Jonesborough, Tennessee is the perfect getaway. This small town has struck the balance of offering lots to do while encouraging you to unplug from the outside world for a while and reconnect with those you love. Outdoor excursions, historic inns, delicious meals and even storytelling is all waiting for you in Tennessee’s Oldest Town. Here’s where to stay, what to do and where to eat in Jonesborough.
The Historic Eureka Inn: The Historic Eureka Inn was one of the first lots purchased once Tennessee became a state in 1796. When you book your stay, ask for “The Cook’s Room.” Recently renovated, the room has one of the most comfortable beds which, come to find out, is locally-made. The owners Blake and Kaitlyn are so kind. They offer a breakfast in the mornings and complimentary water, soda and sweet treats throughout the day. The Eureka Inn also offers interactive, murder mystery dinners throughout the year, so make sure you ask about this when you book your reservation.
EAT AND DRINK
Main Street Cafe & Catering: Open since 1982, Main Street Cafe is located on the main street in an old bank building. Monday through Thursday they’re only open for lunch, but Friday and Saturday are open for dinner. In addition to the Cafe, they also offer floral services, event decor, and cakes for special occasions. They also cater for parties and business luncheons. Make sure to stop by for dinner on the weekends for hamburgers, pasta salad, and the Athena wrap.
Depot Street Brewing: A fun place to hang on a Saturday night, Depot Street Brewing has been open since 2004 and has several different types of brews for you to enjoy like the double IPA, Power of Grayskull!, the Flanders red ale, Cherry Phunk and the Depot Express Amber Ale among others. Make your way upstairs to play games like Apples-to-Apples and Candyland or go outside for Bocce Ball.
The Lollipop Shop: If you have a sweet tooth and are shopping on Main Street, pop by the Lollipop Shop. In addition to sweets, they have toys, stuffed animals and other items for purchase.
The Corner Cup: For a midday pick-me-up, drop in the Corner Cup. All the coffee is roasted locally and their space is cozy and welcoming. They have strong coffee and pastries and if you’re in the mood, order a crêpe! The Nutella Banana is a favorite.
Let’s Taco Bout It: Jonesborough’s local food truck, Let’s Taco Bout It offers delicious Mexican food options. You even may be able to catch them at the weekly Brews & Tunes event in the summer. Try their queso, quesadilla, and tacos for a satisfying meal outside on a beautiful day.
THINGS TO DO
Jonesborough Farmers Market: Every Saturday starting at 8 a.m., Jonesborough has a Farmer’s Market in the town square. Walk around, talk to the different vendors and shop for local goods. You’ll find local produce, crafts and yummy items.
Storytelling: The International Storytelling Center is located on Main Street and has a long history in Jonesborough; the town basically revived the art of storytelling in the 1970’s and is known as the Storytelling Capital of the World. You can attend storytelling Monday through Saturday and tickets are $12. You’ll have the best time listening to storytellers weave their tales, sparking your imagination with each performance. This comes highly recommended as part of your Jonesborough experience!
Hike at Persimmon Ridge Park: Hike at Persimmon Ridge Park, home to several trails to choose from ranging from distance and difficulty. They’re all mapped out near the entrance for your convenience. If you prefer biking, they have several bike trails as well.
Shop and Antique on Main Street: There are several great places to shop on Main Street. It’s fun to go to all the different stores because each store carries something different and no one place is the same. Pop into Jonesborough Antiques & Artisans – first established as a hardware store 150 years ago - where more than 30 antique dealers fill more than 10,000 square feet of space. Kaley’s & Co. has all your casual and workwear needs and loads of your wants with items like jewelry, purses and hats. Main Street even has Christmas shops like Gabriel’s Christmas and Noelle where you can find seasonal and holiday decor.
Historic Walking Tour: If you love hearing the history of towns, you need to sign up for the historic walking tour, offered 1 p.m. Saturdays March through April; 7 p.m. Thursdays and 1 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays May through September; 1 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays September through October; and 1 p.m. Saturdays November through December. Guides in period costumes take you around the town, stopping at historic buildings to share its deep history. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Chester Inn Museum. If you’d rather go solo, pick up a free self-guided walking tour brochure that maps nearly 30 spots in the historic downtown at the Visitors Center.
Brews and Tunes: Head to the Storytelling Center for Brews & Tunes on Sundays in June through September. You’ll find local musicians performing as well as a different brewery featured each week. There’s also a rotation of food trucks, so you know you’ll eat well. Sit, drink and enjoy the day with good music!
Jonesborough is a slower way of life with most businesses closed on Sundays. On weekdays, they close earlier than they may in cities. But, that’s the beauty of Jonesborough. You get to slow down, rest, relax and truly soak in this quaint, historic town. The residents are so friendly and welcoming. If you love historic towns, you’ll want to add Jonesborough to your must-visit list. For more Jonesborough trip inspiration, check out these experiences.