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Old 04-04-2007, 12:52 AM
 
Location: NE PA
175 posts, read 614,095 times
Reputation: 77

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We're arriving Friday morning and understand that the temps in NE TN will be dropping into the 40s, but that's ok, because they're calling for light snow and day temps in the low 30s here in NE PA this weekend
We have an ambitious itinerary and I'm hoping we can get a real feel for the different areas we're targetting. We're looking for a 1.5+ acre wooded lot near a small town for convenience sake, but within a reasonable drive to one of the tri-cities. On Friday we'll tour Blountville and Bluff City in the AM, then take the kids to the Hands On Museum (they need their fun, too . After we check into the AmericInn in Jonesborough, we'll have dinner and scout out JC. Saturday we're planning on seeing Jonesborough, Gray, Fall Branch and CHurch Hill. We'll go to Bay Mtn Park in the late afternoon. After dinner we'll make the trek to Greeneville. On Sunday we'll be visiting Elizabethton and the surrounding areas: Hampton, Watauga, and Piney Flats. I'd like to head over to Erwin but don't think we'll have enough time. Rogersville and Mountain City both sound quaint and charming, but seem a little isolated and a drive to much of the rest of the region. Butler looks beautiful but seems better suited for a weekend home than a permanent residence.
I guess we have some preconceived notions of what the different areas are like ( Jonesborough/ Gray may be getting overdeveloped with some sprawl) but we'll finally get to see for ourselves. On paper, I think the Church Hill/ Fall Branch, Elizabethton area and Greeneville (though not as many wooded areas as the others) are our best bets.
If anyone has any suggestions or last minute advice it's always appreciated and welcome, and many thanks to all those who've provided informative and interesting posts about the tri-cities.
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Old 04-04-2007, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Tri-Cities
64 posts, read 232,434 times
Reputation: 21
Am interested in seeing the same places in another 8 weeks, so will eagerly await your reports. Have a fun, safe trip!
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Beautiful East TN!!
7,279 posts, read 20,370,450 times
Reputation: 2778
Sounds like you have a great trip planed. Be sure to take lots of pictures and give us a full honest report on your return. Hopefully you know you are more than welcome to stop in and say hello while you are in my neck of the woods.
Be safe and have fun!
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:58 PM
 
Location: NE PA
175 posts, read 614,095 times
Reputation: 77
Talking We're back

We returned late last night from our first trip to the tri-cities area. We hoped to squeeze in a visit to Greeneville as well but weren't able to. In general I thought NE TN looks a lot like NE PA, which is what we expected-and that's positive. Trees in the tri-cities region have leaves and flowers already, so they're more than a month ahead of us here (we're supposed to get snow tomorrow night
The main shopping areas of Kingsport and JC are laid out better than Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, so they're not as congested. The shopping district has more lanes available for autos and the stores are more spread out.The downtowns seemed nice enough; they don't stand out but also aren't rundown. We didn't notice any areas that would make one anxious about walking in. The Kingsport downtown will look nice when they finish their renewal project.
What was nice to see was that many lots within the city limits seem relatively large compared to other similarly sized cities. It makes residential areas seem less crowded. There are suprisingly some nice lots still undeveloped and available even within the city limits.
Downtown Jonesborough is cutesy in a tourist sort of way. There are some nice suburban and rural areas that are nearby and part of Jonesborough. It's definitely possible to find a lot in or near a city that will feel suburban or even rural, yet be close to all the urban conveniences.
Elizabethton was a little disappointing. The downtown isn't bad, just wasn't as nice as we expected. There are some attractive and reasonably priced lots in and close to the town, but many of them were surrounded by (hmn, what would be the politically correct way to phrase this? )...ok, let's just say weathered homes with cars in front whose wheels haven't touched a road in years
Fall Branch has a lot of beautiful areas, many with nice views, yet is convenient to rte 81, an interstate. Church Hill has some nice areas as well, and is close to Kingsport's main business areas. Bay Mtn park is a gem for the region; it's really gorgeous and I wish we could've spent more time there, hiking trails, etc. And yes, we detected the Eastman odor as we drive by it
Piney Flats is a very nice area, though lots there are definitely on the expensive side. Blountville and Bluff City are more affordable and are centrally located.
Almost everyplace seems easy to get to; most roads seem to lead to rte 81 or JC at some point, so it's fairly easy to navigate the area. And the roads are smooth, without the many large potholes that are typical of NE PA roads
Another impressive point is that gorgeous mountain views are visible from almost anywhere in the region, even from the downtown areas of the cities.
Our next trip down will focus on some of the outerlying areas: Greeneville, Erwin/ Unicoi, Hampton, etc. Thanks to input from forum faithful and photos (thanks to MBMouse for her extensive catalogue of pics!), the area was pretty much what we expected- NE PA with a better climate, though the recent chill felt more like up here, and everyone's comments about the temps being around 80 degrees earlier in the week didn't provide much consolation
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Old 04-10-2007, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Beautiful East TN!!
7,279 posts, read 20,370,450 times
Reputation: 2778
Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip and got back home safe and sound. Did you happen to take any pics you could share??? I love to see my home town from others points of view.
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Old 04-10-2007, 06:21 PM
 
Location: The Conterminous United States
22,583 posts, read 51,793,131 times
Reputation: 13565
Thanks for a detailed, honest and objective report. Yours was the best that I've read and I appreciate it since I am interested in the area. Thank you.
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Old 04-10-2007, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Memphis
490 posts, read 1,347,292 times
Reputation: 395
You should definitely make it to Greeneville. I'm biased because I grew up there, but it is my favorite city of its size in the region. And, in my opinion, it has the best looking downtown. Hampton is right outside Elizabethton, and will not differ much from that area except that the mountains are even closer (you are basically in the mountains).
Good Luck
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Old 04-11-2007, 01:41 AM
 
Location: Seattle
7,099 posts, read 15,902,473 times
Reputation: 3931
I grew up in Greeneville as well. So looks like if you have any questions before you come back down again, Angler and I'll have you covered!

Angler, what part of Greene're you from? If I may.
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Old 04-11-2007, 05:32 AM
 
Location: Northeastern Pennsylvania
61 posts, read 234,803 times
Reputation: 20
Cougarm, glad you made it back safe & sound. Get ready for the snow & sleet tonight!

I received a great relocation package from Greene County & Greeneville. One of the best books I've seen detailing everything in the area along with a lot of other information. I searched for the chamber of commerce & requested relocation information.
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Old 04-11-2007, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Tri-Cities area, Tennessee
359 posts, read 1,571,678 times
Reputation: 95
Nice report, cougar.
I've lived here for 24 years and agree with everything you said.
Good overview of the area.
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