.
In addition to the courses at Panther Creek and Cherokee Park, disc golfers flock to the 18-hole Kiwanis Disc Golf Course at Wayne Hansard Park and the Rotary Disc Golf Course at Frank Lorino Park, which offers a dual basket setup and alternate course lengths for two 18-hole options. While the courses attract experienced disc golfers from across the country, you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy the sport. The Morristown Disc Golf Association and area courses are great resources to learn more about the rules and connect players.
What to do in Morristown, Tennessee
While Morristown is all about fun in the sun, there’s plenty of inside activities to keep guests entertained, as well. Rose Center Council for the Arts is the centerpiece for Morristown’s creative community. Located in the historic Rose School, programming includes art exhibits, events and live performances throughout the year and is the location of the annual Spring Thyme with the Appalachian Renaissance Faire and Mountain Makins, a popular Appalachian folk-life festival.
The Crockett Tavern Museum is built on the site of David Crockett’s boyhood home. It’s a reconstruction of the 1790s tavern, which was owned by his parents, with artifacts that tell the family’s story.
Historic Downtown Morristown, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, showcases the city’s past and present. Featuring the nation’s only overhead sidewalk system, the Skymart, the area is filled with quaint shops and boutiques, dining and entertainment options. Check out downtown's newest hot spot, 1907 Brewing Company.
Where to Eat in Morristown, Tennessee
Dine where the stars go at the Little Dutch Restaurant, which has attracted its fair share of stars for more than 80 years from golfing greats Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson to actors Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, whose parents live in the area.
The Timeless Elegance Tea Room evokes the genteel ambiance of Southern charm. Though the menu does have traditional tearoom fare, you can also enjoy stick-to-you-ribs offerings like chicken and dumplings.
New to town is 1907 Brewing Company, offering a wide selection of craft beers, ciders and craft sodas. Grab a to-go order from Redbud Deli or some pub grub from one of the downtown food trucks and enjoy the ambiance of downtown Morristown. A stop at Hillbilly’s Cabin is a must for a big breakfast. And two of the area’s most popular coffeehouses, 60 Beans Coffee band Snowbird Mountain Coffee Co., brew up great hot drinks alongside a menu that’s perfect for a light meal or afternoon pick-me-up.
Morristown is home to beautiful lakes, outdoor activities, shopping, arts and history. Start planning your visit to this charming Tennessee city.