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15 Best Things To Do In Kingsport, Tennessee

What are some of the best things to do in Kingsport, Tennessee?

After all, when we think about the city of Kingsport in Tennessee, what typically comes to mind?

Well for starters, the city of Kingsport is located in Sullivan and Hawkins counties of the state of Tennessee. It is located roughly around 99 miles away from the city of Knoxville, Tennessee and about 278 miles away from the city of Nashville, Tennessee.

The city of Kingsport, Tennessee is actually a pretty decently-sized city for people to live in. In fact, according to the U.S Census Bureau, the city has a total area of around 53.57 square miles, most of which is land.

And because of it’s size, there are quite a few people living inside of this city. For instance, according to the 2019 Census, the population of people living in this city was estimated to be around 54,127 people.

Now the area of Kingsport is commonly included in what is known as the “Mountain Empire”, which spans a portion of southwest Virginia and the mountainous counties in northeastern Tennessee.

And the name “Kingsport” is also a simplification of “King’s Port”, originally referring to the area on the Holston River which was known as “King’s Boat Yard”, the head of navigation for the Tennessee Valley.

Aside from that however, the city of Kingsport, Tennessee is also a very popular tourist destination for people to visit.

In fact, visitors who visit this city will find that it is a place full of history, culture, and also an example of how rural and metro lifestyles can entwine together side-by-side. From amazing museums to delicious restaurants or even beautiful galleries, this city has it all.

And with things like the Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium, Exchange Place, Kingsport Carousel, Kingsport Greenbelt and more, visitors will almost never be bored as there is always something of interest to see or do.

Which is why, if you’re wondering exactly what you should see or do here in the city of Kingsport, Tennessee, then you are in luck.

In this post, we’ll be detailing all the best things to do in Kingsport, Tennessee.

So if you’re ready, lets get started!

Things To Do In Kingsport, Tennessee

In no particular order, here are the best things to do in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Visit The Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium

Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium

One of the most popular places you can ever visit here in the city of Kingsport, Tennessee is called the “Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium”.

The Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium is the premiere destination to visit for those who love learning about new things as well as being surrounded by beautiful nature.

This magnificent place is owned by the city of Kingsport, Tennessee and is a nature preserve that spans a whopping 3500 acres wide. Inside this area visitors can find a 44-acre lake as well as 38 miles of trails for people to go hiking, biking or even running.

But that’s not all!

There is also a section of the area which features an animal habitat. Here visitors can see all kinds of animals such as bobcats, reptiles, birds, and more all up-close while learning everything there is to know about them. Plus, you can even ride in a relaxing pontoon boat around the lake!

And if that’s not enough, adrenaline junkies can even try out the on-site rope course which also includes a 300-foot zip-line. There’s also a show for people to watch at the state-of-the-art planetarium.

With everything this place has to offer, it’s no wonder it is always considered to be one of the best places to visit here in the city of Kingsport, Tennessee.

Explore Around Warriors’ Path State Park

Warriors' Path State Park

One of the most iconic places for visitors to visit here in the city of Kingsport, Tennessee is called the “Warriors’ Path State Park”.

Warriors’ Path State Park is a beautiful 950-acre park that many people love to visit. The park was named for the Great Cherokee War and Trading Path. Since that time, the park’s land has seen a long history of travelers and is still a pathway for modern-day outdoor enthusiasts.

Visitors who come to this park will find that there is simply so many things for people to see or do.

One of the most popular attractions here at his park is something called the “Boundless Playground”. This is where children of all physical and mental abilities can play together. With age-specific and developmentally appropriate play equipment, kids of all ages will be able to have a ton of fun.

Another key attraction here is called the “Lions’ Narnia Braille Trail”. This is an environmental maze with many interactive exhibits which includes things like a wildflower walk, herb garden, rain garden, and even the Palmer Center Foundation Amphitheater.

Aside from that, this park is also home to a wide range of outdoor recreational activities. For instance, visitors who come here can enjoy things such as boating, fishing, hiking, horse-riding and even golfing.

Overall, with so many things to see or do here, this is definitely one of the best places to visit here in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Learn Some History At Exchange Place

Exchange Place

Do you love learning about history?

If so, then one amazing place you would love to visit here in the city of Kingsport, Tennessee is called the “Exchange Place“.

At first glance, one might think because of the name, this is a place where people come and exchange various kinds of items that they may have. However that is not the case!

Exchange Place is actually a living history museum made for people to see and learn the way people have lived their lives many years ago. For instance, through its long 160 year lifespan, this place has served as a plantation, a stagecoach relay station, and even a post office.

Visitors who come to this place will be able to see exactly what life was like for the settlers and farmers who lived in the region during the 1850’s. For instance, visitors will be able to tour a wide range of buildings such as the main house, school house, blacksmith forge, granary, and barns.

Not only that, but the area also has a section for a farm. This is where visitors can come and see many unusual breeds of animals like chicken, sheep, pigs, cattle, and even horses. Plus, all throughout the year they will be host to many festivals and special events for people to enjoy.

The only thing to note is that the Exchange Place is only open during the months of May through October. So you will need to plan accordingly if you are wanting to visit.

So if you have the time to spare and want to see and learn some really neat history about the region, then a visit to the Exchange Place is definitely something you must do.

Eat Some Amazing Foods At The Chop House

The Chop House

If you’re in the mood for some really delicious foods to eat, then one restaurant you definitely must visit is called “The Chop House”.

The Chop House is a restaurant that serves up American style dishes with a focus on seafood and steaks. Locals and tourists all love this place as according to Yelp, they are one of the highest rated as well as being one of the most reviewed restaurants in the city of Kingsport, Tennessee.

Visitors who come to this restaurant will find that it offers so many amazing food choices for people to choose from. For instance, some of the foods you can find here includes blue crab cakes, lamb chops, filet mignon, grilled atlantic salmon, prime rib sandwich and more.

Plus, they also have an extensive wine and cocktail list for people to enjoy. For example, in their wines you can find things like red wines, white wines, sparkling wines and champagne. Or if you love cocktails, you’ll be happy to know that they have some really delicious cocktails on the menu.

Best of all is that the service here is top notch. The staff will go out of their way to try their best and make sure all of your needs are carefully met. The only thing to note is that this isn’t exactly the cheapest restaurant for you to visit.

Overall, The Chop House is definitely one of the best restaurants you can visit here in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Kingsport Carousel & Park

If you’re traveling around with kids to the city of Kingsport, Tennessee, then one place you might want to take them to is called the “Kingsport Carousel & Park”.

The Kingsport Carousel & Park is one of the most popular places to visit with families and kids. In fact, the main attraction here like the name implies is basically a beautiful Carousel which everyone seems to love.

The popular carousel which is a beautiful restored 1956 carousel, is located inside a temperature controlled roundhouse. The idea for this carousel came to fruition from local resident Gale Joh, who wanted something that can entertain the community.

After a few years of working with other local civic leaders, volunteers, and donors who share in his vision, this carousel was finally created in 2015. The carousel contains thirty-two animals, twenty-four sweep animals, and two chariots, all carved and painted by hand. It’s truly a work of art.

Visitors who ride on this carousel will even be accompanied by some beautiful music which is sure to bring back some nice memories for parents, grandparents and even kids who will create new memories too.

Plus, right next to this carousel, there is also a small green space with a playground for kids ages 12 years and younger to come around and play.

So if you have the time to spare and want to treat your kids to a few hours of fun, then a visit to the Kingsport Carousel & Park should definitely be something you do.

Roam Around Kingsport Greenbelt

Kingsport Greenbelt

Do you love nature?

If so, then one beautiful place you would love to visit is called the “Kingsport Greenbelt”.

The Kingsport Greenbelt is a beautiful scenic walking trail that stretches for about 8 miles long. It runs through the city as well as the surrounding forests.

Best thing about this trail is that it is open all year round. And depending on when you come to this trail, the scenery is constantly changing with the seasons. This means no matter when you come, you will always see something different and interesting.

Visitors who come to this trail will find that it is beautifully paved and is perfect for people to come do all kinds of outdoor recreational activities. For instance, walking, running, cycling, skating and more are all popular things to do here on this trail.

But that’s not all!

In fact, visitors who come here will also find that along the trail, there are things such as a wetland preservation area, wildflowers and native trees, two historic sites, natural spring, skate park, playground, and even a picnic area.

It’s truly a beautiful trail here in Kingsport, Tennessee that is definitely worth the visit.

Drink Some Brew At Sleepy Owl Brewery

brewery

One of the best things about visiting a new city or town is that you’ll get the chance to try out all the amazing local brews that the area has to offer.

And here in Kingsport, Tennessee, there is a brewery unlike any other.

Known as the “Sleepy Owl Brewery“, it is the premiere destination for locals and tourists alike who are wanting to have some of the best brews this city has to offer.

Visitors who come to this brewery will find that they keep approximately one dozen brews on tap for people to drink. For instance, visitors can find things like American Barleywine, American IPA, Imperial Stout, Irish Red Ale and more all waiting for you to try.

Plus, depending on when you visit this brewery, visitors can also find many seasonal brews and beers from other craft brewers here for you to try. They also invite many local and visiting musicians to help play some music for the visitors to enjoy.

Now they don’t officially serve food here, but if you head out to the front of the brewery, you’ll be able to find many local food trucks who have set up shop here for people to buy some delicious foods.

So if you’re looking for a good brewery to visit, then look no further. Sleepy Owl Brewery is definitely the place to be.

Update: It was brought to our attention that this brewery is officially closed.

art in the heart gallery

As you probably know, no matter what city or town it is that you visit, there will always be a gallery worth visiting.

And here in Kingsport, Tennessee, the best gallery for you to visit is one called the “Art In The Heart Gallery”.

Art In The Heart Gallery which is originally known as the “Flying Pig Gallery”, is a art gallery located here in the heart of downtown Kingsport.

It’s a popular gallery to visit because it is dedicated to showcasing the work of all the local artists from this region. Visitors can find all kinds of art being shown such as paintings, ceramics, photographs, jewelry, and even craft projects all being put on display.

But it’s not just a gallery.

In fact, visitors who come here will find that “Art In The Heart” also offers a wide range of arts and crafts classes for both kids and adults alike to try out.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if you are a beginner artists or just someone who loves to look at art, there is always something of interest here for you to see and enjoy.

Try Some Asian Food At The Stir Fry Café

The Stir Fry Café

If you love eating Asian food, then one place you should absolutely visit is a restaurant called “The Stir Fry Café”.

The Stir Fry Café is a restaurant that specializes in serving up delicious Japanese, Thai, and Asian Fusion type dishes for people to enjoy. And according to Yelp, they are also one of the highest rated as well as being one of the most reviewed restaurants in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Visitors who come to this restaurant will find that they offer so many amazing choices for them to choose from. For instance, some of the foods you can find here includes things like crab rangoon, kung pao chicken, drunken noodles, salmon tacos, sushi rolls, burgers and more.

Best of all is that all of the foods being served here are of the highest quality. Plus, everything here is also amazingly affordable which is great as you won’t have to break the bank eating here.

So if you’re ever feeling like eating some delicious Asian foods, then this is one restaurant you definitely can’t miss.

Go Boating With GRIP Outdoors

GRIP Outdoors

If you didn’t know, Kingsport, Tennessee is actually surrounded by many mountains as well as the Holsten River.

Because of this fact, it means that visitors who come here will be able to find all kinds of amazing things to see or do in the outdoors.

And what better way to experience that manner than with a touring agency.

One of the best touring agencies you can use here in city of Kingsport, Tennessee is with “GRIP Outdoors“. They are the premiere agency to use for any and all people who are wanting to have some fun in the outdoors.

GRIP Outdoors will take visitors out onto the river using a variety of different vessels. For instance, they offer kayak rentals which comes in one, two, four, or even eight-hour increments. They also offer visitors a chance to float down the river in a big tube.

And don’t worry if you can’t swim. All rentals will include life jackets and transportation to the drop-off and pick-up points on the river.

Fishing is also an experience that they offer, however this needs to be booked way in advance before you come here.

Other than that, they are a fantastic touring agency to choose and one which will provide you a lot of fun and joy.

Watch Some Baseball With Kingsport Mets Minor League Baseball

Kingsport Mets Minor League Baseball

Baseball is one of the sports that has continued to grow in popularity here in the United States.

In fact, people from all over love to spend hours and hours of their time watching their favorite baseball team play the game.

And if you’re traveling around to the city of Kingsport, Tennessee, you’ll be happy to know that you can watch a game of baseball here as well. Although it’s not the major leagues, but the minor leagues, which is just as awesome.

Known as the “Kingsport Mets“, they are the city’s minor league baseball team. The team is part of the Appalachian League of teams and a minor league affiliate of the New York Mets.

The team is actually a really popular baseball team to watch as they were able to produce some really good professional baseball players such as Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden. Because of this, many people love to watch and root for this team as they are incredibly talented.

Visitors who wants to watch the Kingsport Mets team play will only need to head on down to Hunter Wright Stadium during the months of June through August. The stadium is capable of seating 2,500 people and tickets can be purchased at the stadium or on the team’s official website.

Overall, it’s a fun filled activity that will certainly entertain you for hours on end.

Tour Around The Netherland Inn

The Netherland Inn

One of the most famous attractions here in the city of Kingsport, Tennessee is something called the “The Netherland Inn”.

The Netherland Inn is a historic inn that is situated right near the Holston River.

According to its history, William King originally built this inn between the years of 1802 through 1808 as a point where he could ship salt westward. However he later sold the inn in 1818 to Richard Netherland who transformed the inn into an Inn and Tavern for travelers along the Old Stage road.

It’s a historical inn because this inn was able to be host to many famous people who have come into this city. For instance, Presidents Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson and even James K Polk have all been in this inn.

Because of this, this inn was even able to be listed on the National Register of Historical Sites.

Visitors who come to this inn will find that it has been transformed into a museum and is completely filled with all kinds of museum furnishings that depict an intimate study of life in one of the South’s most important American frontier settlements.

For instance, some of the things you can see in this inn includes things like a “Log Cabin Children’s Museum and Schoolhouse, Historic Flat Boat Replica and Bank Barn, and more”. Plus, all throughout the year this inn will be host to a wide range of events and tours for the public to enjoy.

With that being said, the Netherland Inn is definitely something to be admired by. Definitely one of the best places to visit here in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Watch A Show At The LampLight Theatre

The LampLight Theatre

If you love to watch amazing performances and shows, then one place you should definitely visit is called the “The LampLight Theatre”.

The LampLight Theatre is a theater located here in Kingsport, Tennessee, and is one of the most popular places to visit.

One of the most interesting things is that it is actually a non-profit facility designed to provide quality entertainment and promote family and Christian values. One of their main goals is for the theater to become one of America’s premiere Christian Performing Arts Center, cultivating artists from all around to use their gifts.

For instance, visitors who come to this theater will be able to see all kinds of amazing shows. From things such as Foggy Valley, A Night Of Improv Comedy, More Than Just A Man, Spring Musical, Biblical Character and more, are all being performed here for people to enjoy.

Plus, aside from being just a theater, the venue is also used for theatrical productions, dinner theatre, concerts, conferences, and seasonal events. The venue is also offered as a place for seasoned artists to train their skills as well as to train new actors and cultivate their gifts and talents.

So if you have the time to spare, why not come on over for a show? It might just be something you’ll treasure for years to come.

Eat Some Amazing BBQ At Pratt’s BBQ

Pratt's BBQ

Who doesn’t love barbecue?

And here in Kingsport, Tennessee, one of the best restaurants in the area that specializes in serving barbecue is one called “Pratt’s BBQ”.

Pratt’s BBQ is one of the most popular restaurants around the city. In fact, according to Yelp, they are one of the highest rated as well as being one of the most reviewed restaurants in the area.

Visitors who come to this spot will find that they offer so many delicious things for people to choose from. For instance, some of the foods you can find here includes things like southern fried mushroom, pig straws, smokehouse salad, BBQ quesadilla, pulled pork, beef brisket and more.

Best of all is that all of the foods being served here are being served at really affordable prices. Plus, the portion sizes are also incredibly generous.

But what’s interesting about this restaurant is that they don’t just specialize in serving up barbecue. In fact, visitors who come here will also find them serving Ham as well. But not just any ham, but Honey Glazed Ham, which is their specialty.

So if you’re ever in the mood for some delicious barbecue or maybe some ham, then this is one restaurant you definitely can’t miss.

Take A Daytrip Drive To Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

One of the best things about traveling is that there are no rules or limits.

If you’re bored of a certain area or just have some time to spare, why not do a daytrip to another place?

Here in the city of Kingsport, Tennessee, it is surrounded by various cities which makes for a perfect daytrip type event for people to enjoy.

And one of the best cities you can take a daytrip to is one called Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville is one of the most popular cities to visit and is only located about 4 hours away by car.

It’s one of the best destinations to visit as there is simply so many things to see and do. For instance, some of the highlights include things like Grand Ole Opry, Broadway, Parthenon, Cumberland Park, Music Row and more all waiting for you to explore.

And with so many delicious restaurants, fun cafes, awesome theaters, amazing museums, and beautiful galleries nearby, this is a tourists dream come true.

Which is why, if you’re interested in doing a daytrip like event away from the city of Kingsport, Tennessee, then the city of Nashville, Tennessee will definitely be one of the best places you can ever visit.

FAQS About Kingsport, Tennessee

What is Kingsport TN known for?

Kingsport, Tennessee is primarily known for being home to the sacred council of local Cherokee and was also a meeting place for many treaties and other dealings with many other Native American Tribes, early pioneers, and settlers.

How far is Kingsport, Tennessee from Nashville, Tennessee?

The distance between Kingsport, Tennessee and Nashville, Tennessee is about 278 miles or 447 kilometers by car.

What major city is near Kingsport, TN?

Knoxville is the closest city to Kingsport, Tennessee as it is only 99.2 miles away by car.

What river runs through Kingsport TN?

Holston River

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Overall, the city of Kingsport in Tennessee is definitely one of the best places you can ever visit. You’ll find that here in Kingsport, Tennessee, there is simply so many awesome things for you to see or do.

So hopefully this post about the “15 Best Things To Do In Kingsport, Tennessee” was able to help you out in some sort of way. This way if you ever find yourself visiting the city of Kingsport in Tennessee, you will know exactly what things you are able to do for some fun.

Also if you are interested in reading some of my other posts about traveling, you can do so by clicking these links:

Or you can check out all my blog posts by clicking this link.

Hope you have a safe and fun trip~

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