When NASCAR comes to town, there’s plenty of action at the speedway. But if you get the urge to venture out, Northeast Tennessee offers a wide variety of cultural and recreational activities for the whole family.
If you're looking to spend a day enjoying the gorgeous landscapes of Northeast Tennessee, you can't beat our state and local parks. Spend the day biking, boating or fishing at Warrior's Path State Park, take a picnic and enjoy the beauty of nature at Cherokee National Forest or take a hike to the famous balds at Roan Mountain State Park to see God's country spread out before you. If you're slightly more adventurous, go underground at the Bristol Caverns. You can also experience the excitement of the Nolichucky River on a Cherokee Adventures Whitewater Rafting expedition.
For the kids (and the kids at heart) Northeast Tennessee boasts a number of unique and fun experiences. Hands On! Regional Museum offers more than 22,000 feet of interactive exhibit space and encourages youngsters to get involved. The East Tennessee State University and General Shale Brick Gray Fossil Site and Natural History Museum offers tours of an ongoing fossil dig, interactive exhibits and education programs for people of all ages. If you're more into outer space, Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium has state of the art facilities featuring multiple planetarium shows daily, an they also have animal habitats featuring raptors and wolves on their 3,500 acre nature preserve. If you're looking for some wet 'n wild fun, head on over to Wetland Water Park for a leisurely trip on the lazy river or a delightful dunk at the end of a 200-foot slide.
Music and Arts
This is where country music began with the Bristol Sessions in 1927 and "Country's Big Bang." This rich musical heritage has found a home in The Birthplace of Country Music Alliance, a perfect stop for any country music lover. You can catch performances celebrating old-time country and folk music at The Carter Family Fold, and for a more contemporary sampling of local music, check out Pick Bristol's website for current listings of live performances on State Street. If you're in the mood for the dramatic, The Barter Theatre is sure to please, and shows of many varieties can be found at the Paramount Center of the Arts and the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.
Experience America's First Frontier while you're here. Stop by The Andrew Johnson National Historic Site and tour the home of the president from Tennessee and visit Monument Hill. You can also visit Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area and tour the fort where the "Overmountain Men" gathered before marching to victory at King's Mountain. See history come alive at the Rocky Mount Museum and Historic Site and get a glimpse of the "Lost State of Franklin" at the Tipton-Haynes Historic Site.