Situated in the northeast corner of Tennessee and privileged to possess one of the richest historic grounds in America, Kingsport is an exceptional treasure. Chartered in 1917, it became America’s first “Model City.”
Known as “Salt Lick” in the late 1700s, the area later called King’s Port has been part of five different counties in Virginia and North Carolina. In the mid-18th century, Daniel Boone and his axe men left an area known as the Boatyard District and Long Island on the Holston River to mark a trail through the unexplored Cumberland Gap. This was America’s frontier, a bustling center of activity and a source of relaxation for three American presidents, Daniel Boone, David Crockett and other frontiersmen. Today, the Netherland Inn with its tavern and boatyard and Exchange Place, an 1850s living history farmstead, along with other historic sites, help tell the story of “America’s First Frontier.”
For a taste of Kingsport’s beauty, spend a day at Boone Lake and Dam Reservoir. Enjoy the zip line and ropes course, visit the animal habitats, take a boat ride, and watch the sun set and the moon rise at Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium. Take the family to the new Kingsport Aquatic Center.
Warriors’ Path State Park is not to be missed. It has Cherokee history, an internationally renowned mountain bike trail, fishing, boating and hiking opportunities. Its golf course is designated as a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. One of its most impressive features is the incredible Boundless Playground, a place for children of all abilities. If you haven’t had your fill of nature after that, venture along the Kingsport Greenbelt, where you can walk, jog, or run by Civil War sites and historic homes amid river and mountain scenery.
Speaking of strolling, the Kingsport Downtown Antique District is a great place to do just that with the largest concentration of antiques stores and fine art galleries in the Southeast. When your feet get tired, take a drive by Historic Church Circle, an amazing urban design landmark. Sit down and enjoy a (Kingsport) Mets game, or attend an event on the grounds of the Allandale Mansion. In the summer, be sure to attend FunFest, a family festival best known for its hot air balloons. Kingsport is a place to enjoy the outdoors as well as appreciate the urban life, too.
From its lush grounds and historic sidewalks to the majestic mountaintops and festival hot air balloons, Kingsport is filled to the brim with family fun, adventure and history.